Counselling Psychology - Doc

Release time: 2020-03-25 11:25

Why study this course?

Drawing on a range of approaches to psychological practice and enquiry, it will enable you to make a significant contribution to psychological knowledge, research and practice across a range of settings in public, private and voluntary sectors.

In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a wo-year part-time taught doctoral programme that combines in-depth competency in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), strong humanistic values and psychodynamic awareness. 

The first year of training is the equivalent of a Master’s year.  However, with the majority of students continue from the MSc level into the doctoral level of training in Years 2 .

Extensive support in the form of individual and group supervision and teaching is offered, alongside methodology learning to support you in undertaking a piece of doctoral level research that will make an original contribution to the professional practice of counselling psychology.

You'll develop a wide range of intellectual and practical skills and knowledge. 

The principle aims and achievements of the course are to produce graduates who are:

  • competent, informed, reflective, ethical and professionally sound practitioners of counselling psychology who are able to work in a range of settings and are committed to their own on-going personal and professional development

  • able to understand, develop and apply models of advanced psychological inquiry and research that enable the creation of new knowledge and which recognise the complex nature of human experience and relationships

  • able to adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the philosophy, practice, research and theory that constitutes counselling psychology and aware of the wider social, cultural and political domains within which counselling psychology operates

  • in possession of a set of skills and competencies that are transferable to a wide variety of professional contexts and which enhance employability


In Year 1 you'll complete seven master's level assignments, including a reflective essay, case formulation, process report, examination, and two short research assignments using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

You'll also complete a 7,000-word reflexive critical literature review and a 3,000-word proposal towards the end of Year 1. Your proposal must demonstrate an adequate basis for a doctoral level research project for you to proceed into Year 2 of the programme. Year 1 is the most intensive period of assessment on the programme.

If you progress to Year 2 you'll complete an extended clinical case study, integrative process analysis and theoretical essay at the end of the year, reflecting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic learning. You should complete your research project by the end of Year 2, submitting a 25,000-word thesis.

You are required to complete a minimum of 450 clinical hours in a range of placements under supervision over the duration of the programme, as well as a minimum of 60 hours of your own personal therapy.

Supervisors complete six-monthly practice competency evaluations, which enable bi-directional feedback and reflection on your progress and continuing professional development in your practice placements. Your personal and professional development is individually monitored and supported throughout the programme via annual reviews and appraisals with a tutor from the programme team.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

+Advanced Research Design and Analysis for Psychology (core, 20 credits)

+Counselling Psychology Practice and Development (core, 20 credits)

+Professional and Ethical Issues (core, 20 credits)

+Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy (core, 20 credits)

+Research Project and Critical Skills (core, 60 credits)

+Therapeutic and Reflective Skills (core, 20 credits)

+Working with Difference and Diversity (core, 20 credits)

Year 2 modules include:

+Advanced Psychological Research (core, 160 credits)

+Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 1 (core, 100 credits)

+Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 2 (core, 100 credits)