Counselling & Psychotherapy  ≡ 

Group discussionAdvanced Diploma in Integrative 

Accredited by the British Association for Counselling
& Psychotherapy (BACP)

  • Outstanding individual support.
  • Unique classroom setting (experiential and theoretical).
  • Gain professional qualification in order to practice as a therapist. 

Iron Mill College welcomes all those who enjoy environments of learning with class discussions, and opportunities for self-reflection, self -awareness and research activity. We encourage and support both the self-examination and learning process of our students and have over many years established an excellent reputation for our BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling.

Essential components of the diploma are focused on building meaningful relationships, integrating counselling knowledge and offering students a wide range of applied skills relevant for those who seek a professional counselling qualification.

Our diploma promotes creativity, and experiential learning amid an atmosphere of community where we are committed to assisting in the development of students individual growth as a counsellor, with an emphasis on active participation within the counselling profession.

Click here for more information regarding learning with Iron Mill College in 2021 and beyond.

For our COVID-19 announcements and regulations, please click here. 


BACP Accredited Course Logo

This course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). It has been accredited since June 1998.

**New** Achieve the Iron Mill College (IMC) Introduction to Counselling Young People (CYP) Award at no additional cost. Find out more under Syllabus.

Professional Development Offer: 
All new students to Iron Mill College who enroll on the 2021 Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling will be given 3 FREE Study Skills Sessions and 1 FREE CPD Day for each complete year of study.* 

Course Details

The Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling consists of:

  • 400 taught contact hours.
  • Completion of 150 placement hours (subject passing the competence to practice document).
  • 40 hours of personal therapy.
  • face to face supervision to the required standards and amounts.
  • Successful completion of all course requirements exactly as listed on the pre-viva criteria checklist.
  • The viva examination.

Award: BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (subject to successful completion of a Viva Examination).

NB: In order to meet all of the above requirements and to allow time for the pre-viva assessment process, the earliest possible date that students may take their viva, following the end of the taught course, is November (for those on Weekday courses) and July (for Easter intake courses). This means that, all conditions being successfully passed, your award will take a minimum of 2 years and 4 months to achieve (subject to exact viva dates), and cannot be completed any earlier. All students must have successfully achieved their award within 4 years of the start date of their course (please see the mitigating circumstances policy).

: BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (subject to successful completion of a Viva Examination).

Venue: Exeter and Poole

Upcoming Exeter intakes:

To view the full course schedule, please visit the downloads tab. If you're viewing this website page on mobile, please use desktop view. 

Spring 2022 - 26th May and 9th June 2022 introductory dates, thursday intake. 

Upcoming Poole intakes:

Spring 2022 - 19th and 26th May 2022 introductory dates, thursday intake. 
Deadline for applications is four weeks before the start of the intake and applications after this date will be at the discretion of the Programmes Lead.

Applicants for this course must already hold:


  • A 12 Day Certificate in Counselling


  • Professional training that included 12 days of counselling skills training

If you are applying with a certificate in counselling from an alternative training venue, you will need to provide clear evidence that your certificate has been achieved within the last 5 years, and of the number of training hours undertaken.  Older certificates will be accepted at the discretion of the Programmes Lead where there is also evidence of further relevant work, or study (workshops, online courses, conferences etc) taken since completion of the certificate. 

If you are applying because your professional training included counselling training you will need to provide clear evidence that the counselling training aspect was undertaken within the last 5 years.   Older training will be accepted at the discretion of the Programmes Lead where there is also evidence of further relevant work, or study (workshops, online courses, conferences etc) taken since completion of the training.  Additionally, you will need to provide evidence of the number of hours spent in counselling skills training.  

Distance learning will not meet our entry requirements, as there are limited, if any, formal contacts between the tutor and student and with other students. However, we recognise that during the current pandemic many courses previously taught ‘face to face’ are now being taught via live online classrooms.  If this is the case, please let us know and we will be able to advise you further on your eligibility.

It is not possible to undertake our Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling at the same time as our Certificate in Counselling. You may, however, apply for the Advanced Diploma while undertaking the Certificate course, if it is due to be completed before the Diploma intake you are applying for begins. In those circumstances, any offer of a place on the Diploma would be subject to successful completion of the Certificate course.

How to apply:

You can apply by submitting the following documents and items:

Application documents can be submitted by email to admissions@ironmill.co.uk

Please note: we are only accepting correspondence by email or phone throughout the coronavirus situation. 

Final application date

The deadline for applications is 6 weeks before the start of the course.  A decision will be made on whether the course will run, based on confirmed and accepted places, 4 weeks before the start date of the course.  Any applications received after the 6 week deadline will only be processed at the discretion of the Programmes Lead.

Selection for interview:

Selection is on the basis of information provided in your application (as above). The following criteria is also taken into account:

  • Formal qualifications and experience

  • Evidence of written English

  • Commitment and enthusiasm for counselling

  • Maturity and stability

  • Resilience

  • Self-awareness

In preparation for interview you are advised to look at the BACP website and the BACP Ethical Framework, which lists the values and personal qualities expected of counsellors

At interview:

Core teaching staff are involved in both the interviews and the selection process of applicants.

You will need to allow up to 3 hours for your interview and this will take the form of a group interview, followed by individual interviews. You will need to demonstrate to us your interpersonal skills and your relational capacity to effectively participate with others, with an awareness of difference and equality within the group environment.

Throughout the interview you will be invited to reflect upon your prior life experiences by using your self-awareness, your skills in self-reflection and maturity, using personal examples of how you have integrated your responses to those experiences. You will need to evidence your ability to engage with the academic requirements of the programme. Your application will necessitate you to be at the right time in your life, so you are able to engage fully with the training.

We will be looking for the following qualities (as identified in the BACP Gold Book 2009):

  • Self-awareness, maturity and stability

  • Ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience

  • Capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course

  • Ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirements

  • Ability to form a helping relationship

  • Ability to be self critical and use both positive and negative feedback

  • Awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression

  • Awareness of issues of difference and equality

  • Ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support

  • Competence in, or the aptitude to develop generic professional skills, including: literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self management skills, communication and interpersonal skills.

We thank you for attending the interview and will write to you outlining the outcome of your interview.

The academic requirements of the Advanced Diploma require you to have sufficient IT skills to complete the course.

We ask you to note on your application any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, so that we can provide you with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter.

Please note:

Our agreement with you covers the period of your training however progression through the Advanced Diploma is not automatic and is subject to the satisfactory completion of the course requirements, including minimum attendance, personal development, assessments and meeting the criteria for placement. We reserve the right to defer a student or terminate their training based upon our professional experience.

Recognition of Prior Learning (APL): 

To ensure that all students meet the criteria for BACP registration, RPL is not permitted. Students need to complete the course in its entirety. 

Upcoming intakes:


26th May and 9th June 2022, Thursday intake. 


19th and 26th May 2022, Thursday intake.

Please find full details on our Course Details page.

Accredited by:

BACP Accredited Course Logo

BACP is recognised as the leading accreditation body for training courses in counselling and psychotherapy. We build strong collaborative relationships with our accredited courses providers, working together to share knowledge and develop the highest standards of professional practice.

By choosing a BACP accredited course, you can be sure that:
  • the course content, delivery and assessment meet the highest professional standards
  • the course is mapped to external benchmark standards and curricula (for example QAA standards, BACP core curricula)
  • the tutor team meets BACP teaching, experience and practice requirements
  • the learning environment and resources are appropriate for high-quality practitioner training
  • the course assessment and moderation are externally assured
  • the course and practice requirements satisfy BACP membership and individual accreditation training requirements
  • the course is subject to ongoing BACP quality assurance
Successful graduates of BACP accredited courses can apply to join the BACP Register directly without having to sit our Certificate of Proficiency.
For further information, please visit:
BACP - Careers in Counselling
or BACP - Course Accreditation

What our Students Say

"The balance of the skills and theory taught and what other students bring to the group provides a rich learning environment, which is great for all types of students!"
Antoinette Buisman - Advanced Transactional Analysis Student

What our Students Say

“A terrific learning experience and very enjoyable. You don't need to be an academic, plenty of hands-on practice.”
Ruth Cutts - Certificate & Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling Graduate
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