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Home / Pathways to Level 4 Diploma and Level 5 Higher Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

As of July 2022, when you take the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy you can choose a Level 4 or Level 5 study pathway.

While the training course is the same you can choose to be assessed and gain a qualification equivalent to either Level 4 or Level 5 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. Each of these qualifications have been carefully designed in collaboration with NCFE. The levels refer to those set out in the UK’s national qualification framework. Broadly speaking, Level 4 is equivalent to first year degree studies and level 5 is equivalent to the second year of a degree.

Qualifications available in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy:

Level 4 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

Level 5 Higher Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy

When making your decision about which level to study at there are some key considerations such as the time you’re able to commit, the educational level you’re happy to engage and in the outcome you wish to achieve. We’ve created the table below to help you answer some of these questions.

Please note this is the only Level 5 Higher Diploma in Hypnotherapy in the United Kingdom and represents a new standard for foundation practitioner training in hypnotherapy.

Fees for the qualification:

The Level 4 Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is £295 (incl VAT)
Cost covers:

  • NCFE registration
  • Supervision case study hours
  • Assessment essay marking
  • Formal certificate from NCFE.

The Level 5 Higher Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is £495 (incl VAT)

Cost covers:

  • NCFE registration
  • Supervision case study hours
  • Additional supervision
  • Assessment Essay Marking
  • Review of your reflective essays
  • Formal certificate from NCFE.

Key Features of Level 4 and Level 5 Qualification

Level 4Level 5
Total Learning Hours500 (135 classroom hours + 365 home study hours/practice/reflection etc)600 (135 classroom hours + 465 home study: reading/practice/reflection etc)
PurposeFor those wishing to establish themselves as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist working with sub-clinical issues. Level 4 implies a slightly simpler level of problem solving – you can recognise and work with well defined and slightly complex problems with less interacting factors.For those wishing to embark on a longer qualification route, progressing to a level 6* (degree level) qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Hypno-Psychotherapy.  Level 5 implies a higher level of problem solving – you can recognise and work with more complex, less defined problems with more interacting factors.
SuitabilitySuitable for those who are returning to study after a long break and those who may not have studied beyond A levels previouslySuitable for those who are comfortable with studying at a higher level, may have already studied a degree and are able to commit to the additional study time.
Essay QuestionsCompletion of 26 essay style questions (designed to establish learning and understanding at level 4)Completion of 26 essay style questions (designed to establish learning and understanding at level 5)
Practise SessionsAttendance at 12 practice sessions (2 hrs) across the three stages of the courseAttendance at 12 practice sessions (2 hrs) across the three stages of the course
Case StudiesCompletion of 3 case studies
Written feedback from case study volunteer
30 minute professional supervision for each case study
Client record (8 hours therapy 1-1 with three different clients)
Completion of 3 case studies
Written feedback from case study volunteer
30 minutes professional supervision for each case study
Client record 20 hrs therapy.  This can be achieved through your case studies to a maximum of 15 hours plus additional volunteer hours.  The 15 case study hours should be broken down as CS1 max 3 sessions, CS2 & CS3 max 6 sessions
Reflective EssayReflective essay of 2000 words on the final case study
Reflective essay of 500 words on the Supervision process
Client RecordClient record (at least 20 hrs one to one with at least 4 different volunteer clients)
Level 4 and Level 5 pathway requirements

*The college are currently developing a full level 6 Cognitive Behavioural Hypno-Psychotherapy qualification.

Level 5 FAQ

Why have you made this change?

NCFE and educational professionals have said on multiple occasions that the qualification is closer to a Level 5 than a Level 4.  Therefore the recognition at Level 5 has been an ongoing project. While a number of changes have been introduced to bring about a level 5 qualification the previous Level 4 qualification was already 80% towards being a Level 5.

The new Level 4 has been slightly simplified. The questions (and required answers) are now a little easier. Level 5 keeps the previous questions and introduces extended reflective essays.

How do I decide which level to sign up for?

The course content is exactly the same for each level.  However, the content is able to be understood and applied at a number of different levels. Therefore it is in your understanding and application that the different levels become apparent and this is evaluated and demonstrated in your assessment. So while the course is the same, the understanding, application and assessment for Level 4 is different then for Level 5. 

The Level 4 is broadly equivalent to the first year of a degree and the Level 5 broadly equivalent to the second year of a degree.  So, firstly, decide which level of study you are comfortable with.  Then decide what you want to achieve from the course.  If you are seeking to set up in practice working with clients with low level, sub-clinical issues, then Level 4 will allow you to do this.  If you want to work with more complex, less defined issues that require more original thinking and a deeper grasp of theory and principles – then Level 5 will be more suited to you. And if you wish to progress with your studies and perhaps study at Level 6 or 7 (degree or Masters level) then the Level 5 may be more appropriate.

For many of you this is also about having recognition of your level of learning and skill. Many of you will want to have that recognition at Level 5 than at Level 4.

What do these different levels mean?

Below is the table outlining both academic and vocational qualification levels.

Vocational qualifications are concerned with real world application. We can think of this in terms of levels of knowledge, skills and intelligence to be able to solve various problems of increasing complexity.

Simple, clearly defined problems with simple “out of the box” solutions are at the lower levels.
Complex, poorly defined problems with multiple interacting factors (or multiple complex problems) are the higher end of scale.

Thus a Level 5 qualification requires the ability to identify and address more complex and less well defined problems with more interacting factors than a Level 4 qualification.

Our Diploma training programme teaches at many different levels and we have many people taking and using the information and learnings at Level 7 (Masters).

However we are only assessing at Level 4 and Level 5.

LevelAcademic equivalent
Practical implications for vocational work in psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy etc
– level of “problem complexity”
3A LevelSimple clearly defined problems with simple “out of the box” solutions
41st year undergraduateUse practical, theoretical or technical understanding to address well-defined but somewhat complex problems.
Address problems that are well defined and somewhat complex.
Identify, adapt and use appropriate skills and methods.
Review the effectiveness and appropriateness of methods, actions and results.
52nd year undergraduateUse practical, theoretical or technical understanding to find ways forward in broadly defined, complex contexts.
Address broadly defined, more complex problems.
Determine, adapt and use appropriate methods and skills.
Evaluate actions, methods and results.
63rd year undergraduateAddress problems that have limited definition and involve many interacting factors.
Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and ideas
Use and, where appropriate, design relevant research and development to inform actions.
7MastersConceptualise and address problematic situations that involve many interacting factors.
Reformulate and use practical, conceptual or technological understanding to create ways forward in contexts where there are many interacting factors.
Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories to produce modified conceptions

A vocational course is a training programme which focuses more on practical work, rather than traditional academic exams. The ‘Vocational’ part of the name refers to the fact that this course prepares you for a vocation – a particular skillset required in different types of jobs.

I have already completed the Diploma course but not submitted my questions or case studies yet.  Can I switch to Level 5?

Yes you can.  The course content is the same.  It is the assessment that is different.  You can decide which level you wish to take, pay for that assessment and then complete the assessment.

 I have already completed the course, my Unit 1 (Stage 1) questions and two of my case studies.  Can I switch to Level 5?

Yes you can.  The course content is the same.  The requirement for case studies is the same although Level 5 students can complete more sessions with their case study volunteer.  This isn’t mandatory and the additional hours that are required can be gained with new volunteers.  There are additional essays required for Level 5, full details of the assessment can be found here.

I have already paid for my assessment and now wish to upgrade to the Level 5.  Can I do this?

Yes you can.  You can apply to pay the difference between what you have currently paid and the assessment fee for Level 5.  You can do that by following this link.

I have completed 12 of my 20 client hours with my case studies. Do I need supervision for the remaining 8 hours?

Yes you will need to attend additional supervision and this will be covered by your assessment fee.  You will need to attend 30 minutes of supervision for each additional volunteer client.  If your remaining 8 hours are completed with 2 additional volunteers you will need to arrange and attend an additional 1 hour of supervision.

I completed the Diploma 3 years ago and now wish to upgrade my qualification to Level 5.  Can I do this?

Yes you can. If you completed case studies when you took the Diploma you only need to submit the reflective essays and evidence the additional required hours. You will need to attend 30 minutes of supervision for each of your additional volunteer clients. You can find details of the assessment below. You will also need to pay for the assessment, you can do this here.

If you didn’t complete case studies when you gained your Diploma you can complete the reflective essays on a volunteer you choose to work with.  Part of the assessment will be to attend a supervision session with one of our supervisors to review the case study.  You will then need to complete the two reflective essays and evidence the additional hours.

What are the practical implications of being qualified at Level 4 or Level 5?

Example of cases you could be working with:

Phobia at level 4: you will be confident working with a simple phobia such as an animal phobia where the client doesn’t experience anxiety elsewhere in their life.  At level 5: the client may wish to work on a phobia and has experienced their anxiety increasing into other situations no related to the phobia.

Habit reversal at level 4: you will be confident working with simple habits such as nail biting, teeth grinding. At level 5: the client may also be experiencing anxiety across a number of areas in their life a low level of self-esteem and a lack of confidence in their ability to address these issues.

Social anxiety at level 4: you will be confident working with mild social anxiety, lack of assertiveness, lack of confidence representing themselves, people pleasing rather than asserting.  At level 5 the client may also be reporting outbursts of anger when feeling threatened, a lack of control over emotions and displaying inappropriate behaviour, low self-esteem and sense of worth.

If I am already in practice can I use one of my existing / past clients as my case study clients and for the additional client hours?

It is important that case studies are conducted with the permission of the volunteer client.  If you are currently working with or about to commence working with a client and can gain this permission then this is acceptable to continue. Using a client as a case study without their permission would be unethical and unacceptable by the college.  You will find the permission letter for all your volunteer clients in the Essential Learning module in Online Learning.

If I wish to upgrade to Level 5 and completed my case studies some time ago, can I complete my reflective essays on a new volunteer client?

As part of the additional requirements you need to evidence 20 volunteer client hours.  If you took the Diploma some time ago you will only have completed 8 client hours.  You will therefore need to complete an additional 12 hours and attend supervision, one 30 minute session per volunteer client.  In this instance yes you can use one of your new volunteer clients to conduct the reflective essays.  In fact you are likely to find that your processes have developed and matured since originally gaining the Diploma so this would be a truer reflection of your current practice.

I have competed Stage 2 or 3 of the Diploma and haven’t attended any practise sessions yet, do I need to attend all 12 practise sessions?

We realise that this new requirement may be more challenging to satisfy if you are a long way through your Diploma studies. In such cases you will need to evidence attendance at the required number of practise sessions for the stage you are in i.e. if you are at the end of stage 2, you need to complete 4 practise sessions, the required amount for stage 3.  If you are at the end of stage 1, you will need to complete 8 practise sessions, 4 for stage 2 and 4 for stage 3.  The end of a stage will demonstrated by full attendance at the live webcast for that stage or completion of all online learning modules for that stage.

Qualification Routes & Assessment Requirements

Level 4 qualification

  • Complete course via webcast or online learning
  • Complete three case studies
  • Complete level 4 questions
  • Attend supervision for case studies

Level 5 qualification

  • Complete course via webcast or online learning
  • Complete three case studies
  • Complete level 5 questions
  • Attend supervision for case studies
  • Complete reflective essays
  • Provide evidence of 12 additional client hours
  • Attend supervision for additional client hours

Want to upgrade to Level 5?

See below for what’s needed to upgrade your Level 4 Diploma (our original qualification associated with the Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy) to Level 5.

Upgrade to level 5 (case studies completed previously)

  • Complete reflective essays (download and read)
  • Provide evidence of additional volunteer hours.

Upgrade to level 5 (case studies not completed previously)

  • Complete reflective essays (download and read)
  • Provide evidence of additional volunteer hours
  • Complete one case study, minimum 3 sessions duration (see guidance notes in Essential Learning)
  • Attend supervision for case study
  • Provide evidence of additional volunteer hours