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 Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling.
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 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.
The Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling consists of:
BACP 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).
Applicants for this course must already hold:
If you are applying with a certificate in counselling from an alternative training venue, you will need to provide clear evidence that your certificate has been achieved within the last 5 years, and of the number of training hours undertaken. Older certificates will be accepted at the discretion of the Programmes Lead where there is also evidence of further relevant work, or study (workshops, online courses, conferences etc) taken since completion of the certificate.
If you are applying because your professional training included counselling training you will need to provide clear evidence that the counselling training aspect was undertaken within the last 5 years. Older training will be accepted at the discretion of the Programmes Lead where there is also evidence of further relevant work, or study (workshops, online courses, conferences etc) taken since completion of the training. Additionally, you will need to provide evidence of the number of hours spent in counselling skills training.
Distance learning will not meet our entry requirements, as there are limited, if any, formal contacts between the tutor and student and with other students. However, we recognise that during the current pandemic many courses previously taught ‘face to face’ are now being taught via live online classrooms. If this is the case, please let us know and we will be able to advise you further on your eligibility.
It is not possible to undertake our Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling at the same time as our Certificate in Counselling. You may, however, apply for the Advanced Diploma while undertaking the Certificate course, if it is due to be completed before the Diploma intake you are applying for begins. In those circumstances, any offer of a place on the Diploma would be subject to successful completion of the Certificate course.
Teaching schedule Year 1:
Teaching schedule Year 2:
The Advanced Diploma is accredited by the BACP. It includes the opportunity to achieve the Iron Mill College (IMC) Introduction to Counselling Young People (CYP) Award at no additional cost, as part of your schedule above. This separate 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 IMC 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.
(Students must successfully meet the requirements of the following to progress onto year 2).
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’.
Year 2 Assignments:
All essays/ completed (including all rewrites) and feedback for each piece of work indicating the assignments have ‘passed’. 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.
Award (subject to successful completion of a Viva Examination):
BACP Accredited Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling. This award qualifies you to practice as a professional counsellor, and meets the application requirements for full membership of the BACP (MBACP status).
Please visit the Downloads Tab on the website page to download the full course schedule.
Courses commencing between 1st Jan'22 - 31st Dec'22:
Option 1 Early Bird Offer (Total Payable £6,690.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000.00 followed by ONE instalment of £5,690.00 payable on or before 15th March (for Spring intakes) or on or before 30th July (for Autumn intakes). Please see our Early Bird Offer page for full details, terms and conditions.
Option 2 (Total Payable £7,370.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000.00 follow by one instalment of £2,685.00 in Year 1 and one instalment of £3,685.00 in Year 2.
Option 3 (Total Payable £7,685.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £1,000 followed by twenty two monthly instalments of £300.00 (payable by direct debit) due on the 1st of each month in Year 1 and one final instalment of £85.00 (payable by direct debit).
Bespoke Payment Plans (Total Payable £7,685.00):
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 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 (via PayPal) 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 Tutition 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:
Selection is on the basis of information provided in your application (as above). The following criteria is also taken into account:
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):
To ensure that all students meet the criteria for BACP registration, RPL is not 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 of 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.
How long do I have to complete my placement hours once the two year taught component is finished?:
Students must take their Viva within two years of completing the taught element of the course. Exceptional circumstances can be applied for viva outside of the two years but not later than three years: Contact with Iron Mill College and 3rd & 4th Year Tutor must be made during this time.
In the unlikely event that a students financial commitment has not been fulfilled within the timeframe of the financial agreement or previously agreed by the finance manager then students will not be able to attend their Viva Exam.
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, pro-active, 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 study 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?:
For the majority of the Advanced Diploma courses, 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 extenuating 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.
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 dependant on which format you wish to attend (Weekly / Monthly).
Are there any bursaries available for this course?:
Iron Mill College students have access to a limited number of bursaries provided by the Tricia Williams Scholarship. Find out more on our Funding page by clicking here.
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 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.
Under the Accreditation of Training Courses 2013 criteria, Iron Mill College is obliged to inform existing and potential students of the renewal date for the accreditation awarded to our different venues. Iron Mill College will therefore apply for re-accreditation when appropriate and will strive to meet the criteria to ensure our continued, accredited status.
The Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Integrative) at Iron Mill College Exeter (weekday/weekend delivery) has its accreditation renewed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). The current BACP Annual Rolling Review (4) application is being delayed in the assessment process. The BACP is doing their best to get the application assessed as soon as possible and will be in touch in due course. Please be reassured that our BACP accreditation status will not be affected by the delay.
The Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Integrative) at Iron Mill College, Poole (weekday & weekend delivery) has its accreditation renewed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). The current BACP Annual Rolling Review (4) application is being delayed in the assessment process. The BACP is doing their best to get the application assessed as soon as possible and will be in touch in due course. Please be reassured that our BACP accreditation status will not be affected by the delay.
Please note: This course is accredited by the BACP and is therefore a core route to professionally qualifying as a counsellor. The Advanced Diploma course is also currently being re-accredited with the BACP as part of routine accreditation cycles, with exciting developments to the course. More about this will follow once the cycle is complete.
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.
Iron Mill College offers accredited courses, academic standards, experiential learning, experienced lecturers with student focused training and classes.