Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCPS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) weekday, London

Our Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCPS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) will qualify you to work as a professional counsellor.

The next weekday courses start:

  • 11th September 2024, fortnightly on Wednesdays


For monthly alerts with our latest new course dates please register your interest here.


This is a two year Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCPS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) course running one day a fortnight for two years, and will qualify you to work as a professional counsellor.

The course follows an integrative approach, and draws from the traditions of Gestalt, CBT and Third Wave CBT, and Person Centred; which when combined create an holistic perspective which will allow you to successfully counsel clients experiencing a range of issues affecting their mind, body, spirit and emotions.

Our unique style of teaching allows for each student to develop at their own rate with full support from our tutors and student support team.

Entry Requirements

You will need to have completed a Level 3 Counselling Certificate or equivalent course. In cases where you have worked within the helping professions it is possible to gain access onto the course without having a level 3 certificate, however you will need a strong knowledge of the theories taught on the course and be able to evidence proficiency in core counselling skills. These applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Skills Assessment

We may invite you to a short online skills assessment session where you’ll be able to demonstrate your understanding of the core counselling skills with one of our Heartwood tutors ahead of an interview.


All students wishing to enrol will be invited to participate in an interview with one of our Lead Tutors. The interview is an opportunity for you and the Tutors to ascertain if you are ready for the course and to explore your reasons for applying.

These can take place via an interview at the centre, or online.

If you are interested in booking onto this course, please complete our Interview Application Form and email to To request an interview time, please click here. Alternatively, to speak with our enrolment support officer Sarah, please call 01803 308 604.

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis and are only secured with a deposit and after successful completion of interview.

Course details

At Heartwood we aim to draw on your own desires and passion for the profession and encourage you to develop your own personal approach to the counselling work you do. We believe that our role is to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable you to develop into the best counsellor you can be.

Our training will teach you skills, and theories and provide you with many opportunities to develop yourself personally with a strong sense of belief in who you are and what you can offer your clients.

Weekday courses run one day per fortnight, 9:30am to 6pm, 40 scheduled classroom sessions over two years.

Plus, additional learning included with your enrolment:

  • 5 online extended learning workshop days per year, held over weekdays and weekends usually during traditional college holiday periods with a choice of dates available.
  • Monthly online evening ‘topic in focus’ with a minimum attendance of 7 in year 1 to support your training.
  • Monthly online support drop in sessions during year 2 with a minimum attendance of 6 sessions to support your placement required.

This course is also available to study on weekends.

This course is fully accredited by the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) and, at the discretion of the Society, is a route onto a national government register of counsellors which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Course Details

  • 400 hours of course time
  • Course meets NCPS and BACP requirements for membership and students are encouraged to apply for student membership status with a professional governing body
  • 20 hours minimum of personal therapy concurrent with taking the course which is essential to support you emotionally and prepare you for your own client work.  In some instances, Heartwood may require you to do more than this minimum.
  • 40 scheduled classroom days over 2 years plus 5 online  extended learning workshop days per year
  • Online college-wide, tutor-led ‘topic in focus’ evening sessions each month to support your training
  • Assessment is both Internal and external at no extra charge
  • There is a supported 100 hour placement unit to this course including monthly online support sessions
  • We have access to multiple agencies who accept our students on placement
  • Student support is provided
  • Comprehensive placement support is provided
  • Additional tutorials on request are included
  • Safeguarding training included
  • Curriculum is updated yearly to meet current NICE guidelines
  • Qualifying students could seek employment in NHS, Dept for Education or private practice



Our London venue is situated in the heart of the peaceful Regent’s Park – a unique location ideal for counselling training in the capital.

Find out where we are.

Students will have access to outdoor and indoor light and warm recreational space.


Course Calendar:

Please click on the below link to view and download the course calendar for upcoming courses:

Advanced Diploma L4 – London – 11th September 2024 – Fortnightly Wednesday



Throughout both years there is a focus on theoretical knowledge, advancing your counselling skills in preparation for professional practice, and your own personal growth and development. Our tutors are fully qualified counsellors and will encourage you to seek out the more authentic you, and to celebrate your difference, uniqueness and honour the life challenges that will enable you to work effectively and from the heart.


You will develop a deep understanding of:

  • Person Centred Theory
  • Gestalt Theory
  • CBT and Third Wave CBT
  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • Existentialism
  • Attachment Theory
  • Working with the Inner Child
  • Trauma concepts
  • Transference and Countertransference
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Working with unconscious processes
  • Integrative approaches
  • Working with body processes
  • Creative interventions
  • Difference, Diversity and Inclusion


To strengthen personal and professional development you will cover:

  • Self-reflective exercises
  • Developing therapeutic relationships with clients
  • Developing relational depth
  • Creating therapeutic contracts
  • Ethical Framework for Professional Counselling Practice
  • Understanding the supervisor relationship
  • Understanding of Child protections and working with adults with care and support needs
  • Managing self-care and caseloads


Developing Counselling skills with focus on:

  • Safeguarding
  • Self Awareness
  • Skills building
  • Confidence and the ability to self-reflect
  • Professional and ethical practice
  • Skills practice based in triads work
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Working with psychosexual issues
  • Working with suicidal ideations and self-harming


Internal Assessment

The course requires the following:

  • Personal counselling (20 sessions and further sessions if required)
  • A minimum of 90% attendance on scheduled tuition days
  • Completion of a learning journal for each taught session
  • Completion of all course assignments
  • Demonstration of practical skills throughout
  • Active participation in experiential aspects of the training
  • Safety, robustness and readiness to practice as a counsellor
  • Counselling skills in practice


External Assessment

The course requires the following;

  • A case study
  • A placement of 100 hours
  • A supervisors report
  • An agency report



We offer exceptional placement support – so, when you ae ready to build up your counselling skills and experience working with clients in year 2, you will have the support and guidance of a dedicated placements coordinator and team.  There are also bi-monthly “Drop in Sessions” for those starting out or already on placements.


Payment options:
Full course fee which includes all learning support and sessions £6495.

Your place on the course is secured on receipt of the non-refundable deposit of £645 and completion of a satisfactory interview:

  • The outstanding balance of £5850 can then be made in full before the course start date. There is an early bird discount of £200 when paying the balance of your course fees 6 weeks in advance of the start of the course (£5650).
  • The balance of your fees can be paid annually at £3392.86* for year 1 and £2507.14* for year 2 *(This includes an administration fee of £50.00 for annual payments).
  • A monthly payment plan is available at £291.50* for 21 months. *(This includes an administration fee of £12.93 per month (total £271.50) for instalment payments).

What Students Say

“I just wanted to take the time to email and say how much I am enjoying my level 4 course. It’s absolutely brilliant and I am loving every minute of it! Our tutor Diane is completely wonderful and we are learning so much from her. She is managing to completely hold the space for all of us and has created such a safe space for us to learn and grow. She’s amazing!”

Susanna 2021

Going Forward

Once you have completed your training and are ready to start working professionally, we strongly recommend that you begin by working within an agency setting before considering private practice.

At this early stage of qualifying, you will already have completed the minimum 100 clinical placement hours.  Working within an agency setting will strengthen your clinical skills,  prepare you for working with a variety of issues and will provide continued support as you start out as a newly qualified counsellor.

There are many further opportunities for learning after qualifying to help you expand your knowledge and develop into more specialist areas. When you are ready to take the next step in your counselling journey, Heartwood can support you with our post qualifying specialist diplomas, simply click the course title below for further information or to register your interest;

We also offer regular CPD workshops, a great way to broaden your knowledge and skill set.

For support at any time you can contact us on 01803 308 604 and we will be happy to help.

Register your interest

To register your interest in our London course, please click here

If you are interested in booking onto this course, to request an interview, please click here. Alternatively, to speak with our enrolment support officer Sarah, please call 01803 308 604.


To enrol on this course, please select your payment method below and then select ‘Buy now’ to proceed.

If you are interested in enrolling onto this course, you will need to complete an application form and sit an interview, please click here. Alternatively, to speak with our enrolment support officer Sarah, please call 01803 308 604.

Pay a deposit of £645.00 per item
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