When I first started thinking about training to be a therapist, I didn’t really consider the cost- it didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Not because I’m rich, but because I didn’t assume courses would be expensive. This was probably based on the fact that I started looking at training when the government was still subsidising counselling courses, so it was only around £150 for my level two, and over a year that seemed like a good deal!
My level three was more expensive, but still subsidised. The year after I finished that, the government stopped subsidising and the price.. rose.
Level four went from being about £600 where I live, to being about £1300x year (2 years).
Add in to that the cost of personal therapy and then supervision and suddenly the price rises significantly.
For me, I wanted to do a degree, so I found all of the degree courses near me and set up a spreadsheet.
Some courses are a weekday, which means if you don’t have flexible hours at work (and you work full time), you will be losing 20% of your income straight away. That was my first reason for not doing the degree in my city. The course is a Wednesday.
Undergrad courses are often more expensive than postgraduate ones. My msc costs £3500/year for 4 years, and I know one person who is paying £7000 a year for 3 years for her undergrad.
Another factor is travel and accommodation if you have to do this. I travel to my course and stay over. It works out to be about £100/weekend (and the course is about 1 weekend in 7-8). If i travelled daily, it would be 3 hours’ drive and cost about £15 in petrol. It’s worth it for me to stay over.
As an estimate, taking personal therapy at the required amount per year and supervision for the same, course fees and accommodation, I pay £600 a month for my degree. I haven’t added that up over 4 years!
It was worth doing a cost analysis on a spreadsheet however – even over a year it made it much simpler to see, when factoring in travel and course fees, just which would work for me (or not). Also, consider what’s available to you in terms of loans and grants. If you’re doing an undergraduate degree for the first time, you’re entitled to a student loan. If you’re doing a postgrad, you might qualify for a ‘career development loan’ and it’s worth looking these up – they might make the difference between your choice of courses.
It’s something that really needs considering before you begin, however. Sometimes you’re just going to have to take the cheaper option, because it’s that or nothing…