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Duration (approx) 1500 hours
Qualification Diploma

Study this psychology and counselling diploma for an in depth study of psychological and counselling theories.

A solid foundation course to anyone interested in psychology and counselling professionally or personally.


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Diploma level qualification in Counselling and Psychology

  • Study counselling theories and principles with this 1500 hour diploma by distance learning
  • An outstanding foundation for a career in Counselling or related areas.
  • It is broader in scope and greater in depth than many other courses designed to train counsellors; and offers a wider variety of study options in electives (which allows you to develop unique specialist knowledge that will differentiate you from your competitors when you work in the industry).
  • Study fifteen 100 hour modules, consisting of six core modules, three projects and six elective modules. So you choose the areas of psychology and counselling that suit you most.
  • The six core modules consist of - Introduction Psychology, Psychology and Counselling, Counselling Skills I and II, Counselling Techniques and Professional Practice in Counselling.
  • There are three projects where you research relevant areas of psychology and counselling. Your tutor will help and advise you throughout the project.
  • You then choose six elective modules from a wide list including child psychology, stress management, sports psychology and many more.

This course is recognised by the Complementary Medical Association.    


Modules Required:

To complete the course you are required to complete fifteen 100 hour modules. There are six core modules, three projects and six elective modules.  You can find more information on the modules by following the links below.

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Psychology & Counselling 
  • Counselling Skills I 
  • Counselling Skills II 
  • Counselling Techniques 
  • Professional Practice in Counselling



    Additional options that may be accepted through A.C.S:


    Core Module Outlines

    Introduction to Psychology
    There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

    1. The nature & scope of Psychology
    2. Neurological basis of behaviour
    3. Environmental effects on behaviour
    4. Consciousness and perception
    5. Personality
    6. Psychological development
    7. Needs, drives and motivation


    Psychology & Counselling
    There are seven lessons in this module, as follows:

    1. Stress
    2. Abnormal Behaviour
    3. Individual Behaviour
    4. Group Behaviour
    5. Methods of Dealing with Abnormalities
    6. Conflict Resolution
    7. Interpersonal Communication Skills


    Counselling Skills I
    The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

    1. Learning Specific Skills
    2. Listening and Bonding 
    3. Reflection: Paraphrasing
    4. Questioning
    5. Interview Techniques
    6. Changing Beliefs and Normalising
    7. Finding Solutions
    8. Ending the Counselling 


    Counselling Skills II
    The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

    1. The Counselling Session
    2. Focus on the Present
    3. Telephone Counselling
    4. Dealing with Crises
    5. Problem-Solving Techniques I: Anger
    6. Problem-Solving Techniques II: Depression
    7. Problem-Solving Techniques III: Grief and Loss 
    8. Problem-Solving Techniques IV: Suicide


    Counselling Techniques
    The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

    1. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy l: Freud (& Erikson); Jung
    2. Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy ll: Adler
    3. Humanistic/Existential Approaches I: Gestalt Therapy; Fritz Perls
    4. Humanistic/Existential Approaches II: Person-Centred Counselling; Carl Rogers
    5. Rational Behavioural Therapy: Albert Ellis
    6. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Aaron Beck
    7. Behavioural Therapy:
    8. Solution-Focused Counselling  


    Professional Practice in Counselling
    The course is divided into seven lessons as follows:

    1. Understanding Counselling: The client-counsellor relationship; Effective counselling; Counselling the counsellor; Counsellor’s values; Multicultural counselling
    2. Ethics & Confidentiality: Needs; A code of ethics; Informed consent; Right to privacy; Legal requirements; Use of psychometric tests; Ethics and multiple relationships; Keeping records.
    3. Understanding the Self: Self-awareness; Self-monitoring; Self-concept; Social Perception; Attribution theory; Implicit personality theory; Relationships; Social exchange; Love and intimacy.
    4. Personality: What is a healthy personality?; Trait approach; Psychodynamic approach; Humanistic approach; Social learning and cognitive approaches.
    5. Emotions & Behaviour: What are emotions?; Emotions and Counselling; Effect on communication, Aspects of emotions, Emotional expression and counselling.
    6. Supervision: Why supervision?; Working with others; Quantity and effectiveness of supervision; Personal counselling; Dependency; Types of supervision.
    7. Referral Practice: Counselling v mental health issues; Secondary care counsellors; Abnormal psychology; Anxiety; Depression; Schizophrenia; Personality disorders.

    Nominal Duration: 1500 hours

    (Note: The fee for this course is lower than our standard diploma fee. This is because it had been developed in liaison with industry representatives who required it to be less hours than the standard ACS diploma. Of course this situation has resulted in an advantage to our students. In effect you are getting a diploma for an associate diploma level fee) 

    Counsellors Should Treat the Whole Person

    There is a great deal of overlap between physical illnesses and mental disorders. 

    This can be well illustrated through the Royal College of Psychiatrists who reported in 2010 that the rates of depression are double in people with:

    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Heart failure
    • Coronary heart disease.

    Also, rates of depression are triple in people with:

    • End stage renal failure.
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    • Cerebrovascular disease.

    Furthermore, they observed that:  

    • Depression doubles the risk of developing coronary heart disease.
    • Increased psychological distress increases the risk of a stroke by 11%.
    • Depression earlier in life also is a predictive factor in back pain, irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer later in life.

    When you look at people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, they die on average 25 years earlier than the general population. This is mainly because of physical health problems associated with their mental health disorders. They have double the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, triple the risk for respiratory disease, and four times the risk of contracting infectious diseases. 

    Clearly there is a complex relationship between physical and mental health. 


    ACS Student comment:

    I am currently working on my Diploma in Psychology and Counselling via ACS. I have always wanted to do a course in this field and finally decided to take the plunge about two years ago. I was interested in the subjects ACS offered and liked the idea of being able to study via long distance and at my own pace. I have learnt a lot from this course and have enjoyed it immensely.
    I left my job in the Telco industry in 2010 in order to pursue my passion in counselling. I have been doing some volunteer work to complement my studies, and I am loving it! These volunteer roles have enabled me to practice some of what I have learnt from the course and the experience has been invaluable. I am still learning a great deal! Just when I think I understand what counselling is all about, something new comes up and I am put right back into student mode. 
    ACS is very flexible in their approach which I have found extremely helpful when it came to some of my assignments. For example, in my Child Psychology module where I didn't always have access to interviewing children, my tutor mentioned that I could do alternative research instead to answer the questions, which is great.

    Sharon Alsop, UK, studying Diploma in Psychology and Counselling course.

    If you are interesting in improving your knowledge of counselling and psychology to diploma level, then this excellent course could be the one for you.





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    Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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    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.
    Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc.15+ years experience in HR, marketing, education & project management. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia.

    Check out our eBooks

    Working With PeopleAre you a "people person" looking for a job; or a better understanding of careers that might suit you? If so, this book was written for YOU!
    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.