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Route to becoming a counsellor with a sociology degree

Currently I’m in sixth form. I plan to do a sociology degree at university. I have a few career options in mind. One is to be a counsellor. I’ve done some research on it but can’t see a clear answer as to whether a sociology degree can be used to become a counsellor. Does anyone know what I would need to do during/after my degree in sociology?
Reply 1
Looks like counselling is a diploma level qualification, which does not necessarily need a degree to access. There are degree level qualifications, often combined with psychology. You might be able to find a sociology degree course with counselling modules, but I’m sure it would be fine for some post graduate study to become a counsellor. It’s a profession where aptitude is probably as important as the skills
Reply 2
Original post by Haider203
Currently I’m in sixth form. I plan to do a sociology degree at university. I have a few career options in mind. One is to be a counsellor. I’ve done some research on it but can’t see a clear answer as to whether a sociology degree can be used to become a counsellor. Does anyone know what I would need to do during/after my degree in sociology?

Hey!

You don't need a degree to become a counsellor, so there'd be nothing stopping you going onto counselling training after your degree. I trained as a counsellor by first doing a level 3 counselling skills certificate, which involved going to a local college one evening per week for one academic year, then doing a level 4 diploma in therapeutic counselling, which was also part-time over 2 years and involved 100 hours of placement (unpaid & sourced myself).

There are degree routes as well, but if you are set on sociology, this could be a good route. You could do a level 2 counselling course online during your time at uni - there are online courses that are shorter than the level 3 and 4 courses and they offer a good introduction to counselling. Alternatively, see if your uni offer counselling modules as an introduction.
Reply 3
If I was to complete a masters after my undergraduate in counselling, would I be able to go straight into work as a counsellor? Or would I have to do a doctorate after? I know that doctorates are very research based. I think I’m more suited to just doing a masters
Reply 4
Original post by Haider203
If I was to complete a masters after my undergraduate in counselling, would I be able to go straight into work as a counsellor? Or would I have to do a doctorate after? I know that doctorates are very research based. I think I’m more suited to just doing a masters

You don't even need a master's degree to work as a counsellor. Technically, anyone can work as a counsellor without any qualification, as it's not a protected title. However, to register with an organisation like the BACP, you will need to train up to at least level 4 (diploma), and complete a minimum of 100 client hours as part of your training. I would assume the master's would at the very least cover this. Most would allow you to register as a counsellor with the BACP and therefore start applying for roles as a counsellor. You wouldn't need a doctorate.
Reply 5
Original post by Nerol
You don't even need a master's degree to work as a counsellor. Technically, anyone can work as a counsellor without any qualification, as it's not a protected title. However, to register with an organisation like the BACP, you will need to train up to at least level 4 (diploma), and complete a minimum of 100 client hours as part of your training. I would assume the master's would at the very least cover this. Most would allow you to register as a counsellor with the BACP and therefore start applying for roles as a counsellor. You wouldn't need a doctorate.

The masters does cover this. I think it’s the equivalent of a level 4 diploma. Would I need to do extra training after? I’m not sure what you really need to become accredited and how to get accreditation
Reply 6
Original post by Haider203
The masters does cover this. I think it’s the equivalent of a level 4 diploma. Would I need to do extra training after? I’m not sure what you really need to become accredited and how to get accreditation

No, you wouldn't necessarily need more training, and you don't need to be accredited to work as a counsellor. If you want to be accredited with the BACP, you will need to work towards 450 hours of supervised clinical practice. This can include the 100 (or however many) hours you do through training. It can be tricky to find paid work as a counsellor before gaining accreditation, but it's not impossible. Check the BACP website for more information. There are other bodies you can register aside from the BACP, too, so you might want to check those out. You don't have to register with any of them, but a lot of employers ask for this.

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