Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills

This qualification is designed for learners interested in using counselling skills as part of their functional role in a wide range of sector areas, or looking to progress towards accredited counsellor status with one of the counselling professional accrediting bodies. This qualification does not qualify learners to practise as a counsellor. A working knowledge of IT skills would be desirable.


Academic Year: 2023/24
Course Code: 11104
Campus: Newtownards
Study Type: Part-Time
Education Level Further Education
Department: Health & Care
Course Overview

There will be a focus on learning more about counselling theory, ethics, and mental health in preparation for further training, and be prepared for work as a professional counsellor in an agency setting.    This qualification does not lead to employment. It is designed as a pre-practitioner training for professional counselling qualifications, but it could lead to employment in a related field. 

To achieve the qualification, candidates must be assessed as proficient in all 5 learning outcomes as evidenced by their portfolio of work.

This qualification aims to: provide learners with more in-depth knowledge of the use of  counselling skills in everyday life and work, and the approaches that underpin the use of these skills.

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

  • develop counselling skills
  • understand the different approaches involved in the use of counselling skills
  • appreciate the importance of self-development

To be awarded the Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills, learners are required to successfully complete 5 mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Developing counselling skills
  • Unit 02 Theoretical approaches in the use of counselling skills
  • Unit 03 Working ethically with counselling skills
  • Unit 04 Counselling skills and diversity
  • Unit 05 Counselling skills and personal development.

This qualification aims to provide learners with in-depth knowledge of the use of counselling skills in everyday life and work and the approaches that underpin the use of these skills.

This qualification is ideal for those seeking to enhance their functional role through the use of counselling skills.

Learners will gain an understanding of a range of counselling skills and have the opportunity to examine some of the various schools of thought/theoretical models associated with them.

This qualification does not qualify learners to practise as a counsellor.

This qualification is suitable for learners aged 19 and above on 1st September 2023.

Teaching for practicing counsellors. Group work.

Learners who achieve this qualification could progress to: 

  • Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
  • Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Advice and Guidance
  • Foundation Degrees in Counselling.

This qualification does not qualify you to practice as a counsellor. However, it can support your progression within employment in a number of roles including: 

  • support worker (supported living)
  • healthcare support service worker
  • clinical healthcare support worker
  • mental health support worker
  • information, advice and guidance worker
  • health education/health promotion worker

There are no specific recommended prior learning requirements for this qualification.

However, learners may find it helpful if they’ve already achieved a Level 2 qualification.

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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.

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