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.
The MSc Attachment Studies course provides students with a specific qualification in the assessment of child and adult attachment, parenting and family functioning. Designed for health and social care professionals, our aim is to prepare you to be at the forefront of the next generation of attachment scholars and practitioners.
This course is best suited for professionals who are interested in broadening their skills in assessing attachment, improving the outcome of interventions with their clients and conducting small or large scale research projects. Central to the programme is the Patricia Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment combined with a culturally sensitive approach uniquely applicable to alleviate the suffering of distressed and traumatised people.
A unique feature of this programme is the opportunity to learn how to apply and conduct a wide range of assessments and procedures for forensic, clinical or research purposes. All students are required to learn to code at least one procedure where you will be able to achieve clinical or research levels of reliability in analysing the results. You can also learn to give and to analyse bio-physiological measures such as cortisol levels, EEG and heart rate variability.
Although this course does not offer therapeutic training, you will be taught by experts in the field to gain the necessary knowledge to formulate intervention plans and select therapeutic approaches that will benefit your clients.
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of attachment theory including the latest developments in the neuroscience of attachment relationships and parenting. Our systemic approach broadens the study of attachment from mothers and infants to the attachment of older children, adults, family systems and the wider social and community networks.
The interdisciplinary focus on both practice and research is invaluable for students interested in a research career in the field of attachment studies. Examples of recent and current PhD students’ research include the development of the Meaning of the Child to the Parent Interview, the physiology of developmental trauma (PTSD) in children, the effectiveness of play therapy with traumatised children, and attachment in chimpanzees reared by humans.
In this course, you will gain a variety of skillsets and knowledge through a substantial coverage of the underpinning attachment theory and research. This includes an understanding of the latest development in the neuroscience of attachment and trauma. You will study core concepts of attachment and Dynamic Maturational Model theory, family systems and object relations theory and primatology.
You will also gain a comprehensive knowledge in learning how to administer a wide range of validated attachment and family assessments applicable for use with adults and children of all ages. Examples of these procedures are:
This programme offers innovative modules such as the infant mental health module, research methods and the formulation of intervention plans. The infant mental health module is designed to deepen your knowledge of early years development and includes an introduction to the Infant CARE-Index. You will also observe a young child in a natural setting. Besides observing a traditional mother-child relationship, this assessment module also includes observations of older children, adults, family and wider systems.
The research methods module prepares you to design and carry out single case study or small sample empirical research. You will also be able to learn how to administer and analyse bio-physical assessments such as heart rate variability, cortisol and EGG and eye tracking.
The formulation module teaches you to interpret the results of attachment assessments and select the intervention most likely to succeed with a particular client or family. We also offer a forensic model of assessment designed for use with courts and other decision-making forums.
Here are examples of the modules:
Designed for busy social care professionals, the Certificate in DMM Attachment based family assessment and intervention enables you to build upon your skills at a pace that suits you.
The Certificate is available for students who would like to apply directly to the University of Roehampton, or it can be delivered by your workplace for employees with a minimum of ten students.
Careers in psychology and social work.
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.