Iron Mill College welcomes all those who enjoy environments of learning with class discussions, and opportunities for self-reflection, self -awareness and research activity. We encourage and support both the self-examination and learning process of our students and have over many years established an excellent reputation for our BACP and NCPS Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling in Poole, Dorset, and in Exeter, Devon.
Essential components of the diploma are focused on building meaningful relationships, integrating counselling knowledge and offering students a wide range of applied skills relevant for those who seek a professional counselling qualification.
Our diploma promotes creativity, and experiential learning amid an atmosphere of community where we are committed to assisting in the development of students individual growth as a counsellor, with an emphasis on active participation within the counselling profession.
'The advanced diploma at the Iron Mill has been an enriching, unforgettable experience. We have completed insightful exploration of a wide range of counselling approaches and theories. We have grown as counsellors in skills practice and learned about ourselves in personal therapy and activities. Most of all I have felt supported throughout the experience' - 2022 Student.
'My Iron Mill experience has been the hardest but most rewarding and life-changing experience of my life. The way of learning really suits me and the people at the college are passionate about counselling and getting the best out of their students' - Samantha Lacey, Advanced Diploma Graduate 2022.
Iron Mill College Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling students are entitled to 50% discount on all CPD workshops while they study with us, and 25% discount on completion of their course as IMC Graduates.
If you have an enquiry and wish to speak to a member of our team, please contact 01392 219200 or email email@example.com.
The Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling consists of:
BACP and NCPS Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (subject to successful completion of a Viva Examination)
In order to meet all of the above requirements and to allow time for the Pre-Viva assessment process, the earliest possible date that students may take their Viva, following the end of the taught course, is November (for those on Weekday courses) and July (for Easter intake courses). This means that, all conditions being successfully passed, your award will take a minimum of 2 years and 4 months to achieve (subject to exact Viva dates), and cannot be completed any earlier. All students must have successfully achieved their award within 4 years of the start date of their course (please see the mitigating circumstances policy).
To be eligible for this course applicants must have completed at least 72 hours of preliminary counselling training where the counselling skills component of your qualification has been attended face to face (in the room).
If you are applying with a qualification taken solely through online or distance learning (where you train in your own time with no tutor present) sadly the qualification will not meet our requirements, for you to apply for our Advanced Courses. as the counselling skills component of your qualification needs to be attended face to face (in the room).
We would like to draw your attention to our Certificate in Counselling course, which has met the robust standards of the Quality Checked status benchmarked by the National Counselling Society since 2017, we also offer our blended learning which is part time online (Certificate in Counselling) Both of these courses offer you a greater understanding of counselling theories, ethics and self-awareness and counselling skills.
Teaching schedule Year 1:
The Theory of Attachment
Client Centred Philosophy
Introduction to the present BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice /Introduction to Skills Work/Supervision
2 days Remote Training: Digital Competence
Professional Development /Preparing for Placement
2 days Remote Training: The Scope of OPT Working
Seven Level Model
2 days Remote Training: Equality and Diversity
John Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention
TA Introduction to Ego States
Transference and Countertransference
BACP Introduction to Counselling Young People (11-18-year-olds)
2 days Remote Training: Facilitation of OPT Sessions.
Transactional Analysis Developing a Therapeutic Model
Theories of Personality /Year One Assessments
Teaching schedule Year 2
· 2 days - Remote training: Managing risk
Humanism and Existentialism
2 days - Remote training: Working with Psychological process
Transpersonal Myths and Archetypes
2 days – Remote training: Communication and Therapeutic Skill in OPT working
2 days - Remote training: Systems Theory
Mental Health Suicide resourcing the counsellor.
Creative interventions (to be taught in conjunction with skills practice)
2nd year Case study Presentations
Triad work is integrated throughout both years
The Advanced Diploma is accredited by both the BACP and the NCPS. It includes the BACP Introduction to Counselling Young People (CYP) Award This award is a BACP requirement for students on accredited courses, to allow their progression onto placement with young people (11-18 years) once a substantial number of hours have been completed with adult clients. The BACP Introduction to Counselling Young People Award addresses the Stage 1 Learning Outcomes within the BACP Counselling Young People (11–18 years) Training Curriculum.
Learning and assessment:
The Advanced Diploma is delivered via lectures, debates, presentations, audio-visual materials, group exercises, skills practices, process groups, reflective practice, and presentations. As well as attending timetabled teaching days at the college students spend time attending placement, supervision (typically around 1 day per week in total), undertaking personal therapy (approximately 1 hour per week) as well as independent guided study and preparation for assignments.
The criteria assessed for the Advanced Diploma is continuous, throughout the training, and formally assessed with you at the following points including elements of self, peer and tutor-assessment.
Formative and summative assessments are integrated throughout the programme. Formative assessments such as journal writing, feedback from skills practice and participation in experiential work are not formally marked. Summative assessments such as essay writing, the competency to practice interview and end of year assessments are formally marked.
Details of timetables, assessment requirements and criteria as well as deadline hand in dates for assignments can be found in the teaching schedule and handbook which is given to students at the start of the introductory weekend.
Year 1: (Students must successfully meet the requirements of the following to progress onto year 2).
Assignments: You will need to achieve a pass mark of 50% for each of the following:
Year 1 Assignments:
All essays completed (including all rewrites) and feedback for each piece of work indicating the assignments have ‘passed’, and that you passed the end of year assessment
Year 2 Assignments:
All essays/ completed (including all rewrites) and feedback for each piece of work indicating the assignments have ‘passed’, and that you have passed the end of year assessment.
Year 3 and 4 Viva Examination:
The expectation is that students will attend 100% of the 400 hours taught programme. Student absence from the course may not exceed four days a year without incurring the need to attend relevant CPD/workshop courses or re-attendance of specific modules.
Please visit the Downloads Tab on the website page to download the full course schedule.
Starts 16th May 2024, Thursday intake
Starts 3rd September 2024, Tuesday intake
Starts 7th September 2024, Weekend intake
Interview dates: TBC
Starts 9th May 2024, Thursday intake
Starts Saturday 7th September 2024, Weekend intake
Interview dates: TBC
Courses commencing between 1st Jan'24 - 31st Dec'24:
Option 1: Early Bird Offer (Total Payable £7,390.00):
A deposit of £1,000.00 followed by one instalment of £6,390.00. Payment is due on or before Saturday 16th March for the Spring intakes. For Autumn intakes, Payment is due on or before the 30th July.
Option 2: Opti Save (Total Payable £7,790.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000.00 followed by one instalment of £6,790.00.
Option 3: Yearly in Advance (Total Payable £7,990.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000.00 followed by one instalment of £3,495.00 in Year 1 and one instalment of £3,495.00 in Year 2.
Option 4: Monthly Instalments (Total Payable £8,590.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000 followed by twenty-three monthly instalments of £330.00 (payable by direct debit) due on the 1st of each month.
Bespoke Payment Plans (Total Payable £8,590.00):
In order to facilitate students, Iron Mill College has introduced Bespoke Payment Plans which can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Please contact us at 01392 219200 / firstname.lastname@example.org for further information
Further information on fees:
Fees listed include VAT.
Tuition Fee Increases:
Tuition fees are reviewed in Autumn each year and are usually increased in line with CPI each January.
If you are an organisation looking to book staff members onto this course, then please email email@example.com to process your payment.
Applicants are invited to enrol once they receive an offer of a place on the course, by paying the Enrolment Deposit (which shall be fully non-refundable in all circumstances) as well as submitting all application documents and a completed Tuition Fee Contract. The balance of course fees is payable as per the relevant schedule option above.
All applicants should ensure they read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the Student Agreement and the Tuition Fee Contract Terms and Conditions before applying and paying their Enrolment Deposit (Non-Refundable). These documents can be found in the 'Downloads' tab below.
How to pay:
For enrolment payments, you can pay online by using the booking form on this web page. You can also pay all fees by credit / debit card, either in person at Iron Mill College in Exeter, or over the phone by calling 01392 219200. Please note that we are unable to accept payments via American Express or Diners Club cards.
We also accept cash paid in person at Iron Mill College in Exeter, as well as cheques, which should be made out to 'Iron Mill College' and dropped in or sent to 'Iron Mill College, Morwenstow, 7 Barnfield Crescent, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QT'. We can also accept payments by bank transfer and direct debit - please get in touch with us at 01392 219200 / firstname.lastname@example.org for our bank details or a direct debit form. Please use your name and student number as the reference when making such payments.
We will contact you once you have returned your Tuition Fee Contract with information about how to set up direct payments from your bank. This is our preferred method of payment.
Additional course costs:
*Please note this course does not qualify for the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.
Iron Mill College makes every effort to avoid altering course times, course commencement and conclusion dates. However, should any changes be necessary, you will be notified at the earliest opportunity. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort, based on the enrolment of a minimum number of successful applicants.
A full refund of course fees paid, including any deposit, will be given to all applicants in the event that a course does not proceed and at least 14 days’ notice (prior to the advertised course start date) will be given to applicants, in the event of a course cancellation or postponement. The college cannot be held liable for any remedy, damages or compensation beyond this.
How to apply:
Final application date:
The deadline for applications is 4 weeks before the start of the course. A decision will be made on whether the course will run, based on confirmed and accepted places, 4 weeks before the start date of the course. Any applications received after the 4-week deadline will only be processed at the discretion of the Programmes Lead.
Selection for interview:
Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to Iron Mill College for an interview. The interview process includes both a group and individual element and is led by members of the ADC teaching team. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they possess the professional and personal qualities for counselling training and demonstrate that they have:
Selection is on the basis of information provided in your application (as above). The following criteria is also considered:
*In preparation for interview, applicants are advised to look at either the NCPS website Code of Ethics or the BACP website BACP Ethical Framework, which lists the values and personal qualities expected of counsellors. If you are interested in this course, you may wish to first book one of our Open Days or Open Evenings or our online course presentations to find out more. Alternatively, a Course Tutor would be happy to speak with you personally – please contact us if you would like us to put you in touch.
Following an interview process for suitable applicants, applicants who are offered a place will be required to confirm acceptance in writing accompanied by an Enrolment Deposit of £1000.00.
On the Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling only, if the Student withdraws more than 14-days prior to the start of the first Introductory Day, all course fees paid will be refunded in full, including the deposit. If the Student notifies the College within 14-days of the end of the final Introductory Day that they do not wish to continue with the course, or the tutor decides within 14-days of the end of the aforementioned Introductory Day that they do not feel the Student can continue with the course, the Student will receive a full refund of all fees paid after the deposit plus 50% of the deposit.
If the student notifies the College later than 14-days from the end of the final Introductory Day of their intention to leave, no refund is available and they will remain liable for full course fees
Our agreement with you covers the period of your training however progression through the Advanced Diploma is not automatic and is subject to the satisfactory completion of the course requirements, including minimum attendance, personal development, assessments, and meeting the criteria for placement. We reserve the right to defer a student or terminate their training based upon our professional experience.
Recognition of Prior Learning (APL):
RPL is not permitted. Students need to successfully meet all the criteria and complete the course in its entirety to achieve their ADC award and the NCPS & BACP registration permitted. Students need to complete the course in its entirety.
How much time should I allow for Studying?:
What is the attendance requirement?:
The expectation is that students will attend 100% of the 400 hours taught programme. Student absence from the course may not exceed four days a year without incurring the need to attend relevant CPD/workshop courses or re-attendance specific modules.
Are there extra-curricular requirements?:
This paragraph contains a description of the additional time and expense requirements that will need to be undertaken by you in addition to the course contact time. The Iron Mill is unable to contribute to any additional costs.
Any figures quoted on this website are subject to change to change.
How long do I have to complete my placement hours once the two-year taught component is finished?
All students must complete all course requirements and be ready for viva within 2 years of finishing their attended training course.
Students who cannot complete within the two-year extended period (i.e. within 4 full years of being enrolled on the ADC) will need to repeat their second year of training in full, at their own cost, in order to continue in placement and complete their award.
In very exceptional circumstances, such students may be permitted by the College to apply to extend their training citing mitigating circumstances. This will be entirely at the discretion of the college, depending on the severity of the situation.
How do I get a placement?:
Once you have passed your ‘competence to practice’ assessment, you will need to start looking for a suitable counselling placement of your choice. Iron Mill College will provide you with access to our placement database, guidance and support with applications and references, access to lists of approved supervisors and therapists, and a Placement Coordinator to support you. We have many years of experience in building relationships with placement providers and Iron Mill students have a great success rate of gaining placements during their training. However, Iron Mill College cannot guarantee that students will be able to gain a placement and to gain maximum opportunity students will need to be positive, confident, proactive, flexible about the distance they are prepared to travel, and flexible with the times of the week they are available for placement work.
The following website will provide you with information on the average costs of supervision and therapy:
Does Iron Mill College have an English language requirement?:
Iron Mill College does not require you to have a qualification in English language or to take a specific test before you can register for a course. However, you do need to have a reasonable standard of English to study with us successfully. A poor understanding of English language makes studying much more difficult and you will need to allow extra time for study.
If you are concerned about your level of understanding, there are a number of organisations which will enable you to improve your English skills. You may find the following organisations helpful to you:
a) The LearnDirect website (or phone 0800 100 900) provides information on local courses in basic English for UK residents. These are up to Level 2 (roughly equivalent to GCSE A*-C), and the fees are partly subsidised through Skills for Life funding. There can be long waiting lists to start a course.
b) English UK lets you search for English language courses at associated language schools and centres, which usually offer assessment tools to help you to diagnose your needs and offer tuition to suit your ability. They include Level 2 (GCSE A*-C) and beyond. The courses are usually studied full time for 5–10 weeks, and courses and examinations must be paid for. They are accredited by the British Council.
How many students are in a class?:
We aim to keep class proportions to a minimum and work within the BACP recommended student/staff ratio. Group numbers will fluctuate as students from other cohorts retake modules missed through illness, for example.
Open or closed groups?:
Open Group Contact For the majority of your Advanced Diploma course, you and your group members will remain together for the complete duration of the period of study. However, we are committed to supporting students to complete their training and recognise that at times due to particular circumstances some students will need to transfer to another Advanced Diploma course to complete their training or join a different group to attend modules missed. Group membership may therefore be subject to change.
We work with a large number of national, regional, local low-cost counselling services, and local charities throughout the Southwest to provide Placement opportunities for our students. As a college, we do not provide Supervision but many of our Placement Providers do. If Supervision is or isn't provided, this would be clear from the application or interview stage of your placement.
Does the course have an External Quality Assurance process?:
The External Quality Assurance examiner is an independent academic from another college, and the aim of the Quality Assurance is to arrange visits to the ADC groups to carry out a “quality” assessment of the student experience in terms of learning and overall satisfaction with the Iron Mill education process. The emphasis is firmly placed on the student learning experience, examining creativity, teaching methods of tutors, academic challenge and support.
What is the difference between the various start dates of the Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling course?:
All of our Advanced Diploma intakes have a taught programme of two years and have exactly the same content. The start dates vary depending on which format you wish to attend (Weekly / Monthly).
Can I apply for the Advanced Diploma via APL after the start of the course?:
The Iron Mill does not admit students after the start of the course via APL.
What job opportunities are there for counsellors/psychotherapists?:
The field of counselling & psychotherapy is very broad. Some graduates are working part-time in private practice, some are working full time in eg HSE or schools or addiction centres or charities etc, and some have pursued their own area of interest by providing a new service in their community. From surveys of graduates, most are working at least part-time in counselling & psychotherapy but some are simply continuing with their original career e.g. teachers, civil servants etc.
What is the role of 3rd and 4th year tutor?:
The role of the 3rd and 4th year tutor is to offer practical help and support to students in preparation for their Viva. The journey to becoming a professional counsellor is different for every student and the time needed to complete all the criteria also varies. Part of the tutor role therefore is to help ‘bridge the gap’ from student to practitioner by offering individual tutoring and coaching to ensure readiness for the Viva and ongoing professional competency.
One of the main tutor roles involves marking and feedback for any outstanding essays and case studies. This is an individual contractual arrangement based on student needs and is negotiated between the student and the tutor. This will include agreeing on a time frame for feedback and marking, questions or clarification around feedback and tutor fees. Typically fees are around £40 per essay which would increase to a maximum of £100 depending on how much time/work was involved in getting your work to a passable standard. There is also the option of a pre-viva tutorial if required, at £40 for an hourly session.
Our intention is to support students in feeling confident for their Viva and in their development as competent practitioners. We can support students by offering individual Viva tutorials in person, by email or over the phone.
The Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Integrative) at Iron Mill College was first accredited by BACP in 1998 and we remain extremely proud of our continuing association with the BACP as an accredited course. We were also successful in gaining Course Accreditation for the Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Integrative) at Iron Mill College with NCPS in 2023
BACP Course Accreditation Scheme
Accreditation is awarded for a five-year period, with an ongoing annual review which also addresses part of the criteria each year. Iron Mill College will post the renewal dates for both Poole and Exeter College. Our current BACP Accreditation Certificate is live until for both colleges until 16th June 2024.
I completed my trainee hours at Dorsey Rape Crisis followed by Winchester Prison. I then went to work self employed with START (previously RASAC Winchester rape crisis) as a paid counsellor. I am still there however, I am just starting my own private practice with five of my own clients whilst also remaining with START alongside. I also went on to get a BSc Hons in Psychology & Child Development and have worked alongside my counselling practice as an Assistant Psychologist for Hampshire Multi-Agency Stalking Project - Stephanie Higgins.
Since qualifying in November 2021 I began the process of launching my Private Practice. In January 2022 I had a studio built in my garden and from then began to see clients in and around my full-time job as a teacher. In July 2022 I was in a position to resign from school and am now working towards full-time private work. I continue to volunteer with STARS Dorset.
When I have accrued enough post-qualifying hours I aim to do a supervisors qualification. I also have at the back of my mind that I would like to complete a masters qualification in psychotherapy - Luisa Giordano.
I am currently working as a self- employed counsellor in private practice and for Somerset Counselling Centre in Taunton where I work with a range of adult clients including care leavers. I have more recently trained to work with couples - Janet Blake.
The first thing I would say is that I am busier than I ever imagined, with far more variety in a counselling career than I ever imagined. I have the highest regard for the Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling, and where it has taken me.
On qualifying, I was offered a paid role as a school counsellor in the school where I had done one of my two placements. I have now worked at the school one or two days per week in term-time, depending on demand, for over four years and find the work, rewarding, stimulating and challenging. During the summers of 2020 and 2021, because of concern about vulnerable children dropping off the radar during Covid school closures, I continued working through the holidays too.
I also started out in private practice soon after qualifying, encouraged by my line manager at my first placement. I began very slowly, but now have a thriving private practice for three days a week. This has all happened by word of mouth, as I haven't ever advertised. I work out of a local complementary health centre, working with teenagers and adults.
I have also been involved in training, becoming a facilitator with a company which goes into education, healthcare and prison settings to deliver workshops on trauma-informed care, the importance of emotional regulation and building resilience. Much of the work is built on cutting edge research by The Harvard Centre on the Developing Child - I did some additional training with them in 2019.
For a couple of years, I wrote a monthly "Mind, Body. Spirit" column for a local community magazine. Most recently, I have been going into primary schools delivering preparation for the transition to secondary school - listening to children's hopes and fears, looking at strategies for managing change, for making new friends and starting in a new environment with an open mind. The idea is that I will go back to each group in the autumn, to see how they are doing and help build a bridge between primary and secondary.
Sometimes, it is hard to find time to fit all the pieces into the jigsaw. I have become much better at managing my time (and saying "no" to things). However, I very much enjoy all the different working environments and enjoy the variety too - Lucy Beney.
The course is delivered through a minimum of 400 direct teaching or instruction time.
Weekday: 20% of the two-year taught programme will be attended online this equates to 16 days divided over the two-year taught programme =8 days per year.
Weekend: 20% of the two-year taught programme will be attended online this equates to 16 days divided over the two-year taught programme =6 days per year.
Award (subject to successful completion of a Viva Examination): BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling and NCPS This award qualifies you to practice as a professional counsellor, and meets the application requirements for full membership of the NCPS (accredited register) or BACP (MBACP status)
Iron Mill College offers accredited courses, academic standards, experiential learning, experienced lecturers with student focused training and classes.