Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (Professional Doctorate)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

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;
  • 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.


The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three year full time programme of study. The programme is approved by the 

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulator for Practitioner Psychologists in the UK, and is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).


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.

Please for further information.

Teaching and learning

The programme involves a variety of learning and teaching strategies for each module. The learning outcomes are achieved through a range of methods, including:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops led by the staff team and outside specialists
  • Problem-based learning in small groups
  • Technology-supported and enhanced learning
  • Supervised practice on placement
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Role play
  • Self-reflection
  • Experiential group work
  • Clinical discussion groups
  • Personal therapy/development work
  • Independent and directed reading.

Please note that teaching is held on different days of the week over the three years of the course.

  • Year 1: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Wednesdays
  • Year 2: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Fridays
  • Year 3: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Thursdays.


Assessment will be varied to reflect the range of professional competencies and experiences that you will develop on the programme. This includes:

  • Clinical case studies and process;
  • practice placement competency evaluations;
  • a critical literature review and research proposal;
  • a research thesis; and
  • attendance monitoring to ensure adequate engagement with the taught curriculum.

Student focus

We want your time on the Counselling Psychology DPsych course to be as inspiring, challenging and stimulating as it can be. As part of our dedication to enhancing the overall student experience, we support you throughout your studies in many different ways:

  • Personal tutors
  • Student-staff liaison committees
  • Placements team.


Throughout the programme, trainees are exposed to a range of approaches and their application to practice, so they can conceptualise human psychological processes from different perspectives, sensitising them to clients’ needs and the choices they may make, enabling an understanding of how other psychologists work and fostering respect for both clients and professionals who operate from a range of conceptual world views.

The programme teaches humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and systemic therapy approaches, as well as contemporary developments.

Trainees are required to demonstrate professional competence in a minimum of two models of psychological therapy in order to successfully complete their programme of training. Trainees will be required to present coursework and undertake supervised clinical practice using more than one psychological model.

Visit the Counselling Psychology (Professional Doctorate) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Please View Website for details

FindAProfessionalDoctorate. Copyright 2005-2020
All rights reserved.