Aim of the course
The AQA Level 5 Diploma in Counselling Practice is intended primarily for part-time study in association with candidates’ live counselling practice work with clients. Full-time or block release course arrangements may also be suitable, subject to the condition that candidates are ‘in practice’ and are able to comply with AQA’s placement conditions, as specified herein, regarding minimum hours of client work, personal supervision and personal therapy.
The Level 5 Diploma in Counselling Practice is designed to show that successful candidates have achieved generic personal and professional standards in both intellectual and practical skills, which are at least those propounded by the leading professional bodies and standard-setting organisations for therapeutic counselling practitioners. Therefore, in completing this qualification, successful candidates can achieve all of the training elements towards their individual professional accreditation.
What does the course cover?
This is a unitised Level 5 programme which requires all 7 units to be aggregated for the candidate to qualify for the award.
The core theoretical approach to counselling will be Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Entry to unit 6 is conditional on the candidates having completed study for the other five units.
All units are mandatory.
The Units are:
1. VQ22C Counselling Theory (CBT)
2. VQ23 Developing Higher Level Counselling Skills
3. VQ24 Counselling Practice
4. VQ25 Counselling in Context
5. VQ26 Counselling Supervision and Principles of Continuing Professional Development
6. VQ27 Counselling Practicum
7. VQ28 Synoptic Assessment in the Practice of Counselling.
Students will need to have completed the AQA’s Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling or its equivalent in qualification. If you have not completed the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (or equivalent) with AAAIB to ensure suitability for counselling training prospective students will require a formal interview prior to enrolment.
Whilst on this course and all our counselling courses, high priority will be given to moral and ethical issues, equal opportunities and the importance of giving and receiving personal sensitive information confidentially and in a non-judgemental way.
Candidates must be willing to abide by the BACP’s ‘Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2010). They must also be willing to share confidential / personal information with fellow candidates and centre staff and to maintain the circle of confidentiality.
Note: The minimum periods of professionally supported counselling placement/practice hours and personal therapy deemed necessary to provide candidates with sufficient client-related activity for study purposes during the lifetime of the course are:
Supervised counselling – 50 hours
Personal therapy – 25 hours
Please note that these are minimum hours and that candidates may exceed but not fall short of them.
This qualification may be used to support candidates’ applications for professional accreditation or membership of a professional body. In all such cases, the professional body’s rules and/or accreditation criteria must take precedence, unless they are less than AQA’s minimum.
This award will enhance career opportunities in a range of counselling environments and will also assist further opportunities for academic progression.
On completion of the AQA Level 5 Diploma in Counselling Practice, candidates will have acquired substantial conceptual knowledge and
understanding of all aspects of the practice of modern therapeutic counselling. They will also have acquired much deeper insight into
their own capacity, capability and limitations to engage effectively in a wide range of complex therapeutic relationships with different clients.
Successful candidates will have the opportunity to progress into:
• employment, with one of the many counselling services operating in the UK
• self employment, ie professional private practice
• voluntary service
Significantly, successful candidates for the Level 5 Diploma may also benefit from a unique collaborative arrangement between AQA and the
University of Nottingham. The Diploma provides (240) recognised prior learning points (RPL credits) onto the Honours Degree course at the
The Award is mapped to the relevant Sector Skills Councils NOS Skills for Health National Occupational Standards for Counselling.
This is a part-time day or evening course running over a 2 year period. The details confirming the start dates and the day of the week that this course will run will be provided on enquiry.
Evening courses Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 6.00pm – 9.00pm – depending on availability.
Daytime courses subject to sufficient registrations.
How is the course assessed?
The Level 5 Diploma in Counselling Practice is assessed by means of a combination of external and internal assessments. External assessment are set and marked by AQA. Internal assessments are marked by the Tutor and are externally verified by AQA.
The four assessment processes used throughout this course are:
2. Essay (or structured writing);
3. Study of Supervised Practice;
4. Practical role-play assessment.
External Assessment Methods
VQ28 Synoptic Assessment in the Practice of Counselling AQA
A conventional 3 hour examination in the form of a question paper which is both set and marked by AQA. 3 hour test.
For all units:
Practical role-play assessment (skills units); and/or
Essay or structured writing (theory units).
What qualification will I gain?
Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (AQA)
The AQA Level 5 Diploma in Counselling Practice is a Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) qualification:
Reference Number (501/0164/X). Formerly known as the ‘Higher Diploma’, it is a higher education level qualification. The learning outcomes and assessment objectives of this specification are at Level 5 on the QCF and are mapped to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) of the relevant Sector Skills Council.
Please contact AAAIB for further details.
When will the next course start?
Please contact AAAIB for further details.
How do I apply?
Contact AAAIB by email in firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01726 814582