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Postgraduate Course

Doctorate of Counselling Psychology DCounPsy

This course provides the essential theoretical, clinical and research training for those wishing to work as a Counselling Psychologist.

Counselling students sat around in circle

Take a humanistic approach to reducing psychological distress and promoting the wellbeing of children, adolescents, adults, couples, families and other groups. As a graduate of this course you will be eligible to apply for registration as a Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This course is approved by the HCPC and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

British Psychological Society

  • British Psychological Society

York campus

  • Duration – 3 years full time
  • Start date – September 2023
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 degree from a BPS accredited undergraduate Psychology course

    Interview If your degree is in an unrelated subject but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £8,250 per year full time

    International 2023-24 £13,000 per year full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

Counselling psychology focuses on the application of psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and research to clinical practice. Counselling psychologists work across a diversity of health and social care providers, for example:

  • NHS
  • Outpatient and inpatient units
  • Community organisations
  • Educational institutions
  • Forensic settings
  • Independent practice

On this course you will gain professional training in relevant theory, research and therapeutic skills. You will also focus on your personal development. our modules develop the professional skills required of leaders and supervisors, and for working in diverse, multi-disciplinary teams.

In your first year you will study coursework modules, each comprising of a 4 hour weekly seminar, including teaching and skills practice. In your second year you will complete additional modules of coursework, alongside 2 clinic placements. Placements in your second year consist of 144 hours of supervised clinical practice and 4 hours per week of clinical supervision.

In your third year you will complete further coursework modules in parallel with 2 clinical placements in community settings. Placements in third year consist of 100 hours of clinical practice and 2 hours per week of supervision.

You will have access to, and be actively encouraged to use, York St John University's experimental laboratories, supported by technical staff and technical resources. These include:

  • Eye-tracking equipment
  • HD surveillance cameras
  • Ceiling mounted microphones
  • Virtual reality headsets and motion sensors
  • Biopac physiological recording equipment
  • Specialist software for creating, recording and analysing experimental stimuli

Counselling Psychology web

Course structure

How you will study

You will study this postgraduate course full time over 3 years. This allows you to fit your studies around other life commitments.

In your first year you will study 6 compulsory modules.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Develop your core counselling and psychotherapy skills. On this module you will think about the various models that support counselling and psychology methods. You will learn to take an evidence-informed approach to carry out evaluation of therapy. You will have training in interviewing, counselling and developing the therapeutic alliance. You will also explore the complex factors around the therapeutic relationship.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Learn how to complete comprehensive psychological assessments on adults and children. You will acquire skills for the selection, interpretation and integration of assessment findings for some of the most commonly used psychological assessment measures. You will also develop the skills needed to write integrated psychological reports.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Prepare for your placements by focusing on your development as a psychologist. You will develop ethical awareness and professional competencies. Topics covered in this module include:

  • The practice of psychology in diverse settings
  • Inter-and intra-professional relationships
  • Risk assessment
  • Case formulation
  • Professional practice issues

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will focus on advanced individual psychotherapy, with an emphasis on cognitive behavioural and humanistic therapies. You will develop and refine professional skills in the multimodal assessment process. Learn about the integration of theory, case formulation and the practice of psychotherapy.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn the models of science that support research in counselling psychology. We will cover quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods design. You will explore data collection, analysis and methodological approaches in the behavioural sciences. You will also explore the common flaws in quantitative research approaches and develop appropriate solutions.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the theoretical knowledge of counselling psychology and psychotherapy. You will cover developmental psychology across the lifespan, and through key theoretical perspectives. You will develop your knowledge and skills in planning interventions for specific developmental issues at each stage of the lifespan.

In your second year you will study 5 compulsory modules.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

During this module you will develop the skills needed for working with individuals and groups. You will examine key models for understanding group processes and develop practical skills in group leadership. We will encourage you to participate in group experiences and involve yourself in the planning of a common theme group in the community.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

Under the supervision of your tutor, you will embark on a 2 part investigation. You will make an application to the University Research Ethics Committee for the approval of your proposed project as part of this module. Throughout this module you will work to collect around 60% of your data for your project. You will also also prepare and submit a draft of the Introduction and Methods section of your thesis.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

The 4 placement modules will provide opportunities across a range of contexts. Each module has similar requirements, but they apply to different treatment groups and scenarios. These 2 modules each contains a total of 144 hours of supervised clinical experience. You will have the opportunity to practise core clinical skills such as assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment of individuals and groups. This will be conducted under the supervision of a registered psychologist. You will engage ethically with clients and other professionals in a dynamic professional setting.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on your knowledge and skills in the field of individual therapy and interventions across the lifespan. This will include aspects of couples and family therapy, considering the frameworks for examining interactional patterns and strategies for bringing about change. You will focus on developmental and attachment-based approaches to couple and family therapy. Family life cycles, the influences of parental styles, and the bi-directional co-construction nature of parent-child interactions are focal points of the module.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

The 4 placement modules will provide opportunities across a range of contexts. Each module has similar requirements, but they apply to different treatment groups and scenarios. These 2 modules each contains a total of 144 hours of supervised clinical experience. You will have the opportunity to practise core clinical skills such as assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment of individuals and groups. This will be conducted under the supervision of a registered psychologist. You will engage ethically with clients and other professionals in a dynamic professional setting.

In your third year you will study 6 compulsory modules.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module addresses psychopathology through a review of psychological disorders, based on relevant diagnostic frameworks. These include the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). You will address Psychopharmacology in relation to each of the disorders, considering advanced psychotherapy concepts such as:

  • Ruptures in the therapeutic alliance
  • Defences
  • Transference
  • Counter-transference

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will finalise, analyse and write up the data you have collected over your 3 doctoral dissertation modules. You will complete your results section, write up a draft of the discussion section, and submit a draft copy of your entire dissertation. To receive an ungraded pass on this module you must meet these requirements and provide evidence to your supervisor.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Building on the skills developed in Placement modules 1 and 2, this placement will involve a total of 100 hours of supervised clinical experience. You will have the opportunity to practise core clinical skills such as assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment of individuals, groups and families under the supervision of a registered psychologist. You will engage ethically with clients and other professionals in a dynamic professional setting.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module brings together the skills of clinical work and ethical interpersonal competencies. We will cover legislative requirements relating to the practice of counselling psychology and the requirements for registration as a Counselling Psychologist. You will learn about:

  • Leadership
  • Supervision
  • Mentorship
  • Inter-professional work
  • Clinical accountability

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module you will complete the write up and final preparation of your dissertation. This is the culmination of your research activity, knowledge and skills from throughout the course, incorporating publication quality original research.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Building on the skills developed in Placement modules 1 and 2, this module will contain a total of 100 hours of supervised clinical experience. You will have the opportunity to practise core clinical skills such as assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment of individuals, groups and families under the supervision of a registered psychologist. You will will engage ethically with clients and other professionals in a dynamic professional setting.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

The course aims to be inclusive and accessible, and recognises that training to be a counselling psychologist is an active, constructive and contextual process. The course is structured so that your knowledge and skills continually develop at each level. We assume prior knowledge of undergraduate psychology, but not counselling. You will be supported across the 3 years by a course leader, module leaders, lecturers, research supervisors, and placement supervisors, in addition to an individual course tutor.

You will develop the professional skills required of practitioner psychologists through small group work, and supervised placements in public health and community-based settings. Working with a research advisor, you will also conduct an applied research project relevant to Counselling Psychology.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

Each of the modules in the course have separate assessments, including:

  • Case reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Written reports
  • Demonstrations of skills
  • 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 you throughout your studies.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 degree from a BPS accredited undergraduate Psychology course

    Interview If your degree is in an unrelated subject but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience

Additional requirements

In addition to the above you will need to have:

  • 2 references and a personal statement (maximum 1,000 words) along with your application
  • The Graduate Basis for Chartership with the BPS
  • Satisfactory DBS enhanced disclosure
  • A commitment to undertake personal therapy and clinical supervision

Interview

Shortlisted applicants are required to attend interviews in either May or June.

Admission to the course is competitive, therefore the selection process strives to consider multiple aspects and qualities of individuals.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £8,250 per year full time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023-24 £8,250 per year full time

    International 2023-24 £13,000 per year full time

International 2023 - 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £13,000 per year of full time study

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Counselling Psychology take you?

Counselling Psychologists work across a diversity of health and social care environments, including:

  • NHS
  • Outpatient and inpatient units
  • Community organisations
  • Educational institutions
  • Forensic settings
  • Independent practice

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

Applications for this course are now closed and will reopen in January 2023.

When applications do open, you will need to apply to us directly through a link on this page. To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Important Dates

Important datesDates
Applications open 04 January 2022
Applications close 14 April 2022
Deadline for all documentation to be received by admissions 22 April 2022
Applications sent to academics to review 25 April 2022
Interview invitations sent to successful applicants 20 May 2022
Interview dates 01 and 08 June 2022
Successful applicants advised of decision 22 June 2022
Deadline for all applicants to meet offer conditions 29 August 2022
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