at Riverside College

Study options



Key facts

Riverside College
Study option:
3 Years

Enter the world of counselling

Take the next step on your journey into counselling

Get experience

Put your skills to the test in simulated environments

Study with the experts

Learn from academics with experience in their fields

The Foundation Degree in Counselling will provide in depth professional training in counselling skills and theory.

This programme aims to provide a stimulating learning environment where you will develop a sound understanding of professional, legal and ethical issues. Increasing self-awareness and personal development are also an integral part of the course. Successful completion of this course means that you have achieved qualified practitioner status and will be eligible for employment as counsellors. Graduates will have the opportunity to complete a BSc (Hons) Counselling at Riverside College.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: FdSc Counselling

Part-time study

This award can be studied on a one-day per week basis or a two evening per week basis

Course content

Alongside the core theoretical models of Person-Centred, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you will have the opportunity to study several alternative aspects of counselling theory, these include: Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Gestalt. You will examine professional issues in relation to working with clients and you will also develop skills in case formulation and working with mental health issues. You will be provided with the opportunity to practise counselling skills in a safe and facilitative environment. The personal development aspect of the course looks at developing an understanding of self and the group process.

Emphasis is on the work based element of the award. This focuses upon the development and application of a range of work based competences and will prepare you to make the transition from learner to counsellor. Work placement is an integral part of the Foundation Degree in Counselling. 100 supervised placement hours will be completed in years 2 and 3.


  • Counselling Models and the Integrative Approach
  • Counselling Skills 1
  • Personal Development & Understanding Self
  • Professional Issues & Preparing for Counselling Placement
  • Case Formulation and Mental Health
  • Personal Development & The Group Process
  • Further Developments in Counselling Theory
  • Setting up in Professional Practice
  • Counselling Placement

Entry requirements

Level 3 Certificate in Counselling (or relevant subject).

GCSE English Language C or above, (or equivalent).

Successful applicants will need an enhanced satisfactory current DBS and provide two references (one from an academic source).


As a fully qualified practitioner, graduates will be equipped to gain employment as professional counsellors in this growing industry. Successful graduates may also wish to set up their own professional counselling practice.

On completion of this Foundation Degree graduates will have the opportunity to top up to a full BSc (Hons) Counselling degree at Riverside College by undertaking an additional study year.

Teaching and assessment


We know that our students learn in different ways. To help everyone get the most out of their studies, we teach through a combination of lectures, workshops, and practical sessions. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor (or equivalent) at least twice a year to help support you in your studies. You will be taught in high-quality learning spaces throughout your course, and of course will have access to virtual learning environments to enhance your learning opportunities. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.


Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module will give you a variety of opportunities to receive informal feedback from your tutor. These may include classroom discussions, discussions in the virtual learning environment, presentations, milestone assessments, and practice assessments. Informal feedback is developmental and any grades you may receive for these do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.


You will normally receive feedback on formal coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats, including one-to-one discussions with your tutor. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.


Staff have a wealth of counselling experience and come from a variety of therapeutic backgrounds. Each member of staff is committed to fully supporting your progress and successful achievement on this course.

  • Rosie Byrom
  • Neil Dickson
  • Louise Allen
  • Rachel Wilson


For fee information, visit the Riverside College website.


To apply, visit the Riverside College website.

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020