This course aims to provide a good foundation in Counselling and knowledge on related theories in the area of mental health & abnormal psychology, sociology and psychology and their application to counseling. The practical aspect of the course includes basic counseling skills and personal development.

The course is conducted over a year during weekends at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and the University Psychiatry Unit, Teaching Hospital Colombo South. Students who successfully complete both practical and theory components are awarded the diploma.

  • Age between 20 - 55 years
  • Pass 3 subjects in one sitting at the Advanced Level Examination
  • Possess a degree from a recognized university (recognized by the University Grants Commission)
  • Have a certificate from recognized nursing school and registration with Ceylon Medical Council
  • Have a diploma in social work from Ceylon School of Social work
    posses a license to practice as an occupational therapist in Sri Lanka obtained from Ceylon Medical Council

General Objectives

At the end of the training programme a trainee should be able to;

  • Function as a competent counselor who is capable of counseling the service seeker with compassion and highest ethical standards.
  • Identify those with special needs and refer them to appropriate agencies.

Specific Objectives

At the end of the course a trainee should be able to;

  1. Describe the concepts of counseling
  2. Describe the basic concepts of sociology relevant to counseling
  3. Describe the basic concepts of psychology relevant to counseling
  4. Describe the concepts of health (mental, physical and social)
  5. Describe human behavior and deviations from the norm
  6. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills
  7. Identify the needs of service seeker as opposed to wants
  8. Be able to address service seekers’ needs in a professional manner
  9. Recognize mental illnesses in order to prevent inappropriate counseling for those who require medical help
  10. Identify the existing support services in Sri Lanka
  11. Identify and refer to appropriate support services when necessary
  12. Function with highest ethical standards

Consist of 17 modules, the course is delivered in a variety of modes including lectures, group discussions and practical exercises and role plays in a learning atmosphere.


  Module 01 - Introduction to Psychology and Counselling
  Module 02 - Theories of Personality
  Module 03 - Treatment Methods
  Module 04 - Developmental Psychology and Life Cycle
  Module 05 - Self Development
  Module 06 - Elements of Anatomy, Physiology and Bio-chemistry
  Module 07 - Basic concepts of Sociology relevant to counseling
  Module 08 - mental Health and Abnormal Psychology
  Module 09 - Communication and Counselling Skills Development
  Module 10 - Problem Solving Counselling
  Module 11 - Special Applications of Counselling
  Module 12 - Knowledge of support services in Sri Lanka to mentally ill and socially disabled
  Module 13 - Referral Counselling
  Module 14 - Ethics in Counselling
  Module 15 - Electives
  Module 16 - Clinical attachment programme
  Module 17 - Project work

Course commences every November. Applications are called in June/July through advertisement Sunday Sinhala and English newspapers. Suitable applicants are then called for an interview. Approximately 35 applicants successful at the interview are selected for the course. The course in conducted in the Sinhala medium.

Department Telephone No : 011 2802497, 011 2758599