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.
The MSc by Research in Counselling Studies provides students with a comprehensive understanding of research design, data collection and data analysis for research in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.
It offers an advanced education to students interested in developing research skills, including qualified counselling and psychotherapy practitioners and social science researchers.
Counselling and psychotherapy specialise in qualitative, reflexive and critical approaches to research, and have particular expertise in practice-based research that draws directly on practitioners' own therapeutic work, on the client's experience of therapy, and in narrative, reflexive and auto-ethnographic methods.
We are especially keen to encourage research concerned with the interface between counselling, psychotherapy and social, cultural and political life.
Our research portfolio is highly interdisciplinary, integrating concepts, practices and scholarship from counselling and psychotherapy, psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, cultural studies, health and social care, and other social sciences.
Our interests include disability, gender, trauma, abuse, counselling children and young people, and sexualities.
You can read more about our research interests and publications on our website:
The programme aims to provide students with advanced understandings of research design, data collection and data analysis issues in counselling research.
The programme enables students to develop their understandings of debates about research, evidence and practice in relation to counselling and related practices.
Distinctive features of this degree include:
The degree may be taken as a free-standing MSc or as a foundation for PhD studies. Candidates must complete a programme of research training courses and submit a dissertation on an approved topic.
Teaching and learning methods include lectures, theory seminars, discussion groups and independent study.
Assessment is through essays and the dissertation.
Individual courses may have other learning and assessment methods such as student presentations, research projects and web-based learning.
The programme provides research training in counselling, opportunities to design research, a research-based appreciation of key elements of counselling practice, a critical appreciation of approaches to research in counselling and psychotherapy, and the ability to work across disciplinary boundaries.
You will complete a programme of research training courses and submit a dissertation on an approved topic. The MSc by Research can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as a foundation for PhD study.
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
During this course you will undertake an in-depth study of the person-centred approach to counselling. You will gain an overview of therapeutic models and current developments in theory and practice. There will also be an opportunity for you to take part in intensive skills development and supervision of practice, alongside widespread opportunities for personal development. This course provides a balance between academic work, skills development, professional practice, and individual personal development and self-awareness.
Students who successfully complete all aspects of the professional training and do not wish to progress onto the full MSc can exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Those who complete the dissertation module will receive a full Masters qualification.
This course is delivered on a part-time basis through a variety of:
Find out more about certain aspects of counselling with our short two minute psychotherapy lectures from Dr Mark Widdowson, lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Salford.
Assessment is by:
We have recently developed a brand new special counselling suite which will be used for training students to become professional counsellors and psychotherapists.
The suite, featuring therapeutic areas where one-to-one, family and group interactions can occur, will also shortly be available for members of the local community and the University is hoping to work with local charities which will be able to use the facility.
Over the last few years there has been a gradual increase in the number of advertised counselling posts in the NHS, social services, education, the prison service and both commercial and voluntary organisations. There are opportunities for part-time and private work and widespread opportunities for you to study further at postgraduate level.
Students who have successfully completed the course have started their own business as a counsellor, acquired jobs within NHS, the voluntary sector and education.
We work with over 100 health and social care organisations so our links with industry are very strong. These relationships will be of direct benefit to you because our academic team work in practice in some of these organisations at a senior level so are able to keep you at the forefront of developments in the sector, which in turn help you provide a better service.
This course has particularly strong links with the NHS, voluntary and private sector because our students complete a counselling placement as part of the training within these organisations.
You may wish to pursue a research degree after completion of the course.
The Master of Counselling (MCouns) is established as a flagship degree that has seen 92% of graduates over the past six years gain successful employment.
The degree has specifically been designed for professional counsellors or supervisors interested in leadership roles within the New Zealand counselling profession.
The programme has a key teaching focus on providing experiences in which you can further develop your professional attitudes, knowledge and competencies in the areas of counselling, group leadership, mediation and practitioner research. You'll graduate with a high level of knowledge and understanding through the narrative practice this programme is known for.
For the past 20 years, our teaching staff have been active in promoting narrative therapy, beginning with a book staff produced called Narrative Therapy in Practice. Today Waikato is considered a leader in this field with several local and international publications produced each year.
This notable reputation extends also into our thriving doctoral counselling programme.
As a graduate of the MCouns programme, you will have developed competence in the practices of counselling, and established a firm understanding in philosophical and ethical issues relating to professional counselling practice.
You'll learn how to engage critically with the theoretical concepts and research which underpins counselling practice and the knowledge of the professional context within which you work.
Not only will your studies set you up with a well-articulated theoretical position and reflective professional stance in your counselling work, you'll also gain a recognised qualification for membership of New Zealand Association of Counsellors.
Manākitanga (hospitality and care) is offered by Tangata whenua, people of the land, who open the space for collaboration, with the intention of weaving cultural knowledge and practice into the shaping of our counsellor education programme. The significant contributions include interchanges, connections, noho marae and visits to the following marae:
Professional papers offer students the opportunity to have supported professional experience in community and or education settings. Efforts are made to cater for and respond to the individual student’s particular background and professional education goals.
In order to gain a place in the programme, students must be able to demonstrate a relationship with a community-based counselling service or school or mental health service, which will give them access to an appropriate practicum placement.
Students must have a commitment to ongoing appropriate professional supervision. However, students will not establish any formal contract with an agency until they have been selected into the Counsellor Education Programme and have received all the necessary information on practicum placements.
In general, students in the first year of a full-time programme complete 200 hours in a professional counselling setting and complete 80 hours of counselling. They will engage in professional supervision*. The supervisor must be a member of a professional helping body such as NZAC, NZASW, NZPsS, or NZAP. Students must engage in a minimum of 16 supervision sessions, in each of the practicum papers. Students should note that NZAC membership now requires supervision with an experienced NZAC Member.
In the second year of the full-time programme the practicum involves 450 hours in counselling settings. Up to three placements may be arranged.
Note: Successful applicants will be completely responsible for setting up an appropriate placement to meet the requirements of the counselling practicum for the various papers.
*There may be a cost involved.