The routes you could follow if you want to work in counselling
Study in psychology could be useful, especially if you are considering a postgraduate degree in counselling psychology. To become a counselling psychologist you need to complete an accredited degree that gives you the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) conferred by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The OU BSc (Hons) Psychology degree meets this requirement.
However entry to counselling does not always require a psychology background and there are other study options available. Look at our Psychology and Counselling pages on Study at the OU for information. D171 Introduction to Counselling introduces you to the basics of counselling theory and practice. The Foundation Degree in Counselling will prepare you to become a professional counsellor by equipping you with the theoretical understanding and practical skills required to work in this field.
There is more information on how to get into counselling on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website. The BACP also has a jobs page.
For entry onto many study pathways, particularly those at postgraduate level, you need to demonstrate an interest in, and some prior experience of counselling. This is usually gained as a volunteer, after completing some basic counselling training. Check Do-it, the national volunteering database for opportunities in your area.