Applications for 2021 are now closed. Applications will open again in early 2022.

Diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy

Welcome to the Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at GCA. The Diploma aims to provide a solid foundation in the integrative approach to counselling practice. The course recognises the unique strengths and qualities of the therapeutic relationship and is based on a humanistic client led philosophy, in line with Glasgow Council on Alcohol’s ethos. The course is theoretically informed by Humanistic, Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural theories. There is an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, empowerment of clients’ and awareness of social and cultural contexts as being at the core of therapeutic change.

Course requirements

  • 400 taught hours
  • 100 clinical hours
  • 40 hours personal therapy
  • Ongoing clinical supervision

Students on the Diploma can benefit from the opportunity to undertake a clinical placement within Glasgow council on alcohol, with free supervision included. Students who take up this option will have access to additional free training COSCA Certificate in Counselling people towards behavioural change

When does it run?

The Diploma is a part-time programme, delivered over 2 years. The academic year for the course runs from September to July.

We offer two options for part time study.

Option 1 – Study one weekend per month

Teaching that takes place at the weekend runs from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Friday, 9.30 am – 6:00 pm Saturday and 9.30 am – 6:00 pm Sunday over a 10-month period.
The weekend course will start in September 2021.

Option 2 – Study one evening each week

We also offer the diploma on a weekly basis, Wednesday evenings from 4pm until 9 pm for a 10-month period. We have a break at Christmas and Easter. The evening course will start in September 2021.

Both study options cover the same course syllabus.

If you chose to apply, please indicate which option of study you would be interested in clearly on the application.

The Diploma has been awarded initial validation from COSCA, the accrediting and validating body in Scotland for counsellors and counselling training.  We are currently working towards credit rating and banding with a University.

Entry Requirements

All applicants are considered based on suitability for the programme, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, religion or disability.  Glasgow Council on Alcohol recognises the value of learning wherever it occurs, either formal through structured education or informal through involvement in employment, community activities or life experiences to meet programme entry requirements or to achieve credit towards named awards.

Entry requirements will be that applicants will normally:

  • Have undertaken the COSCA certificate in Counselling Skills (SCQF Level 8) or equivalent.
  • Have experience of working with people in a field relevant to counselling, and a readiness to engage effectively in a counselling placement.
  • Have the capacity to work independently to ensure that they can achieve the standards necessary to complete the course satisfactorily.
  • Have a willingness to engage actively in all aspects of the course, including their own personal therapy.

It is desirable that potential students:

  • Be educated to Degree level in a related field
  • Applicants who have prior/experiential learning can apply to be considered under our APEL procedure and will be invited to submit a portfolio for assessment

Further information

Graduates of the 2-year Diploma course will have satisfied the training requirements necessary for individual accreditation with the COSCA. At this point students will be qualified counsellors working towards accreditation. Graduates may also be eligible to become accredited with BACP if they have completed both COSCA Skills and the Diploma and meet the required clinical practice hours.

For more information on accreditation, please see the COSCA and BACP website:



How is the course assessed?

A minimum attendance of 85% of the teaching sessions is required to Graduate.

There are formal or ‘summative’ assessments at the end of each module. Assessment methods are varied and include essays, presentations, taped transcripts, case study and observed clinical skills practice. You will also be assessed by your peer group on the course.

Your placement and clinical supervisor will also submit an annual report. All marking is cross marked and we also have an external examiner to ensure that marking is fair and consistent.

You will receive feedback on all formal assessments to support your learning.

Students are assessed each year and given specific recommendations on areas they need to work on and whether they are ready to progress to the next year. Students can be asked to repeat modules or take time out of training.

What do our current students say about our course?

“knowledgeable, supportive, reassuring and compassionately challenging”-
“really informative and thought provoking”-
“honest, passionate, knowledgeable, well-paced”-
“love it and have learned a lot about myself”-
“the tutor’s feedback around areas for development is very useful”-
“it is so varied and informative”-

How do I apply?

Please submit a web based application (below) detailing your education, training, current and previous work experience.  In addition to the online application form you will also be asked to submit details of two referees and your C.V. if you are invited to interview.

Successful applicants will be invited to a formal structured interview.

Where English is not your first language; an IELTS level 6 or equivalent Certificate of English is required.

How much will it cost?

The fee for the Diploma in Integrative Counselling is £6,800, which includes an in-house clinical placement and in-house supervision. The fee can be paid as follows:

Fee: £6800 (£3400 per year)

Non-refundable deposit: £250

Students can make arrangements with GCA to split the costs into monthly repayments by Standing Order

When will the course run next?

September 2022. Applications will open again in early 2022.


Students are expected to complete 100 hours of clinical practice during the course. There is an option to have a placement with the Glasgow Council on Alcohol, and if students take up this option they will also receive clinical supervision for free as part of the placement.

Students who undertake their clinical placement with Glasgow Council on Alcohol will be expected to undertake additional training leading to a COSCA validated Certificate in Behavioural Change. This certificate level training is offered free to participants on placement.

Students who prefer to undertake their placement elsewhere are encouraged to source their own placement and have this approved by course tutors. Clinical Supervision would need to be sourced externally and paid for by the student in these circumstances.

Personal Therapy

Students are expected to be in personal therapy for a minimum 40 hours during the training. Fees for personal therapy are not included in the fee for the course.

Where does the training take place?

We are currently conducting classes online via Zoom.

Our training is normally delivered in the GCA training suite, Floor 1, 14 North Claremont Street. Our facilities include a comfortable room for our learning groups, a fully functional kitchen for students use and break out rooms for small group work and skills practice.

  • gca-map
  • counselling-room

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