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Counselling Skills (GradCert)


The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills programme is a part-time 60 credit, blended learning programme delivered over ten weeks (one semester) and based on the SA1 Waterfront Campus in Swansea.  We have two intakes per year, September, or February.

With its unique combination of evening, in-room and online delivery, you will learn about the humanistic approach and core conditions of person-centred therapy and take part in practical, experiential activities that develop and practice the skills that are central to developing a helping relationship. We will take time to understand the quality and importance of the therapeutic relationship, and consider contracting, mutuality, respect, autonomy, congruence, curiosity, building trust and empathic attunement.


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

Pathway Options

  • Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills course can lead into our accredited MA in Psychotherapeutic Practice programme.
  • There is no automatic progression onto the MA programme, as all applicants will need to reapply, and places for the programme are offered subject to interview.
  • Most of our students apply for the MA in Psychotherapeutic Practice on completion of the Graduate Certificate, others complete the certificate to enhance employment opportunities or CPD within their current employment.

Book an Open Day Book a Taster Day Request Information
Contact Name: Andrea Williams

Home: £2000
Overseas: £4000

Why choose this course?

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills programme:

  • Provides an excellent opportunity to learn the foundation skills in counselling.
  • The course has a strong experiential training base, the skills you develop will enable you to develop the skills and attitudes of effective communication.
  • Students have commented that the course goes beyond theory and practice and highlight how much they learn about themselves as they progress through the course.
  • Enables you to critically reflect on your own self-awareness and awareness of others
  • The skills you learn can be transferred across a range of professions, including teaching, healthcare, and social work.
  • This course is an excellent starting point if you are considering a career in counselling and psychotherapy.
  • Staff are experienced trainers and counselling practitioners

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills programme consists of two 30 credit modules at Level 6 and combine theory, reflective practice, and skills development.

The programme is designed to give you the underpinning knowledge, skills, and competencies to use basic counselling skills, ethically and safely in a variety of contexts and roles. You will be introduced to the history and roots of therapy, its value base, and core concepts. We will draw on humanistic theory and basic ideas from the person-centred approach. The programme enables you to develop confidence, reflectivity and reflexivity, critical awareness, and the skills necessary to engage with the wider social, ethical, and political context in which counselling and psychotherapy exists.

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills programme continues to be a very popular and successful programme. Our course over the last two years has seen an outstanding retention and pass rate, with over 90% of students graduating with either a Merit or Distinction.

This programme has been developed as a ‘bridging course’ into the MA in Psychotherapeutic Practice programme, the aim is to combine the necessary skills training with theoretical understanding to provide students with the necessary entry requirements to apply for the Masters in Psychotherapeutic Practice.

Module Topics

The programme consists of two 30 credit modules and is delivered through a blended learning approach.

Counselling Skills (30 credit core module) delivered as an evening class, face-to-face in-room and aims to facilitate the use of initial counselling skills within a humanistic framework of counselling theory. Students are supported and develop the capacity to critically reflect and integrate skills and theory into practice whilst maintaining appropriate and ethical boundaries and principles of self-care.

Reflective Practice in Counselling (30 credit core module) this blended learning module is delivered online and aims to engage the student in personal development through critically reflective and reflexive practices. Students develop the capacity to critically reflect on the skills development of self and others, to provide constructive evaluation of self-development and development of self the impact on therapeutic relationships with others.

* We regularly review and revalidate our programmes; therefore, module content is subject to change.

  • You will learn through practical experiential exercises, skills practice, personal reflective practice work and formal teaching.
  • Learning activities include working in triad groups, larger groups and individual student-led activities.
  • You will be expected to attend all teaching sessions and there is an 80% minimum attendance requirement.
  • There is no requirement for a student placement or personal therapy on this course.

Related Links

Key Information

Entry Criteria
  • You will need to be able to demonstrate the ability to work at level 6 and possess both the inter- and intrapersonal qualities required to engage with the emotional and academic demands of this programme.
  • This kind of training requires emotional maturity, self-reflection, and psychological robustness
  • Two references uploaded with your application
  • Places for the course are limited and offered subject to interview.
Career Opportunities

This programme is relevant to you if you are considering a career in counselling and psychotherapy or wish to enhance your CPD, interpersonal, communication and helping skills within your workplace, for example, nursing, social work, youth work and teaching. 

Additional Costs
  • There are no additional costs for this programme.
  • There is no requirement for a DBS, student placement or personal therapy on this course.
Student Quotes


“Rarely, has a course been as transformational as this one on a personal and professional level as a Headteacher...it has changed many aspects of my life”


“An excellent course that has been enriching both intellectually and personally; it has given me far more than the 10 weeks would imply, an invaluable experience!”


“A fantastic course that makes you open to different ideas with great support.”


“A well-structured and informative course that has given me a greater understanding of the principles of counselling, a range of new skills and the confidence to support others in a meaningful way.”


“Taught by excellent staff, this programme is inspiring, rewarding and ultimately transformative.  If you get the chance, do it!”


"The course has been everything I hoped for and more. I've learned a great deal in terms of counselling skills but also about myself, which has been both surprising and insightful. I feel that I have grown in confidence as a result and have found myself using my new skills in both my working relationships and personal ones."


Please visit our Accommodation section for more information.