Advanced Diploma in Counselling - NCS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) evening, Devon

This is the popular two year Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) course running weekly, one evening a week, term time only in Devon.

The next course starts: to be announced – To register your interest without obligation, please click here

*Our classroom based courses will be delivered via our exceptional virtual learning environment when required during Covid restrictions*


This is a two year Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) course running one evening a week over two years, and incorporating two weekends and will qualify you to work as a professional counsellor.

The course follows an integrative approach, and draws from the traditions of Gestalt, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 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.

This is Heartwood’s most popular course and we have been successfully running this course for nearly two decades. Our unique style of teaching allows for each student to develop at their own rate with gentle support from our tutors and student mentor.

In order to strengthen personal, and professional development we will cover:

  • Self development exercises
  • Understanding the supervisor relationship
  • Developing therapeutic relationships with clients
  • Developing relational depth
  • Creating therapeutic contracts
  • Understanding of counselling profession ethics
  • Child protection and working with vulnerable young people and adults.
  • Managing self-care and caseloads.


Heartwood students have access to outdoor and indoor light and warm recreational space with seating for break times and own refreshment making facilities.

Entry Requirements

You will need to have completed a Level 3 Counselling Certificate or equivalent course. If you have not completed your previous training with Heartwood then we will 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.

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, this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

All students wishing to enrol onto our Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accredited (Level 4 equivalent) course will be invited to participate in an interview with one of our Lead Tutors. The interview is the opportunity for you and the Tutors to ascertain if you are ready for the course and to explore your reasons for applying.

Interviews can take place via an interview at the centre, or by telephone or Skype, when visiting the centre is problematic.

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.

Places are allocated on a first come first served basis and only secured with a deposit.

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.

The training will teach you skills, and theories, in a creative and fun environment, 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.

You may find other providers offering this type of training, and they may be cheaper, but we believe that no other course will give you the same mixture of compassionate support and professionally accredited training which we offer. We are right beside you 100% of the way which is why we have such a high success rate.

Evening classes take place on one evening per week 6pm – 9.30pm over two years and include one weekend per year.

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 and bookable in advance
  • 7 online evening ‘topic in focus’ sessions during year 1, held once per month to support your training
  • 6 online placement support drop-in sessions during year 2, held once per month to support your placement
Next courses:
To be announced – To register your interest without obligation, please click here

Other study options available:

Weekday, Weekend in Devon and Weekend (London) option are available.

This course is fully accredited by the National Counselling Society (NCS) 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).

  • 400 hours of course time
  • Course meets NCS and BACP requirements for membership and students are encouraged to apply for student membership status with a professional governing body
  • 20 hours of personal therapy concurrent with taking the course
  • 80 scheduled classroom sessions 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
  • Mentor support is provided at no extra charge
  • Placement support is provided at no extra charge
  • Tutorials are provided on request at no extra charge
  • Safeguarding training included at no extra charge
  • Curriculum is adapted yearly to meet current NICE guidelines
  • Qualifying students could seek employment in NHS, Dept for Education or private practice



The course runs over two years, with the emphasis in year one being on safeguarding, skills building, confidence and self awareness. And in year two we deepen our theoretical knowledge, explore some of the more challenging aspects of client work, and focus on professional practice.

Throughout the course we will further advance our counselling skills focusing on; skills based triad work, managing anger in the therapy room, giving and receiving feedback, working with sexual issues, working with suicidal clients, working with self-harm and practising interventions.

Throughout both years there is a focus on 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 Approach
  • Gestalt Theory
  • Mindfulness based CBT
  • Attachment Theory
  • The Inner Child
  • Trauma concepts
  • Transference and countertransference
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Working with what lies beneath (implicit processes)
  • Integrative approaches
  • Working with body processes
  • Creative interventions
  • Difference, diversity and Inclusion


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
  • 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 create a supportive learning environment here at Heartwood and will guide learners through their studies.


Payment options:

Full course fee which includes all learning support and sessions £5495.

Your place on the course is only secured on receipt of the non-refundable deposit of £545:

  • The outstanding balance of £4950 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 (£4750).
  • The balance of your fees can be paid annually at £2595* for year 1 and £2375* for year 2. *(This includes a monthly administration fee of £10.00 for annual payments).
  • A monthly payment plan is available at £242.50* for 21 months. *(This includes a monthly administration fee of £6.79 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

Register your interest

To register your interest in this course without obligation, 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 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.

Pay a deposit of £545.00 per item