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Study Counselling abroad

About this subject

  • About this subject
  • Is this the course for me?
  • Careers prospects
  • Studying Counselling
  • Where to study?

Counselling is a form of psychological therapy that focuses on treating mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders and depression as well as fixing broken down relationships. Many people consider Sigmund Freud and his theories of psychoanalysis as providing the foundations on which the discipline was built.

However, while Sigmund Freud worked with patients known to have hysterical tendencies, today counselling can be accessed by number of people with personal problems. This change occurred within the 1940’s and 1950s when counselling was offered to veterans of the World Wars, and various talking therapies became more socially acceptable.

Is this the course for me?

Are you passionate about the human mind? Does the theory behind behavioural therapy fascinate you? Do you want a career that will allow you to do something worthwhile? If so, then a counselling course might just be perfect for you.

However, it is also important that students have a natural empathy with people. As part of the course, students will be expected to run their own supervised placements. Candidates should also be committed to their personal development, able to form long-term relationships and cope with the emotional demands of the course as well as demonstrate a high level of maturity.

If you meet these criteria and have the academic abilities to cope with the course content, then counselling may be a worth-while study option.

Careers prospects

Many graduates who study counselling at University level, do so with the hope of working as a counsellor upon graduation. However, it is important to note that if this is your plan, you should study on a professionally accredited course. With a graduate counsellor earning £19,000 per year in the UK, this is the perfect career path to take for caring individuals looking to pursue careers that allow them to make a significant social difference. Salaries may however differ depending upon the country in which you work.

However, for those who do not wish to work within the counselling industry, or struggling to find a job, there are a number of alternative careers paths open to those with counselling qualifications. Many graduates opt to for jobs within social care roles working with the young, the elderly and more vulnerable members of society as care workers and personal assistants.

Similarly, schools often seek to employ graduates with experience working with people to fulfil class-room assistant and educational mentoring roles. Counselling graduates can also work in conflict resolution roles and customer services jobs within business.

Studying Counselling

Most universities require potential students to demonstrate maturity and problem solving skills as well as a passion for the subject matter before being accepted on to the course. Previous qualifications in subjects such as sociology, psychology or even biology will help strengthen your application. Undergraduate degrees require students to have 3 A-levels and most postgraduate degrees will accept graduates with a 2.1 degree in a related subject. If you’re planning on using your qualification to pursue a career in counselling then check that your course of choice is accredited.

The length of your course will very much depend on the university and the level at which you study. However, most postgraduate courses last for a minimum of a year (for a full-time MA) and an undergraduate degree will last a minimum of 3-4 years. Provided that applicants meet the requirements can sit the IELTS test scoring a minimum of 6.0, then there’s nothing to stop non-native English speakers from applying for a position on any course.

As counselling can be studied at both undergraduate and post graduate level, there is a wide range of subject options available to those wishing to pursue specialist areas of interest.

Where to study?

Of course it is also important to choose somewhere that will make you happy for the duration of your course, particularly if you’re opting to live away from home. Your qualification will end up costing you a lot of money so it is important that you get the most out of your time as a student. Ensure that living costs and the course costs are within your budget. If you’re struggling to secure funding, there are a number of scholarships and grants available in order to help with course fees.

Most establishments will specify that applicants have specific A-level grades for undergraduate courses or a 2:1 degree for any post-graduate qualification. Before you decide on which course you should like to study, check that your academic grades meet the entry requirements.

When you are applying to study on a counselling course, it is important not only to look at the module options available to you, but also the practical hands-on experience that your university will allow you to gain during your studies. Many establishments will cultivate relationships with counselling centres and schools that will not only provide students with strong practical experiences, but will also allow for a diverse range of career opportunities.

What Counselling courses are there?


Counselling Skills (General)


Counselling Skills (Specialist)


Family Therapy


Addiction / Substance Abuse: Support / Counselling

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