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Counselling (MSc/PgDip)

Course Description

Why this course?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy offers you the opportunity to train as a qualified counselling practitioner. This can be done on a one-year (full-time) or two-year (part-time) basis. The course is run by our Counselling Unit.

The course has a person-centred orientation. This is an approach to counselling and psychotherapy that has earned the Counselling Unit an international reputation as a centre of excellence.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/counselling/

You’ll study

The Postgraduate Diploma has five key areas:
- understanding the counselling and personality theories of the person-centred approach and the issues around professional practice
- skills involved in creating therapeutic conditions and advancing the therapeutic process in counselling relationships with a range of clients
- learning to use individual and group supervision to protect client well-being and to enhance counsellor personal and professional development
- discovering and confronting attitudes and values that inhibit functioning as a counsellor
- developing self-acceptance, inner directedness, and appropriate use of self and personal reactions within the therapeutic relationship
- developing competence and confidence in counselling practice to work in intensive as well as short-term contracts with clients

- MSc
You may progress from the postgraduate diploma to the MSc. The MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy course consists of three classes or modules in addition to those studied on the postgraduate diploma. They are:
- Counselling Research 1: Research Methods & Ethics Proposal
- Counselling Research 2: Research Dissertation
- Advanced Professional Development in Counselling

The topic of the research dissertation is your choice but you’re invited to link your research to the Counselling Unit’s main research themes:
- person-centred/experiential therapies: process and outcomes
- emotion-focused therapy
- the application of the above approaches and related humanistic therapy processes to social anxiety, depression, trauma and other specific client presenting difficulties
- relational processes, including contact disturbances/pre-therapy, relational ruptures and contact-heightened states (for example, relational depth)
- the development of person-centred/experiential approaches and training in third world or politically troubled countries
- training and supervision in person-centred/experiential psychotherapies

Teaching staff

Staff in our Counselling Unit are trained and accredited through their relevant professional bodies and/or registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. They are experienced practitioners as well as trainers, ensuring our courses offer thoroughly practical training of the highest quality and integrity.


Both the part-time and the full-time courses have won the Certificate of Accreditation of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Learning & teaching

- Part-time
This course is run over two academic years. You’ll attend an intensive week of teaching in September as well as attending the University one day per week throughout the academic year. This'll be on either a Monday or Tuesday (according to year of entry) and is from 1pm to 8pm. The course concludes with an intensive week of teaching in June.

- Full-time
This course is made up of four full weeks of teaching in October. Teaching continues on Wednesday to Friday for one academic year. Mondays and Tuesdays are used for counselling practice in an agreed setting.

- MSc
You may progress from the postgraduate diploma to the MSc.
On the Masters programme you’ll have focused instruction on counselling research methods in four day-long intensive training workshops. You’ll also have:
- ongoing research supervision
- an opportunity to participate in monthly meetings
- a bulletin board discussion group to support the completion of a 15,000 to 20,000-word research-based dissertation


The Diploma is awarded on completion of the course including:
- full participation in the course
- submission of the four assignments which meet the given criteria
- submission of audio tapes of practical work at regular intervals
- maintenance of adequate and sufficient counselling opportunities
- maintenance of sufficient and regular individual supervision during counselling practice
- completion of the self-appraisal statement


- How much will I earn?
- starting salaries for counsellors can be around £19,000 - £26,000 but this can vary considerably.*
- with experience and supervisory responsibilities, counsellors can earn £30,000 - £40,000.*

*information is intended only as a guide. Figures taken from Prospects http://www.prospects.ac.uk/counsellor_salary.htm

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

Visit the Counselling (MSc/PgDip) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

Entry Requirements

PgDip: Certificate in Counselling Skills, accredited by COSCA (all four modules) or equivalent. Priority will be given to students who have completed Strathclyde Counselling Unit’s PgCert in Counselling Skills; AND Prior counselling experience also helps selection, as does prior personal development work. MSc: Completion of the PgDip in Counselling or an equivalent course.

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