Person-centred-experiential counselling and psychotherapy is internationally recognised. Evidence suggests it's one of the leading therapeutic approaches to mental health and wellbeing, and it continues to develop important practical applications and theoretical knowledge.
Our long-established postgraduate courses in counselling have offered a unique opportunity to gain in-depth experience of the Person-Centred-Experiential methods applied in counselling and psychotherapy, to Masters level. Our courses have an international reputation and attract students from the UK, Europe, Canada, the USA, China, and India.
The course has been restructured to meet evolving standards for evidence-based practice, rising educational standards, increased professional regulation, and rapid social and economic change. You'll gain a solid grounding and thorough integration of theory, research and practice, as well as a capacity to engage with the wider field of human distress and wellbeing, including private, public and third sector mental health agencies.
The emphasis is on person-centred therapy throughout the programme. You'll undertake counselling training, including theoretical, personal and professional development and practical/skills-based components, over an 11-month period (September to August).
The counselling practice element of the training includes the following classes:
The Research Dissertation class involves training in counselling research methods and a write-up of a small empirical study, practical case study, or review of research.
You'll receive intensive skills training to prepare you to undertake a minimum of 100 hours of counselling experience. This counselling practice is undertaken with real clients across a range of placements within third-sector organisations, voluntary agencies and other health service educational and community settings.
You'll develop your skills and capacity to practice as a professional therapist leading to accreditation with professional bodies such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and COSCA.
The Research Dissertation involves training in the main counselling research methods and four options for research projects: a quantitative study, a qualitative study, a systematic case study or a systematic review.
We have dedicated teaching space especially set up to foster collaborative learning in groups.
The Counselling Unit at Strathclyde has developed one of the most diverse and innovative databases of counselling opportunities in the UK. You'll be supported to organise your own counselling work placement opportunity by our team.
The MSc course run by the Counselling Unit received the Charlotte and Karl Bühler award from the Society for Humanistic Psychology in 2010, given to key organisations that have made outstanding and lasting contributions to humanistic psychology.
In 2013 and 2015, two of our MSc students received the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Outstanding Research awards.
In 2016, one of our MSc Students received the PCCS Books student prize for the winning paper presented at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy research conference.
The Counselling Unit has a long tradition of guest lectures, particularly the annual Mary Kilborn Lecture. In 2016/17 Professor Stephen Joseph will give a lecture entitled, ‘Building Bridges between Positive Psychology and the Person-Centred Experiential Approach’.
The MSc will be delivered on a full-time (one-year) basis and delivered using a combination of large group formats (lecture/workshop/groupwork) and small group formats (supervision, personal and professional development groups) plus pre-recorded/streaming blended learning inputs.
You'll be expected to supplement class time with directed and self-directed learning and placement experience working with clients in community settings. The research class will be delivered with a combination of lectures on the main research methods in counselling research, and small group tutorials and independent work.
Assessment is through summative written assignments and formative assessments which draw on interactions within all the aspects of the course.
Graduates from our training courses have the potential to move into full-time or part-time positions. However, the more typical pathway is for students to continue within their placements, adding to their client experience.
Most UK employers are looking for client-contact hours greater than the minimum 100 hours gained during training. Many students quickly gain part-time employment in agencies offering telephone counselling and also in employee assistance programmes offering short-term counselling to their employees.
We encourage our graduates to work towards professional accreditation which also affords professional registration and recognition. A therapist requires 450 hours of practice to begin the accreditation process and the majority of counsellors also engage in advanced professional development to broaden their professional profile while working towards accreditation.
Ultimately, most counsellors work in a mixture of part-time settings, such as paid part-time work in the NHS or voluntary sector, plus some private practice and/or gaining a qualification to do group work or professional supervision. Other choose to mix their practice with non-counselling employment.
If you graduate from this course with your Postgraduate Diploma, you will not be awarded accreditation status. To qualify for full BACP accreditation you must complete the full Masters programme. Further information is available from BACP.
All courses combine Humanistic theory with professional and ethical practice and are grounded in Humanistic values; these values fit today’s working conditions.You’ll be given the opportunity to explore how, as a Humanistic practitioner, you can contribute to the contemporary and growing field of counselling and psychotherapy.
The course combines humanistic theory with professional and ethical practice and is grounded in humanistic values. These values fit contemporary working conditions well. You’ll be given an opportunity to explore how, as a Humanistic Practitioner, you can contribute to the contemporary and growing field of counselling and psychotherapy.
Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.
At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.
The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.
The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:
Our graduates have secured jobs in the following roles, with 80% working as counsellors.
Diploma Humanistic Counselling:
Students are taught and facilitated interactively so that they are always encouraged to engage with the material and learn through discussion. We provide students with a variety of types of modules and guide their learning experiences in the following areas:
Assessment is based on observed skills practise, assignments and satisfactory supervisor’s reports and completion of placement and personal counselling hours. There are no exams.
As a student in the Department there are a variety of opportunities which may be available to you. These include:
The DPsych aims to develop ethical, reflective and professional practitioners of counselling psychology who work collaboratively with service users to provide high-quality psychological services, drawing on evidence-based psychological practice in the context of a therapeutic relationship characterised by trust, respect, and appreciation for the subjective experience of the person and individuality of the client and their unique world view.
Our programme seeks to sit at the interface of science and practice. We value reflective professional practice and development of practice through the rigour of top class research.
You are equipped to work with a wide range of complex presenting issues; with individual adults and children, couples, families, groups and organisations; short and long term; in single and multi-professional contexts; and through transferring psychological skills to others in multidisciplinary teams. You will build a solid foundation of the clinical and professional knowledge and skills for working in mental health on the programme.
Equality of opportunity is central to the programme and trainees work in the course community to foster their valuing of difference in society and their own personal relationship to diversity, developed in relationship within the course community and then integrated into their practice outside. The diversity of our trainees is a highly valued feature of our course, and is integral to the learning context.
This programme of study enables graduates to meet the training requirements for chartered membership as a Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and the eligibility to apply for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
The Counselling Psychology programme aims to:
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three year full time programme of study. The programme is approved by the
In addition to activities within the modules, you are required to be on clinical placement. You will have a variety of different placements over your time on the programme. Time on placement varies but is usually a minimum of two days per week. Typically trainees stay in each placement for six months to one year. You may need to travel to a suitable placement. You are required to keep records of and reflections on your clinical development on placement. You will be encouraged to learn through working collaboratively with a supervisor from your placement context during the programme of study.
Please https://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/counselling-psychology-dpsych for further information.
The programme involves a variety of learning and teaching strategies for each module. The learning outcomes are achieved through a range of methods, including:
Please note that teaching is held on different days of the week over the three years of the course.
Assessment will be varied to reflect the range of professional competencies and experiences that you will develop on the programme. This includes:
We want your time on the Counselling Psychology DPsych course to be as inspiring, challenging and stimulating as it can be. As part of our dedication to enhancing the overall student experience, we support you throughout your studies in many different ways:
Throughout the programme, trainees are exposed to a range of approaches and their application to practice, so they can conceptualise human psychological processes from different perspectives, sensitising them to clients’ needs and the choices they may make, enabling an understanding of how other psychologists work and fostering respect for both clients and professionals who operate from a range of conceptual world views.
The programme teaches humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and systemic therapy approaches, as well as contemporary developments.
Trainees are required to demonstrate professional competence in a minimum of two models of psychological therapy in order to successfully complete their programme of training. Trainees will be required to present coursework and undertake supervised clinical practice using more than one psychological model.
Gain integrated clinical training and extensive professional development through GCU’s DPsych Counselling Psychology – the only programme of its kind in Scotland. Counselling psychology is a rapidly growing area of applied psychology, and a wide range of diverse settings are in need of highly skilled HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologists.
In this doctorate programme, you’ll expand your ability to work with complex client groups and contribute impactful research to the field of psychological health.
We draw on our relationships with active practitioners to give you a world-class and highly relevant education, with clinical training in both humanistic (person-centred) and cognitive-behavioural approaches. We take a holistic and comprehensive approach to instruction, and you’ll develop your skills in applied psychological theory and research as well as complete work in ongoing clinical placements.
Here, you’ll be a part of a thriving, open and diverse community with a shared investment in social responsibility and a commitment to the common good.
DPsych covers Psychotherapeutic Competencies and Skills; Critical Enquiry in Counselling Psychology; Advanced Research Methods and Dissertation; and Personal and Professional Development in modules ranging from 15 to 60 credits.
To reach the award of D.Psych, you much achieve a total of 540 credits. Early exits points are available at PgCert in Psychological Counselling (60 credits); PgDip in Psychological Counselling (120 credits); and MSc in Psychological Counselling (180 Credits) levels.
The D.Psych programme is delivered over three years full-time and up to 7 years part-time. Trimester attendance for teaching is over two days per week (Thursdays and Friday) full-time and one day per week, part-time. In subsequent years attendance is on Fridays only, supplemented by several intensive teaching weeks.
Placement experience of at least 450 hours of supervised clinical practice must be gained during the programme and placement practice is on-going year-round. Full-time students are expected to undertake placement activities over two days per week (outside the timetabled academic days), developing a range of related skills in addition to direct client work. Students are responsible for securing placements, although the programme provides considerable support and opportunities towards this.
On graduation, you will qualify for Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society and you are eligible to apply for HCPC registration.
Our graduates benefit from the growing demand for in-depth training and leadership abilities in the field of psychological therapy – and from GCU’s excellent academic reputation and world top 5% ranking. Our alumni work as registered counselling psychologists, making a positive impact in independent practice and academia, the NHS and in social care, organisational, educational and forensic settings.
This two year full-time programme integrates theoretical learning, clinical skills and in-depth personal development to prepare graduates for clinical practice, predominantly with children, as a professional play therapist within the public and private sectors.Based on a humanistic person-centred model of therapy, this course emphasises the use of play within a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client to facilitate therapeutic change. The course encompasses theoretical, practical and experiential learning. With our holistic approach to teaching, you will be provided with thorough and systematic knowledge, experience, skills and the confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist. At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic techniques and approaches that are required for professional registration purposes.
This course leads to a qualification that entitles you to registration as a Full Member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) whose register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). You will be taught by experienced practitioners who are practising play therapists and will bring the teaching on the course to life by drawing upon their own clinical experiences and case materials.
All students are required to be in personal therapy for the duration of the course and will complete two specified periods of supervised clinical placements alongside their studies. Key areas that you will study include human development and growth, play therapy theory and skills and young child observations (attachment theory). Integral to the programme is your own personal development which will be supported by personal therapy and experiential process groups.
This intense, rigorous and comprehensive programme is made up of ten modules that encompass the theoretical, practical and experiential learning experience required to become a professional play therapist. All modules are designed to prepare you for child-centred therapeutic practice that is theoretically sound and emotionally aware, complying with the core competencies of a play therapist as specified by the British Association of Play Therapists.
The clinical placements are a central component to the training in this programme. In your first year, the modules will include experiential learning to prepare you for your first work placement, as theoretical understanding will give you a strong grounding for your clinical practice. Your professional development is inter-related with the development of theoretical knowledge, skills and personal awareness. Within the clinical placements you will synthesise, integrate and apply all aspects of your learning into practise.
In the second year, you will build upon your play therapy skills and knowledge from your first year modules. You will have the opportunity to develop and explore your understanding of the theory and practice of play therapy in relation to working with different client groups and more complex needs. You will also synthesise your theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to pursue your research interest in the Research Portfolio module. A clinical issue, your own clinical work or a professional issue may provide the inspiration for this research project. Recent research areas have included: child-centred play therapy and the use of therapeutic boundaries, play therapy and unresolved bereavement issues, play therapy in schools, and play therapy and different cultural beliefs.
We also offer introductory courses that provide a useful background to those working in related professions or anyone simply wishing to find out more about the work.
See answers to frequently asked questions about the MA Play Therapy.
Year 1 (full-time)
Year 2 (full-time)
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
Graduates work as a registered play therapist for both the private and public sectors.
We also offer weekend introductory courses, 5 day Summer Schools, and 20 week part time evening Foundation Courses which provide a useful background in related professions. For more information, see our Psychology Short Courses.
This course is designed for those interested in developing skills and knowledge for the assessment and solution-focused management of people with certain physical and mental health conditions.
It will be of particular relevance to people with a background in the social sciences, mental health or nursing.
A background in psychology is desirable as you will have a strong foundation in mental health problems and research methods, but it is not essential.
It is also suitable for practitioners in health, mental health and the forensic equivalent (including all aspects of health and justice) who are currently working with people benefitting from such interventions. There is also clear potential for applicants to be multi-disciplinary and to come from public or private settings.
We offer flexible study modes and, after passing the relevant number of modules, you can choose to step off the programme to gain awards of PGCert and PGDip, or continue to the full MSc respectively.
You can study this course over three years and dedicate the third year to completing your dissertation.
What will this course cover?
Psychosocial interventions relate to an individual's psychological development and how this development interacts with a social environment. Generally psychosocial interventions cover psychological interventions (for example classified into behavioural, cognitive, humanistic, motivational etc) and social approaches (for example focusing the work on families or wider social networks such a local communities). Students on the MSc, therefore, are exposed to the underlying principles and frameworks of interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Intervention Skills, Motivational Enhancement Skills, Positive Psychology (Skills & Interventions) etc.
What are my career prospects?
On successful completion of this programme, you will have gained a strong understanding of the principle concepts, theories and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions.
This course will also give you the requisite foundation skills and conceptual understanding required for the engagement, assessment, and formulation of the needs of people who experience particular conditions including their significant social environment.
You will also be able to critically reflect and problem-solve to develop and apply creative solutions when dealing with certain clinical issues.
Throughout the course, you will be introduced to, and explore, the skills and frameworks for the delivery of specific interventions.
How to apply
Apply here: https://bucks.ac.uk/apply-now
Gain the specialist training to advance your professional development in counselling, psychotherapy or another healthcare-related field.
You will further your understanding of contemporary theories in psychological therapies by analysing key issues and debates in counselling and psychotherapy. You will explore cognitive behavioural therapy approaches to therapeutic practice, social psychological theory and group therapy research.
As well as supporting your professional growth, your course will allow you to specialise in your chosen area of interest. Some of the diverse modules have an experiential component, others require purely academic study, and some will be useful for psychologists undertaking an independent route to the British Psychological Society's counselling psychology chartership.
Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: 40% of our research in the Psychology unit was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent.
The modular design of our course allows you to build on previous learning and experience. Plus, you'll have the unique opportunity to investigate areas outside of your normal area of work, and study the topics that most people are unable to follow at diploma level.
Our dissertation module allows you to undertake an in-depth study of an area of particular interest whilst contributing to the wider profession.
This course will enhance your ongoing professional development in many related fields such as nursing, social work or life coaching. If you are already practising as a counsellor or psychotherapist, this course will enable you to fulfil the professional development requirements of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and the UK Council for Psychotherapy in order to maintain accreditation.