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Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) MSc

    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    2-3 years part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    23 March 2018

Course content

Why Surrey?

Our stimulating MSc in Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) offers flexible training for individuals who want to become qualified Interpersonal Psychotherapists.

Our programme will develop your theoretical understanding of mental health issues, equip you with skills in working with the IPT model, enable you to work effectively with clients, and give you the opportunity to conduct research in the theory or practice of IPT.

This is delivered through a rich range of learning experiences, including the opportunity to integrate theory with practice. This ensures that, as a graduate of this programme, you are able to provide a high quality therapy to service users.

Programme overview

Our School of Psychology has a reputation for providing high quality IPT training to therapists who are already in practice and want to add this model to their repertoire.

This Psychological Intervention MSc programme has been designed to be responsive to the needs of people who do not already have a therapy qualification who aspire to become qualified practitioner in a NICE-recommended psychological therapy.

The programme meets an identified training need for therapists in this specific approach. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend IPT as a treatment for depression and eating disorders and IPT has also been part of the Government’s provision to increase the availability of talking therapies through the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT provision).

At present, our programme is the only programme in the UK that offers the opportunity for appropriately experienced individuals with no previous therapy qualification to undertake IPT training.

Programme structure

This programme is studied part-time over three academic years. Students with equivalent/sufficient qualifications/credits will be able to join the programme at year two or three.

The full MSc three year (part-time) programme comprises of nine modules with a total of 180 credits.

The first year comprises of four modules of 15 credits each. Each module comprises of 150 hours of learning, including student contact, private study, skills practice either on placement or in the classroom and assessment. In order to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological Intervention: IPC (Interpersonal Counselling) students must complete all four modules and complete 60 credits at FHEQ Level 7.

In order to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) students must complete 120 credits at FHEQ Level 7. The second year comprises of three modules, two of 15 credits each and one of 30 credits. The 30 credit module includes a substantial allocation of student learning time to placement activities.

In order to achieve the Masters in Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy), students must complete 180 credits at FHEQ Level 7. The third year comprises of two modules, a 15 credit module in Research methods and a dissertation module of 45 credits.

In order for students to progress they must achieve a minimum average of 50 per cent.

Example module listing

Year one

  • Psychological Theory and the Fundamentals of Adult Mental Health
  • The Therapeutic Relationship
  • Introduction to Assessment, intervention and Ending Skills
  • Supervision of Client Work

Year two

  • IPT Theoretical and Research base: client groups; modes of delivery; adaptations
  • Clinical Practice in IPT
  • Supervision of Client Work: IPT

Year three

  • Quantitative Research methods
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Research project


Specialist knowledge relevant to the subject area will be delivered using a variety of methods, including lectures, experiential workshops, micro skills teaching, audio-recording reviews, clinical supervision, group discussions, and through the interaction of the student with coursework assignments. 

Clinical practice with application of their learning to client work will be supervised closely and students will be required to keep a log of their clinical activity as well as supervisory activity and will be evaluated on their clinical competence.

Students who have access to clients in their ongoing job role whilst studying may incorporate part of this work as their practice placement, subject to agreement with their manager and the University. Otherwise students will be supported to obtain a suitable practice placement.

The strength of this programme lies in the integration of classroom learning and clinical practice learning and development. The personal impact of working with clients presenting with distress will be explored as well as ethical issues. Students will develop their skills in applying theory and technique to real life client situations in supervision sessions at the University via discussion and micro-teaching.

The feedback process is designed to be ongoing, in that comments and reflections from these sessions will provide an escalator of personal learning for the student. At critical points there will be summative learning points to provide a marker for the student as to their progress against the benchmark standards being expected. Formative and summative feedback will be provided as appropriate to help students develop their skills in these areas of practice.

The associated research evidence bases will be integrated into all aspects of the teaching. 

In the final year, students will receive individual supervision for the research project during which they will receive one-to one support and guidance in the development of their research skills.

Educational aims of the programme

The first year of this programme will enable professionals to develop core counselling skills in IPT (IPC) to enhance their effectiveness with clients, further their psychological skills and increase their understanding of mental health issues. The second year (PGDip) leads to a full therapy qualification. The third and final year (MSc) is a research year which results in a Master’s qualification

Professional recognition

The course is designed in order to meet the accreditation requirements of a well-known professional counselling body. Because this is a new programme, the accreditation process will take place after the first cohort has completed. If successful, accreditation is awarded retrospectively thus allowing the first cohort of students to become a registered with this professional body.

Recognition is also being sought from IPT-UK, the organisation that accredits therapists in this particular model of therapy.

Visit the Psychological Intervention: IPT (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!




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