Counselling Courses in Sheffield:
The Definitive Guide


Would you like to explore the possibility of building or advancing your career in counselling?

Explore the variety of counselling courses in Sheffield through our informative guide.

Whether you are a novice or an experienced professional, we have everything you need to make an informed decision about the ideal course for you.

Start taking the next step in your counselling journey today!

1. Counselling in Sheffield
2. Qualifications available
3. Sheffield course providers
4. Classroom Vs Online
5. Why choose Connect?

1. What does counselling in Sheffield look like?

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As a counsellor, Sheffield is an excellent place to live and work. With a growing demand for mental health services in the area, there are plenty of opportunities for counsellors to work in both private practice and public healthcare. The city has a diverse population, allowing counsellors to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. 

Additionally, Sheffield has a fantastic network of mental health services and counselling practices, providing ongoing professional development opportunities and a supportive community. The city has a strong sense of community, friendly people, and plenty of local events and activities, while the surrounding countryside (including the stunning Peak District) offers a peaceful retreat. 

Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons why we think you should consider training and working as a counsellor in Sheffield. 


Mental health is a major focus in the area. Over the past decade, lots of work has been done to improve mental health outcomes in the Sheffield area, and the success of this work means that Sheffield is now seen as a trailblazer for mental health service transformation in the UK. 

This work has led to the development of a strong network of NHS and private organisations and charities working together to tackle mental health issues in the area. Not only does this mean there are lots of job opportunities for qualified counsellors, but there are lots of support and resources for those working in mental health in Sheffield.

There is the opportunity to make a difference in local communities. While Sheffield has experienced success in transforming its mental health services, it’s still acknowledged that more work is needed. In particular, mental health inequalities still exist in deprived communities and vulnerable groups, and bridging these gaps is now a key focus for local authorities. As a result, there continues to be a demand for high-quality mental health professionals, including counsellors. It also presents the chance for you, as a counsellor, to make a significant impact in the local community.

Sheffield offers a wide range of opportunities for counsellors. As mentioned above, there is a strong network of different NHS and private organisations and charities offering mental health services in Sheffield. So, whether you’re interested in working with young people, couples or individuals, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to train and work in your desired area. 

Here are a few examples to demonstrate the variety of different organisations you could work for in Sheffield: 

  • IAPT Sheffield is an NHS service that offers counselling to adults living or working in Sheffield.
  • Sheffield Mind offers various mental health services, including free counselling for adults registered with a Sheffield GP. They also have counselling services to meet specific needs, such as for victims of domestic abuse and bereavement counselling. 
  • Life After Crisis offers counselling for people who are in a state of crisis, such as a violent relationship or homelessness, in the Sheffield community. 
  • SAYiT offers mental health support, including counselling, for young people aged 11-25 years old who identify as  LGBT+ or are struggling with their gender identity or sexuality. 
  • The University of Sheffield offers counselling to its students as part of its mental health services.

And that’s just to name a few! There are many more organisations doing critical mental health work in the local Sheffield community. There are also numerous training providers that offer counselling courses in Sheffield to help you kickstart your career in this rewarding field (more on these soon!).

Sheffield CPCAB Level 4 Course – September 2024

Enrolment for our Sheffield-based CPCAB Level 4 course is now open!

Become a qualified counsellor in two years with our part-time course, consisting of 60 live sessions spread across two years.

2. What qualifications are available to me?

Now, you might be asking yourself, what qualifications do I need to work as a counsellor in Sheffield? 


And the answer is… technically, none at all! Yes, you read that right! Unfortunately, counselling has yet to become a regulated profession in the UK, which means anyone can start working as a counsellor in Sheffield. But before you get too excited, this is certainly not something that is recommended. 

Counselling is a challenging profession, and you’ll often be dealing with sensitive issues and situations. So, it’s recommended that you undertake training to ensure that you have the right skills and experience to deal with these effectively. Also, these days, counselling agencies and clients are increasingly seeking out counsellors who have a qualification accredited by a professional body, so that they can be sure the counsellor has undertaken the right training.

There are two major professional counselling bodies in the UK, the BACP and the NCS. And fortunately, there is a choice of qualifications accredited by both of these bodies on offer in Sheffield! Let’s take more of a look at these two options.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

The BACP is the larger of the two professional bodies. Its members have to undertake rigorous training and adhere to high ethical standards, and, as a result, BACP membership is highly valued and recognised in the counselling world. 

To become a BACP member, there are certain criteria that you have to meet, one of which is taking an approved practitioner course. To demonstrate the amount of training that is required to complete an approved practitioner course, let’s look at a specific pathway that can be used to attain membership to the BACP. This pathway involves taking a series of CPCAB-accredited courses: 

CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills. Total qualification time = 170 hours
CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies. Total qualification time = 196 hours
CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Total qualification time = 1,204 hours 

As these courses are typically taught on a part-time basis, you can expect to take at least three to four years to complete a BACP-accredited qualification, such as the one above. Several different providers offer counselling courses in Sheffield that will allow you to gain membership to the BACP. Hang tight; we’ll come to these soon.

The National Counselling Society (NCS)

Whilst the NCS is smaller than the BACP, it is also seen as a reputable professional body in the UK, and NCS membership is still a great stamp to have as a practising counsellor. Like the BACP, the NCS requires its members to meet certain criteria, which also include comprehensive training via an approved practitioner course. 

There are a few different providers of counselling courses in Sheffield that offer NCS-approved courses. We’ll come to these shortly. 

At Astranti Connect, we believe a BACP-approved qualification is the best option for those aspiring to become professional counsellors. You can read why this is in our definitive guide to counselling qualifications.

Other options

Finally, a few different counselling course providers in Sheffield offer qualifications that do not fall into either of the two categories above. 

This includes short courses, which could be a good option if you don’t plan to practise as a counsellor and, instead, you’re just looking to pick up some counselling skills to help with another professional role or for your own personal development. Some of these short courses may also give you a qualification that could contribute towards BACP or NCS membership if you choose to study further in the future.

3. Sheffield counselling course providers

So, if Sheffield sounds like the place for you, we have good news! There are lots of different course providers offering counselling courses in the Sheffield area. The best one to pick will depend on your career goals, interests and studying preferences. 

So, let’s dive in and explore the main options!

Universities and colleges

Because universities and colleges are non-specialist institutions, offering a wide range of courses, they have much larger campuses and student bodies compared to specialist counselling providers. So, if you want to experience the full, immersive student experience, these options might be good ones for you! 

Sheffield Hallam University, one of Sheffield’s two universities, offers a BA (Hons) Education with Psychology and Counselling. As the name suggests, this degree is broad in nature, preparing students to work in a wide range of areas, including teaching, social work, youth work, probation, as well as counselling. So, this might be a good course if you want to keep your options open! As well as practical sessions, the course involves lectures, which may not suit everyone’s learning style. 

If you’re after a more hands-on approach to your studies, The Sheffield College offers introductory, Level 3 and Level 4 counselling courses.  

If you’re willing to travel a bit further afield, there are more colleges offering counselling courses within a 30 to 40-minute drive from Sheffield city centre. 

The Dearne Valley College and North Notts College are both part of the RRN Group – an education provider made up of several different campuses. Both of these colleges offer Level 2 to 4 counselling courses to the northeast and southeast of Sheffield, respectively.

Specialist providers

But we’re not finished there! Not only are there a range of universities and colleges to choose from, but there are also some specialist providers of counselling courses in the Sheffield area. These providers tend to have a much narrower focus, specialising specifically in counselling and/or mental health and wellbeing courses. 

Because these providers tend to be much smaller in size, you can generally expect smaller class sizes, allowing more interaction with your tutors and classmates and creating a more supportive, immersive learning environment. For many tutors, teaching won’t be their full-time job, and they will also be practising counsellors. This often means they have good connections with the local counselling community, which can come in handy when you’re looking for work experience and job opportunities! 

The following providers offer counselling courses in Sheffield: 

The Academy S.P.A.C.E – Offers an introductory course and a diploma course.

Chrysalis Courses – Offers Level 4 and 6 courses in counselling. Also offers a Level 3 Hypnotherapy and Counselling course for those looking to specialise in this area. 

Astranti Connect – We offer counselling courses from Level 2 to Level 6.

4. Classroom vs Online: what should you choose?

That’s a great question, and the answer really depends on what you want to achieve with your counselling aspirations. Just like choosing the right qualification and training provider, it’s important to pick the right type of counselling course to suit your goals.


If your aim is to join a professional counselling body like the BACP or NCS, you should know that a significant amount of your training hours will need to be in person. For instance, with the CPCAB pathway to BACP membership that we discussed earlier, you can take the Level 2 and Level 3 courses online, but 75% of the Level 4 course has to be taught in person.

This means that to qualify for BACP or NCS membership, you will need a mix of both online and classroom training or just classroom training if that’s what you prefer. Whilst some course providers offer online-only Level 4 courses, these won’t qualify you for BACP or NCS membership – something to watch out for!

It’s also important to note that any online courses you take must be live, such as over Zoom, in order to contribute towards BACP or NCS membership. This is because these professional bodies do not believe self-directed learning will allow you to develop the practical skills you need to be successful as a counsellor. Instead, it’s important that you can interact with your tutors and fellow students.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online-only or blended online-and-classroom counselling courses?

The advantages of online counselling courses:

  • More flexibility 
  • Location less of a barrier
  • Could save some money

The disadvantages of online counselling courses:

  • Possible technical difficulties
  • Potential for greater distractions
  • Limited social interaction
  • Don’t always lead to membership of professional bodies

There’s no “right” decision when it comes to the choice between online, in-classroom and blended counselling courses. You should make your decision based on your preferred learning style and personal circumstances. If you’d like more information to help you with your decision, you can read our definitive guide to online counselling courses.

5. Why join a Connect course?

So, why do we think you should study with us? 

We have experienced tutors

Connect tutors are all qualified counsellors with experience in teaching. Many are also practising counsellors and, when they aren’t teaching our classes, they continue to work with their own clients. Our tutors have a wealth of relevant, real-life experience and strong ties with the local counselling community.

We specialise in counselling

We have over 15 years of experience in counselling training and, unlike universities and colleges which offer a broad range of courses, our expertise and knowledge are focused on a small number of subject areas.

We are a national provider with centres across the country

If you’re not set on completing your counselling courses in Bristol, but you’d like to take part in one of our classroom counselling courses, we also have counselling hubs in Devon, Wiltshire, Norwich, Sheffield and Manchester. This also means you don’t have to be tied to one area throughout the course of your studies! We also have online options for Levels 2 and 3 and our post-qualification courses, offering additional flexibility. You can check out our full range of courses here.

We have a high Trustpilot rating

We are renowned as a high-quality training provider, as you can see from our excellent Trustpilot rating and reviews!

We have limited class sizes

Both our online and in-person courses have a maximum size of 16-18 people. This offers a great balance between plenty of tutor interaction and support and working and practising with a diverse range of people.

You will get access to our online community

We have an active online community, allowing you to learn from other students and support each other in your studies.

Our students must pass pre-course assessments

This helps to ensure our courses run as smoothly as possible, and you can rest assured that you and your fellow students are well-suited to the course.

We provide courses for Levels 2 to 6

This means once you pass one course, you can move on to another! Completing our Levels 2, 3 and 4 courses sets you up to apply for BACP membership to become a qualified, professional counsellor.

Our CPD Seminar Subscription comes free with our CPCAB courses

Twice a month our own tutors or expert guest speakers host live online seminars, each focusing on a new interesting topic in the world of counselling. From ‘Exploring Sexual Diversity’ to ‘What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Right and Wrong’, there’s something for everyone.

When you join a Connect course, you’ll have access to our live seminars and full bank of recorded sessions for the duration of your course.

Our Connect courses 

Whether you’ve decided a classroom or online course is best for you, we have lots of course options available to suit your needs!

We offer the following in-person courses at our Sheffield hub: 

Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills

Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies

Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

We plan to have both level 3 and level 4 courses following the level 2 courses that are currently scheduled – this will offer anyone who completes the level 2 course the opportunity to continue their journey towards becoming a qualified counsellor, without the need to switch course providers.

All of our courses are approved by the CPCAB, and completing the Level 4 Diploma provides a pathway to BACP membership. It also forms part of the CPCAB Open University Foundation Degree if you’d like to come away with a degree at the end of your studies. 


Looking for more flexibility? Then we also offer live daytime and evening online courses for Levels 2 and 3 (remember, these can be done online as long as they’re live, but the majority of Level 4 must be completed in a classroom to qualify for BACP membership!). 

Once you’ve completed level 4, we also have a Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and a Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision – because many counsellors want to progress to run their own practice, or become supervisors, and these courses give you the skills to achieve both of these ambitions.

If you’re unsure you want to complete your counselling courses in Sheffield, we also have counselling hubs in Devon, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.  You can find our full range of courses here.

Want to talk to someone about your next course options?

If you have any questions about Astranti Connect’s counselling courses in Sheffield, you can have a free 1-2-1 call with one of our Connect student advisors!

Head to your relevant course page below to book yours:


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