The MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling provides high quality BACP-accredited training, with a strong research focus. It offers an opportunity to critically and creatively evaluate current theory and practice issues.
You’ll benefit from the knowledge of experienced counsellors and psychotherapists, with senior levels of registration.
Teaching staff are also active researchers, with a range of specialisms. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to conduct independent in-depth research into a complex specialist area. In your final year, our innovative annual student conference gives you chance to share your research with peers.
The programme aims to equip you to work with self-direction and make effective decisions in complex and unpredictable situations. Many students also bring a wealth of personal experience that helps them to reflect on a range of human issues. Our excellent relationships with a range of agencies throughout the region will assist you in finding a practice placement.
Staff research specialisms include: values and ethics, power and politics, person-centred approaches, phenomenology, reflexivity in research, eating disorders, addictions, crosscultural research, maternal wellbeing and eating behaviours, mother-infant mealtime interactions.
You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.
The MA Psychotherapy and Counselling has received British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited course status which, on successful completion, will allow you to be added to their voluntary assured register of practitioners.
Over the first two years you study nine modules: four theory and four concerned with development as a reflective practitioner, plus research methods. In the third year, you have the opportunity to undertake small-scale research.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Year 1 Compulsory modules
Year 2 Compulsory modules
Year 3 Compulsory modules
You are encouraged to develop as an independent learner and scholar. Teaching approaches emphasise reflection and reflexivity and encourage you to bring personal and professional experience into discussion as a source of critical wisdom alongside wide reading.
Students starting in 2017 will have a teaching day of Tuesday throughout the first and second year
Assessments include essays, oral presentations, live skills demonstrations, audio recorded extracts from client work, and reports from supervisors and placement mentors.
Many of our graduates go on to combine counselling and psychotherapy with their existing professions, such as nursing or education. Some continue to work in a voluntary capacity to build sufficient supervised client hours to join the advanced category of individual BACP accreditation, while others set up in private practice.
Our graduates are highly sought after by employers within the region, many of whom are closely associated with the course as practice providers or supervisors. Many of our graduates have gone on to hold positions of responsibility as counsellors or psychotherapists within the NHS and voluntary bodies, and some have returned to us to undertake PhD research or teaching.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This programme provides the training in counselling and psychotherapy necessary to become eligible for BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) individual practitioner accreditation.
The course, accredited by the BACP, is based on an integrative relational approach to counselling and psychotherapy, which has been developed over many years by our cutting-edge teaching team. Our integrative approach, at the forefront of counselling and psychotherapy theory, practice and research, incorporates aspects from three main therapeutic traditions; person-centred, cognitive and psychodynamic. You will be encouraged to explore psychological processes and experiences from these different perspectives, and recognise the theoretical, personal and cultural assumptions which influence your work.
As well as cognitive and reflective skills, you will also learn practical ways of working with your clients in a therapeutic relationship to address conscious and unconscious needs and produce a change in emotional and cognitive processes and behaviour. This involves integrating complex and advanced skills, and responding creatively to complex, novel and unpredictable situations.
Our teaching includes life-span developmental theories, therapeutic skills practice in small groups, supervision of client work in small groups, critical analysis of approaches and research into counselling and psychotherapy. You will develop a critical understanding of the role of research in the development of the counselling and psychotherapeutic disciplines, and be able to incorporate research knowledge into clinical practice. You are required to be in personal therapy throughout the course, which will help you to develop a high level of awareness of self and the therapeutic process, to be able to use this constructively in therapeutic encounters. You will be equipped with the necessary skills to work with a wide range of people with a range of psychological issues in a variety of settings.
The Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy programme is taught by means of interactive lectures and seminars, experiential skills workshops, small clinical supervision groups, and personal development work. Much of your learning will be by a process of reflection on the experience of skills practiced and the use of demonstration, observation, self, peer and tutor feedback as well as a more traditional academic study.
The course emphasises the central importance of the therapeutic relationship, and builds your understanding of a variety of theories and practices, to make informed choices about therapeutic interventions suitable for the problems which clients present. Central to developing your therapeutic skills is a sustained effort of attunement to the client as well as openness to and awareness of their and your internal processes. As well as having a theoretical understanding of these processes, from the first year you will have modules allowing you the opportunity to practice your counselling skills.
Later modules in the course will familiarise you with a variety of forms of psychological assessment, so that you are able to critically evaluate the appropriateness and limitations of the procedures and underlying concepts. As many students will go on to work in a multidisciplinary team, in particular within the NHS, they need to have an understanding and working knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses and classification systems, while being aware of their acknowledge limits and critiques.
You will have the opportunity to work with a placements co-ordinator to find a suitable counselling/psychotherapy placement in which to gain the depth and range of experience necessary to become a competent practitioner. Information on over 500 different counselling placements is available.
Here are examples of the modules:
Graduates can work in health and social services, voluntary organisations and the education in counselling field.
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.
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.
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.