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** This course will next run in September 2019 **

An online short course to equip you with skills in counselling and mentoring to benefit your own professional practice, especially in supporting young people.

Learn from experienced academics in our School of Education, at the forefront of research and highly experienced in teaching these professional skills.   

A flexible route to develop your career in teaching or related role, working at your own pace, at any location, and fitting your learning around your work and personal commitments.


This course is designed to help you grow your role and effectiveness in counselling and mentoring, especially with young people and in an educational environment.

It can act as a taster to introduce you to the theory and practice of counselling and mentoring, and is a route to our highly popular online programme in Pastoral Care Guidance and Pupil Support. You can study this programme, all online, at PgCert, PgDip or full Masters degree level.

You’ll grow your understanding of the theoretical concepts and principles underpinning approaches to counselling and mentoring, and reflect critically on your own attitudinal qualities, plus your interpersonal and communication skills as a counsellor, mentor and mentee. You’ll also develop your practical skills in counselling, coaching and mentoring in your own work setting.

We’ve designed this short course to appeal widely to you as a professional working in a supportive capacity with young people, either in secondary or any school level, and also in social work, health promotion, and working with young people in a community setting. This course will also be useful for anyone working with colleagues in any sector of employment.

Aberdeen is a recognised centre of excellence in counselling and mentoring in all sectors of work, and our team of highly experienced tutors have delivered these courses for many years. We are also at the forefront of research on this theme, and are known for our commitment to underpin teaching with the latest quality research findings.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of reputation, breadth of expertise, long experience, teaching and research strength, and strong international outlook makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education to grow your skills in use of academic literature.

We combine over 500 years of rich academic heritage with 21st century innovation and dynamism to create and deliver world class programmes, all underpinned by our inclusive and welcoming learning environment.

Aberdeen’s School of Education is recognised as a national and international centre of excellence for creative and innovative thinking and practice, with a long and distinguished record in connecting theory and practice in learning in a culturally stimulating, hi-tech, creative environment.

You’ll learn from highly-qualified, experienced staff who bring a wide range of expertise in learning and teaching, and are recognised for research in their specialist fields and the strong partnerships developed with schools and communities, education authorities and other professionals.

You will benefit from a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning that will enhance your critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills, combining this with all the advantages of learning in an international online community to suit your location, employment and personal commitments.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or as an introduction to continuing your professional development with a PgCert, PgDip, and progress to a full online Masters programme in Pastoral Care Guidance and Pupil Support.

What you'll study

This course is designed to extend your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of in counselling and mentoring, and grow your practical skills. 

You’ll develop a critical understanding of the theoretical concepts and principles underpinning approaches to counselling and mentoring, and reflect critically on your own attitudinal qualities, and your interpersonal and communication skills when in the role of counsellor, mentor and mentee.

You’ll enhance your skills as a counsellor and mentor in an educational context, and contribute to enhancing the quality of provision within your community through undertaking counselling, coaching and mentoring-related activities, reflecting on the impact of your role on yourself and others.

Your programme is fully online but very hands-on as you learn basic skills in the person-centred approach developed by American psychologist Carl Rogers, and the goal-centred, ‘skilled helper’ work of Gerard Egan.

How you'll study

This online, distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an international online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

Your course material will be uploaded to the VLE for you to work at your own pace, guided by a schedule to help you keep on track. You’ll learn as part of a ‘study buddy’ group, discussing tasks together, and sharing ideas and good practice. You’ll be expected to contribute around 150 hours of effort over 15 weeks, including studying online resources, taking part in online sessions with your course tutor, and contributing to discussion boards with your classmates.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you are not alone in your study. Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the convenience of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


Formative assessment is an important component of your programme, evaluating your learning at the end of each specific unit by comparing it against a standard. You will have two formative assessments during your course, which may involve tutor, peer or self-assessment. Each is worth 25% of your final mark and will focus on practical applications of counselling and mentoring in the workplace.

Your final, summative assignment will take the form of a 6,000-word submission which is worth 50% of your final grade, and for which you will receive lots of support and feedback.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:2 or above from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this qualification may be admitted at the discretion of the Programme Director subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of experience, appropriate to the field of study.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.