A helpful word and a listening ear: 9 Counselling Courses to pick up a meaningful skill

Like to help others out or give them advice when they’re stuck in a rut? You could just be counsellor material. The act of counselling exists in a wide range of settings, in schools and in companies, coaching and mentoring others to overcome obstacles and uncover their strengths.

For some, counselling is their profession and for others, it’s a part of their job scope. Whichever you fall under and whatever level you’re at, we’ve put together a list that’ll help you get going. Do note that, however, that you’d require a minimum of a postgraduate diploma from a recognised course as well as 600 postgraduate clinical hours to be a professional (Singapore Associate for Counsellors) registered Counsellor. Without further ado, our list:

Short courses

Geared toward managers, supervisors, as well as team leaders, this workshop aims to help equip this group with the skills and knowledge that they’ll require to coach, counsel and mentor the staff under their care.

Accreditation: The British Council is EduTrust certified and also TrustSg accredited.

Curriculum: Covers the definitions of counselling, coaching and mentoring and touches briefly on each. The workshop will also touch on feedback (approaches and how to deal with challenging situations).  The workshop will incorporate role-plays, case studies, discussions and interactive tasks.

Duration: 2 days

Course Fees: $908.43 (including GST), SG$698.43 with e2i funding (including GST)

Prospects: You’ll be able to use basic counselling techniques to help your colleagues and better understand the role of a mentor.

For those who’re unfamiliar with para counsellors, they are also known as lay counsellors who do not possess formal counselling qualifications but have been trained in basic counselling, crisis intervention and peer support.  Some professions like teaching and the police force, due to the nature of their work or careers, might have to provide counselling in some form—this course caters toward this group and those who have to work alongside certified counselling professionals in their work.

Accreditation: The Social Service Institute is a key division under the Human Capital Development Group of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).

Curriculum: The course comprises of 5 modules. They are: 1) Introduction to counselling, 2) Models & Theories in Counselling, 3) Approaches in Counselling, 4) Counselling, Techniques and Communication and 5) Practicum for Counselling Skills

Duration: 60 hours over 3 months. Registration for the latest round is currently closed, do keep an eye out for the next round!

Course Fees: $2140.00 (GST included), $214.00 with SSG funding (GST included)

Prospects: The course’s learning outcomes propose that participants will leave better knowing how to explain counselling approaches, apply active listening skills and questioning techniques, and address communication barriers when communicating with clients.

This course targets those new to counselling! Like the course from SSI, it revolves around para-counselling and is taught by Mr. Alan Yeo, who has over 17 years’ experience as a therapist, and 27 years as a trainer and lecturer.

Curriculum:  Basics about the counselling process and learning/practicing basic counselling skills

Duration: 2 days. The latest round ended during Oct 2018, do keep an eye out for future rounds!

Course Fees: $535 (GST included), $235 with NSA Funding. Course is SkillsFuture Claimable

Prospects: You will be issued a Certificate of Performance upon completion (75% of course attendance necessary)


(A gentle reminder: this diploma focuses on career counselling!)

If you’re a career counselling practitioner or someone in a field that will touch heavily on career counselling, this course is for you. It aims to equip participants with essential coaching and counselling competencies that they can incorporate into their current roles, or to perform the role of a dedicated Career Counselling Practitioner.

Curriculum:  The course comprises of 2 Post Diploma Certificates, covering Counselling and Coaching as well as Career Development respectively. Module examples include Positive Psyschology and Psychometric Assessments, as well as Job and Labour Market Analysis. There will be self-learning in the form of e-learning, assessments, case study analyses and revision.

Duration: 255 hours (around 1 year). The latest round commenced in Oct 2018, do keep an eye out for future rounds!­­

Course Fees: $294.02-791.27 for Singaporeans (depending on grants), $2,073.66 for PRs, $5,184.15 for others/international students

Prospects:  Course outcomes include being able to coach and counsel clients at all stages of their career journeys to achieve their goals (examples being personal development/moving forward/job placements). Participants will also be able to recommend­, interpret and use relevant and appropriate psychometric tests.

Offered by Kaplan Higher Education Institute, this course accepts mature candidates and those with a minimum of A-level qualifications (with others reviewed on a case-by-case basis). For more information, do enquire directly with Kaplan.

Accreditation: Kaplan Singapore is EduTrust certified.

Curriculum: Consists of 8 subjects. They are: 1) Foundational Psychology, 2) Counselling Theories, 3) Counselling Skills, 4) Counselling Ethics, 5) Career Counselling, 6) Group Counselling, 7) Conflict Management and lastly, 8) Crisis Intervention.

Duration: 8 months (Both full-time and part-time available). The latest round commenced in Oct 2018, do keep an eye out for future rounds!­­

Course Fees: $5,082.50 for part-time, $5,403.50 for full-time (Singaporeans and PRs). Skillsfuture credit claimable. International students will have to pay $11,984.00. These figures exclude miscellaneous fees.

Prospects: Participants will graduate with a Diploma in Counselling from Kaplan Higher Education Institute.

Established in 2007, The School of Positive Psychology is the first school in Asia to promote the art, science & practice of Positive Psychology. Their Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counselling is taught through a mix of assignments, role-plays, presentations, discussions and exams. By the end of the course, participants will come away knowing counselling and psychotherapy techniques, and skills to work one-to-one with those who need guidance as well as support.

Accreditation: The School of Positive Psychology is registered with CPE.

Curriculum: The course includes modules like Foundational Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Psychotherapy and Counselling, as well as Family and Marital Counselling.

Duration: 12 months (part-time)

Course Fees: $7,704 (GST included)

Prospects: Course graduates can go on to pursue further studies or apply their knowledge in the workforce.


Offered by the Singapore University of Social Sciences this is, at present, the only locally offered degree focusing entirely on Counselling. The degree will include Counselling Practicum to obtain real-life experience, and students will undergo personal development sessions with SUSS’s counselling centre C-Three. Classes will be taught by both academics and experienced practitioners.

Curriculum: Read modules such as Human Growth and Life Span Development (Birth to Adolescence), Multicultural Counselling, as well as Understanding Psychological Disorders.

Duration: 3 years, full time

Course Fees: $15,211.07 – $19,101.59  for Singaporeans <40, $6,084.43 – $7,640.63 for Singaporeans >40. $27,041.90 – $33,958.38 for PRs. All figures are after Government subsidy.

Prospects: Graduates can go on to pursue a Master of Counselling from schools such as SIM, or enter the workforce to pursue careers in various industries (particularly in the people management and assistance type sectors).


James Cook University’s Master of Guidance and Counselling is geared primarily towards those looking to pursue a professional counselling career, those working in Human Resource, as well as teachers looking to qualify as school guidance counsellors. James Cook University is ranked 401st and above in Psychology in the Times Higher Education (THE) Rankings.

Accreditation: JCU Singapore is EduTrust certified.

Curriculum: Read modules like Foundations of Counselling Practice, Atypical Development, as well as Careers and Leisure Guidance & Counselling.

Duration: 28 months (part-time)

Course Fees: $37,236

Prospects: The degree is accredited by both the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) in Australia and in Singapore by the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC). Graduates can therefore pursue a counselling career in both countries or internationally.

Awarded by the Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), the Master of Counselling is an extension of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and the Graduate Diploma of Counselling (also offered by said university). Interested applicants with a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from a recognised university are welcome to apply. Exemptions are possible. Do note that there will be an interview.

Accreditation: The Academy is registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE)

Curriculum: Advanced counselling theories, Professional Practice and Counselling Settings, Advanced Counselling Placement, as well as Advanced Training in Cognitive Behavioural Interventions or Advanced Training in Family Therapy Interventions for elective choices.

Duration: 12 months

Course Fees: $18,729.71

Prospects: The course is accredited by the Singapore Association for Counselling and graduates have the option to pursue a professional counselling career.


We hope we’ve helped all of you in your career quests. Digital Senior wishes you the best of luck. If you’re a counsellor and have some advice for our readers,do drop us a note! We’re waiting.


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