This applied professional training course gives you a doctorate-level education leading to a Doctor in Counselling Psychology. 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.
In-depth preparation for practice
You receive rigorous training on personal, professional and academic levels, which requires you to combine personal development with explicit psychological theory as a basis for mindful clinical practice.
The training will equip you to work in a broad range of settings, including the NHS, industry, third sector, private practice, academic and research roles, and many others. Our links with practices and partner providers, such as LIFT, the NHS and the Avon Wiltshire Partnership, make this course highly vocational and popular with employers.
Based on the relational psychodynamic perspective, coupled with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this course is designed to help you develop an integrative perspective based on these perspectives and any previous experience. For example, you may already have studied client-centred or existential perspectives as part of counselling certificate courses. The programme team is committed to the view that the therapeutic relationship is a key factor in promoting client change. The relational perspective is therefore a key element taught throughout the whole course. In Year 1 the model taught is relational psychodynamic; in Year 2 it is CBT and in Year 3 we integrate the two.
You must engage in personal counselling or therapy for the first two years of the course a minimum of 60 hours over the course. This reflects our central focus on a relational approach to practice. Please note, the cost for this is not included in the fees.
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.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
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.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
As a full-time student, you attend two days each week in Year 1 (currently Monday and Tuesday) and one day a week in Years 2 and 3 (currently Thursday).
If you study this course part time, you attend one day each week in Years 1-3 (currently Monday in Year 1, Tuesday in Year 2 and Thursday in Year 3). There is a four-year study option where you attend one day each week in Year 4, on a Thursday. The five-year option requires you to attend a half day each week in Years 4 and 5, both on a Thursday.
Students completing this course successfully are in a great position to become counselling psychologists and therapists in a wide range of roles in the private, public and third sectors.
Visit the Professional Doctorate Counselling Psychology page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!
More information can be found on the Graduate School fees and funding pages.
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