Edinburgh College Banner

Health Professions & Social Services

Counselling HNC

Campus Sighthill Campus

Qualification SCQF Level 7

Study mode Full time
Part time

Start date Aug 2024

Choose your study options

Campus Sighthill Campus Study mode Full time Start date 26/08/24
Campus Sighthill Campus Study mode Part time Start date 27/08/24

Course enquiry form

Note your interest for this course.
Enter your full name
Enter your email address
This form collects your name and email address so we can contact you with pre-application information on future courses including application deadlines, campus open days and course information. Read our privacy notice to find out how we collect, store and use your data (and for information on withdrawing your consent).

Course overview

Before applying to this course, you must already have undertaken our Level 5 Introduction to Counselling and our Level 6 Counselling Theory for Practice. (or other equivalent training in counselling) These are essential steps in our counselling training pathway which culminates in our new Higher National Diploma, which we hope to launch in August 2026 and which if completed successfully enables students to apply to become a Registered Counsellor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Counselling is a unique way of helping people to become a more authentic and complete version of themselves. This requires not just enhancing our communication and listening skills, but also a broad understanding of theories around human psychological and personality development. Our HNC aims to offer you a transformative experience in which you will learn to recognise, confront and challenge your own inner process and not only identify your psychological and emotional strengths but also identify the parts of you that most require development and growth.

The HNC is aimed at those working in or seeking to work in a variety of counselling settings. It may also be attractive to workers in the wider care, advice or guidance settings where counselling skills are becoming increasingly important. The course is the gateway to the Higher National Diploma in Counselling, which after successful completion, students can apply to the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy for registration as fully qualified counsellors. The course also is considered sufficient to equip students to apply for post-graduate studies at University level in counselling or other related fields and many of our students progress to Edinburgh University, Abertay University and Strathclyde University. 

The course recognises and responds to changes in the provision of counselling throughout the profession and provides a flexible framework to meet the changing needs of employers in the sector.

The course has a strong emphasis on each student's personal development and over the year (or two years part-time) you will work on building strong self-awareness, assertiveness, challenging skills and learning how to work with confrontation. The course will direct you towards reflective practice and facilitate the emergence of your own unique style of listening and helping.

All courses are dependent on their being sufficient numbers of students allocated to the course.

For more information contact; John.Maguire@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

What you will learn
  • The course involves a significant study of historical and contemporary theories and concepts around counselling and psychotherapy. This includes Person-Centred and other Humanistic approaches, Freudian and other Psychodynamic approaches and Cognitive and other Behavioural approaches.
  • A Personal Development group runs throughout the course intertwined with modules in Group Counselling Skills, Self Evaluation and Personal Effectiveness to develop your understanding of yourself, your relationships with others, how you understand your past and its impact on who you are today. We also look at self-care and building your robustness in dealing with difficult situations and hearing difficult material in listening sessions.
  • You will also study counselling approaches to Loss, Grief and Bereavement, Counselling Supervision and other subjects relevant to the counselling field.
  • Counselling Skills training continues throughout the full length of the course, working with colleagues in the classroom.
  • There is a compulsory residential weekend course (Saturday & Sunday) in May or June 2025.

Placement information

  • At the HNC level, you do not need to be in placement but it is very highly recommended that you undertake some work in the helping professions relevant to counselling to build up your experience base, particularly if you want to progress to the HND in counselling.

How the course is assessed

  • A Graded Unit. This equates to approx. 480 hours of study (or an alternative Unit if directed by the SQA).
  • Practical and experiential work is an essential component of the course and students are assessed on their participation, attendance and ability to reflect on their practice.
  • This course is also assessed through reports, essays, practical sessions and SQA national assessments.

Number of days per week

  • Full-time over one year: three days per week (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 9 am - 4 pm) 
  • Part-time over two years: one day per week (Currently Tuesday 1.15 pm - 7.45 pm).
  • Please note the days and times are subject to change and they will be confirmed before the end of June 2024.  

Entry requirements

  • Completed basic counselling skills training e.g. 'Introduction to Counselling' (available through Edinburgh College) and 'Counselling Theory for Practice an Introduction' or COSCA Modules 1-4 or any other equivalent course. You are expected to be able to demonstrate an appropriate level of academic ability for this demanding course i.e. to an Advanced Higher level or equivalent.
  • Applicants will need to evidence learning ability through the submission of a short written reflective task that will be set by the college.
  • A high level of emotional maturity, a willingness to develop personally and an ability to reflect on self-awareness are essential. These will be assessed through individual and group exercises at the interview.
  • It is also recommended that you develop your counselling skills practice by participating in a volunteer or work placement.
  • There is no requirement to be in therapy during the course however this is highly recommended. The course is not a substitute for Counselling. 

English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS 5.5

Progression and Articulation Routes

  • Higher National Diploma level training in Counselling (BACP Registration)
  • University entrance to Mental Health Nursing or Social Sciences or Post-Graduate Counselling Courses
  • Employment in the mental health and voluntary sectors

Career options

  • Employment in the mental health and voluntary sectors 

Study Options

Campus Study mode Start date
Sighthill Campus Full time 26/08/24
Sighthill Campus Part time 27/08/24

You may also be interested in these courses

Health Professions & Social Services

Routes to Communities

We are delivering this new course at our Granton Campus for people who are considering careers in working in the communi...

Read more and apply

Campus
Granton Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Part time

Health Professions & Social Services

Gateway to Healthcare: Phase 1

Gateway to Healthcare: Phase 1 (Formally Introduction to Health Services)  is your first step towards a rewarding career...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Full time

Health Professions & Social Services

Healthcare Practice HNC

HNC Healthcare Practice is an innovative course designed to equip you with essential clinical knowledge and understandin...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 7

Study mode
Full time

Health Professions & Social Services

Pharmacy Studies Level 4 An Introduction

This Introduction to Pharmacy course is designed for school leavers, young people, adults, mature applicants and those w...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 4

Study mode
Full time

Health Professions & Social Services

Preparation for University Access to Nursing

This fast-track course is designed for people with few or no qualifications looking to begin a rewarding career as a nur...

Read more and apply

Campus
Milton Road Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Full time

Health Professions & Social Services

Route to Health Professions SCQF Level 6

If you`re looking to pursue a career in a health profession which is both challenging and rewarding then this course is ...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 6

Study mode
Full time

Health Professions & Social Services

SWAP University Access to Nursing

Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), are for adults who have few or no formal qualifications and who have been out o...

Read more and apply

Campus
Milton Road Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 6

Study mode
Full time