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Counselling lecturer delivering class to counselling students at Anniesland Campus
Anniesland Campus
SCQF Level
Start Date
26 Aug 2024
Qualification Type
Course Type
1 Year (August to June)

HND Counselling (Level 8) is an incredibly popular course which is jointly awarded by the SQA and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). HND Counselling builds on the skills and knowledge gained on the HNC Counselling course.

It aims to develop learners' ability to form a therapeutic relationship with clients in a range of counselling settings and to develop skills in research, evaluation and personal development. It will also develop learners' awareness of the health, safety and security requirements for safe working.

Once the HND Counselling is completed, it enables professional registration as a Counsellor and a Member of the BACP.

What will I learn?

This HND Counselling qualification incorporates the study of counselling skills, counselling theory, professional values, principles, and ethics, alongside enhanced self-reflection and awareness, whilst you build your practice experience to achieve the mandatory 100 hours of supervised client contact on placement.

The BACP ethical framework for counselling professions is embedded throughout this course and you will be given the opportunity to develop your counselling skills, reflective knowledge and awareness via supervised practice with clients. Further study of the importance of contractual relationships and ethical and regulatory frameworks will also be covered.

The HND incorporates the following units of study:  

  • Contemporary humanistic counselling theory  
  • Contemporary pluralistic counselling 
  • Psychopathology for counsellors  
  • Personal development in a therapeutic setting      
  • Group experience: Humanistic approach     
  • Professional standards   
  • Self-Evaluation for counsellors   
  • Supervised practice   
  • Values and principles for practice 
  • Graded unit 2 

The HND Counselling course is highly demanding and requires attendance of three days per week combined with two days per week in supervised practice and self-directed study. 

The course will be delivered by experienced professionals, using a broad range of assessment methods, including case studies, essays, reflective accounts and closed book online examination (Certificate of Proficiency - CoP). 

You will be required to gain Student Membership of BACP prior to beginning direct practice and be covered by an appropriate Indemnity Insurance policy. A PVG Disclosure will be required. 

You must attend a minimum of 400 taught hours and 100 hours of client contact to be eligible for progressing to the BACP CoP at the end of the course. Clinical supervision, while workign with clients on placement is a mandatory requirement. You may need to pay privately for your own supervision should it not be provided by the placement provider. Personal therapy is recommended but is not a madatory requirement.

(The BACP is the professional association for members of the counselling professions in the UK).     

Entry requirements (minimum)


  • Aged 18 years or over before course start date due to PVG and Child Protection Legislation requirements
  • 15 credits HNC Counselling (SCQF Level 7) with a Grade A in the Graded Unit
  • A minimum of 90% attendance on HNC Counselling
  • A verified supporting reference 

Jobs and further study

How to become a counsellor in Scotland

This course is approved by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and is a recognised route to professional registration. The final unit leads to an externally assessed Certificate of Proficiency which is accepted nationally as an indication of safety and competency as a counsellor.

Successful students may apply to join the BACP national register as professionally registered counsellors.

Making an application

For courses starting in August, you can make up to two applications.

Applications are made to a course and a first choice of campus. If the course is oversubscribed at your first choice you will be automatically considered for alternative sites and may be made an offer without a further application.

I've applied — what happens next?

When you apply 
You will receive an automated email confirming that we have received your application (remember to check your SPAM folder). 

Your application will be reviewed by the admissions team and you will either be: 

  • Invited to book an interview session. Those considered suitable after reviewing their qualifications, experience and personal statements will be invited to a group interview with an external panel and a member of the teaching team which will take place in May or June.  

The group interview will cover an ethical dilemma where you must demonstrate advanced interpersonal skills as well as the potential for developing the following: 

- self-awareness, maturity and stability including taking responsibility for your own level of engagement within a group process   

- ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience   

- ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirement   

- ability to form a helping relationship   

- ability to be self-critical and use both positive and negative feedback   

- ability to reflect honestly on your personal strengths and your areas for development is vital   

- ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support   

- capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course   

- evidence of extensive background reading   

- demonstrate your ability to meet deadlines   

- awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression   

- awareness of issues of difference and equality   

- competence in, or the aptitude to develop generic professional skills.    

  • Advised that your application is unsuccessful – you have not met the entry requirements for this course and are advised to contact the College Student Advice Centres to discuss alternative options which may be available to you. 
  • We aim not to reject an application and if you don’t meet the entry requirements you may be referred to a different course or level.  

If you are invited to interview, you will be informed of the outcome of your interview by email within 14 working days. Selection outcomes are based upon careful consideration of your interview performance, qualifications and/or relevant workplace experience and two supportive and verifiable references. 

The outcome will be one of the following: 

  • Unconditional offer of a place – you have met all the entry requirements and your place is guaranteed. You will be required to accept this offer to secure your place. 
  • Conditional offer of a place – your place is secured pending you meeting the entry requirements. This may mean achieving school or college qualifications which you may not be able to provide to us yet. You will be required to accept this offer to secure your conditional place. Once your conditions are met this will change to an unconditional offer of a place which you must accept before you can enrol on the course.  
  • Waiting list – you have met all entry requirements, and have been interviewed however, the course is now full so you have been placed on a waiting list. If any spaces become available you may be contacted, usually around the course start date. We would advise that you also consider other application options. 
  • Reserve listfollowing your interview, you have unfortunately not been successful in this round of recruitment. We have placed your name on a Reserve list and your application may be reconsidered at a later date. This could happen any time up to the start date of the course but it is very possible that you will not be offered a place. We would advise that you also consider other application options. 
  • Unsuccessful – your interview has been unsuccessful. You may be offered a place on a course at a different level, or advised to contact the College Student Advice Centres to discuss alternative options which may be available to you. 

Once an offer is received, you must reply within 14 working days or risk losing your place, as the system will automatically decline your offer after 14 days. 

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be sent out instructions about student funding, joining instructions and induction date. This will normally be sent out in July.

More questions? Contact us about this course

0141 357 6189