Gestalt Counselling DipHE

Develop foundational counselling knowledge and gain the skills and practical experience you need to become a gestalt counsellor.

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

Level 3 Counselling skills qualification, English GCSE or equivalent at C and a maths GCSE or equivalent at D, and/or relevant A levels

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview


Do you have a background in counselling or psychology and a level 3 counselling qualification? Would you like to gain the practical knowledge and interpersonal skills you need to pursue a career as a Gestalt counsellor?

Gestalt counselling (from the German for 'whole' or 'pattern') is a holistic, humanistic approach to helping individuals understand themselves, their motivations and their surroundings as a whole. Gestalt practitioners help to find new perspectives to problems to bring about positive changes in peoples lives.

On this Gestalt Counselling DipHE, you'll learn how to help people reflect on their current thoughts, feelings and behaviours so they can better understand their current situation. This can help them deal with relationship problems and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and stress.

If you're in employment, this course can fit around your working week, with timetabled teaching taking place 1 day a week, workshops on 6 Saturdays throughout the course, and occasional events in the evenings and at weekends.

When you complete the course, you could top up your diploma to a Bachelor's degree. You could also work as a Gestalt counsellor in areas such as education, the police service, the prison service and the voluntary sector.

A modern building with decorative cladding and paved courtyard with seating, part of Eastleigh College

South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus

This course takes place at South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus.

While studying at South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus, you can access the University's student support services and community, including study support, the Students’ Union and our library's online resources.

Find out more about higher education courses at South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus in partnership with the University of Portsmouth on the South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus website.

Visit South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus

Course highlights

  • Study modules that give you a strong foundation for your studies and future career, covering topics including counselling theory and skills, gestalt theory and skills, mental health issues, and counselling specific groups
  • Learn from experienced, industry-trained staff who've worked in organisations or run their own private practices
  • Apply your knowledge and skills with at least 100 hours of supervised counselling on a placement in the community
  • Study at South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus with access to support and services at the University of Portsmouth
  • Apply for student membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and get access to member resources including journal subscriptions, free courses and job boards while you study

Alternative counselling and therapy courses

Not sure this course is right for you? Take a look at our other counselling and therapy courses to compare your options

If you're interested in gaining a Level 5 counselling qualification with a specialism in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), take a look at our DipHE Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course.

If you're interested in gaining a Level 5 counselling qualification with a specialism in Humanistic Counselling, take a look at our DipHE Humanistic Counselling course.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

DipHE Gestalt Counselling entry requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • Level 3 Counselling skills qualification, English GCSE or equivalent at C and a maths GCSE or equivalent at D, however we welcome applications from A level students with A levels in Psychology, Psychotherapy or Sociology (112 UCAS points) and will consider on an individual basis subject to a successful interview and interpersonal skills role-play.
    • A levels - BBC
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

Selection process

  • All applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting the course.

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Careers and opportunities

Gestalt counselling is a tool for helping people deal with difficulties including anxiety, depression, stress, self-confidence issues, bereavement, relationship difficulties or family problems.

Increased awareness in society about mental health and events such as the coronavirus pandemic have increased the demand for counselling and therapy services. As a counsellor, you can have a significant positive impact on people's health and wellbeing, and help take the pressure off other health services such as GPs and hospitals.

Public, private and charity sector settings you could work in after the course include:

  • Education
  • Alcohol and drug services
  • Eating disorder services
  • Mental health services
  • GPs
  • Police and prison services

You could also top-up your diploma to a Bachelor's degree on our BSc (Hons) Gestalt Counselling top-up course.

When you complete the course successfully, you can sit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Certificate of Proficiency to become a registered member of the BACP.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Supervised counselling placement

You'll complete 100 hours on a supervised counselling placement as part of your course.

Recent students have taken placements at CRUSE Bereavement Care, Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling (PARCS), Yellow Door (counselling for sexual and domestic abuse victims) and other counselling services.

We'll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You'll get mentoring and support throughout, including regular supervision and skills clinics every other week. You'll enter into a written contract with the placement provider and South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus and your practical counselling skills will be assessed by case study and a coursework portfolio.

All placements provided are evaluated to ensure the setting provides a suitable learning environment for you.


On this course, you'll study modules worth 240 credits.

Note these modules are based on courses starting in 2023. We'll confirm 2024 modules here soon.

What you'll study

Core modules in this year include:

  • Development of Counselling Skills – 40 credits
  • Developments in Counselling Theory – 40 credits
  • Personal Development – 20 credits
  • Professional Issues for the Counselling Practitioner – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Counselling Specific Clients' Groups – 20 credits
  • Gestalt Counselling Skills – 20 credits
  • Gestalt Counselling Theory – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Research Methodologies – 20 credits
  • Mental Health Issues – 20 credits
  • Professional Development – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.


In year 1, you'll develop foundational counselling skills and explore all the counselling approaches available to practitioners, including humanistic counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

In your second year, you'll focus on developing the practical skills you need as a gestalt counsellor, putting what you learn into practice by conducting 100 hours of supervised counselling. You'll also learn about mental health issues and develop skills you need to work with different types of clients.

You'll gain skills, knowledge and competence through learning methods that include:

  • Work-based learning
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Saturday workshops
  • Skills clinics
  • Personal development groups
  • Tutorials
  • Module handbooks
  • A virtual learning environment (VLE)

You'll also complete a minimum of 30-hours personal therapy. You'll demonstrate your personal learning and awareness from this process in a learning journal. We recommend you budget £750–£1500 a year for your personal therapy.

Teaching staff include experienced experts who have industry experience in paid counselling roles in organisations, or who run their own private practice.

How you're assessed

On this counselling diploma, you'll be assessed through:

  • Essays
  • Live skills assessments (role play scenarios)
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Portfolios of evidence
  • Case studies
  • Personal learning journals
  • Professional requirements (a 'Fitness to Practice' assessment)
  • Supervised work-based learning

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

Feedback is central to this course. You'll get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future, as well as on your application for the 'Fitness to Practice' assessment. You'll also practice giving feedback during live skills assessments, where you'll receive feedback from your peers, as well as the assessment tutor.

How you'll spend your time

We recommend you spend at least 28 hours a week studying for your DipHE:

  • In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as workshops and tutorials for 1 day a week. You'll spend about 20 hours a week on independent study such as research into areas of specific interests, maintaining your learning journal, personal therapy, and on placement.
  • In your second year you'll spend about 12–15 hours a week on independent study and have less scheduled teaching, but this can vary.

Teaching days and times

Timetabled teaching takes place 1 day a week. You'll also attend workshops on 6 Saturdays throughout the course. You may occasionally need to go to University and other course events in the evenings and at weekends.   

September 2024 start

Timetabled teaching will take place on Mondays, 1.15pm–9.00pm

February 2025 start

Timetabled teaching will take place on Mondays, 1.15pm–9.00pm

Term times

September start

The academic year runs from September to May with breaks at Christmas and Easter.

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2

February start

The academic year runs from March to February with breaks at Christmas and Easter, and an induction week in February.

  • March to July – teaching block 1
  • September to February – teaching block 2

You can find more detailed information on the South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus 'Key dates' webpage.

Supporting you

Even though you'll study at one of our partner colleges, you'll still be a student of the University of Portsmouth.

You'll have access to support via video, phone and face-to-face from University teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following University services:

Types of support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £6,165 a year
  • EU residents – £6,165 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 a year

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.


You'll need to become a student member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Student membership costs £82 a year.

You need to attend 30-hours of personal therapy on this course. We recommend you budget £750–£1500 a year for your personal therapy.

You'll do at least 100 hours of supervised work placement, so we recommend you budget for travel expenses to and from the placement.

Contact our Housing Support Team if you need help and advice about accommodation.


How to apply

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Applying through UCAS

To apply through UCAS, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B944
  • our institution code – P80
  • the campus name – South Hampshire College Group - Eastleigh Campus
  • the campus code – E

 Apply now through UCAS (September 2024)

 Apply now through UCAS (February 2025)


Applying directly

To apply directly, use our online form:

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.