Our Counselling Studies and Therapeutic Communication course will help you if you are interested in starting a career in counselling, or want to develop and hone your existing professional skills. It offers theoretical knowledge and an academic foundation in counselling and for a variety of helping skills in professional contexts. The optional modules enable you to study the niche you would like to work in. This course has received recognition from a professional body, awarded the advanced training status from the National Counselling Society (NCS).
This course does not include professional practice hours, those students who wish to be on Government register for Counselling, upon successful completion of this course can apply for the PgCert Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice, which will provide client hours. The PgCert/PgDip/MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice has been designed to contribute to the educational requirements of practising counsellors working towards professional accreditation. The practical course aims to recruit counsellors who are already working in a practice context towards professional accreditation. Only students who complete the supervised practice modules (100 client hours) can receive the award of PgCert/PgDip/MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice.
A central strength of the course is the teaching team, consisting of academics with both practice and research experience in counselling. Staff members ensure that the content of the course is continually updated based on innovations in practice and research.
The course provides:
The course on its own does not qualify you to practice as a counsellor. However, the course provides approximately 200 taught hours of training that may be used to contribute to accreditation with professional bodies (please contact relevant professional body directly for guidance on accreditation policy).
The full range of optional modules is regularly updated and will vary in availability in any academic year.
Students can complete modules as part of a CPD pathway, PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters programme.
This course is available both full-time and part-time.
The Course offers Exit Points at PG Dip and MSc levels.
Full-time: PgDip – one academic year (two semesters); MSc – three semesters.
Part-time:PgDip – two academic years (four semesters); MSc – three calendar years.
What areas of work are previous students now engaged in?
Previous students have developed their work activities in Counselling and associated areas. Additionally, past students have used the programme themes to support their existing work in areas including community work, youth work, education, and health care.
Will completion of the course qualify me as a counsellor?
The course currently would not enable you to practice as a qualified counsellor. However, as stated above the course can contribute towards accreditation with professional bodies.
What steps would I need to take to become a fully registered counsellor?
For further information contact a professional body directly for details on the eligibility criteria for counsellor accreditation.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) – http://www.bacp.co.uk
National Counselling Society (NCS) - https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org
Would the course provide me with the necessary training and accreditation to become a qualified counselling psychologist?
No, there are specific qualifications required to become a qualified counselling psychologist, for example you would need to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Please see contact further details: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) – http://www.bacp.co.uk
The programme offers advanced academic study of counselling and related practices. It aims to foster the development of critical reflection on the field by professionally qualified practitioners.
It complements professional training in counselling by providing students from a range of backgrounds with critical perspectives on counselling and related practices.
This programme firmly locates the practice of counselling within the field of social science enquiry. Its distinctive features include close links with professional training in counselling and with social science research concerned with counselling and society.
It includes the professionally validated Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies, three other substantive taught courses and a dissertation based on empirical research.
This MSc is not a full professional training in counselling. The latter is offered through the Master of Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue), two years full-time, or the Master of Counselling, four years part-time.
Teaching and learning methods include lectures, theory seminars and independent study. Assessment is through essays and the dissertation.
The Postgraduate Certificate component involves experiential group work, practice-skills workshops and individual tutorials, with self and peer assessment and portfolio work, complementing essay-based assessment.
The programme provides a high level of student-tutor contact and close supervision of both listening practice and research, in line with professional and academic requirements.
The MSc in Counselling Studies provides:
Graduates of the MSc Counselling Studies use the degree in a variety of ways. For some it opens up employment opportunities in a range of fields, including education, policy, research and development on health and illness, emotional health and wellbeing, and counselling, often in combination with first degrees or other professional training.
The degree also enhances the career prospects of professionally qualified counsellors and practitioners. Many graduates use the MSc as a foundation for undertaking further specialist therapeutic training in the UK or abroad.
Others enhance their careers by using newly developed conceptual, analytical and research skills and may use the MSc to embark on doctoral research.
This programme provides the training in counselling and psychotherapy necessary to become eligible for BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) individual practitioner accreditation.
The course, accredited by the BACP, is based on an integrative relational approach to counselling and psychotherapy, which has been developed over many years by our cutting-edge teaching team. Our integrative approach, at the forefront of counselling and psychotherapy theory, practice and research, incorporates aspects from three main therapeutic traditions; person-centred, cognitive and psychodynamic. You will be encouraged to explore psychological processes and experiences from these different perspectives, and recognise the theoretical, personal and cultural assumptions which influence your work.
As well as cognitive and reflective skills, you will also learn practical ways of working with your clients in a therapeutic relationship to address conscious and unconscious needs and produce a change in emotional and cognitive processes and behaviour. This involves integrating complex and advanced skills, and responding creatively to complex, novel and unpredictable situations.
Our teaching includes life-span developmental theories, therapeutic skills practice in small groups, supervision of client work in small groups, critical analysis of approaches and research into counselling and psychotherapy. You will develop a critical understanding of the role of research in the development of the counselling and psychotherapeutic disciplines, and be able to incorporate research knowledge into clinical practice. You are required to be in personal therapy throughout the course, which will help you to develop a high level of awareness of self and the therapeutic process, to be able to use this constructively in therapeutic encounters. You will be equipped with the necessary skills to work with a wide range of people with a range of psychological issues in a variety of settings.
The Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy programme is taught by means of interactive lectures and seminars, experiential skills workshops, small clinical supervision groups, and personal development work. Much of your learning will be by a process of reflection on the experience of skills practiced and the use of demonstration, observation, self, peer and tutor feedback as well as a more traditional academic study.
The course emphasises the central importance of the therapeutic relationship, and builds your understanding of a variety of theories and practices, to make informed choices about therapeutic interventions suitable for the problems which clients present. Central to developing your therapeutic skills is a sustained effort of attunement to the client as well as openness to and awareness of their and your internal processes. As well as having a theoretical understanding of these processes, from the first year you will have modules allowing you the opportunity to practice your counselling skills.
Later modules in the course will familiarise you with a variety of forms of psychological assessment, so that you are able to critically evaluate the appropriateness and limitations of the procedures and underlying concepts. As many students will go on to work in a multidisciplinary team, in particular within the NHS, they need to have an understanding and working knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses and classification systems, while being aware of their acknowledge limits and critiques.
You will have the opportunity to work with a placements co-ordinator to find a suitable counselling/psychotherapy placement in which to gain the depth and range of experience necessary to become a competent practitioner. Information on over 500 different counselling placements is available.
Here are examples of the modules:
Graduates can work in health and social services, voluntary organisations and the education in counselling field.
This programme aims to foster the development of critically reflective practitioners who are able to work in a variety of settings with a broad range of people. It is founded in dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives in counselling.
The Master of Counselling is validated professionally by COSCA at Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma levels. It is a flexible, student-centred training process with a strong emphasis on practice, including a counselling placement.
A distinctive feature of this degree is its focus on the student’s individual counselling practice with clients, which normally begins in year two.
Teaching and learning methods include experiential group work, supervised practice, theory seminars and independent study. A distinctive feature is the system of individual tutorials.
Assessment methods combine essays with seminar presentations, self and peer assessments, placement-based assessment, the professional portfolio and the dissertation.
The programme provides a high level of student-tutor contact and close supervision of both counselling practice and research, in line with professional and academic requirements.
Students who successfully complete the programme will:
The Master of Counselling allows students to gain employment in a variety of contexts where this unique combination of interpersonal, therapeutic, self-reflective and analytical skills is highly valued.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies enhances your career prospects in a variety of fields that use listening skills, such as healthcare, social work or education. It is also an excellent foundation for further specialist therapeutic training in the UK or abroad. In addition, the general skills you gain (such as communication, research and project management) will be of use in any professional or academic role.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling is a professionally accredited programme that allows you to practise counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, and in other countries where equivalence in qualifications is recognised. Successful completion of this programme, followed by post-qualification practice and supervision, enables you to apply for individual accreditation as a counsellor or psychotherapist with a UK professional body.
Many employers today require masters qualifications for management positions in counselling and psychotherapy. With the Master of Counselling, you can join the many Edinburgh graduates who now hold senior positions in the field, and contribute to the development of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK and across the world.
As a graduate, you could also gain employment as a counsellor and psychotherapist working in the statutory, voluntary/non-government and private sectors. You can enter private practice, or use your counselling training and allied skills in communication and project management to enhance your career in a related profession, such as healthcare, social work, nursing or education.