Applications for our Diploma in Counselling course commencing in 2024 are now closed. Interviews will take place from mid-April onwards. 

Applications for our Certificate courses remain open. Please see individual course pages for details.

Our two-year diploma course at level 5 is part of our Gestalt Counselling Programme. It offers intensive, practical professional training. This will give you the skills, knowledge and competency to work as a counsellor.  This programme is based on BACP standards providing training in reflective, competent and ethical practice. Graduates are eligible for membership to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and can work confidently with a range of clients.

The course requires a supervised placement of at least 100 hours, which allows you to work and practise your skills with clients under supervision.  Our graduates go on to work as counsellors in a variety of settings including GP practices, mental health, voluntary agencies, staff and student counselling services and also in private practice.

Alternatively, graduates may be eligible for advanced entry to the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Programme (subject to application and interview).

Who takes this course?

Students who apply for entry onto the diploma course have completed a level 3/4 training course. See Certificate in Humanistic Counselling Skills with a view to becoming a qualified professional counsellor.

We admit students with prior experience who have completed entry level courses see the entry requirements tab further down this page for full details. (also see Counselling Programme).

Student intake is 30 students per year, 15 students for each cohort- Monday and Thursday evening formats.

What the course offers

There are four components to this part of the programme:

  • teaching, practice and evaluation of skills involved in creating and developing a counselling relationship.
  • developing awareness of self and self in relation to others both personally and professionally
  • presenting sound theoretical concepts from relevant established disciplines
  • group supervision to discuss and evaluate counselling practice.
  • research awareness – for example, critical awareness of research findings, methodology and application.

Course outline


Gain a solid grounding in the philosophy and practice of Gestalt Counselling as a core model. Explore a range of theoretical topics to include, cultural identity, anti-oppressive practice, sexuality, and gender issues. Develop one-to-one counselling skills and review counselling sessions with peers.

Discuss and explore ethical and professional issues in relation to the counselling profession and clinical practice. Integrate this theoretical, practical, and experiential learning into current counselling practice with the support of supervision.


Deepen your understanding of gestalt theory and methodology with reference to developmental and groupwork theories, skills, and practice.

Cover topics relevant to professional development to include short-term therapy, loss, and bereavement and an introduction to mental health diagnosis, treatment, and prescription medication.

Focus primarily on integrating this learning into individual and group counselling practice through case discussions, group and individual supervision and peer feedback.


Peer study and skills practice, seminars on theory, professional and ethical issues.  A weekly process group to explore individual and group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and within the context of training attend to the group process as-a-whole.


To be in weekly face-to-face individual gestalt counselling with a MBACP (Accred) counsellor or UKCP Registered psychotherapist (with at least 2 years’ post-qualification experience) for a minimum of 80 hours over the two-year period of training.

To find a suitable placement, in accordance with the Gestalt Centre guidelines. To complete 100 hours of work with clients and have a minimum of 20 hours’ individual supervision with a Gestalt Centre approved supervisor in addition to any supervision that may be provided by the student’s placement.

What our students say

“Very intensive but of great value.” (CN)

“I rate this course as excellent and would happily recommend it.” (SA)

  • Entry requirements

    Our Certificate in Humanistic Counselling Skills fulfils the entry requirements onto the Diploma.

    Applicants will be required to show:

    • completion of a level 3-4 Certificate – a minimum of 95 hours of face-to-face teaching/sustained study.
    • evidence of ability to study at diploma level.
    • a willingness to find a counselling placement to accrue the required minimum of 100 client counselling hours with appropriate supervision (min 20 hours)
    • an appropriate level of maturity i.e. the ability to respond sensitively and flexibly to a wide range of people, feelings, and ideas.
    • a willingness to enter individual counselling/ therapy for the duration of the course.
    • a willingness to engage with diverse groups and maintain a professional attitude.
    • a willingness to attend all evening and weekend dates including the first evening of study. There is an overall 90% attendance.

    Candidates who meet the entry criteria will be invited to an in-person interview at the Gestalt Centre. The group and individual interview will discuss the course and your readiness to embark on the training. Also, it will be an opportunity to meet other applicants and members of the teaching staff.

  • Course Fees

    Fees for 2024 – 2025

    Termly – £1,652 x 3
    Monthly standing order – £413. x 12
    Total Annual Fee – £4,956
    Discounted annual fee when paid in a single payment – £4,756.

    Termly fees are due
    Autumn Term: July
    Spring Term: November
    Summer Term: February

    Fees are inclusive of UKAGP annual subscription – £10 optional payment if paid in one instalment or in 12 instalments at £1 per month.

    Please note.
    Diploma trainees are required to be in weekly individual Gestalt counselling for the duration of their training. These fees are not included in the course fees and may range upwards of £60 per session. It is the trainees’ responsibility to pay this fee directly to the counsellor.

    In year 2, trainees need to allow for individual supervision fees which may range from £60 to £75 per session. These fees are also additional to the course fees and are paid directly by the trainee to their counselling supervisor.

    Fees paid after the due dates will be liable for a £50 charge for additional administration costs unless a prior arrangement is made.

    Payments per month and per term
    Each student’s contract is renewable in July for commencement in September of each year and it is a condition of the contract that fees are payable in accordance with the published schedule. A non-refundable deposit of one month’s fee is required to secure a place on the training. If you leave before completing a year’s training, the fee for the year will be payable.

  • Structure

    The Diploma is a two-year part time intensive course commencing annually in early September.  The course is BACP Accredited assessed at level 5.

    Student intake is 30 students per year, 15 students for each cohort commencing in September each year.

    Meeting weekly on Mondays or Thursdays, 4.00pm-9.00pm for three terms each year, totalling 450 teaching hours over 36 weeks. This includes one non-residential four-day large group event in the Spring term and visiting tutors’ weekend days each term and course feedback weekend in the summer term.

    In addition, there will be three 30-minute tutorials, one per term. Students need to be aware that additional study time is required for reading, writing assignments, personal therapy, counselling practice in a trainee placement, and individual clinical supervision.

  • Assessment

    Students will be assessed by a variety of methods. Tutors will consider the progress of students at the end of each year based on tutor, peer, and self-assessment.

    Written Assignments

    Students are required to:

    • keep a personal learning journal, which should contain details of individual learning contracts and accounts of key learning experiences.
    • write two essays of 2,500 words in Year 1 on aspects of counselling theory.
    • provide audio recordings of a counselling session with process commentary and analysis in year 1 and 2.
    • write an extended essay of 5,000 words in Year 2 on a topic of special interest to the student, and in discussion with the Year Tutor
    • submission of a BACP portfolio on completion of all assessments, placement, and clinical hours to include a 2000-word self-reflective essay.

    In addition, assessment will be based on:

    • satisfactory completion of written assignments and session recordings.
    • satisfactory attendance on the course (90% attendance including the first evening of study and weekend dates)
    • a minimum of 100 hours counselling work with clients on placement

“It was a really fulfilling experience and I feel that I learnt a huge amount and have a basis for further learning at greater depth.”



Questions on courses, timings or fees? Ready to book your place? Want to know more about room hire or finding a counsellor? We have the answers you’re looking for.

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CALL US ON 020 7383 5610