Training Courses

Diploma in Relational Counselling

This Diploma in Relational Counselling equips counsellors with the theory, understanding and skills to work relationally on a wide range of issues.

This award has been SCQF credit rated by SQA

This customised award has been credit rated by SQA at Level 11 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) with 120 credit points and has full validation from Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA).

Course description

This two-year Diploma in counselling provides an overarching training for counsellors seeking to counsel relationally, combining multiple modalities. The Relational Counselling Diploma encourages students to deepen their understanding of theoretical perspectives, examine their beliefs and attitudes to develop professional skills appropriate to the safe and ethical application of counselling support.

Psychoanalytic adult attachment theories (particularly Jeremy Holmes) are a major focus, looking at how our attachment history affects all aspects of life. The course employs Gerard Egan’s Skilled Helper Model as a guiding framework. The course covers issues that impact relationships from cradle to grave.

The diploma has a focus on evidence-based practice and therefore students will be encouraged to inform their counselling practice with current and relevant counselling research. As such students will be required to submit a research proposal during year 2.

Upon successful completion of the course and supervised practice elements, trainees may be eligible for professional registration, however, this will be at the discretion of the professional body of their choosing.

Please use the links below to navigate this page where you will learn more about:

Who is the Diploma in Relational Counselling for?

The Diploma in Relational Counselling is aimed at those who want to become qualified counselling practitioners. The course is designed to encourage trainees to explore each client’s unique journey from childhood to adulthood by offering an integrated relational approach to deepen inter and intrapersonal relationships.

Course entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have an HNC in Counselling or COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate as a minimum entry requirement. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their ability to work at SCQF Level 11 i.e., hold an undergraduate degree or above.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning) for previous experience may be considered for those that hold alternative counselling awards.

Course components

The Diploma course includes:

  • 29 days of in-person training each year
  • Summative assignments
  • Formative assessments as a means of on-going progress evaluation.
  • mandatory supervised counselling placement of 100 hours

The diploma consists of eight integrated modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Relational Counselling Processes
  • Module 2: Introduction to Counselling Theory & Skills Reflection Process
  • Module 3: Fundamentals of Counselling Practice
  • Module 4: Relational Counselling Processes
  • Module 5: Counselling Theory
  • Module 6: Self-Awareness and Reflective Practice
  • Module B1 Working Relationally
  • Module B2: Working Relationally

Time commitment and training dates

Students must commit to attending all training days, self-managed independent study, a counselling placement, and supervision.

  • Year 1 and 2 of the courses includes 29 in person training days (58 days in total)
  • A minimum of 85% attendance is required
2023/25 Wednesday Course Dates

Training take place weekly on Wednesdays (with a break between each term) from 9.30am to 5pm.

Year 1 Dates

Term 16 Sep 202311 Oct 2023
 1 week break 
Term 225 Oct 202320 Dec 2023
 4 week break 
Term 317 Jan 20247 Feb 2024
 1 week break 
Term 421 Feb 202427 Mar 2024
 2 week break 
Term 517 Apr 20241 May 2024

Year 2 Dates

September 2024 to May 2025 (subject to minor change)

2024/25 Saturday Course Dates

Training takes place every second Saturday plus four Sundays from 9.30am to 5pm.

Year 1 Dates

Course DayDateDay of Week
120 Jan 2024 Saturday
23 Feb 2024 Saturday
317 Feb 2024 Saturday
42 Mar 2024 Saturday
516 Mar 2024 Saturday
617 Mar 2024Sunday
730 Mar 2024Saturday
813 Apr 2024Saturday
927 Apr 2024Saturday
1028 Apr 2024Sunday
1111 May 2024Saturday
1225 May 2024Saturday
138 Jun 2024Saturday
1422 Jun 2024Saturday
156 Jul 2024Saturday
1620 Jul 2024Saturday
173 Aug 2024Saturday
184 Aug 2024Sunday
1917 Aug 2024Saturday
2031 Aug 2024Saturday
2114 Sep 2024Saturday
2215 Sep 2024Sunday
2328 Sep 2024Saturday
2412 Oct 2024Saturday
2526 Oct 2024Saturday
269 Nov 2024Saturday
2723 Nov 2024Saturday
287 Dec 2024Saturday
2921 Dec 2024Saturday

Year 2 Dates

Date for the second year will follow a similar pattern and will run from January 2025 to December 2025.

Course and other fees

The total cost for the course is £7600 (£3,800 per year). This is payable in 10 monthly instalments of £320 plus a £600 deposit each year. Deposits are non-refundable.

Based on service availability, if you secure a clinical practice placement with The Spark supervision may be provided.

Students will incur additional costs related to student membership with a recognised counselling body, clinical supervision for external placements, PVG and professional indemnity insurance that are not included in the course fee.

How to apply

To apply to join this course, please complete the application form and return it by email to our training team by the closing date.

Where an application meets the requirements, an invite to interview for a place on the course will be made. If successful at this stage, you will be invited to attend a group interview as the final stage in the selection process.

Place Offer
Where additional evidence is required, then a conditional offer may be made in the first instance. Once all evidence is provided then this will change to unconditional.

The Spark is committed to promoting and improving opportunities for students with disabilities. We therefore welcome applications from those who have any needs, which may affect their ability to complete the course successfully. Please indicate this on your application form and then, if you are offered a place on the course, we will provide you with contact details to discuss the support you may need.

2024/25 Course

Dates: 20 Jan 2024 – 20 Dec 2025
Times: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Days: Saturdays and some Sundays

Total Cost: £7,600 Payable in 10 monthly instalments of £320 plus a £600 non-refundable deposit each year.

Applications close 15 Jan 2024 or when full.

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