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Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling*


This 2-year specialist Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling* (25 days training each year) will equip counsellors with the theory, understanding and skills to work inter relationally on a wide range of issues.

The Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling takes an Integrative approach to counselling, drawing upon humanistic and cognitive behavioural counselling orientations. Psychoanalytic adult attachment theories are a major focus, looking at how our attachment history affects all aspects of life (Jeremy Holmes, The Search for the Secure Base) and using The Skilled Helper Model (Gerard Egan) as a guiding framework. The course covers issues impacting on relationships.

Offering a mix of theory, personal development and skills practice, the course will encourage students to explore attitudes, deepen understanding and develop skills appropriate to inter-relational counselling.

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

*COSCA validation applied for.

Who is the Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling for?


This Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling is aimed at those who want to become qualified counsellors.

The central aim of the Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling is to enable trainees to make an effective transition from using counselling skills to being able to work relationally with clients across the life cycle. Participants will become highly skilled Integrative counsellors and reflective practitioners who work ethically and effectively.

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Course entry requirements


Course applicants are expected to have a first degree and a COSCA Counselling Skills certificate as a minimum entry requirement.

However, APEL for previous experience will be taken into account.

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Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling – course content


Year 1

  • Core Module 1: Introduction to Relational Counselling Processes
  • Core Module 2: Introduction to Counselling Theory
  • Core Module 3: Fundamentals of Counselling Practice
  • Optional Module 4: Methodologies for working with children and young people; or Theories related to working with Intimate Couple Relationships.

Year 2

  • Core Module 5: Relational Counselling Processes
  • Core Module 6: Counselling Theory
  • Core Module 7: Self-Awareness and Reflective Practice
  • Optional Module 4: Issues around working with Children and Young People; or Methodologies for working Intimate Couple Relationships.

Specialist modules: candidates are required to choose at least one module to complete

  • Specialist module 1: Intimate Relationships
  • Specialist module 2: Children and Young People
  • Specialist module 3: Family Counselling.

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Course components, academic level and time commitment


The Modules are not delivered sequentially but in an integrative way.  The core competencies listed below are also integrated throughout the two-year programme.

Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and will further their knowledge and extend their learning through discussion and reflective practice with peers and tutors.

The Advanced Diploma is balanced between the knowledge necessary for training in counselling and psychotherapy; the skills important to ensure appropriate intervention; a recognition of the importance of supervision for practitioners and the importance of reflective practice to increase self-awareness and personal growth throughout the course.

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Academic level and time commitment


The Course has a strong research focus enabling practitioners to develop the ability to put research into practice to further theoretical knowledge in the counselling field. Students will be required to submit a research proposal and, on successful completion, may progress to an M.Sc.

This 2-year Advanced Diploma meets SCQF requirements at Level 11.

Each module is rated at 20 SCQF credits, which equates to 60 credits per year (80 credits if undertaking the children and young person’s module).

Applicants must be able to commit sufficient time over the 2 years to attend all the training days (incl one residential week per year), for individual study, their counselling placement and supervision.

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Course dates


The next Advanced Diploma course will take place in Glasgow between October 2019 and 2021. Full details of dates, timings and module participation schedule will be confirmed shortly.

Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling – Glasgow 2019-2021 dates

Dates Location
12 October 2019 The Spark Training Centre
13 October 2019 The Spark Training Centre
1 November 2019 The Spark Training Centre
15 November 2019 The Spark Training Centre
29 November 2019 The Spark Training Centre
13 December 2019 The Spark Training Centre
31 January 2020 The Spark Training Centre
14 February 2020 The Spark Training Centre
28 February 2020 The Spark Training Centre
13 March 2020 The Spark Training Centre
27 March 2020 The Spark Training Centre
10 April 2020 The Spark Training Centre
24 April 2020 The Spark Training Centre
8 May 2020 The Spark Training Centre
22 May 2020 The Spark Training Centre
5 June 2020 The Spark Training Centre
19 June 2020 The Spark Training Centre
14 August 2020 The Spark Training Centre
28 August 2020 The Spark Training Centre
11 September 2020 The Spark Training Centre

Participants are also required to complete at least one specialist module running on the following dates:

Module Dates Location
Intimate Relationships 3-7 February 2020 The Spark Training Centre
Children and Young People 30-31 March 2020
1-3 April 2020
The Spark Training Centre
Family Counselling 31 August 2020
1-4 September 2020
The Spark Training Centre

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Course fees


The Advanced Diploma costs £3,600 (£900 per module year).  £600 deposit is required on accepting a place.

All fees are non-refundable and VAT exempt.  A payment plan is available.

If your clinical practice placement is with The Spark, supervision will be provided.

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How to apply


To apply to join the course please download the application form and references document and return both via email.

Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling – application form

Advanced Diploma in Relational Counselling – references form

More information


If you have any questions about the course, please contact the Clinical Practice Team on 0141 222 2166 or email your queries.

Learn more about The Spark’s range of introductory, intermediate and advanced training in our Continuous Professional Development section.