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Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling, Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #501 (WUR) ,
This Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling at The Open University UK, developed in partnership with the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB), will prepare you to become a professional counsellor – equipping you with the theoretical understanding and practical skills required to work in this field.


Key features of the Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling at The Open University UK

  • Enables you to qualify as a professional counsellor
  • Combines work-based learning at a local college with OU knowledge-based modules
  • If you already have the required CPCAB qualifications, you can top up to the diploma by studying just the OU theory modules
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study
Skills for career development

This diploma course will provide you with knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical perspectives employed within counselling; the historical and cultural context of this profession; and the appropriate professional principles required for effective counselling practice. You’ll also acquire professional skills that are transferable to many other roles in health, social care and education – including the ability to:

  • practise safely and effectively in a recognised model of counselling
  • act in accordance with the relevant legal, ethical and procedural boundaries
  • make professional judgements and interventions
  • reflect on, review and audit your professional practice.

Career relevance

This diploma of higher education in counselling allows you to:

  • practise as a professional counsellor in a wide range of settings, from the statutory to voluntary sector
  • work with a diverse range of people and issues such as mental health problems, relationship problems, physical illness and trauma.

It also provides the required hours of specified learning which – with appropriate practice, supervision and personal development – will enable you to apply for individual accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). You can also use it as a staging post for further professional development, including the possibility of topping up to an honours degree.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 48 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration description
      Time limit – 12 years
  • Credits
    240 alternative credits

    120 or 150 (CPCAB study) + 120 or 90 (OU study) = 240

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
  • Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
  • Level 5 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory
  • The science of the mind: investigating mental health
  • Counselling: exploring fear and sadness
  • Living psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

  • Although students can begin the Diploma in Counselling (W09) without prior qualifications – we recommend that you complete the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling before registering for this qualification. You can transfer the 120 credits from the CPCAB diploma when you register for this OU qualification.
  •  It should be noted that there are entry qualifications for the CPCAB level 4 course - you need to have completed the CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills or its equivalent, plus the CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies or its equivalent, followed by a successful interview with the training provider.   

Tuition Fee

  • International

    5856 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5856 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    5856 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5856 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
The total cost of your qualification would be £11,712.

Living costs for Milton Keynes

  • 848 - 1350 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Students living outside the UK aren’t normally eligible for a tuition fee loan. We suggest checking with your national government or education authority for advice on funding.

There are a number of scholarship opportunities listed on the Scholarship Portal website.

The site features over 1,000 scholarships listed by country, ranging from the Amelia Earhart Fellowship for Women in Science and Engineering, to a Young Horticulturalist of the Year Award.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.