Counselling Courses

At Spurgeon’s College we offer three part–time professional Counselling courses. The courses follow the syllabus of the Central School for Counselling Training and are validated by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB). Students who successfully complete each course receive a certificated qualification which is widely accepted in both Christian and secular settings.

Whilst the content of CSCT courses is not exclusively faith-based, they are delivered at Spurgeon's College by Christians. This provides a unique opportunity to study professionally recognised secular courses in a Christian environment. Students often find this a stimulating and rewarding experience

The courses are regarded as more than meeting the training component for accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Who are the courses for?

The courses are suitable for individuals over the age of 19, and we welcome applications from all sections of the population. Some applicants are anxious about returning to study after a prolonged gap, but we offer a high level of tutorial support and encouragement and our students have experienced a great deal of success.

Please refer to the following links for entry requirements at each level:




For more information refer to the CPCAB website.

When do they take place?

The Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2) comprises 90 hours and is taught on Thursdays from 8.30am till 4.30pm between September and the end of January each academic year.

The Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3) also comprises 90 hours and is taught on Thursdays from 8.30am till 4.30pm from the end of January till early June each academic year.  

The Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling comprises 420 hours and is taught on Fridays between 8.30am and 4.15pm from September to June for two academic years. There are also five Saturday workshops in each academic year.

In addition, Spurgeon’s College offers a non-validated Level 1 course each spring and autumn in the form of a ten week evening class: Introduction to Counselling. This short course is especially suitable for those who find themselves in helping situations in church or at work, and for those who wish to see whether further counselling training is for them. 

Our Open Days have special sessions on the Counselling courses

How much do they cost?

Please click here to view the fees for counselling courses

What qualifications are available?

There are three levels of training: Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills; Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies and Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.

Each course focuses on counselling skills training, theory and raising self-awareness. The courses are practical and experiential as well as theoretical.  Students are exposed to the main counselling theories and encouraged to form their own integrative model of counselling which integrates these within the overarching CPCAB model of practitioner development and proficiency. This consists of three parts which together set out what a trainee needs to learn to work as an effective helper or counsellor. These are:

  • The seven processes that contribute to therapeutic change
  • Three ways of understanding and working with therapeutic change
  • Three levels of therapeutic change

These elements of the CPCAB model are foundational to the courses and are developed as students follow the progression route.

1. The seven processes that contribute to therapeutic change

  • Working safely
  • Working through the relationship
  • Working with difference and diversity
  • Focusing the work on the person being helped
  • Working with self-awareness
  • Working with theory, skills and techniques
  • Working reflectively

 2. Three ways of understanding and working with therapeutic change

  • ·Working with the self in relationship with others
  • ·Working with the history of the self
  • ·Working with the structure of the self

 3. Three levels of therapeutic change

  • Working with a counsellor on common life problems
  • Working with a counsellor to enable change and growth within the person
  • Working with a counsellor on severe and complex mental health problems to enable change within the foundations of themselves

Frequently Asked Questions

How much work will I need to do each week?

For each course there is a Learning Review to write weekly, feedback sheets to write up, the next week’s material to be read in advance and some additional reading. There is also the occasional essay. Each piece of written work has to be assessed by the student and matched with a set of criteria set by the validating body before being submitted for marking.

How much time will I need outside the class?

For the Counselling Skills course you will need a minimum of 4 hours. per week. For the Counselling Studies course you will need a minimum of 5 hours. For the Diploma course you will need a minimum of a day and a half.

What help will I get whilst I am on the course?

The written work is marked and usually returned weekly, so that you can see from the outset if you have understood what is required and are meeting the criteria correctly. Moreover, each student is assigned a personal tutor who will conduct brief individual tutorials with students throughout the course.

Will I have to buy lots of books?

No, but there are one or two key texts that we would suggest that you purchase as they will be crucial to your learning. We do have a large College library which has a range of books on Counselling, Psychotherapy and Pastoral Care and more and more books are becoming available as e-books which means that they can be accessed from home by a number of people at the same time.    

What size will the class be?

We would take up to a maximum of 20 students on the Skills course and up to a maximum of 16 on both the Studies course and the Diploma courses.

Do many students drop out?

No, we have an exceptionally good retention rate.

What sort of success rate do you have?

99.5% of our students pass the courses. 

What is included in the Course fees?

The fee paid is a composite fee which includes the cost of the Course Guide, the registration fee with the validating body, tutorial fees and maintenance costs at College, e.g. the use of the library. The five Saturdays per year are also included in the fee.

What additional costs are there?

You will have to pay for light refreshments when you attend Spurgeon’s College but there is a range of hot drinks and snacks at very reasonable prices. It is mandatory at Diploma level to have personal Counselling and a Placement including Supervision. You will have to pay for your personal Counselling and many students also have to pay for their Supervision if it is not provided free as part of their Placement.

Can I get Government funding or a loan for the Course?

No, because Spurgeon’s is an independent College unfortunately, funding is not available. 

Do I have to find my own Placement?

It is the student’s responsibility to find their own Placement. However, support is available in the form of a Placement Folder which has details of many of the Placements where previous students have been. Tutors are also willing to support by writing references.

Will I need to disclose things about me personally in the class?

Yes, many of the skills sessions on the courses will involve you bringing your personal material but we ask you to take responsibility for what you share and to be mindful of the needs, in terms of competence, of other learners as well.

Will coming on a Counselling course change me?

The evidence is that because the courses are participatory and experiential and we place a high value on self-awareness that people are often impacted by them and it is highly likely that personal growth and change will occur.



Course leader: Mrs. Tricia McIlroy

Course tutor: Mrs. Jill Parnham

Contact our Admissions Registrar, Mrs Linda Abel Boanerges for more information:

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