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Course content

This programme is a two year, full-time professionally-accredited postgraduate qualification in counselling. It is an accelerated version of the well-established Master of Counselling (MCouns), which is offered over four years part-time.

The programme is specifically designed for international students, with significant professional experience in related fields, who are seeking to gain a fully accredited professional qualification in counselling in the United Kingdom.

Combining academic rigour with high quality professional training, the programme provides unique opportunities for training, learning and research in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. The award of this degree allows graduates to practise as counsellors or therapists in the UK and in other countries with equivalent professional and academic standards.

The programme is founded in dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives in counselling. It involves substantial placement practice (internships) with counselling clients.

Programme structure

Teaching and learning methods include experiential group work, supervised practice, theory seminars and independent study. A distinctive feature is the system of individual tutorials.

Assessment methods combine essays with seminar presentations, self and peer assessments, placement-based assessment, the professional portfolio and the dissertation.

The programme provides a high level of student-tutor contact and close supervision of both counselling practice and research, in line with professional and academic requirements.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Master of Counselling will:

  • be reflective, self-aware, safe, accountable and competent counsellors
  • have a sound knowledge base of theories and research on the development of the person, group process, therapeutic relationships and processes, and the role of counselling in society
  • possess highly developed and transferable interpersonal, conceptual and analytical skills, including critical thinking, self-evaluation and research skills

The Master of Counselling allows students to gain employment in a variety of contexts where this unique combination of interpersonal, therapeutic, self-reflective and analytical skills is highly valued.

Career opportunities

The Master of Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) enables graduates to practise as counsellors or psychotherapists in the UK, and in other countries with equivalent professional and academic standards.

Graduates can gain employment as counsellors and psychotherapists working in the statutory, voluntary/non-government and private sectors, or can use their counselling training to enhance their career in a related profession such as health care, social work, nursing, or education.

Increasingly, employers are seeking masters qualifications from applicants for management roles in counselling and psychotherapy, and graduates will be well positioned for these opportunities.


Visit the Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) (MCouns) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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