Taught course


Keele University · School of Medicine

Entry requirements

Traditional academic qualifications are not a necessary requirement to enter the Graduate Certificate in Counselling. The programme is open to applicants that show appropriate commitment and motivation to participate in a programme that combines experiential learning and academic study.

In line with the requirements of BACP, applicants also need to demonstrate the following attributes: self awareness, maturity and stability; ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience; capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course; ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirements; ability to form a helping relationship; ability to be self-critical and use both positive and negative feedback; awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression; awareness of the nature of difference and equality; ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support; competence in or the aptitude to develop generic personal skills, including: literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self-management skills, communication and interpersonal skills.

Applicants will need to address these points in their personal statements in the application form and in response to the criteria questionnaire to be completed as part of the application process.

Applicants will be required to complete an initial online application form including a personal statement. Once the application has been received, if the applicant meets the entry requirements for the programme, they will be sent a set of criteria questions to fill out. Occasionally, the applicant may be asked to attend an interview with two members of the core counselling team who teach on the counselling programmes at Keele University.

We endeavour to turn applications around fairly promptly, so we would hope that your application would be screened for eligibility within a few weeks of receipt and that you would then if deemed eligible, be sent the criteria questionnaire to complete and return.


Applicants whose first language is not English must have an overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 with a score of at least 6.5 in each sub-set (or equivalent).

The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.

If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.

During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.

Months of entry


Course content

Please note, all course information including entry requirements relates to the 2022/23 academic year.

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling course is an ideal starting point for those who want to begin to train as counsellors, but do not have traditional academic qualifications and/or previous experience in a helping role. The course is a one year, part-time programme of study which incorporates the three strands of counselling training - counselling theory, counselling practice and personal development. Many students who complete this course progress on to Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy, which is a professional training in counselling.


If you don't have the traditional academic qualifications and/or previous experience in a helping role, this course provides you with the opportunity to begin your career path as a counsellor and start your training.

Students returning to education after a long period away from academic work may also choose the Graduate Certificate as a place to start their counselling training. For those who are already in helping roles, and who want to develop their counselling skills and interested in deepening their interpersonal communication and intrapersonal understanding, this course will enable you to progress further.

The programme aims to develop students’ knowledge of the theory of person-centred counselling; to help them gain the skills inherent in forming and maintaining a facilitative counselling relationship, characterised by the ‘core conditions’ of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard, and to help students develop personal and professional awareness.

In addition, the programme aims to equip students with an understanding of and respect for safe, ethical counselling practice, in line with BACP recommended standards, and an awareness of difference and diversity.

Information for international students

Unfortunately this course is not open to overseas students.

This course is only available part-time and we do not provide Tier 4 sponsorship for part-time courses.

Fees and funding

For information related to fees and funding, please visit the individual course page on the Keele University website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details