How do I start the Foundation Degree in Counselling?

Your Foundation Degree study will begin with CPCAB's Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4). But before you start the foundation degree, you will need to achieve the entry requirements for TC-L4.

The first step in your CPCAB training is the Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2) which is a 90 hour course. You will spend between 6-10 months, part-time, learning counselling skills in a classroom environment.

Your next step is either the CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3) which is a 90 GLH course, or the Level 3 Certificate in Applied Counselling Studies (CAST-L3) which is a 120 GLH course. Both are classroom-based. Alternatively, if you have already achieved the Open University D171 Introduction to Counselling (now discontinued) which is distance learning you may be able to use it in place of CST-L3/CAST-L3.

CSK-L2 and CST-L3/CAST-L3 are the entry qualifications for TC-L4, the first CPCAB qualification to form part of the foundation degree. Entry to TC-L4 based on the Open University's D171 may involve extra requirements. Contact your chosen training centre to discuss their admissions policy or read our overview of the open university foundation degree in counselling.

You can begin studying your Open University modules when you start TC-L4. It is possible to start your modules earlier but there are two reasons for encouraging you to wait until you have at least started TC-L4:

  • By carrying out your CPCAB practitioner training side-by-side with your Open University studies, we hope you will find that the two feed into each other, giving you a richness of experience and a better understanding of the complex areas of study and skills you are undertaking.

  • There is a practical reason, too: the Open University set a 7-year time limit for completing the foundation degree from the first date of registering to study.  This sounds like a long time but if you are studying CSK-L2 and CST-L3/CAST-L3 over one year each, followed by TC-L4 with a potential extra year to complete client hours, you can see that you may be getting close to the cut-off point, particularly if life events mean that you have to take a gap year or two.