This excellent course enables you to gain the wide range of counselling psychology competencies needed to be eligible to apply for chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.
More about this course
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three-year full-time, four-year part-time taught doctoral programme leading to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers professional registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), and recognition within the UK and the EU as a chartered counselling psychologist eligible to practice.
The programme offers a sound and marketable model, combining in-depth competency in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), strong humanistic values, and psychodynamic awareness. The course was re-accredited by the HCPC and the BPS in 2012. It was commended for the depth and breadth of the modules offered; a number of our modules were described as cutting-edge and very well suited to the current zeitgeist and employment market. These modules include a first-year module devoted to working with difference and diversity, and a third-year service evaluation research exercise.
Run by a dedicated team of HCPC registered and BPS accredited chartered counselling and clinical psychologists, this course offers wide-ranging and high quality clinical and research expertise to trainees. Course team members have between one and 11 years of post-qualification clinical experience, and two thirds hold PhD or professional doctoral titles. Two thirds of the staff are academically published authors.
While student numbers are growing, the team prides itself on retaining a small cohort each year of no more than 20 students. This enables us to offer you a relatively high volume of individual attention from staff. All students are assigned a personal tutor and two research supervisors. You are offered a relatively high proportion of research supervision (10 hours in Year 1 and 20 hours each year in Years 2 and 3); safe spaces for clinical group supervision and skills practice; and an experiential and workshop style of teaching and learning. Trainees and staff develop collaborative relationships in relation to learning and personal development.
The programme has a dedicated placements coordinator, and an extensive online placement provider database, accessible prior to training commencement. We offer a comprehensive placements induction in the first week of training, and we encourage and support you to be in placement or at interview stage with placement providers by the beginning of your training.
The first year of training is the equivalent of a Master’s year. Students who exit at the end of Year 1 are eligible for an MSc in Psychological Therapies. This MSc offers eligibility to register with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), leading to clinical practice in either in public, private or third sector organisations. However, the course has high student retention rates, with the majority of students continuing from the MSc level into the doctoral level of training in Years 2 and 3. Student satisfaction within the programme is very high; feedback forms regularly comment on the high quality and breadth of teaching, the clinical and research expertise of the lecturers, and the dedication of the staff, both at a personal and professional level. Our students feel valued and attended to by the teaching team because the size of each cohort allows for a more tailored experience for each student.
Through postgraduate teaching and workshops across the wider applied psychology subject area, London Met counselling psychology trainees develop advanced levels of knowledge and skills in a broad range of qualitative and quantitative psychological research methods. The course emphasises criticality, epistemological critique and reflexivity across all research teaching and learning. Extensive support in the form of individual and group supervision and teaching is offered, alongside methodology learning, to support trainees in undertaking a piece of doctoral level research that will make an original contribution to the professional practice of counselling psychology, and more widely.
As trainees you will develop a wide range of intellectual and practical skills and knowledge. The training has a solid track record of trainees emerging as robust, sophisticated, and highly employable practitioners of counselling psychology. In recent years, we are proud that a number of our trainees have won BPS Division of Counselling Psychology trainee prizes for written assignments and research poster presentations.
The principle aims and achievements of the course are to produce graduates who are:
-Competent, informed, reflective, ethical and professionally sound practitioners of counselling psychology who are able to work in a range of settings and are committed to their own on-going personal and professional development
-Able to understand, develop and apply models of advanced psychological inquiry and research that enable the creation of new knowledge and which recognise the complex nature of human experience and relationships
-Able to adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the philosophy, practice, research and theory that constitutes counselling psychology and aware of the wider social, cultural and political domains within which counselling psychology operates
-In possession of a set of skills and competencies that are transferable to a wide variety of professional contexts and which enhance employability
-Able to demonstrate the range of counselling psychology competencies needed to be eligible to apply for chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Many students are conducting research in collaboration with National Health Service (NHS) Trusts or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Graduates find permanent employment within a few months post-qualification, with many trainees holding part-time clinical employment whilst they are in the final year of the training because their clinical skills and knowledge are of such a high standard. Other graduates from the programme find work in academia in visiting or permanent teaching posts or as research fellows.
The course is involved in on-going in-house events and conferences such as CultureShock, and in research and clinical collaborations with five NHS trusts. The programme is also involved in research and in the training of clinical staff with the Freedom from Torture Foundation and Khulisa, both community based organisations close to the Holloway Campus. The programme is also collaborating with the School of Social Sciences and School of Social Professions to link interpreters with clinicians and to establish training inside and outside the University on working with interpreters in mental health settings.
A wide range of assessment methods is used on the programme. In Year 1 you'll complete seven master's level assignments, including a reflective essay, case formulation, process report, examination and two short research assignments using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
You'll also complete a 7,000-word reflexive critical literature review and a 3,000-word proposal towards the end of Year 1. Your proposal must demonstrate an adequate basis for a doctoral level research project for you to proceed into Year 2 of the programme. Year 1 is the most intensive period of assessment on the programme.
If you progress to Year 2 you'll complete an extended clinical case study, integrative process analysis and theoretical essay at the end of the year, reflecting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic learning. At the end of Year 3 a similar assignment is completed, reflecting a trans-theoretical, pluralistic perspective. You should complete your research project by the end of Year 3, submitting a 25,000 word thesis and subsequently participating in a viva voce examination.
You'll receive research supervision to guide your research throughout the programme. Research progress is formally monitored and evaluated through the submission of annual reports to the Research and Postgraduate Office in Years 2 and 3.
You are required to complete a minimum of 450 clinical hours in a range of placements under supervision over the duration of the programme, as well as a minimum of 60 hours of your own personal therapy.
Supervisors complete six-monthly practice competency evaluations, which enable bidirectional feedback and reflection on your progress and continuing professional development in your practice placements. Your personal and professional development is individually monitored and supported throughout the programme via annual reviews and appraisals with a tutor from the programme team.
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology leads to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
-Advanced Research Design and Analysis for Psychology (core, 20 credits)
-Counselling Psychology Practice and Development (core, 20 credits)
-Professional and Ethical Issues (core, 20 credits)
-Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy (core, 20 credits)
-Research Project and Critical Skills (core, 60 credits)
-Therapeutic and Reflective Skills (core, 20 credits)
-Working with Difference and Diversity (core, 20 credits)
Year 2 modules include:
-Advanced Psychological Research (core, 160 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 1 (core, 100 credits)
-Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 2 (core, 100 credits)
After the course
Career opportunities for counselling psychologists include posts in a variety of areas. These include National Health Service (NHS) settings such as primary care, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, community mental health, drug and alcohol, rehabilitation, eating and personality disorder services, as well as the prison service, voluntary sector, private practice, academia, training, supervision, management and consultancy.
Graduates from the programme frequently go on work in one or more of these areas. Some have gone on to provide practice placements or to supervise or teach students on the programme. The range of advanced clinical and research skills and abilities gained through the course prepare graduates to undertake work in a variety of fields of activity.
Moving to one campus
Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.
Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.
All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.