COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills (SCQF level 8) CPD Award

Course code C8CC

What is special about this course?

The COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills (SCQF level 8) is aimed at a wide range of people who may benefit from improving and enhancing communication and listening skills. This may include: guidance personnel; those working in social care; HR/Management staff etc.

Applicants may also be interested in the opportunity to study Rogers’ person-centred approach whilst honing their own ability to reflect on self and build supportive relationships.

As well as offering an academic award which can be used to apply for further study, students are provided with a safe environment for personal development.

The award is validated by COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland).

Special features

  • The teaching team are all fully qualified and practicing counsellors
  • All teaching staff are members of COSCA and approved for teaching on the course
  • The course is available across several UHI academic partners

Entry requirements

  • You will be required to attend a group interview
  • You will be asked to complete a short, written piece of work (500 words) on the topic of “What can I bring to a counselling skills course?”
  • You will also take part in an experiential exercise
  • This will provide an opportunity for you to meet with the tutor and fellow applicants in a group setting
  • Tutors will use this time to gauge prospective students' motivation and commitment to the course, explain the nature of experiential learning to the group and answer any queries that may arise

CPD Award

You will study the following modules:

  • Beginnings: advanced communication skills
  • Exploration and expansion
  • Review and reflection
  • Integration 

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Day and evening courses are available at some locations - please contact your chosen campus for more information
  • Our classes are usually delivered face to face. This includes group teaching and counselling skills practice in triads, observed by tutors
  • January starts are only available via online, evening delivery. You willl be supported by staff at UHI Perth

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time (structured): 1 year @ 9-10 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): various

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland - course runs on alternate years, please see below for schedule

For students applying to UHI Shetland, this course is delivered every other year, as follows:

  • September 2024 - not running
  • September 2025 - apply links will open in September 2024
  • September 2026 - not running
  • September 2027 - apply links will open in September 2026

Start date

  • September
  • January (Perth only, fully online, evening delivery)


Most full-time students will have their fees paid.

Students on part-time courses may also be eligible to have their course fees waived.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

You will be liable for the cost of the module workbooks from COSCA (approx £20 total).

What can I do on completion of my course?

The course will enhance your skills and enrich your practice within any occupation.

Can I progress into further study?

Achieving the COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills (SCQF level 8) will allow you to apply for further study in counselling at HNC/D level.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills (SCQF level 8) CPD Award

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.