The programme provides an opportunity for students to enhance their skills and knowledge in areas of applied psychology related to mental health practice and research. It trains and equips students wishing to:
In addition, the course has gained full AFT accreditation for Foundation Level training in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, and full BPS accreditation for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner training. These can be taken as routes within the MSc programme.
This course is undergoing academic revalidation during 2016/17, and course content/modules are subject to change.
To complete the Masters programme, students are required to successfully complete 180 university credits. Programme Routes: There are three different ‘routes’ that students can take during their time on the programme, depending on their interest or the experience they would like to gain from their training. These routes have been designed because feedback from students suggests that some people like to maintain a broad range of skills and experience, whereas others prefer to focus on a particular area of practice. The route students choose may depend on the kind of work or further training that they want to pursue beyond the MSc course itself (note that all 3 routes include the carrying out of an MSc Research Project):
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) against the requirements for qualification as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner.
The programme has a number of opportunities to connect clinical placement experiences with studies on campus. The BPS-accredited Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Training (which composes part of one of the course routes), includes a 9-month clinical placement in low-intensity psychological therapies services, arranged by the course team. The AFT-accredited Foundation Level Training in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (which composes part of another course route), includes a module that explores and assesses students' clinical experiences in this area of practice - placement for this module is arranged by students themselves. Finally, the MSc presents a further placement opportunity for students who have completed the course, in the form of a 15-credit standalone placement module ('Clinical Placement in Applied Psychology'). A selection of clinical placements have been secured in Psychology Services in the Western Health and Social Care Trust, in specialisms including Adult Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Paediatric Psychology, Older Adults, Personality Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder Services. This post-MSc module is only open to those students who have completed the MSc at Ulster, and students who enrol on this module will be working as the equivalent of Assistant Psychologists on a voluntary basis in these services (length of placements are typically between 6 months and one year).
Currently, our graduating students are successful in acquiring Assistant Psychologist positions, which with experience is allowing people to apply for Associate Psychologist positions. Others are successful in gaining entry onto Professional Doctorate programmes in Clinical, Counselling and Educational Psychology, or PhD scholarships in Psychology across UK and Ireland. In addition, students who undertake the accredited Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) training strand within the course will be able to seek accreditation with the BPS for working as a PWP. Finally, students who undertake AFT Foundation Level Training will have completed Stage 1 of 3 in their training to become a qualified Systemic Psychotherapist.
This programme provides professional training that leads to eligibility for registration as a counselling psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
This programme has recently been updated and re-validated to incorporate new BPS standards. It is at the leading edge of international developments in counselling psychology practice, research and theory; and brings together contemporary understandings from person-centred psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural models of therapy. There is a strong emphasis on your identity and employability as a practitioner psychologist, including skills in assessment and formulation, leadership, service evaluation, psychological testing, qualitative and quantitative research methods.
The course is based on a relational pluralistic philosophy that values diversity, and promotes individual empowerment and social change. This means that we respect and value a wide range of approaches to psychological intervention and research, view relationships as central to wellbeing, and seek to enable trainees to make a positive difference both at an individual and social level through their clinical and research work.
You will join a vibrant community of practitioners and researchers, who will help you achieve your goals, and enable you to make a valuable contribution to the field of counselling psychology.
In years one and two as a trainee, you will focus on gaining clinical experience working in person-centred and psychodynamic models of therapy respectively. In year three, you will have the option of gaining experience working in a cognitive-behavioural, integrative or pluralistic model. By the end of the programme, you will have completed a minimum requirement of 450 supervised client hours in a range of placement settings.
Starting in your second year, you will work towards the production of a doctoral portfolio to showcase and integrate your learning as a counselling psychologist, across both professional practice and research domains. The portfolio contains elements, such as research papers, that you will be encouraged to submit for publication, thus further enhancing your professional contribution and employability.
During your training, you will develop key transferable skills as a practitioner psychologist, in research, psychological testing, service evaluation, team working and leadership. Your development will be closely supported and monitored throughout the programme, using formative and summative assessment, involving clinical tutors and research supervisors.
The programme is affiliated to the Centre for Research in Social and Psychological Transformation (CREST). CREST carries out world-leading research into psychological therapies. You have the option of choosing an area of doctoral inquiry that is aligned with CREST research activities. CREST also has a dedicated therapy and research clinic located at the university. This provides unique opportunities for you to engage in cutting-edge research. You can also undertake practice placements within the clinic.
Here are examples of some the modules we currently offer:
As an HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist you will be qualified to work in a range of settings, including the NHS, the voluntary sector and private practice. As well as providing psychotherapeutic interventions, your work may include providing clinical supervision, service management, teaching, research and consultancy. Click here to find out more about the scope of counselling psychology and about careers on the BPS website.
Our innovative MSc Health Psychology programme applies the theories, methods and techniques of psychology to issues of health and illness.
These are integrated into the psychological processes related to the maintenance of health, the promotion of the psychological wellbeing of the physically ill, and the normal and pathological responses to ill health and stress.
Our MSc Health Psychology programme will equip you with a sound knowledge of theories and practical issues relevant to health psychology.
You will consider the psychological and physiological responses of the individual to ill health, as well as the social and community contexts of health-related behaviours and healthcare systems.
The programme will equip you with a sound knowledge of theories and practical issues relevant to health psychology, in addition to a solid understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research.
The programme, which is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), provides the academic component (Stage One) on the route towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The aims of the programme are:
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the following:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Students will be able to:
Professional practical skills
Students will have the skills to:
Key / transferable skills
Students will be able to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This course will equip you with a valuable professional insight into topics including the causes of addiction and how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other evidence based psychotherapies can be used to help address stress, depression,chronic pain and other related disorders.
You'll find the course particularly relevant if you are working in the NHS or healthcare independent sector, including addiction clinics, and want to develop your knowledge and understanding of psychological therapy beyond the basic level offered in some professional qualification courses.
For further information, take a look at our Psychology blog.
The aim of this course is to enable you to develop a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of applied psychology in the context of psychological intervention and therapeutic modalities including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
The full-time route is structured over 12 months and comprises of three 10 week semesters. In semester 1 and 2 you will complete two taught modules in each semester. In semester 3 you will complete your dissertation under the supervision of one of the course tutors. If you choose to follow the part-time route you will complete the course over three years, completing two taught modules in each of the first two years and the dissertation in your third year.
The dissertation module on this course will also give you the opportunity to pursue an area of applied psychology and psychological therapies directly related to your own work or interest.
This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including the following:
You will be assessed in a variety of ways including:
This course has helped students to progress to leadership positions within the field of psychological therapies and to advance to more senior practitioner and research roles. Some of our graduates have received bursaries toward PhD study.
This course is an excellent springboard in applied psychology that you can use to become a leader in your profession. It could open doors to more senior roles (including Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner) in CBT and therapeutic intervention – two areas that government views as key to effective modern healthcare provision.