Postgraduate course

Doctorate of Counselling Psychology DCounsPsy

Elevate your career with this postgraduate training pathway towards a career as a Counselling Psychologist.

This programme provides the theoretical, clinical and research training for those wishing to work as a Counselling Psychologist. As a graduate of this programme, you will be eligible to apply for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). The programme is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Psychological & Social Sciences

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £8,250

    International 2019-20 £12,750

Course overview

The 3-year, full-time programme places an emphasis on both cognitive-behavioural and humanistic approaches to the development of counselling and psychotherapy skills. The programme includes training in psychological assessment; psychotherapeutic interventions over the lifespan; clinical research methods; ethics and professional practice; a doctoral research dissertation; and requires a minimum of 450 hours of placement in clinical settings. 

Students also undertake modules that develop the professional skills required of leaders and supervisors, and for working in diverse, multi-disciplinary teams.

Download our Programme Prospectus 

Course structure

Year 1 of the programme includes six coursework modules (three modules in each semester). Year 2 and 3 of the programme comprise a coursework module, a clinical placement and independent research work towards a dissertation, each semester.

Year 1:

  • Counselling & Psychotherapy Skills (30 credits)
  • Psychological Assessment Theories & Practice (30 credits)
  • Professional Practice in Counselling Psychology (30 credits)
  • Individual Psychotherapy (30 credits)
  • Research Methods in Counselling Psychology (30 credits)
  • Psychological Interventions Over the Lifespan (30 credits)

Year 2:

  • Group Psychotherapy (30 credits)
  • Doctoral Dissertation 1 (30 credits)
  • Placement 1 (30 credits)
  • Psychological Interventions for Couples & Families (30 credits)
  • Doctoral Dissertation 2 (30 credits)
  • Placement 2 (30 credits)

Year 3:

  • Psychopathology & Advanced Psychotherapy Process (30 credits)
  • Doctoral Dissertation 3 (30 credits)
  • Placement 3 (30 credits)
  • Professional Counselling Psychology (30 credits)
  • Doctoral Dissertation 4 (30 credits)
  • Placement 4 (30 credits)


Teaching and assessment

Students develop the professional skills required of practitioner psychologists through small group class-work, and supervised placements in public health and community-based settings. Working with a research advisor, students also conduct an applied research project relevant to Counselling Psychology. Moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment, allows access to all supporting materials, resources, readings, and activities, and provides the platform for students’ e-portfolios (i.e., log of clinical placement activities). 

Each of the 18 modules in the programme have separate assessments, for example a mix of: case reports, oral presentations, written reports, demonstrations of skills, and examinations. Requirements for each assessment are mapped to the BPS competencies and HCPC standards of proficiency, for a Counselling Psychologist.

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


To be eligible for entry to the programme, students will normally have:

  • A good honours degree which confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)* with the British Psychological Society (BPS) or other Undergraduate degree with relevant conversion course.
  • This would normally be a minimum of 2:1 in Psychology; applicants with a lower degree but supplemented by additional Postgraduate study or relevant experience may also be considered.

*Please check the BPS website (under the list of accredited programmes) to check if your undergraduate degree confers GBC.

Additional requirements 

In addition to the above you will need to: 

  • Provide two references and a personal statement (maximum 1,000 words) along with your application. 
  • Obtain a satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to undertake personal therapy and clinical supervision. 


  • Shortlisted applicants are required to attend interviews in either May or June (2020 dates to be confirmed).

Admission to the programme is competitive, therefore the selection process strives to consider multiple aspects and qualities of individuals, be inclusive and accessible.

Career outcomes

Counselling Psychologists use psychological theory and research in therapeutic work to help clients with a range of mental health issues and distress. Clients can include children, adolescents, adults, families, couples and groups. Counselling Psychologists work across a diversity of health and social care environments (e.g., NHS, outpatient and inpatient units, community organisations, educational institutions, forensic settings), and in independent practice.

Fees and funding

To study for a Postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course. 


Tuition fees

Home/EU students

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £8,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £12,750 per year for International students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years. 

Funding your course

Doctoral Loan

Our Doctorate of Counselling Psychology (DCounsPsy) meets the requirements for a Doctoral Loan (subject to eligibility).

Find out more on the Government website

Apply for this course

An Open Information Evening for the DCounsPsy will be held on 6 March 2020.

Applications and selections for the September 2019 intake are now finalised.

Applications for the September 2020 intake will open on 6 January 2020.

Interviews are held in May and June each year (2020 dates to be confirmed).

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