L4 Diploma in Counselling

Level 4 Diploma in Counselling

April 2021 - March 2023 - ONLINE with 7 Attended Skills Practice Days per year

This Nationally recognised qualification will qualify you to gain entry on the BACP register and start working towards accreditation.


The course reflects the mission of Hope Psychological services to prepare and support individuals to develop the essential practical, personal and professional skills required of counsellors to develop the therapeutic relationship with clients. We are especially committed to a relational approach to training and therapy and hold strong beliefs about the importance of the personal development of the therapist being of central importance. In relation to this we also focus on the challenges posed by diversity in the therapeutic relationship.


Essentially we think that counsellors need to thoroughly know themselves and be able to work with differences in order to build a strong therapeutic alliance.  We are fully committed to an individual relationship with each student we take on to the course. We make it our business to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for ethical successful progress into the profession. However, we do recognise that some people are not suitable for the profession. We do our best to identify this as early in the process as possible and offer support for those who don’t make it.  

Training to be a counsellor can be incredibly rewarding and is also demanding emotionally, academically and financially. Please consider carefully the time commitment and your current family and work life situations. Outside the guided learning hours there is reading and assignment writing time, personal therapy, placement and supervision and a research project in the second year. Although we have arranged as little overlap with traditional working hours as possible in an attempt to be inclusive it will be a challenge to run the course alongside full time employment where there is no concession for the extra work that you will be engaged in. Other things to consider would be the level of other commitments you might have like caring or community activities or any health issues you might have. To be successful you will need a high degree of personal organisation, commitment and discipline. 

Who is offering this course?

Hope Psychological Services CIC is a community interest company (social enterprise) established in 2013. We are an organisational member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and adhere strictly to their ethical framework. We strive for excellence in all we do.

What will the course cover?


There are 11 Units, covering:

  • Action Centred and Solution Focused Approaches to Counselling

  • Analysis and Evaluation of Practice Outcomes in Counselling

  • Applying Counselling to the Human Condition

  • Cognitive and Rational Approaches to Counselling

  • Continued Professional Practice in Counselling

  • Current Issues in Counselling Practice and Research

  • Eclectic and Integrative Approaches to Counselling

  • Person Centred Therapy

  • Personal Development

  • Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling

  • Using Counselling Supervision and Other Support Systems


Learning Outcomes


A full list of learning outcomes is available on request but briefly by the end of the course you will:

  • Develop self awareness and enhance personal development

  • Be able to provide a safe and conducive therapeutic space for a person to talk with you

  • Develop enhanced practical skills and knowledge to cope with a range of presenting problems

  • Understand professional, ethical and legal practice and application

  • Know about and differentiate between the major modalities of therapy and develop an individual integrative stance

  • Write level 4 assignments

  • Have experienced 100 hours of supervised counselling placement

  • Covered current issues in counselling practice and research


Course Format

All the work will have strong links to practice and there will also be an academic element. Learning methods will include: skills practice in different formats, learning journal, large group work, personal development groups, lectures, exercises and essays, Case studies and scenarios, tutorials and study groups.  There is a strong emphasis on personal reflection and sharing and therefore a lot of work goes into creating a safe space to facilitate that. All weekly sessions (which will include a skills practice element) will be undertaken online using Zoom video conferencing (using the breakout rooms facility). In addition, there will be seven attended skills practice days in Carlisle. Help and support is offered to assist people to set up Zoom and ensure it is working correctly before the course commences. We also offer support to those having to travel for skills practice days (subject to covid restrictions) in reduced fees for overnight accommodation in Carlisle.


Students will be registered with OCNWMR (National Awarding Organisation) for 11 Units with a total of 53 Credits. We provide 450 hours of Guided Learning for this course (GLH) and Total Qualification Time (TQT) is around 530 hours. On successful completion students with be awarded a national qualification - 'OCNWMR Level 4 Diploma in Counselling'  The Open College Network West Midlands Level 4 Diploma in Counselling is accredited by Ofqual.

"Thank you Hope for a well organised, sensitively delivered course which has refined my skills and helped me understand myself more" - Judy Pitt

This course has had a profound affect personally and has given me the confidence to progress" - Tess Moran

"It was truly excellent - a standard setter" - Coops

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Placement Requirement

As part of this course there will be a placement requirement of 100 hours. This is a placement outside of the course where you will fulfill the role of a trainee counsellor. You will therefore need professional indemnity insurance and student membership of the BACP or ACC. This work will be supervised and perspective students are advised to consider the extra costs this will incur. You will need to research agencies or charities where you may become a volunteer in good time before starting your placement in the January of the fisrt academic year.  You may be required to have DBS checks etc which can take time, and you may be required to do some specific agency training dependent on the placement provider.

Personal Therapy Requirement

As part of this course you will be required to have 20 hours per year of personal therapy.  This is not only so you can experience therapy from the client’s point of view but also for personal development and to help you cope with issues and emotions raised on the course and when counselling others.


Following this course students are eligible to join BACP as an individual member and apply to take the BACP Certificate of Proficiency assessment. BACP individual members then have 24 months to progress to the Registered Member MBACP category.


When and where is the course running?

This is a 2 year course running between April 2021 and March 2023 one evening per week (Thursday) term time - from 6.30pm - 9.30pm online via Zoom conferencing. There will also be 7 attended Saturday skills practice days to be held throughout each year - from 9:00am - 5.00pm in Carlisle, Cumbria (subject to Covid restrictions - practice days will be online using zoom rooms if necesary).  Session dates for Year 1 and 2 are listed below.

Attendance & Entry Requirements

The majority of sessions must be attended to receive accreditation and certification. Whilst every effort must be made to attend all sessions we understand illness and emergencies can happen. There is however a minimum requirement of 80% course attendance in order to achieve accreditation and certification.


Entry requirements:


  • Minimum age for access to this qualification is 19 years

  • Students must have attended a minimum of 150 hours of counselling training before enrolling on this qualification

  • Students must be at a minimum of level 2 in their literacy skills to be able to undertake training at level 4

  • Students will need experience of working with people   

Students should also have sufficient IT skills and access to a computer, good quality webcam with microphone and printer to produce assignments in either Microsoft Word or Mac Pages etc. Students will also need to purchase or have access to a digital voice recorder. Many Students find the course highly rewarding, exciting and also emotionally challenging. Applicants should therefore be in a fairly stable emotional state when applying (e.g. those with recent bereavement/loss/relationship breakdown/trauma may find they struggle with the emotional impact of the course).

Informal Interview and Short assignment

All applicants will be required to submit a short assignment and have an informal interview as part of the application process. Applicants should ensure they meet the entry requirements for the course before applying.


Course Fees

Course fees for 2021/23 are £2395 per year - including accreditation fees. Students may take advantage of 11 interest free instalments of £199.58 per year plus a deposit of £199.58.

Course Dates

YEAR 1 (2021)

S1&2, Saturday 24 April, 9:00am-5:00pm

S3, Thursday 29 April, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S4, Thursday, 6 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S5, Thursday 13 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S6, Thursday 20 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S7, Thursday 27 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm



S8, Thursday10 June, 6:30pmpm-9:30pm

S9&10, Saturday 12 June, 9:00am-5:00pm

S11, Thursday 17 June, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S12, Thursday 24 June, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S13, Thursday 1 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S14, Thursday 8 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S15, Thursday 15 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S16, Thursday 22 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S17, Thursday 29 July ,6:30pm-9:30pm

S18&19, Saturday 31 July, 9:00am-5:00pm


S20&21,Saturday 4 Sept, 9:00am-5:00pm

S22,Thursday 9 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S23,Thursday 16 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S24,Thursday 23 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S25,Thursday 30 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S26,Thursday 7 Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S27Thursday 14 Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S28&29,Saturday 16 Oct, 9:00am-5:00pm

S30,Thursday 21Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm


S31, Thursday 4 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S32, Thursday 11Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S33, Thursday 18 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S34, Thursday 25 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S35, Thursday 2 Dec, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S36, Thursday 9 Dec, 6:30pm-9:30pm




S37&38, Saturday 8 Jan, 9:00am-5:00pm

S39, Thursday 13 Jan ,6:30pm-9:30pm

S40, Thursday 20 Jan, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S41, Thursday 27 Jan, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S42, Thursday 3 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S43, Thursday 10 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm


S44, Thursday 24 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S45&46, Saturday 12 March, 9:00am-5:00pm

"The practice skills I've learned help so much now " - Dean Glover

Course Dates

YEAR 2 (2022)


S1&2, Saturday 23 April, 9:00am-5:00pm

S3, Thursday 28 April, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S4, Thursday 5 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S5, Thursday 12 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S6, Thursday 19 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S7, Thursday 26 May, 6:30pm-9:30pm




S8, Thursday 9 June, 6:30pm9:30pm

S9&10, Saturday 11 June, 9:00am-5:00pm

S11, Thursday 16 June, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S12, Thursday 23 June, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S13, Thursday 20 June, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S14, Thursday 7 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S15, Thursday 14 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S16, Thursday 21 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S17, Thursday 28 July, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S18&19, Saturday 30 July, 9:00-5:00pm


S20&21, Saturday 10 Sept, 9:00am-5:00pm

S22, Thursday 15 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S23, Thursday 22 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S24, Thursday 29 Sept, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S25, Thursday 6 Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S26 ,Thursday 13 Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S27&28, Saturday 15 Oct, 9:00am-5:00pm

S29,Thursday 20 Oct, 6:30pm-9:30pm


S30&31, Saturday 5 Nov, 9:00am-5:00pm

S32, Thursday 10 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S33, Thursday 17 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S34, Thursday 24 Nov, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S35, Thursday 1 Dec, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S36, Thursday 8 Dec, 6:30pm-9:30pm


S37, Saturday 7 Jan, 9:00am-5:00pm

S38, Thursday 12 Jan, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S39, Thursday 19 Jan, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S40, Thursday 26 Jan, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S41, Thursday 2 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S42, Thursday 9 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S43, Thursday 16 Feb, 6:30pm-9:30pm


S44, Thursday 2 March, 6:30pm-9:30pm

S45 &46, Saturday11 March, 9:00am-5:00pm


In the first instance, please get in touch via email: to register your interest and arrange an informal interview. If you have been succesful at interview click on the 'book now' button below to register your place. You have the option to either pay the full course fee or deposit.

After booking, if you have paid a deposit and are paying by monthly payments, contact us to set up your 11 month subscription plan. You can start this plan in April 2021 (at the latest) or prior to if you wish to start making payments early.

Hope is a CIC

Hope Psychological Services CIC is a Community Interest Company (CIC) No. 8688162 and an organisational member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)


Phone: 01228 558987

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