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    School of Health in Social Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

    Psychology

  • Start Date

    Any Month

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    26 November 2018

Course content

Research profile

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:

Programme structure

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:

  • integration of generic social science and discipline-specific counselling research training
  • social science approaches to research training in counselling
  • close links with social science research concerned with counselling and society
  • close links with social science research concerned with health, illness and health services

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

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.

Learning outcomes

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.

Training and support

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.


Visit the Counselling Studies (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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