Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Psychology

Study counselling & psychology for professional development or personal enrichment. An in-depth training course for counsellors with options to specialise. Learn skills to help support others. Study online & receive feedback from qualified tutors.

Course CodeVPS045
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Develop a Career as a Counsellor

An excellent training program for anyone seeking a solid course of study in counselling. Graduates gain a broad-based education in counselling theory and practice with options to pursue specialist areas of interest through elective modules.

You can choose psychology modules which are often not found in similar level courses.

Learn how people think, interact, develop.  Know how to help, manage and teach people. 

Psychology is a broad discipline that is the scientific study of people, their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, development, behaviour, and so forth. Counselling is concerned with the processes within a relationship where one person is seeking the guidance of another to resolve problems. Counsellors don't provide solutions but they help people to find them for themselves. Having some knowledge of psychology can help counsellors to be more effective in their role.

To be able to appropriately care for clients, a counsellor will need to have undertaken a robust course to allow them to develop all the skills they will need to help their clients. This course is a comprehensive course that covers the theory, skills and techniques required by professional counsellors.  Flexible content options will allow you to specialise in an area most suited to your interest or experience. Some of the options include:

  • Stress Management

  • Conflict Management   

  • Sports Psychology

  • Life Coaching

  • Child Psychology

  • Child Counselling

  • Relationship and Communication Counselling


"Gain a greater understanding of the human mind and the counselling process with this learning program." - Tracey Jones, B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies), ACS Tutor

The school has been assessed as having expertise in teaching Psychology, by the Complementary Medicine Association (UK), a body which ACS has been a member of for several years. Graduates are encouraged to apply for membership of the CMA.

The study package will also provide credit toward higher qualifications through ACS Distance Education (UK) or Warnborough College (UK). The course provides an opportunity to interact with and learn from very successful, highly qualified and experienced  professionals.


Five Core Modules: The course is sequenced so that foundation knowledge and skills are established through completion of the core unit modules.  Students will be expected to complete these modules before undertaking any of the other course components. 

Two Elective Modules: Elective studies will broaden foundation knowledge and skills into other areas which are of value to persons working in one or several sectors of counselling.  They give the student the opportunity to study areas that are of interest to them. 

Research Project: The Research project builds on and reinforces the core learning.  It is 100 hours duration and contains 2 parts: the first part assists the student in developing research skills, whilst the second part involves carrying out a relevant research project. 

  • Research Project I (Stream): This develops the student’s ability to plan and conduct research, and involves a minor statistical research project and report. 

  • Research Project II (Elective): This further develops the student’s ability to monitor and evaluate a common process (or processes) relevant to their studies.  

Workshops: Workshops and assessment of student practical skills must be completed after the student has passed the core modules of this course. Alternatively, the student may undertake this after completing all study modules.

Workshops should make up 100 hours of relevant industry experience which may be undertaken anywhere in the world. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange attendance at workshops and to meet any costs incurred, whether at the school or elsewhere. However, the school will seek to assist students who are having difficulty finding suitable experience. Students may choose to set up their own workshops with an assessor or they may prefer to attend workshops which have already been established by counselling organisations or individuals in their own country.

You may choose to complete the workshop experience in a variety of ways.

  1. One to one tuition.

  2. Approved work placement.

  3. Small group seminars with approved trainer.

Whilst the school strongly advocates attendance at workshops to fulfill the supervised training aspect of the course, this may not always be possible. In that case, it may acceptable to complete the practical component by undergoing supervised training with an established counselling organisation.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Psychology.
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Counselling Skills II BPS110
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Professional Practice in Counselling BPS207
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workshop I BGN103
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 21 modules.
 Aromatherapy VHT104
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Child Psychology BPS104
 Health & Fitness I BRE101
 Human Nutrition 1 BRE102
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Marketing Psychology BPS107
 Sports Psychology BPS106
 Stress Management VPS100
 Adolescent Psychology BPS211
 Aged Care and Counselling BPS212
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Counselling Children BPS218
 Family Counselling BPS213
 Grief Counselling BPS209
 Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208
 Research Project II BGN201
 Crisis Counselling BPS304
 Life Coaching BPS305
 Neuropsychology BPS306

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Psychology is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Scope of Counselling

Graduates real passion have many opportunities.

Counselling means different things to different people. It is not a 'get well quick' option, offering quick answers, but is asking the person to engage in a process and an exploration. There are many definitions of counselling. A simple version is that counselling is a working relationship where the client is helped to manage what is happening in their life and to explore their life. It is a form of psychological or talking therapy that offers people the ability to change how they live and feel. The aim of counselling is to provide the client with a more satisfying experience of life. Everyone has different needs, so counselling can be concerned with many different aspects of a person’s life.

Counsellors may work in any of the following situations:

  • Churches & Welfare organisations employ counsellors on all levels -from minimally trained volunteers to highly trained professionals

  • Careers Advisors in Employment Agencies, with Resume Writing Services, Employment Support offices (government, universities, etc)

  • Life Coaches, Food/Weight Consultants, etc

  • Youth Workers, Social Workers, Family Support Services, Health Support Services

  • Funeral Services

  • Industrial relations negotiators, union representatives

  • Teachers, Lecturers, School & College support staff

  • Support staff for medical practitioners -chiropractors, doctors, physiotherapists etc, are increasingly using counsellors to provide a supplementary service through their clinic

  • The scope and nature of counselling keeps changing, and job opportunities keep changing -It is a certainty that some of the best opportunities you will find after graduating, have probably not even been conceived at the time you commence your study. This is the nature of today's world!



Thoughts on Ending the Counselling Process

Sometimes, the counsellor may feel that the client has resolved their issues and does not need to come back. When this occurs, the counsellor should always tell the client that they are welcome back if they feel it is necessary, but as a professional counsellor, you do not see the need for them to continue at the present time.

If you are unsure about asking them back for further appointments because you yourself feel anxious about them not taking up your offer, then it is probably better to ask. At worst they will decline. It is also harder for the client to make an appointment than break one.

Where you feel the need for ongoing sessions, it is important to give the client an idea of the possible duration of the counselling relationship. This should help to counter the client’s insecurities about future sessions. It is often clear to both counsellor and client when it is time to end the whole counselling process. In some instances, particularly where dependency has occurred, it might not be so obvious. We will discuss dependency in the next lesson.

It is therefore necessary for the counsellor to frequently review the progress that is being made in the sessions and update the goals that are being achieved.If progress is not being made and goals are not being achieved, then it may be necessary for the counsellor to address this issue with their supervisor.

It is of course possible that the counsellor’s own unresolved issues are interfering. It could also be that the counsellor does not have the necessary skills in their repertoire to deal with the issues that the client has raised. Supervision may help the counsellor to deal with a client who seems unable to change. Another option is to suggest to the client that they are referred on to someone else who may be better able to help them. Of course it is important too, to note that some clients will not change.

Ending the process may be similar to ending other relationships, and it may be necessary for the counsellor to use questions to challenge the client. They may ask the client how it feels to end the relationship and other similar questions.

Why study with us?

  • Longer, more extensive training than many other programs-learning more, means you can do more, and your career is more sustainable.

  • International Recognition (IARC; CMA membership in the UK)

  • Highly qualified and experienced tutors

  • Ethical and "Green"

  • More choice and Flexibility

  • Unlimited one on one access to tutors

  • More focus on learning, less on assessment

  • Outstanding track record - graduates actually succeed!


What You Could Do With This Course

This course is a very comprehensive counselling course. It covers all the key areas of counselling from the distinction and use of microskills to the application of them in more difficult scenarios. The psychology components make it slightly different than some other counselling programs by providing students with a deeper understanding of psychological principles and how they influence behaviour. Students are also able to choose their own electives to specialise in areas of interest to them. Graduates of this course will be accomplished in counselling and feel confident setting forth on a counselling career.

The course is specifically geared towards those wishing to enter the counselling profession but will also appeal to people interested in other related areas, such as:

  • Psychology  

  • Psychotherapy

  • Health professions

  • Caring roles


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Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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