Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology Prof Doc

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    This course is particularly suited to students interested in undergoing professional training that will equip them for employment as a clinician in the NHS, the voluntary sector or in private practice.

    Our typical applicant is someone who already has experience in working in the mental health sector and understands about working with people.

    We will encourage you to develop a flexible, reflective and critical approach to psychological and psychotherapeutic theory, research and practice, and will provide you with relevant experience to facilitate understanding of the different facets of work as a Counselling Psychologist and how this role is evolving in contemporary employment settings. 

    The course involves a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops. You will be required to be on placement throughout your training and to have successfully completed 450 hours of one-to-one supervised clinical practice by the end of the course.

    Training placements are crucial to your learning and the development of your clinical competence and confidence. Our programme has close links with a range of placement providers in East London and we provide you with high levels of support and guidance in securing clinical placements that contribute to your learning and professional development.


    You will learn through a combination of taught components, individual study, and research and placement activities.

    You will work on a wide range of different approaches to clinical practice.

    You will be assigned your own clinical tutor to support you with your academic and professional development.

    Two days a week will be spent on placement, and your portfolio will include at least two NHS placements.

    We have close links with a range of mental health services within local NHS trusts and in the third sector.

    You may choose placements with refugees or asylum seekers, or learning disabilities, or trauma-focused work, depending on your particular interests and competences.

    You may also undertake a specialist placement, working with either children or young people.

    Your study will include lectures, seminars and workshops led by our academic team and outside specialists. You will take part in individual and group tutorials, role play, problem-based learning in small groups, and clinical discussion groups.

    Your training will be enriched by independent and directed reading as well as personal therapy and development work.

    Unlike many other courses, at the University of East London we have the ability to provide research supervision teams internally when you come to do your thesis. That’s because we have such a large research department working across many different areas.


    Counselling Psychology is embedded in the discipline of psychology and concerns itself with applied areas of psychological work, in the overlapping areas of psychotherapy, clinical psychology, counselling and psychiatry.

    The critical position here at the University of East London embodies the idea that individual psychological processes need to be considered within historical and current social, political and cultural contexts.

    You will study human development across the lifespan with a focus on issues of diversity, difference and community, and the impact of inequality, discrimination and social justice.

    As well as working with adults, you will have substantial opportunities to gain experience of working with children and families, and to work with more complex cases as your competence and experience grows.

    The clinical focus of the training in Year 1 is on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT); in Year 2 on psychodynamic approaches to therapy; and in Year 3 on theoretical integration (including third-wave approaches to CBT) and on assimilative integration.

    You will receive research training in Years 1 and 2 and you will get support in completing your doctoral research project by a supervisory team. Furthermore, there are several research assignments that help you develop your doctoral research in a stepwise manner and provide you with several opportunities to get detailed feedback on your research. For example, in Year 1 you will submit a Literature Review; in Year 2 a Research Proposal and an Epistemological Essay; in Year 3 you will make a presentation on a chosen aspect of your doctoral research (e.g., your analysis) that evidences leadership in your research area.


    This qualification allows you to work in clinical settings, including the NHS, health and social care, community services, organisational, forensic and third-sector settings. Most of our students secure jobs before, or as soon as, they complete their doctoral training.

    The course allows you to apply for paid work as a trainee counselling psychologist as you continue to work towards full Chartered Counselling Psychologist status and registration with the HCPC.

    You will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC and for chartered status with the BPS once you have fulfilled all the requirements of the Doctorate.

    Our dedicated academic team has many years of experience of working within the NHS and the third sector. All contribute to the research which has earned UEL’s School of Psychology such a high reputation in recent years and, crucially, all are actively working in clinical settings.

    We pride ourselves on enabling our students to gain the necessary academic and professional knowledge and competences that help them become effective, competent, resourceful, safe and ethical practitioners, who can offer high-quality psychological services & are well-placed to achieve their professional goals and aspirations in the current job market.

    Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

    Visit the Counselling Psychology Prof Doc page on the University of East London website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    A good honours degree in psychology (minimum of 2:1) which confers Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Applicants will need to attend a face to face interview and we cannot consider another type of interview.

    Overall IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

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