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Professional Doctorate Counselling Psychology

Course Description

This applied professional training course gives you a doctorate-level education leading to a professional qualification. It comprises a comprehensive programme of taught modules, 450 hours of counselling psychology practice in a range of placements, and a doctorate-level research project. Experts guide you through integrated theory, personal and professional development, and clinical practice, with focus on the value of research and how it directly informs current practice.

Key benefits

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Course detail

In the first year of the course, the therapeutic approach is relational, and we expect you to adopt and practice this approach in your placements. In Year 2 we focus on the CBT approach, and again we expect you to apply this to your placements. In Year 3, you get to explore your own identity as a counselling psychologist through modules on integration, and the modules on advanced theory and practice in counselling psychology, include teaching on supervision, leadership, psychometrics and neuropsychological assessment.

If you don't complete the Professional Doctorate route, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in Psychotherapeutic Studies, or a Master's in Psychological Therapy.


Year 1

• Principles of Counselling Psychology
• Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology 1
• Personal and Professional Development 1
• Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychology
• Systemic Thinking and Practice in Counselling Psychology
• Research Methods in Counselling Psychology

Year 2

• Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology 2
• Personal and Professional Development 2
• Exploring Client Issues in Counselling Psychology
• Professional Issues in Counselling Psychology

Year 3

• Personal and Professional Development 3
• Advanced Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology
• Professional doctorate thesis and viva examination


We use a wide range of teaching and learning methods to give you the best combination of personal, peer and applied learning. These include lectures, group discussion, group work, role-play, skills work, demonstrations, trainee presentations, supervised clinical practice, personal therapy and personal development activities.


We assess taught modules through coursework and assessment under controlled conditions. Practice assessment is through direct observation, case studies, process reports, supervision groups and placement reports.
For your research, you submit a 28,000-word doctoral thesis of an original piece of research, examined by interview.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

Visit the Professional Doctorate Counselling Psychology page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have the following:• Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society• Upper second class or first class degree in psychology• Certificate in Counselling Skills (comprising a minimum of 100 class hours)• One year's experience of working in a one to one helping role• Meet the standard University levels of proficiency for English Language

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of the West of England, Bristol
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