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Level 4 Diploma in School-Based Child Counselling

Level 4 Diploma in School-Based Child Counselling

This one-year intensive course offers you an opportunity to qualify as a child counsellor and includes placement experience in a Place2Be partner school.


Our pioneering Level 4 programme will enable you to qualify as a child and young person’s counsellor with knowledge, skills and competencies that meet the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) training standards. After completion, you will be able to work therapeutically in a school environment with children and young people, delivering a whole-school approach to mental health.

The course is full-time (Monday to Friday) and includes practical experience working with primary-aged children on placement in a Place2Be Partner School. Learning is classroom-based, online and self-directed.

You’ll engage in experiential learning and self-exploration during this intensive course. Counselling safely is as much about understanding yourself as it is about understanding others.  

You need to be ready to commit yourself fully to the personal and professional development required to create a safe therapeutic space for children. Curiosity about the theoretical learning essential for ethical practice is important. Counselling training requires self-reflection, vulnerability and exploration, and it can be both emotionally difficult and enormously rewarding. You will need to undertake personal therapy to support your learning and the challenges that may arise.

It's important that those working as counsellors for children and young people reflect the pupils in our partner schools. We encourage applications from people currently underrepresented in the counselling profession, including:

  • people from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities 
  • people with disabilities 
  • men
  • care leavers
  • gender-diverse members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Are you passionate about training to work therapeutically with children and young people but need help funding your training? Our bursary funding is here to support you. For more information, please see the Fees and Funding Options section. 

Key information

  • Length
  • 12 months


    Next cohort
    September 2025 start
  • Location
  • London and Huddersfield, with school placements in surrounding areas

Fees and funding options

London course cost for 2025/26: £10,000

Huddersfield course cost for 2025/26: £6,000

If you're offered a place on our Level 4 Diploma, we'll ask you to confirm your place by enrolling on one of the following payment plans:

  1. the full course fee of either £10,000 (London) or £6,000 (Huddersfield)
  2. five monthly payments of either £2,000 (London) or £1,200 (Huddersfield)
  3. ten monthly payments of either £1,000 (London) or £600 (Huddersfield).

Financial support packages 

We want our Level 4 Diploma to be as accessible as possible, so we're offering financial support packages for eligible students. If you currently do not have any prior counselling qualifications, we are thrilled to announce you can now apply to join our bursary Level 2 and Level 3 courses. These cohorts will prepare you in time to apply for a bursary in September 2025.

For more information about a bursaries, take a look at:

Financial support could cover:

  • The financial support could cover:
  • your full tuition fee
  • a part of your tuition fee
  • living expenses over your 12-month course
  • a subsidy for personal therapy
  • further options to reclaim some travel and resource costs.

If you're offered financial support, we'll ask you to pay a £200 administration fee to confirm your place. If you're unable to pay this, we happy to talk about a manageable payment with you.

Course details


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for people who:

  • want to become a safe and ethical qualified counsellor with a focus on working with children
  • wish to learn vocationally within a school setting to work therapeutically with children and their families
  • want hands-on experience in the practical management of a whole-school service
  • are interested in pursuing a career with Place2Be in roles such as a Mental Health Practitioner or School Project Manager
  • are ready to take on an intensive fast-tracked, full-time study option
  • are at a point in their life and learning journey where they are ready to undergo self-discovery that will be both challenging and rewarding.


What will I get from the course?

On our Level 4 course, you will:

  • gain a therapeutic counselling qualification with a focus on working with children in a school environment, with skills to run a whole-school approach to supporting children’s mental health
  • develop a theoretical knowledge and understanding of our Therapeutic Approach and clinical delivery model and practical skills to deliver a counselling programme in a primary school
  • develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to operate safely, ethically, autonomously and accountably as a child counsellor, making use of the BACP ethical framework, relevant laws and safeguarding policies
  • develop the skills necessary to deliver mental health support in schools, demonstrating self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • actively engage with therapeutic interventions, including assessment and formulation, parent and carer meetings and reviews, safeguarding practices, multi-agency working, group work, one-to-one counselling, drop-in services and teaching/school staff consultations
  • actively develop an awareness of intersectional identities and differences to develop anti-oppressive practices.


What is the course structure?

This full-time course runs for a full calendar year. Each week, you'll participate in:

  • a one-day in-person classroom workshop
  • three days at a Place2Be partner school placement
  • a half-day online workshop.

You'll take part in interactive skills workshops and pre-professional training sessions during half-term breaks. There will be two two-week holiday breaks throughout the course, at Christmas and Easter.

Our next course starts in September 2025 and finishes in late summer 2026.

Where is the course run?

We're running our current Level 4 Diploma classroom-based workshops in:

  • London: Place2Be, 175 St John St, London, EC1V 4LW 
  • Huddersfield: The Media Centre, 7 Northumberland St, Huddersfield, HD1 1RL. 

School placements are taking place in surrounding areas. While we will do our best to match you with a Place2Be school close to you, we can’t guarantee this. You need to be prepared to travel up to 90 minutes by public transport to attend your school placement.


Course accreditation

Counselling and Psychotherapy  Central Awarding Body logo

Our Level 4 Diploma in School-Based Child Counselling is accredited by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB). The course includes 413 Guided Learning Hours and 100 Placement Hours.

We are working with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) to ensure our programme meets their criteria and requirements.

What happens after I qualify?

Once you've graduated, you will have a Level 4 Counselling Diploma with a special focus on working with children and in a school environment. This qualification will allow you to provide one-to-one therapeutic support to children.

You will receive career support throughout the course. We hope you continue your career journey with Place2Be by applying for a counsellor role with us at the end of your course. If not, your options include:

  • applying for various counsellor roles, particularly roles working therapeutically with children
  • gaining additional training and support to progress to working as an adult counsellor. 

For information about the kinds of roles this qualification can lead to outside of Place2Be, please see the jobs listed on the BACP website.

While receiving your qualification is an essential part of becoming a counsellor, it’s important to remember that it’s the first step on a lifelong learning journey. To have a successful career as a safe and ethical counsellor, you must commit to the continuous process of self-discovery and developing your learning over time.


Helpful links 

Read our Level 4 FAQs

Entry requirements

To be eligible for a place on the Level 4 course, you'll need to meet the following criteria, whether you're a self-funded or bursary applicant.


You must have:

  • a Level 3 Certificate in counselling completed face-to-face over 9-12 months with Place2Be or another accredited facility*
  • attended a Place2Be Taster Day within 18 months of enrolling on our Level 4 course
  • an interest in pursuing a career supporting children and young people’s mental health as a qualified counsellor 
  • a commitment to self-reflection and engagement in self-development, including the ability and willingness to complete personal therapy during your course 
  • a willingness to be playful and creative within your mobility 
  • spoken and written English to GCSE level 
  • the ability to travel to and around either Huddersfield or London for both classroom workshops and school placements  
  • the ability to take up full-time (Monday to Friday) learning if offered a place on the course.

*If you completed your Level 3 Certificate elsewhere, the course must have included:

  • at least 10 hours of clinical skills role-play practice
  • 92 hours of theory-guided learning
  • evidence of self-awareness through a reflective journal or group process
  • an overview of safe and ethical therapeutic practice.


We would like it if you also have the following:

  • experience working with or having meaningful interactions with children and/or young people that demonstrate your ability to achieve the standards of the course
  • previous personal experience with therapy or counselling in any context
  • an interest in difference and anti-oppressive practices as shown through reading, listening and viewing for personal interest.

You can find information about Eligibility Requirements for the financial support packages on our Bursary Pathway page.

Get started with our Level 2 Award and Level 3 Certificate

If you haven't completed a Level 2 or Level 3 course, the following Place2Be courses will prepare you in time. Our Level 2 and Level 3 courses are available in London, Manchester and Huddersfield. You can apply for our Level 4 Diploma in School-Based Child Counselling while completing our Level 3 course. We will check your certificate before the beginning of the Level 4 Diploma.

Introduction to Child Counselling Skills (Level 2 Award)


19 April - 21 June, with more dates to be announced.

Manchester or Huddersfield


Apply for our Level 2 Award

Intermediate Child Counselling Skills (Level 3 Certificate)

Please note, you must have completed an eligible Level 2 Award, with Place2Be or elsewhere, to apply for our Level 3 Certificate course.



Manchester or Huddersfield

12th April – 26th July, with more dates to be announced.

Apply for our Level 3 Certificate

Application process

Applications are currently closed. Please register your interest in our Level 4 Diploma by completing the form at the bottom of this page, and we will update you when we open applications for our next intake.

1. Submitting your application

Once applications open, your first step is to submit your application form, which we will post a link to on this page. We will assess application forms on a rolling basis. Applications will close once all the available places have been filled, so make sure you apply as early as possible so you don't miss out.

2. Attend your interview(s)

If you have completed Place2Be’s Level 3 Certificate and are shortlisted after submitting your application, you will be invited for an online one-to-one interview between January and February 2025.

If you have completed an external accredited Level 3 programme, you will be invited to an in-person group interview, followed by a one-to-one interview. Both will take place in early 2025.

3. We'll confirm your eligibility for a bursary

At this stage (early 2025), you'll be required to complete further checks on your bursary eligibility through our third-party administrator. They are a separate organisation that will perform assessments on our behalf to inform our bursary award decisions.

5. You'll be offered a place

If you secure a place on our Level 4 Diploma, we'll contact you letting you know in April 2025.


three people talking at table in Place2Be training room

Register your interest

Details of when our applications for our next intake will open are coming soon.

Sign up to be notified when applications open for our Level 4 Diploma in School-Based Child Counselling, or take a look at our other counselling training courses.

Register your interest in our Level 4 Diploma