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.

Completing a Diploma of Higher Education Counselling will mean you are a fully qualified Waverley Abbey Counsellor in 3 years.



A three year part-time programme.

Mode of Study
Entry Points

Week/weekend (residential option available)


Year 1

six weekends (Fri pm - Sun pm) and two weeks (Mon - Fri)

28 single days*

Year 2

six weekends (Fri pm - Sun pm) and two weeks (Mon - Fri)

28 single days*

Year 3

four weekends (Fri pm - Sun pm) and two weeks (Mon - Fri)

22 single days*



Counselling Theory and the Waverley Integrative Framework of Counselling

This modules 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 a further 50 hours of placement work with clients

Students are required to undertake a further 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.


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 5 of the Higher Education Framework. Successful completion will provide an overall 240 credits and graduates will be eligible to apply for accreditation with a professional body.


Students are required to complete various assignments; exams and journals during the academic year.

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 student.services@waverleyabbeycollege.ac.uk or call on 01252 784 784.


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