The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Psychology is for students who are planning to go on and do further graduate work, whether through a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology or a related profession.
The course is for students who have an undergraduate degree, but you do not have to have a first degree in psychology. Some students use the programme as a bridge towards further study in counselling psychology, while others apply their knowledge and skills from the course within the counselling or psychotherapy profession.
As well as fulfilling the academic side of the programme, you need to be willing to investigate yourself and be open to exploring personal and interpersonal dynamics. This is a course for those with a willingness to expose their vulnerabilities and explore their own and others’ inner worlds.
The Graduate Certificate in Counselling Psychology has been designed to give you an excellent foundation for further advanced study in counselling psychology or related areas. A one-year part-time course, the programme blends theory and practice so you gain a rigorous academic base in counselling and psychology, as well as a significant and varied practical component.
Emphasising the connection between psychological theory and counselling, this programme is not just about understanding knowledge – it is about understanding how to apply what you have learned to ensure that your practice promotes psychological development.
On our Graduate Certificate programme, we focus on the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client and concentrate on the personal subjective experience of the whole person. This makes the emphasis of our approach holistic rather than diagnostic, in keeping with the ethos of counselling psychology.
You will investigate person-centred, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural theories and use a range of practical modes from client case studies and interviews to personal diaries and role-play exercises.
Here are some of the questions the course poses:
This is not a professional training programme and is not intended to train you to be an independent practitioner. If you wish to undertake professional training in counselling psychology, leading to registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and chartered membership with the British Psychological Society (BPS) please see our Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
Practising clinicians teach this programme so you gain insight from experts working within the field who offer clinical examples from their own experience. Lecture sizes tend to be fairly small (typically around 25 people) so you learn within an intimate environment.
You will learn through a variety of methods including lectures, role-playing exercises and group presentations.
Dr Sara Chaudry is the course director of the Graduate Certificate in Counselling Psychology Programme. Sara is also tutor and lecturer on the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. She has a broad range of clinical experience from working with diverse client groups, and she currently works in private practice.
To be awarded the Graduate Certificate qualification, you must successfully complete one piece of coursework for each of the six modules. Coursework formats include written assignments, a reflective diary, project work and class-based role-plays and presentations. Your project, which is a literature review where you choose a topic of interest and write a 2000-word essay, focuses on a specific mental health or psychological subject.
This course runs on one day a week (on a Wednesday) for one academic year. It consists of six modules, four of which are taught modules and two of which take the form of a project and personal and professional development. You will study two of the taught modules in the first term, and the other two in the second term. We expect you to use the time between the teaching hours for independent study.
One of the unique features of the programme is the variety of ways in which you apply your learning. For example within the ‘theoretical models in counselling psychology’ module, you will be given a client case and asked to write up a client study as though you were seeing the person in practice. This gives you the opportunity to choose a theoretical model and apply it within a client context.
Similarly, within the ‘understanding mental health module’, you learn about conditions including depression, anxiety, and psychosis and demonstrate your understanding by delivering a class presentation. You will also be asked to create a booklet for a layperson explaining a condition. In these ways, the course gives you opportunities to translate the theory you have learned into a practical application with a real-world impact.
For many students the programme is a means to progress towards doctoral study. Created with psychology graduates, healthcare professionals, teachers, social workers, managers and others professionals in mind, it gives you the opportunity to develop your interpersonal and counselling skills and improve the way you apply these skills within your professional practice.
Counselling psychology at the doctoral level is still a relatively new field in the UK. At City we offer the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, which many students choose to move on to after completing the Graduate Certificate.
City was the first institution in the UK to provide UK-accredited counselling psychology training. City’s Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is one of the largest of its kind, and has made City one of the premiere institutions for counselling psychology training.