Make a difference, one life at a time,
with professional counselling training.

Discover your God-given purpose

Grow in your own emotional wellbeing

Get trained for a career, earning up to £50,000.

Become a fully qualified Waverley Abbey Counsellor in 3 years or less



A four or five year part-time programme. We recommend that you apply to complete in five years and reassess your completion date towards the end of the third year depending on your available time for study.

Mode of Study
Entry Points


Counselling Theory and the Waverley Integrative Framework of Counselling

This module provides students with a theoretical base and foundation for the whole programme. It introduces students to a Christian anthropology and theory of human personality and to the Waverley Integrative Framework of Counselling, a holistic approach which reflects on the client’s history and current circumstances and on all core aspects of human functioning: relational, physical, emotional, volitional, rational and spiritual. Furthermore, the module provides students with the opportunity to apply the Waverley Integrative Framework and related counselling skills in a guided practice situation and through the use of case studies. Students will also be given an overview of the field of human development and a survey of human behaviour associated to lifespan development. In addition, in order to enable students to appreciate the issues involved in integrating psychological theories into the Waverley Integrative Framework; students will be given an introduction to a range of therapeutic approaches to counselling. Students will also be introduced to basic research principles and methodology, assisting students to understand and make use of research findings to ensure evidence-based practice.

Counselling Skills and Practice

It is important that students are equipped with counselling skills in order to prepare them for their work with clients. This module aims to do this by facilitating students to understand the importance of developing relationship-building skills which enables the formation of a therapeutic relationship and creates conditions in which change can occur. Students are also introduced to a range of basic and advanced counselling skills for use within the counselling process and provided with the opportunity to gain practice and experience in the use of these skills. In addition students are assisted to develop self-awareness and the ability to give and receive feedback. This module thus enables students to relate counselling theory with practice via peer counselling triplets using the Waverley Integrative Framework.

Personal and Professional Development 1

In order for students to become professionally competent, it is important that they are aware of the personal and professional issues that arise in counselling. This module aims to achieve this by enabling students to understand the different aspects of professional development in its various contexts and settings, assisting them to appreciate the need for ongoing professional development and providing them with an understanding of what constitutes good practice for the professional counsellor. This will include introducing students to the ethical and legal obligations for counsellors, the importance of supervision and the need to be aware of the potential ethical dilemmas and boundary issues that may arise, including those that might occur for practitioners operating within faith communities. Furthermore, students are also assisted to increase their self-awareness and to understand the importance of self-awareness in professional practice.

Students are required to undertake a further 15 hours of self-funded personal therapy.

Developmental Psychology and Psychopathology

In order to prepare students for their work with clients, students will be introduced to a number of mental health disorders and diagnostic criteria. They will also be encouraged to reflect on a range of assessment issues and consider when counselling may or may not be helpful, and when referral might be required. The module will assist students in reviewing psychological literature and research in order to consider cognitive, developmental and social psychology and the potential implications of findings for the practice of counselling.

Counselling Skills: Clinical Practice 1

In order to further enable students to integrate their learnt theory into their clinical practice, it is important to build on previous skills and theory lectures. This module introduces students to a number of interventions, drawing on Psychodynamic Theory, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, creative methods and (if appropriate to the client) Christian approaches to spirituality. In section 2 of this module, students will be encouraged to identify issues of difference and diversity and to become increasingly aware of the impact of a client’s cultural and social context.

Students are required to undertake 50 hours of placement work with clients

Students are required to undertake 20 hours of self-funded individual supervision

Supervision and Professional Development 2

This module enables students to become ethical and competent practitioners. It provides students with professional awareness and expertise, in particular in providing a greater knowledge of ethical practice. The module provides training on how to use supervision and group supervision effectively; enables students to be supported in their client work with group supervision, and to gain experience in giving and receiving feedback on their client work in a group setting. Students will be informed at this stage on the accreditation requirements of counselling bodies (BACP and ACC).

Self-awareness and Personal Growth

It is important for counsellors to increase in self-awareness of self in relationship with others, thus encouraging personal growth. To facilitate the development of this, this module encourages students to understand theories and models of group dynamics; to continue to attend process groups during the remaining CertHE programme; to continue to reflect on the connection between the student’s personal story, their relationships with others, and their relationship with God and to have personal therapy to continue to assist personal growth and awareness.

Students are required to undertake 30 hours of self-funded personal therapy

Integrative Approaches and Mental Health

Students will be encouraged to further enhance their skills and knowledge from a variety of models of counselling. In addition, it is vital that students continue to appreciate the continuum between mental health and psychiatric disorders. This module will deepen their knowledge and critical understanding of a further range of theoretical approaches to counselling; provide evidence as to how interventions from a variety of theoretical approaches may be successfully integrated into the Waverley Integrative Framework and personal client work; build further on an understanding of a range of mental health problems that a client may present, identifying when counselling may not be appropriate; provide an understanding as to how quantitative and/or qualitative methods in outcome research inform counselling practice.

Advanced Counselling skills: Clinical Practice 2

This module supports students in developing advanced counselling skills, as they continue to work with clients, and in particular assists in evaluating the use of religious and spiritual interventions in clinical practice. This module builds on previous teaching from the first two years of study. Group supervision provided in this module will continue to support students in their clinical practice and enhance their ability to critically evaluate their clinical work with clients.

Students are required to undertake 50 hours of placement work with clients

Students are required to undertake 15 hours of self-funded individual supervision

Reflective Practice

This module provides further the conditions and opportunity to reflect on themselves and their interactions with others. It enables students to continue to experience group process by means of process groups and reflect on this experience in terms of their relational style in a group setting; encourage students to reflect on their relational experience with clients and supervisors; enhance the students self-awareness and personal development by means of their recording of reflections in a written format and encourage students to develop an awareness of the history and range of personality typologies and their personal therapeutic application.


Year 4

Fieldwork and Professional Development 3

This module consolidates and deepens the student’s professional and personal development. Students will be encouraged to begin to formulate their personal integrative philosophy of counselling that is congruent with their own personality and style of working with clients. Students will be supported in this process by attending further sessions of group supervision.

Students are required to undertake 50 hours of clinical practice on placement

Students are required to undertake 15 hours of self-funded individual supervision

Integration: Theory and Practice

To compliment previous learning, this module is designed to deepen the student’s understanding of the integrative approach and to assess clinical interventions in terms of which are most appropriate when working in a variety of clinical situations. This module will further consider integration in practice by assisting students to critically review the body of knowledge of three differing approaches in more depth, namely: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Family and Systemic Psychotherapy (FSP) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS).

Counselling and Spirituality

Counsellors working within faith communities are inevitably faced with the interface between Christian spirituality and counselling. This module provides students with the further opportunity to reflect on the relationship between spirituality, counselling and spiritual direction and to increase understanding and deepen awareness of the tensions that inevitably arise within church, pastoral and counselling settings. The module will also further explore counselling and spirituality which is non-faith specific, and consider relational dynamics in transpersonal counselling.

Year 4 or 5

Counselling Literature Review

As a conclusion to this programme, students will be required to conduct a literature review on a personal area of interest related to their counselling practice. In order to analyse and engage in depth with the area of interest, students will be encouraged to develop advanced theoretical knowledge of counselling research methodology. Students will be provided with the opportunity to select an appropriate question and area of interest and produce a literature review illustrating how they have critically evaluated relevant theories, literature sources and research findings.

Further details

‘Students clearly develop personally and professionally over the period of training.’

External Examiner for BA Counselling Programmes 2017

This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.


This programme is validated by Middlesex University. It is level 6 of the Higher Education Framework. Successful completion will provide an overall 360 credits.


Students are required to complete written assignments; exams and journals during the programme.

Entry requirements

Minimum of 2 A level passes and GCSE English Grade C (or above) and/or a minimum of 3 years related life experience and other qualifications may be taken in to account.


Waverley Abbey College, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham GU9 8EP

Further information

Book a Personal Discovery Call today and a member of our friendly team will discuss your financial options with you and answer any other questions you have.

If you require further information on this, or any of our programmes, email us or call on 01252 784 784.


Five Years*
One-Day-A-Week Mode
Apply Now

* With option to complete final year in 4th year

Five Years*
Week/Weekend Mode
Apply Now

* With option to complete final year in 4th year