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Develop a fundamental understanding of human behaviour - see beyond the crowd.

  • Understand more about people and why they behave the way they do.
  • Learn about psycohlogical theories and principles in a wide variety of areas - in education, industry, sports and more.
  • Study counselling and conflict management.
  • Specialise in areas for your profession or own interest, including - child and adolescent psychology, and marketing psychology.
  • Take this 600 hour distance learning course to improve your job or career prospects.

Course Duration: 600 hours.

Start Date:
Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Content: Study two Core Modules and then choose four Elective Modules.  Details of the modules are summarised below, follow the module link for further information one each.


Introduction To Psychology BPS101
Through 7 lessons, this module will provide you with a basic foundation in human psychology.  Students will look at key issues and theories in psychology, whilst considering the stages of our psychological development from adolescence through to adults.  The module includes lessons which focus on the structure of the nervous system and the brain, environmental/external effects on behaviour, perception, personality, and motivation.  The module includes practical elements such as case studies and the demonstration of motivation techniques through role play.

Psychology And Counselling BPS102
Learn more about the principles and theories of counselling with this seven lesson module.  This broad foundation module looks at stress and behaviour – theories, influences and behavioural outcomes. Students will then consider the methods of approaching therapies and learn about ways to resolve conflict. The module concludes with a lesson on interpersonal communication skills – effective communication between the counsellor and client is key, with this lesson highlighting the core elements to effective counselling

Choose 4 Elective modules from the list below -
Adolescent Psychology BPS211
This 10 lesson module looks at the theories of human development, taking in all aspects of an adolescents development - including physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral development.  It considers issues that arise during adolescence such as sexuality, dealing with crises that arise and juvenile delinquency.

Biopsychology I BPS108
This is a 7 lesson module concerned with how an individual’s psychology is determined or influenced by their anatomical and physiological characteristics.  The module includes lessons on the senses, the nervous system, glands and hormones (the endocrine system), and stressors, and emotions.  Students will learn of the different stages in both a child's and adult's development and how they change and develop both physically and psychologically.  In addition to natural development, students will consider the impact of injuries, illnesses, or abnormal physical development.

Child Psychology BPS104
This 12 lesson module is concerned with the developmental stages of children from newborn and infants through school age years.  The module considers all of the significant areas such as senses, emotions, socialism, cognitive development, learning, and language.  Notable psychological research and theories are explored within the module providing students with a balanced approach to ideas and concepts.  The module also includes sections which look at influences both within the family structure and externally, such as influences from school and peers.

Conflict Management BPS201
This eight lesson module focusses on important steps to the effective management of conflict. The lessons consider different techniques to managing conflict and the strategies employed to handling conflict. Lessons cover the areas of communication (including effective channels of communication, and obstacles to listening); negotiation (including the processes, how to deal with mistakes, and difficult people); mediation (the role of a mediator and the process of mediation); facilitation (the scope and nature of facilitation); group work; and crises analysis.

Counselling Skills I BPS109
There are a number of different aspects which a counsellor needs to consider – they need to know what sort of questions to ask, they need to listen to the responses, but they also need to form some bond with those who they are counselling.  This 8 lesson module looks at different types of counselling, considering the different theories and approaches that a counsellor may consider.  The module considers how the counsellor may bond with their client, how the client should be made to feel at ease and the combination of elements which will contribute to this.  Students will consider how to approach questioning – the types of question to ask and those that should be avoided, and whether they wish to develop discussion with open questions or use closed questions to determine a direction.  With lessons that include interview techniques, therapies and how to conclude a counselling session, and case studies to provide context and practical examples, this is a useful module which will benefit people in many areas ranging from parenting, to the work place, to teaching, to volunteer work, and training.

Counselling Techniques BPS206
This is an 8 lesson module which seeks to develop the students understanding of different theories and approaches to counselling and therapy. An important part of understand approaches to therapy and counselling is the knowledge of research and theories in this area, and the modules includes studies on – Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy (Freud, Erikson, Jung, Adler), Humanistic/Existential Approaches (Gestalt therapy, Perls, Rogers), and Behavioural Therapy (including Ellis, and Beck). The module concludes with a lesson on solution-focused counselling, which looks at the strategies employed and pathways and solutions for clients.

Educational Psychology BPS105
By understanding how people learn, you can become more effective in your approach to helping them to learn.  This 7 lesson module looks at the theories of development and learning.  Students will consider how people learn, how information is processed and how it is retained.  As student’s progress through the module, they will look at how to determine the needs of individuals, which coupled with their studies on how people learn will provide them with the necessary tools to be able to effectively tailor their methods for the benefit of the individual.  The right approach of course is important, and the module is concluded with a lesson on motivation which looks at different motivational theories and factors which may affect an individual’s motivation.

Industrial Psychology BPS103
The working environment provides its own set of pressures and challenges to the behaviour of people. This 10 lesson module will provide recruiters and managers with an understanding of principles and theories which affect an individual’s performance in the workplace. Students will look at influences on behaviour, perceptions, and the different types of personality and temperament which contribute to behavioural response. Pre-employment factors are considered with subject areas which include psychological testing and the recruitment process. Both employees and employers/managers are looked at with lesson areas including approaches to management (qualities of managers, understanding morale, discipline, training etc.), motivational influences, social considerations, and abnormalities and disorders which may affect an individual in the workplace.

Marketing Psychology BPS107
Your customer is critical to the success of your business, as it would not exist without them!  This 8 lesson module looks at identifying and understanding customers.  Learn about the different factors and influences on customers, their behaviours and approaches – understand market segments (geographic, economic, age, sex, and so on), theories of perception and personality, and how you communicate with potential customers and their steps to determining whether or not to buy a product or service.  Learning about the psychological concepts involved with marketing is an important part of understanding the approaches used by companies in marketing their products and services.

Professional Practice In Counselling (BPS207)
This 7 lesson module is aimed at providing the student with an in depth knowledge of what constitutes good practice in counselling. Lessons include understanding counselling – what is effective counselling, the values of the counsellor – and the importance of ethics and confidentiality. Students will gain knowledge of the self, personality and emotions and their effect on the counselling process as well as being introduced to some of the most common disorders.  Subject areas include personal growth, psychometric testing, referral procedures, and supervision of the counsellor.

Relationships And Communications Counselling BPS208
This six lesson module aims to increase the students’ knowledge of the importance of communication in relationships, how relationships can breakdown and what we can do to improve relationships and communication. The module considers the changing role of communication in relationships, and different stages of relationship. Students will look at influences on communication and different skills and techniques that can be developed. The module will benefit those involved in relationship and communication breakdowns and difficulties, by providing an understanding of the contributing communication problems and the difficulties that can arise.

Sports Psychology BPS106
Understand more about motivation and performance in professional and amateur sports men and women with this 8 lesson module. The module looks at the psychological elements which impact on the performance of athletes and the psychological traits of successful athletes. The module considers the factors from different angles, and includes lessons on leadership and coaching, and team dynamics. The module concludes with a lesson which looks at specific groups, including elite athletes, athletes with disabilities, children.

You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.

The Certificate In Psychology requires around 600 hours of study. This is made up of six 100 hour modules.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the six 100 hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass six examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.

This qualification is accredited by IARC (International Accreditation and Recognition Council).


So, some tips:

Do something you enjoy and that you are good at. This might be a hobby it might be sport, some aspect of your work, or anything that you really enjoy doing. You don’t have to be brilliant at it, but feel that you are getting something out of it. Say you enjoy painting, but are not actually very good. If you enjoy the time you spend sitting there and painting and creating then do it. If you are sitting there thinking you are not very good at painting, this is not going to help your self-esteem, so make sure you focus on something you enjoy and want to do, not something that you think you should do. Try something easy at first. It is too easy to think that we are going to fail. If we decide we are going to be a brilliant painter straight away, we may feel disappointed with what we have done. So starting with small steps, like a beginner’s painting class or a drawing class can help us to start to develop our skills. If we can achieve in one step, we can move onto the bigger steps.

Work can help with our self-esteem. If you are in paid employment, doing your job well or working towards promotion can help our self-esteem. If you are not in paid employment, you can seek out other options, such as voluntary work.  This can make you feel good about yourself and help you to achieve.

Build positive relationships – try to have relationships with people who are not critical of you, people who are supportive of you.  If you feel you can rely on and trust your friends and people you mix with, this can help you to feel better about yourself.

Be assertive. It is hard to be assertive. Sometimes we are not able to or we might come across as aggressive.  Mind UK, the mental health charity, suggests we should show assertiveness:

“The following things will help you act in a more assertive way:

  • Pay attention to your body language as well as to the words you say.
  • Try to be open and confident.
  • Try to express your feelings if you have been upset – wait until you
  • Feel calm and explain clearly how you feel.
  • Say ‘no’ to unreasonable requests.
  • Tell people if you need more time or support with tasks that you find challenging.
  • Try to speak in the first person where possible – e.g. ‘When you speak to me like that, I feel… ’. This allows you to explain what you want to happen without appearing aggressive or scared.”

Being assertive is a skill like everything else and needs to be practised.

If we are physically healthy, we are likely to be happier and have higher self-esteem, so pay attention to physical aspects of yourself:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep.  If you are not sleeping well, this can impact upon how you feel physically and mentally.  
  • Get enough fresh air and exercise.
  • Ensure your diet is good and balanced.
  • Set yourself realistic challenges. As we said earlier, if we set goals that are too large, it can be hard to achieve them, but if we set realistic challenges, we are more likely to achieve them and feel good about ourselves. So rather than deciding to run a marathon next year. Why not decide to aim to walk at least two miles a day for two weeks then move on from there. It doesn’t matter where you start from, it is the small steps that help you move forward and to succeed.
  • Learn to identify your own negative thoughts and where they come from. Also, try to look at when they happen. Some people will have patterns of when they feel negative thoughts. This can be at certain times of the week or when they have to face certain social situations. Look at how you feel and try to work out how to change how you feel about a situation.  Think about your own negative thoughts. “I’ve been invited to a party, but I won’t go because I’m too fat/too boring/have nothing to wear/won’t know anyone” etc etc.  Try and rationally think if that is true and try and overcome those feelings.
    Look at your other negative thoughts. For example, if a person does not answer when you phone them, do you think they are avoiding you? Do you start to think – what have I done wrong? It could be that they are busy and couldn’t get to the phone, but when we have low self-esteem, it is easy to start to think that the person is not answering the phone because they are avoiding us, rather than what is actually happening.
  • Focus on positive things. Think about what is good about you. You might feel that you are overweight, but you might be a brilliant cook or great at your job or wonderful with animals.  You might think that you are not clever enough to do a course, but actually you might be very good at focussing on your work, finding out answers and might be better at studying than you think.  
    Sometimes people with low self-esteem might require counselling to help them to resolve their issues.

This course helps you to understand the human mind, and in doing so, your ability to work with and help people whether on a personal or professional level, will grow. That in turn, opens up new or improved opportunities for employment, career development and even business.

Whatever profession you go into, there are ways to use a better understanding of human behaviour.

Whilst some skills and training in this course may be specific to a particular field, it will be possible to adapt them for use elsewhere.

Anyone who makes a serious study of human behaviour, will have a basis for being able to better communicate with people of any age, in any situation; at work, home or play.

This course can provide a starting point for working as a teacher, manager, salesperson or welfare officer. It may lead some graduates into a career in psychology or counselling, but it is equally useful as a starting point for a career in leisure services, business, education or anything else where interacting with people is an important part of the job.

If you consider the counselling profession in more detail, it is possible to see how counselling skills can also be useful in many careers.  Counsellors use a range of what are called “micro skills” when they interact with clients and help them to work through and find resolutions to their problems.  These counselling skills are the specific skills a counsellor is trained to use and they include such things as active listening, paraphrasing, summarising, feedback, and confrontational skills. Counsellors are able to gauge when to use particular skills, how long to use them for, and whether they are working or not. Some of these skills can be used in other situations to good effect. For instance, ‘active listening’ can be used to demonstrate to someone that they are being heard. With active listening, the listener pays full attention to what the person is saying with the intention of being able to provide feedback and summarise what they have said. As such, it is possible to ensure we are clear about what they have said.

These are valuable skills to have in any profession that is focused on working with people.


  • Study to learn more about the interesting field of psychology - learn from experts.
  • Choose to study modules which suit you - for your career prospects, or own interest.
  • Choose flexible studies - study where and when it suits you, with online or eLearning options and full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Start learning - enrol today!


If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us - connect with our expert tutors, use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

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Study the Certifcate In Psychology to improve you in your work or as a way to a new career.

  • Learn more about yourself and how other people think and behave.
  • Open up a new career in psychology or counselling or improve your existing job prospects.
  • Build up your C.V. with a range of skills and knowledge in psychology, counselling skills, conflict management, and more.
  • Apply your knowledge in a range of different job roles including human resource management, marketing, teaching, allied health, child care, social work, youth work, and staff management.




Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Gavin Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin joined ACS in 2001.

Check out our eBooks

Animal PsychologyExplore how animals think and comare how this differs between different animals (and humans)
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How Children ThinkAnyone who has ever tried to make a child do anything (clean up their mess, desist from throwing mud, stop drawing on the walls) knows that children think differently to adults. This book attempts to provide the skills and knowledge to develop a greater understanding of children.
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.