Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology Prof Doc

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    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.

    In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

    More about this course

    The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three-year full-time (four-year part-time) 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.

    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. This MSc offers 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, with the majority of students continue from the MSc level into the doctoral level of training in Years 2 and 3.

    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, including a reflective essay, case formulation, process report, examination, and two short research assignments using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

    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.

    If you progress to 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. At the end of Year 3, a similar assignment is completed, reflecting a trans-theoretical, pluralistic perspective. 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.

    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.

    Modular structure

    The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details are subject to change over time.

    Year 1 modules include:

    • Advanced Research Design and Analysis for Psychology (core, 20 credits)
    • Counselling Psychology Practice and Development (core, 20 credits)
    • Professional and Ethical Issues (core, 20 credits)
    • Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy (core, 20 credits)
    • Research Project and Critical Skills (core, 60 credits)
    • Therapeutic and Reflective Skills (core, 20 credits)
    • Working with Difference and Diversity (core, 20 credits)

    Year 2 modules include:

    • Advanced Psychological Research (core, 160 credits)
    • Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 1 (core, 100 credits)
    • Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice 2 (core, 100 credits)

    After the course

    Career opportunities for counselling psychologists include posts in a variety of areas. These include National Health Service (NHS) settings such as primary care, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, community mental health, drug and alcohol, rehabilitation, eating and personality disorder services, as well as the prison service, voluntary sector, private practice, academia, training, supervision, management and consultancy.

    Additional costs

    Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

    Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

    How to apply

    Applicants for the programme must read the programme information and supplementary information for applicants‌ before applying.

    Use the apply button to begin your application.

    When to apply

    You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

    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). Please View Website for more details

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