Introduction to Counselling


A short course exploring human development and relationships from a therapeutic perspective.

Participants will learn about key psychotherapeutic concepts and modalities, developing their listening, helping and observational skills in a friendly and supportive environment. These skills are transferrable to many occupational roles and will also provide a basic introduction to those contemplating further training.

We are also running another Introduction to Counselling weekly learning class which starts on Monday 26 September 2022. This class meets weekly on Monday evenings and has a lower cost due to the sessions being shorter (so therefore a lower number of overall contact hours with the course tutor).

Programme details

Courses starts: 27 Sep 2022

Week 1: Beginnings

Week 2: What is counselling?

Week 3: Key concepts

Week 4: Life stages

Week 5: Ourselves and others

Week 6:  Defences

Week 7: The therapeutic relationship

Week 8: Theory into practice

Week 9: What next? Transferrable skills

Week 10: Review and Endings


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £438.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Miss Laura McDonald

Laura McDonald is a counsellor and psychotherapist. She works with schools and colleges to set up and run counselling services, delivers professional development and training, writes about counselling issues and practices in Oxford.

Course aims

An introduction to counselling theory and listening skills. We will develop interpersonal skills, explore relationships on everyday life and provide insights into human development and behaviour. The course utilises participants' personal experience along with a variety of teaching methods.

Course objectives

1. Explore models of human development and how we form relationships.

2. Acquire a basic understanding of counselling theory.

3. Enhance participants' listening and helping skills.

Teaching methods

The course will employ theoretical, practical and experiential learning.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. demonstrate a basic understanding of counselling theory and concepts;

2. understand how to listen to others effectively and empathically;

3. have an enhanced understanding of their personal and professional development.

Assessment methods

Students will be asked to complete a summative assignment in the form of an essay (approx. 1500 words). Details will be given by the tutor in the last few weeks of the course.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


Applications are received on a first come, first served basis. All applicants are required to attend a brief informal interview with the course tutor prior to being accepted onto this course. Therefore, direct online enrolments are not available. Instead, please download and complete BOTH forms below and return them to the Weekly Class Programme Office:

It is anticipated that the interviews will take place approximately one month prior to course start.

Payment for the course will be arranged once the interviews have occurred and places are officially offered.

1. Enrolment Form (PDF)

   Enrolment Form (Word)

2. Counselling Application Form


If you have any questions about the enrolment process please contact us.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)