Higher Certificate in Community Counselling

(Minimum one year, maximum three years, 124 credits)


This programme aims to train and equip lay counsellors to be knowledgeable and effective in making a difference in the mental health and well-being of individuals in a variety of settings, including churches, schools, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs).

Mode of delivery

Contact and distance

Time Commitment

One year full-time. 18 months to two years part-time. No evening classes. On-campus. January and July intakes.


Registered as Cornerstone Institute (RF) NPC with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006; NQF 5; SAQA ID 96413.

Important Links



Admission Requirements

  • A National Senior Certificate or National Certificate Vocational (with certificate pass)
  • A Matriculation Certificate or equivalent
  • Mature age of 45 years can be admitted, determined by the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio of evidence provided 

  • The National Benchmark Test (NBT) results.

Geraldine Franciscus (M. Psych) is the Head of the Department at Cornerstone Institute and has over 10 years’ experience in tertiary education.

Students who have completed the qualification should be able to:

  • Know the historical development and current status of psychology in understanding
    human behaviour
  • Be familiar with marriage and family development and family issues as part of a
    developmental psychology framework
  • Be familiar with the dynamics of crisis and crisis intervention strategies
  • Identify issues young people face in the context of certain South African realities i.e.
    alcohol, teenage pregnancy, HIV Aids, violence, substance abuse, and gangsterism
  • Have an understanding of contemporary contextual social problems and have insight
    to intervention strategies that can be used to address these
  • Describe personality functioning and have a foundational understanding of
    psychological disorders, its’s causes and treatment approaches
  • Have an understanding of work in community mental health settings and the
    services that can be provided.

Module descriptions and credits

For a description of each module, see ‘Module descriptions’ herewith above. Otherwise, get in touch with us via helpdesk for further inquiries.

Cornerstone Institute
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