Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology Prof Doc

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Why study this course?

    This course leads to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), and recognition within the UK as a chartered counselling psychologist eligible to practice.

    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.

    More about this course

    This taught doctoral programme that combines in-depth competency in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), strong humanistic values and psychodynamic awareness. The doctorate was commended by the BPS for the depth and breadth of the modules offered; a number of our modules were described as cutting-edge and well suited to the current zeitgeist and employment market. These modules include a first-year module devoted to working with difference and diversity and a third-year service evaluation research exercise.

    Run by a dedicated team of HCPC registered and BPS accredited chartered counselling and clinical psychologists, this course offers wide-ranging and high quality clinical and research expertise to trainees. Course team members have between 1 to 11 years of post-qualification clinical experience, and two-thirds hold PhD or professional doctoral titles and are academically published authors.

    The team prides itself on retaining a small cohort each year of 20 students. This enables us to offer you a high volume of individual attention. You'll be assigned a personal tutor and two research supervisors, and offered a relatively high proportion of research supervision (10 hours in Year 1 and 20 hours each year in Years 2 and 3), safe spaces for clinical group supervision and skills practice, and an experiential and workshop style of teaching and learning.

    The programme has a dedicated placements coordinator and an extensive online placement provider database that is accessible prior to your training. We offer a comprehensive placements induction in the first week of training and we encourage and support you to be in placement or at interview stage with placement providers by the beginning of your training.

    The first year of training is the equivalent of a master’s year. Students who exit at the end of Year 1 are eligible for an MSc in Psychological Therapy with eligibility to register with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), leading to clinical practice in either in public, private or third sector organisations. However, the majority of students continue from the MSc level into the doctoral level of training in Years 2 and 3.

    Through postgraduate teaching and workshops across the wider applied psychology subject area, London Met counselling psychology trainees develop advanced levels of knowledge and skills in a broad range of qualitative and quantitative psychological research methods. The course emphasises criticality, epistemological critique, and reflexivity across all research, teaching and learning. 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 training programme has a solid track record of trainees emerging as robust, sophisticated and highly employable practitioners of counselling psychology. In recent years a number of trainees have won BPS Division of Counselling Psychology trainee prizes for written assignments and research poster presentations, and have had papers published in the Counselling Psychology Review. Many students are conducting research in collaboration with National Health Service (NHS) Trusts or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

    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
    • able to demonstrate the range of counselling psychology competencies needed to be eligible to apply for chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)


    In Year 1 you'll complete seven master's level assignments. 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.

    In 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 3, submitting a 25,000-word thesis and subsequently participating in a viva voce examination.

    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.

    Professional accreditation

    The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology leads to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

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

    Entry Requirements

    You will be required to have:

    - Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society
    - a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree in Psychology
    - practical experience of using counselling skills in an emotionally demanding helping role gained over at least one year prior to application and - ideally some training in counselling skills
    - a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

    You will also need to submit a personal statement (maximum of 2,000 words). Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the University for a clinical and research interview and a counselling role-play exercise.

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