Find a Course

Certificate in Counselling Studies- Level 3 (CST – L3) course timetables

Brief description

This course is for those who have a recognised qualification in Counselling Skills (eg CPCAB’s Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK L2 or Recognised Prior Learning of minimum 75 hours. Minimum age is 19). The course is 90 hours delivered over 3 terms
To achieve the qualification candidates must meet both internal and external standards of proficiency. Assessment methods include a portfolio and exam.
For an application form, please see website: www.swarthmore.org.uk
or for any queries, please email, including your tel no to: lynne.dowson@swarthmore.org.uk

Course Outline

Who is the course aimed at?

This qualification is for individuals who have already acquired some counselling skills and now want to take the next step in training to become a counsellor, and learn more about counselling theory and agency work. The course leads to a nationally regulated qualification awarded by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB).

Course description in brief

This 90 guided learning hour (20 credit) classroom-based counselling studies qualification is designed to give learners the underpinning knowledge and skills required for progression to practitioner training as a professional counsellor. It includes an introduction to counselling theory, the ethical framework for professional counselling practice, an understanding of common mental health problems and group training supervision. It also prepares learners for work in acounselling agency. As part of this qualification you can volunteer to work for an agency in a non-counselling capacity.

By the end of the course I will have learned:

    By the end of the course, you will have further developed your counselling skills, have gained an understanding of the theory of person centred counselling, have experience of using reflection, and increased personal awareness. You will also have studied contracting, the stages in the counselling relationship, ethical frameworks, common mental health challenges, and how research can help practitioners. You will have an understanding of what to expect when working in a counselling agency.

Do I need any skills, experience or qualifications before I join the course?

Applicants for this course must have undertaken a counselling skills course at Certificate level, e.g. CPCAB’s Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2). Applicants may also apply with an equivalent course of at least 75 learning hours. Applicants should be at least 19 years of age.

What equipment will I need for the course?

In addition to stationery, you will need to have regular access to a computer, preferably at home. You may wish to have your own SD card and voice recorder for recording skills sessions.

What materials will I need for the course?

Swarthmore will not make any

What activities will I take part in and how will my course be structured?

In line with the person centered approach, this is a highly participative and practical course, encouraging learning through group discussion, small group exercises and practice in pairs. Key learning comes through exploring how to form good working relationships with others on the course.

You will learn some of the theory of the person centered approach, but the main focus at Level 3 remains on the practice of your skills, and reflection on this. You will practice contracting, and deciding which clients would be within the limits of your ability to counsel, and which would not be.

We will make use of case studies to make learning as situated and engaging as possible, and to bring ethical dilemmas to life. We will explore diversity within our group to help us become more self-aware and to assist us in recognizing and overcoming blocks to empathy.

What will be expected of me in terms of personal or time commitment?

There is a total of 90 hours of taught group sessions (22 sessions of 3.5 hours plus 2 Saturday sessions). You should also expect to spend about four hours per week on study at home. In order to achieve the qualification, you will need to attend a minimum of 72 hours of the taught course.

How will my learning be assessed and reviewed?

Feedback from your peers will help you learn and become a reflective practitioner, and your learning will be assessed by a tutor who will see you using your counselling skills in action. Throughout the course you will also evaluate your own learning. This self-evaluation is important because those using counselling skills need to be reflective practitioners in order to ensure they use their skills well. This Level 3 course is a ‘Criteria Referenced Course’. Your tutor will explain more of what this involves, but in brief it means you will select pages from your Learning Journal, your worksheets, and your evaluation sheets which show your understanding and your ability.

There will be 3 tutor-assessed written assignments, and one external exam. This involves watching a DVD of a counsellor and giving feedback, thus showing your understanding of the counselling process.

What could I go on to do after I have finished the course?

Some people move directly into a helping role directly after completing the Certificate in Counselling Studies, e.g. jobs in the mental health sector. To do this it helps to have relevant work experience, perhaps through voluntary work.

Some people continue their training to the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Someone who has a Diploma in Counselling is then ready to work as a counsellor in an agency setting. Swarthmore offers a Level 4 Diploma over 2 years. Others go straight from the Level 3 Certificate to do a Level 4 Diploma or a Degree at a local University.

How will I say what I think about the course?

There will be an opportunity at the beginning of each session, or you can talk to the tutor at any time. The reflective nature of the course also provides opportunities to express your thoughts. At the end of the course, you will be able to complete a Swarthmore evaluation form.

Available timetables for this course

Please make a note of the course Ref for the course you are interested in.

Course Ref Hours per week Days(s) Time Course Dates Costs
F338 3.25 Monday 9:30am – 12:45pm 25 Sep 2017 to 25 Jun 2018 (30 weeks) Full rate £922.00 (funder_code:F)
F339 3.25 Monday 6pm – 9:15pm 25 Sep 2017 to 25 Jun 2018 (30 weeks) Full rate £922.00 (funder_code:F)

Course Funding

Swarthmore provides a variety of courses some of which are subsidised by public funding.

Courses with course codes pre-fixed by a letter ‘F’, ‘L’ or ‘N’ are subsidised and have age restrictions.

  • ‘F’: courses are accredited and are funded by the ‘Skills Funding Agency’ for those aged 16 and over.
  • ‘L’ & ‘N’ courses for those aged 19 and over.
  • ‘L’ courses are supported by Leeds City Council for Leeds Metropolitan area residents, priority given to those living in disadvantaged areas, people not in employment and/or in receipt of benefits, those with low skills, no qualifications, disadvantaged groups or individuals with specific needs e.g. lone parents, BAME groups, adults with LDD.

For information funding and eligibility see the ‘costs’ page.

Unless stated otherwise - all courses take place at Swarthmore Education Centre Leeds

What next?

To enrol in a course complete the enrolment form on the download page using the correct course reference (Course Ref) from above.