Diploma in Counselling and Communication
2 Years Full Time / 3 Years Part Time
SACAP’s Diploma is a well-rounded offering that balances knowledge with practical skills and experience. It’s a comprehensive, two-year, vocational qualification that develops insight in psychology, human behaviour and mental health. This is integrated with “work ready” counselling and communication skills for application in a variety of environments. The Diploma is also structured in such a way that you can develop deeper learnings in specific counselling areas of your choice.

Is this course for me?

If you say yes to any of the following points, then the Diploma could just be the perfect fit for you.

Do you?

  • Want an NQF accredited qualification that is nationally benchmarked and internationally comparable.

  • Want a career in counselling and are looking for a comprehensive qualification that combines knowledge with applied skills.

  • Want to gain deeper knowledge and skills in specific counselling areas such as: addictions, grief and loss, working with children, working with adolescents and/or HIV and sexuality.

  • Want to gain practical fieldwork experience to increase your expertise and confidence for a career in counselling.

  • Want a reputable higher education qualification in counselling and communication without the stringencies and time commitment of a long-term degree programme.

What will I learn?

Throughout the Diploma, you’ll gain knowledge and insight into:

  • Psychology, human behaviour and mental health, including developmental paradigms for understanding behaviour.

  • Psychological challenges and models for understanding behaviour and intervention.

  • Diversity and cross-cultural dynamics in the South African context.

  • Ethics in psychology.

You will also develop:

  • Counselling and interpersonal communication skills, including referral and management strategies, for application in the key areas of crisis and trauma counselling, conflict management and family and relationship work.

  • Knowledge and Skills in specific counselling areas through your choice of elective models, such as: addictions, grief and loss, working with children, working with adolescents and/or HIV and sexuality.

  • Practical fieldwork experience.

  • Basic research and study skills so that you can write reports and manage records.

What can I do with this qualification?

You will be able to work as a SACAP Counsellor1. This means that, working with supervision, you can:

  • Provide short term supportive counselling (excluding psychotherapy) in a range of counselling environments with diverse individuals and groups.

  • Identify (but not diagnose or treat) possible mental health disorders and refer clients to the appropriate professionals.

  • Apply effective communication and competency-based counselling approaches finding strengths and resilience to facilitate mental health and wellness.

1: SACAP have developed a recommended scope of practice for each of our qualifications according to SACAP’s Competency-Based Framework©

What further study pathways are open to me?

Once you have successfully finished the Diploma you’ll be eligible for admission into SACAP’s Bachelor of Applied Social Science (BAppSocSci) undergraduate degree with credit transfer for the same modules already completed2.

2: subject to SACAP’s credit transfer and RPL policy



On Campus (Johannesburg, Cape Town) and Online


2 years full-time

3 years part-time

Modules and Credits

19 modules (At least 240 credits)

NQF 6, CHE accredited


200 hours including supervision 


- A National Senior Certificate with a minimum of 45% in English coupled with an achievement rating of 3 or better in four designated subjects (including Life Orientation), OR

- A Senior Certificate with higher and/or standard grade subjects, or equivalent school leaving certificate, OR

- For mature students (24+) not meeting the above requirements, a portfolio of evidence to support admission on the basis of SACAP’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy.


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