Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology DPsych

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology course is designed to equip you with a rigorous training in clinical practice, as well as professional research skills at doctoral level, to enable you to become an effective and competent Practitioner Psychologist.

    Who is it for?

    The DPsych aims to develop ethical, reflective and professional practitioners of counselling psychology who work collaboratively with service users to provide high-quality psychological services, drawing on evidence-based psychological practice in the context of a therapeutic relationship characterised by trust, respect, and appreciation for the subjective experience of the person and individuality of the client and their unique world view.

    Our programme seeks to sit at the interface of science and practice. We value reflective professional practice and development of practice through the rigour of top class research.

    You are equipped to work with a wide range of complex presenting issues; with individual adults and children, couples, families, groups and organisations; short and long term; in single and multi-professional contexts; and through transferring psychological skills to others in multidisciplinary teams. You will build a solid foundation of the clinical and professional knowledge and skills for working in mental health on the programme.

    Equality of opportunity is central to the programme and trainees work in the course community to foster their valuing of difference in society and their own personal relationship to diversity, developed in relationship within the course community and then integrated into their practice outside. The diversity of our trainees is a highly valued feature of our course, and is integral to the learning context.


    This programme of study enables graduates to meet the training requirements for chartered membership as a Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and the eligibility to apply for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

    The Counselling Psychology programme aims to:

    • Train Practitioner Psychologists to be competent, reflective, ethically sound, resourceful and informed practitioners able to work in therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts who are sensitive to their clients’ subjective experiences, while at the same time being pragmatic, confident and, competent to deliver a comprehensive range of evidence-based practice interventions to meet clinical needs;
    • Develop Practitioner Psychologist skills in assessment, formulation, planning and implementing interventions, assessment of outcome effectiveness, consultation, teaching, supervision, service audit and evaluation, and leadership;
    • Provide the research and evaluation skills which will enable graduates as practitioners and researchers to contribute to the development of the profession and to evaluate and assess the effectiveness and impact of their psychological interventions please see the BSP website
    • Foster a personal awareness and openness in our graduates to equip them to work with a broad spectrum of people recognising and appreciating the significance of wider social, cultural, spiritual, political and economic domains;
    • Be able to develop and demonstrate communication, teaching and leadership skills by applying psychological knowledge and skills in a range of professional, clinical, organisational and research contexts; and
    • Produce graduates who are well placed to work in a broad range of settings, including the NHS, forensic settings, Third Sector (voluntary), industry, government and private practice as well as academic and research settings, among others.


    In addition to activities within the modules, you are required to be on clinical placement. You will have a variety of different placements over your time on the programme.  Time on placement varies but is usually a minimum of two days per week. Typically trainees stay in each placement for six months to one year.  You may need to travel to a suitable placement. You are required to keep records of and reflections on your clinical development on placement.  You will be encouraged to learn through working collaboratively with a supervisor from your placement context during the programme of study.

    Career prospects

    The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at City equips you to build a successful and fulfilling career across the broad range of work undertaken by contemporary counselling psychologists. The practice focussed teaching, clinical placement experience, and choice of research topic for the thesis on the programme act as a building block for this.

    Our graduates work in a broad range of settings, including:

    • the NHS (e.g. inpatient settings, community mental health teams, specialist services such as early intervention, with different clinical populations e.g. older adults, intellectual disabilities, children and young people; IAPT);
    • the independent hospital sector;
    • forensic settings including HMPS and probation;
    • organisations in areas such as occupational health;
    • the Third (voluntary) sector;
    • industry;
    • government;
    • private practice (including Employee Assistance Programmes); and
    • consultancy.

    Some of our graduates in clinical practice have gone on to lead services and many provide placements and supervision to our trainees. Others have gone into teaching and academia, including as contributors to the programme.

    While on the programme trainees receive individualised career guidance through team members involved in the process of reviewing, appraising and planning their practice placement work and professional development.

    They also have access to careers information and resources through the British Psychological Society and trainee membership of the Society’s Division of Counselling Psychology.

    If you would like more information on the Careers support available at City, please go to:

    Visit the Counselling Psychology DPsych page on the City, University of London website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    A 2:1 honours degree or above which confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) (see below) or other first degree with relevant conversion course. The evidence would normally be in the form of a letter from the BPS confirming that you are a Graduate Member and that you have been granted GBC. If you are unsure whether your undergraduate degree confers GBC then please contact the BPS for clarification.

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