• Health and Social Care

    COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate

  • SCQF Level

    Level 8

  • Attendance/Duration

    This course runs on a Tuesday evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm.

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COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland) has designed this nationally recognised course which Ayrshire College has full validation to deliver.

Ayrshire College has a long history of successfully delivering counselling courses at SCQF levels 5 to 7 and our experienced counsellors are looking forward to working on this new course.

This course has a wide appeal and will be of particular interest to anyone who helps or seeks to help others in any of the following sectors: healthcare; social care; education; housing; criminal justice; youth work; workplace and employee support.

You will develop self-awareness and counselling skills in a safe and secure setting while learning how to use your developing knowledge, skills and qualities to effectively support others.

The process of application involves providing a personal statement in which you demonstrate your self-awareness and ability to self-reflect. In your statement you should give your reasons for wishing to do the course at this stage in your life, you should also describe the skills, qualities, and life experiences you would bring to the course. You may also be invited to attend an informal interview by either phone or video call as part of the selection process, the purpose of which would be to clarify or expand upon information given in your application form. The final part of the process is attendance at the online information session, following this the final decision on your application form will be made.

No formal qualifications are necessary however as the COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills is a vocational course strong interpersonal skill are essential. It is desirable that applicants have successfully completed the Counselling: An Introduction (SCQF Level 5) and Counselling Theory (SCQF Level 6) units.  

What's involved

The course consists of four 10 week modules delivered term time with breaks of around 2 -10 weeks between them to consolidate learning and accommodate school/college holidays.

Each module builds on the success of the previous one and learners will use feedback to identify their own strengths and weaknesses which they’ll regularly review and address in their course work.

Effective counselling skills involve active listening, clear communication and good interpersonal skills, and require the qualities of acceptance, genuineness and empathy. They are underpinned and informed by an understanding of counselling theory.

The modules focus on:

  • development and application of counselling skills and processes;
  • knowledge of counselling skills, relationships and theoretical perspectives;
  • understanding of ethical issues and adherence to COSCA’s Statement of Ethics and Codes of Practice; and lastly
  • developing awareness of self and the potential impact you have on yourself and others

A range of teaching and learning methods include one to one tuition; small group work where one person is the ‘counsellor’, another is the ‘client’ and the third is the observer who provides supportive constructive feedback; group work and group discussions; and the use of Ayrshire College’s online resources.

Assessment methods include observation of counselling skills, oral assessment using general and specific questions and written work. Your trainer will regularly check your learning by using questions and giving feedback to help you to identify gaps in your skills, knowledge and understanding and enable you to focus your attention on filling those gaps. These practice assessments help you build confidence and prepare for more formal assessments.

Go Anywhere

You will be able to use your enhanced counselling skills in a basic personal and/or professional capacity fairly early on in the course. As your skills and knowledge develop you will feel increasingly comfortable supporting others in difficult circumstances.

The Certificate in Counselling Skills equips you with knowledge and skills that can offer enhanced performance in your current role. It is not a licence to practice as a counsellor. If you wish to pursue a career as a counsellor this course can lead you onto one of the following courses. The HNC Counselling course is available at Ayrshire College, the other courses at other educational institutions:

  • HNC/HND Counselling
  • COSCA’s Diploma in Counselling 
  • A relevant university degree level course
  • Strathclyde University’s MSC in Counselling and Psychotherapy (You also need a degree alongside your Counselling Skills qualification)
  • Cost


    Please speak to our Finance Team for details of funding options and/or instalment plans.

Closed for Application



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