Our Level 3 Counselling course has celebratory feedback

We visited our Counselling Level 3 class to hear how the new flexible course at Chesterfield College is allowing our mature students to gain a career that suits their aspirations and interests.

The 3-hour course allows students to fit their studies around their evening or daytime commitments and routines.

Kirsty, the course tutor told us about the course and who it’s aimed at,

“The course is for anyone over the age of 19 who is looking to progress in their career as a counsellor. Level 3 is more of a commitment than Level 2. It is about the theory, and about practising the skills and thinking about progressing to Level 4 which is where you’ll start working with clients.

Level 2 is about basic skills, communication skills, theory, confidentiality and ethics. That course is for anyone that wants to test out what it’s like to be a counsellor or they just want to develop their own communication skills and they feel like it might be useful for their jobs.

Level 3 is the next progression, you have to do Level 2 to access Level 3. Level 3 is more of a commitment, you learn about psychodynamics, the humanistic approach and CBT. There’s a lot of self-development, so it can be quite intense. You learn about concepts and you can relate these to your own person. We write journals every week where you are reflecting on yourself and learning. If you learn the skills for yourself you can practice these on other people.”

Sidonie Kerring

We asked the students why they chose the course, how they are finding studying as mature students and where they hope the qualification will lead them.

Sidonie told us about how coming to college as a mature student has made her feel empowered.

“I think as an adult you are more confident In yourself. I remember being here 10 years ago I was nervous, insecure and not sure what I wanted to do. I’m here 30 mins early, I can’t wait to get here. I think it’s so satisfying doing something as an adult learner, you just feel, quite empowered by it.”

Sidonie is currently a dental nurse but after personal experiences, she decided she wanted a career change.

“I am a dental nurse at the moment, so I have always worked within the NHS and dental care. I’ve had a lot of personal issues myself and I’ve had counselling myself, so I can see how important it is to people and I just think it would be a great way to go down. Especially with the pandemic, it’s clear that counselling is something that everybody can benefit from.”

Leah Lines

Leah told us how the course exceeded her expectations and has allowed her to forge her career.

“The course has exceeded my expectations in every way. You have this misconception as an adult that going to college instead of a university is something to be ashamed of, but I actually feel like I’m learning at a university level, even at Level 2 and Level 3.”

“I feel very hopeful about employment after this course, I feel like I’m getting to know the right people and being encouraged to take extracurricular activities. Volunteering is giving me experience, so when I do want a job, I feel very very ready for it. It’s more than just education, it’s the experience that comes with it.”

Leah believes the course is not only for those wanted to practice as counsellors, it’s for those who just want to find out what route they should take in life.

“I would recommend so many people to this college, even if you don’t have aspirations to become a fully qualified counsellor. The skills and the community you gain from the college and the course is unreplaceable. Level 2 will open your mind to so much, and it can even navigate you to other routes. I would tell everyone to give it a go.”


Richard has had a complete career change after working for the Royal Mail for the past 28 years, he wanted a career that he could be proud of.

“When I saw the course specification, I thought that it would be good for my listening skills as I can talk but I need to learn how to listen better.

Within 4/5 weeks I thought this could be something. Covid kicked in, so it changed the whole dynamic of life, I was trying to find something I wanted to do with myself. I wanted something people based.

I didn’t set out for a new career, I’m 60 this year and I don’t want to be working for 30 years. It feels like I have a limited shelf life and that I want to squeeze it in but at the same time, I don’t want it to be rushed. For me, it gives me a sense of worth, I’ve always wanted to be proud of something and I am.”

Richard shared some advice for other mature students who might be having second thoughts,

“The worlds your oyster, never give up on aspirations, as you get older you have more responsibilities, but find those like-minded people and your own determination.”


Monika’s friends convinced her that being a counsellor, was something that would suit her and her personality.

“During in lockdown, work completely stopped, I did a few online courses relating to counselling and it sparked an interest. I also have experience helping friends with difficult times and they told me that this is my path, something I should do with my life, otherwise, it is going to be a waste. Learning something new is always good so I thought why not!”

This is the perfect course for anyone interested in becoming a counsellor, improving their people skills or progressing their career. Kirsty is passionate about providing a safe environment for her students where they can support each other. She likes to support learning through discussion, creative learning, self-learning and asking questions.

Apply for our September 2022 course here!

Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.