Fees and expenses
Before starting a career in counselling and psychotherapy, you’ll need to make sure you can afford your course and all the other costs involved in training.
The cost of your training depends on where you train, what courses you take and how long they last. We recommend, and some training providers may require, that you take an introductory course in counselling before signing up for a diploma or degree to ensure it is the right career for you. Short courses can range from one day to a couple of months, while diplomas or degrees may take a few years.
Currently, diploma courses range from £2,200 to £3,000 a year. Foundation degrees can be up to £6,000 a year and Masters between £12,000 and £15,000, depending upon the course provider.
Once you start seeing clients, you’ll need regular and ongoing supervision. We require all BACP members to have adequate supervision, set at a minimum of one and a half hours supervision a month for those seeking accreditation. BACP accredited courses may require more frequent supervision.
The cost of supervision varies across the country from around £30 to £80 an hour. Group supervision costs around £20 per hour.
Some courses require trainee practitioners to be in therapy themselves, although this is not a requirement for BACP membership. Personal therapy can cost between £40 and £80 per session.
If you are seeing clients, you should be covered by personal indemnity insurance. Some placement providers will cover you under their insurance but you should always check.
Insurance can cost around £50 to £80 a year. Some insurers may offer discounts for BACP members.
Course tutors often recommend that you join BACP or you may decide for yourself that you want the support, resources and professional credibility that we can provide. BACP student membership is subsidised and currently costs £78 at full rate and £39 at reduced rate. For further information on the benefits of membership and how to join BACP, please see Membership.
Books and stationery
Your course fees don’t usually include the cost of any text books you need. It’s a good idea to set a book budget, choosing those you buy carefully and borrowing others from your college library.
It’s also worth considering how much you are going to spend on items such as notebooks, folders, paper, printer cartridges etc. Small costs can soon add up.
Conferences and events
You may wish to attend conferences and events to broaden your knowledge or explore your areas of interest in more depth. Major conferences can be expensive, although discounts are often available for students.
Whether you travel by car or public transport, travelling to and from your course and placements will add up. You may also have to pay to park. You could try to save money by car sharing with fellow students.
As counselling or psychotherapy is often a second career, you may have a family to look after whilst you train. You may need to organise and pay for childcare, as well as covering all your usual living costs.
Find out how to get Help with fees