CPCAB Level 4 Diploma In Therapeutic Counselling

This course offers a relational model of training based on psychodynamic and person, centred theories.

Academic Year: 2022/23

Course Code: 10126

Campus: Lisburn, Newtownards

Study Type: Part-Time

Education Level Higher Education


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Course Structure

Modules will include:

  • Working ethically, safely and professionally as a counsellor
  • Working within a counselling relationship
  • Working with client diversity in counselling work
  • Working within a user-centred approach to counselling
  • Working with self-awareness in the counselling process
  • Working within a coherent framework of counselling theory and skills
  • Working self-reflectively as a counsellor

If you require any additional information about the course please contact admissions@serc.ac.uk.


Contact Hours

Directed Study:

6  hours contact time to include practical classes, lectures, workshops or tutorials.

Personal Study to include Practical Assessments

A further 3 hours maximum studying and preparing assessments in your own time per week, including use of online materials.

You will be expected to undertake 30 hours personal counselling.

You will also have to complete a 100 hour supervised placement during the lifetime of the course. It is your responsibility to secure an appropriate placement(s) and supervision consistent with the course requirements.

Students can apply for an extension of up to 12 months to complete their placement hours provided the student has successfully completed all other internal and external assessment requirements by June of year 2 of the course.

Entry Requirements


Student must have acquired the following before the start of the course:

  • GCSE English Language Grade C or above or equivalent
  • CPCAB's Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2) and
  • CPCAB's Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3), or 
  • APEL / RPL (prior learning, see below) equivalent

English Language Requirements for International students:

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • IELTS 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in all skills)
  • PTE 51 Or an approved equivalent test in English Equivalent

English Language Requirements qualifications include:

  • Grade C (or above) in English
  • Successfully completion of a Level 3 Vocational Programme with assessments completed in English Language
  • Essential Skills in Literacy (Level 2) ESOL Level 2 

Tier 4 Students:

  • SERC will only accept a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for issuing a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)


  • Successful completion of the admissions process. This will include a formal scored interview. Interviews will be conducted between May and August of year of enrolment. All applicants will be informed of admission decisions after the completion of all interviews.


  • Provide evidence of ability to undertake the programme by meeting the requirements for the accreditation of prior experiential learning.  Further details on APEL can be found in the admissions section and must satisfy CPCAB Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy that can be found at https://www.cpcab.co.uk/public_docs/recognition-of-prior-learning-rpl-policy

How will I be assessed and given feedback?

Candidates are assessed using a range of different methods. These include assessments, coursework, Project Based Learning, presentations, practical, posters, leaflets, role-play, and case studies.  This is dependent on the requirements of each unit of study.  Oral, written and online feedback will be provided during your course to help improve and monitor performance.  In year 2, candidates undertake an external assessment where a 30 minute counselling practice session is recorded and a written examination is completed.

Where will it take me?

You may progress onto CPCAB's:

  • Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (PC-L5)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory (CBT-L5)
  • Open University Foundation Degree in Counselling (access to this course is dependent on completion of the Level 4 Diploma (TC-L4) and a combination other short modules, one of which is mandatory
  • You will want to work toward BACP accreditation as a counsellor which will require you have a minimum number of post qualifying (TC-L4) hours practice.
  • Successful completion of the TC-L4 Diploma will enable you to seek employment as a qualified counsellor in an agency setting.

How will it make me more employable?
This training course will provide you with a sound theoretical understanding and practical experience of forming, maintaining and successfully concluding therapeutic relationships with clients.  Our focus is on appropriately equipping you for the counselling agency workplace.

Additional Costs

The cost of personal counselling and in some cases the cost of supervision while in placement could be in the region of £1500.

The qualification is awarded by CPCAB Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body. 
Terms & Conditions

Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

We strive to ensure the description of courses on SERC's website and in publications is accurate. However, for various reasons there may be occasions when the College may need to change arrangements or be unable to deliver classes due to circumstances such as reduced funding. If there are insufficient numbers applying for a course it may not be viable to deliver the class.

In addition to the above Terms & Conditions students must also adhere to the following:
  • Students must also complete the 100 hour supervised placement and personal therapy.

Available Sessions Summary

Sorry you cannot currently apply online for this course.

For more information or help with this course send us an enquiry and a member of our team will get back in touch.

Student Testimonial

Photo of Julie Leckey
Julie Leckey
Level 4 CPCAB Diploma In Therapeutic Counselling
My course at SERC was great preparation for the job I am in now within the MS Society. My tutors were always very helpful during my time on the course. They taught me a new portfolio of valuable skills that I will take with me into my career.
Read Full Testimonial
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