Diploma in Professional Studies


Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative course, please visit the Certificate in Counselling or MA Music Therapy course pages.

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Health and Social Sciences
Two years
Programme leader:
Wayne Gardner

Page last updated 13 February 2019


This course provides a professional training in counselling. It is designed to promote the development of knowledge, skills and self-awareness, not in isolation from one another but in their inter-related meanings for the whole person. There is therefore an emphasis on the integration of experience, understanding and behaviour throughout the course.

There is also emphasis on the importance of an awareness of counselling as a process of social interaction occurring within the context of organisations and broader social relationships, processes and structures.

Students will be required to undertake a voluntary placement where they will work as trainee counsellors.

Entry requirements

Students are expected to have:

  • A Certificate in Counselling/Counselling skills at Level 4 or above. This will need to be completed within the last 5 years.
  • Evidence of ability to study.
  • Some experience of self-exploration, and a willingness to work on personal material as a client during the course.
  • A commitment to engage in personal counselling or therapy for the period of the course. The cost for this is not included in the fees.
  • A Disclosure of Criminal Background - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Please be aware that deferred entry for this course is not permitted.

Please note the application deadline for this course is the end of March.

Visit us at one of our Open Events to get a real sense of our courses and life at UWE Bristol.

Accreditations and partnerships:



A typical day in Year 1 includes input, experience and discussion around counselling theory and practice; counselling skills practice and supervision; personal development groups; relevant ideas from psychology and sociology; and opportunities to develop support groups and self-directed activities. You will be expected to undertake a minimum of 40 hours' counselling practice in Year 1.

In Year 2, the focus on counselling theory and practice is supplemented by regular supervision of casework. You will have the opportunity to investigate group and organisational processes and to develop skills of intervention. There is also project work supported by individual tutorials. You will be expected to undertake a minimum of 80 hours' counselling practice in Year 2. All students will receive personal weekly counselling for the duration of the course.

Watch this YouTube video to gain an insight into what it is like to study (and teach) on this course.

Study time

Students attend one day a week, with one week long teaching block towards the beginning of the second year.


Assessment is continuous, including elements of self, peer and tutor-assessment.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.

How to apply

For further information

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