Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3)

At a glance information

Qualification Number 600/5104/8
Guided Learning Hours 90 hours (minimum)
Total Qualification Time 196 hours
Credit value 20
Minimum age 19 years


Successful learners may progress onto the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.


This qualification is intended for candidates who have already acquired a recognised qualification in counselling skills and want to:

  • take the next step in training to become a counsellor
  • learn more about counselling theory, ethics and mental health
  • be prepared for work as a professional counsellor in an agency setting.

This qualification does not lead to employment. It is designed as a pre- practitioner training for professional counselling qualifications but it could also lead to employment in a related field.

Entry requirements

You must have undertaken counselling skills training, e.g. our Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills or equivalent units/qualifications of at least 75 Guided Learning Hours.

Read section 5 of the Specification for further information.


The qualification is eligible in England for Advanced Learner Loans (19+).

Candidates in England may also be able to access funding according to individual entitlement criteria (e.g. related to age and/or employment status and/or prior qualifications).

For more detail see funding information.

Where to study

Use our centre finder to find a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies course near you.

Key documents

Candidate Guide Criteria Assessment sheet Tutor Guide Specification

For students and tutors