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Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology  DPsych

Overview

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a professional training programme, approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology course is designed to equip you with a rigorous training in clinical practice, as well as professional research skills at doctoral level, to enable you to become an effective and competent Practitioner Psychologist registered with the HCPC, and Chartered Psychologist with the BPS.

Our professional, clinical and academic training is combined with the opportunity to develop your own portfolio of placement experience. This equips you to build a successful and fulfilling career in a broad range of settings, including:

  • the NHS (e.g. inpatient settings, community mental health teams, specialist services such as early intervention, with different clinical populations e.g. older adults)
  • the independent hospital sector
  • forensic settings including HMPS and probation
  • organisations in areas such as occupational health
  • the Third (voluntary) sector
  • industry
  • government
  • private practice (including Employee Assistance Programmes) and
  • academic and research settings.


93 per cent of City's 2011 Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £9,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £14,500 per year
More...

Start Date:

September 2016

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

The following entry requirements are normally required for you to be considered for the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology:

  • A 2:1 honours degree or above which confers GBC (see below) or other first degree with relevant conversion course
  • Successful completion of introductory training in therapeutic/counselling skills. We are looking for training such as certificate-level counselling skills courses (i.e. a course which awards you a certificate on completion); other relevant therapeutic training, e.g. that offered by various levels of the NHS IAPT programme such as for psychological well-being practitioners; or other appropriate counselling training undertaken as a health or social care worker. If you are in doubt as to whether your training would meet our requirements please ask us (see our contact details). We run a five-day workshop at City University London which equips you with relevant skills for application to the Professional Doctorate course, although other courses are also available on the market
  • Substantial experience with face-to-face mental health/counselling work (usually one year minimum). This could include working (paid or unpaid) as a mental health or social care support worker/healthcare assistant in a ward or community setting; a mental health charity; a victim support unit; bereavement counselling; or relationship counselling. The experience we are looking for is more than 'befriending', and is different from having worked for example in healthcare roles other than mental health. You need to show you can talk about a patient/client case, conceptualise the person's problems, and put this within the context of the person's life history and environmental system
  • The capacity to undertake research at doctoral level
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). This would normally be in the form of a letter from the BPS confirming that you are a Graduate Member and that you have been granted GBC. If you are unsure whether your undergraduate degree confers GBC then please contact the BPS for clarification. If you are currently completing a relevant BPS accredited course you will need to have applied for and been granted Graduate Membership conferring GBC with the BPS, by the commencement of the programme.

In certain circumstances we will welcome an application from a suitably qualified applicant directly to Year 2 of our course. For entry into the second year, you must have successfully completed on a BPS-accredited DPsych in Counselling Psychology programme an amount of training which in our view gives equivalent experience to Year 1 of our programme, and of course hold the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.  One of your referees will be required to be from that programme. 

As the majority of our students choose to proceed to the second year, we only have a small number of places available to external candidates each year.

All students commencing the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology are required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously known as an enhanced CRB Disclosure). You are advised to visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service for further information.  The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are 'protected' and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account.  Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

Students are also required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire prior to admission and to attend an Occupational Health appointment in the first weeks of the course to ensure you have health clearance to practice.  Successful applicants will be given specific details of your mandatory appointment during your induction.

English Requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English proficiency.

We only accept the following English language qualifications:

  • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
  • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
  • GCE O-level/GCSE - grade C or above
  • CSE - grade C or above
  • SEB - grade C or above
  •  Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English - Pass
  • IELTS – Overall score of 7 or above and at least 6.5 in each subtest


Please note that due to changes in the UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) list of Secure English Language Tests (SELT) we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), as of April 2014.

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2016
Duration:

Three years.

Teaching is on different days of the week during the three years of the course.

In Year 1, trainees are required to attend lectures at the University for three terms. Each term is ten weeks and all lectures are taught on a Wednesday from 9:00 to 17:00.

Please be aware that trainees may occasionally be required to attend meetings and events at the University outside of term time and on other days of the working week than the normal University attendance day.

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Course Content

The DPsych aims to develop ethical, reflective and professional practitioners of counselling psychology who work collaboratively with their clients 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 rigor 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 are actively supported during your studies by the course team to develop your own personal theory of the evolution, maintenance and resolution of psychological problems, based on your reading, lectures, practical skills workshops, personal development, collaborative learning and clinical and research experience.

We want you to have a stimulating, challenging, inspiring and personally supportive professional training environment in which to develop your knowledge and skills and further develop as a person and professional. We view you as active contributors to your learning and to the overall success of the course, treating each of you with respect and working with you in a genuinely collegial atmosphere as a developing professional.

Course Structure

N.B. Modules, and their content, are subject to change.

Year one

Trainees will have the opportunity to integrate psychological theory and existing research into their professional practice and are encouraged to develop a level of self-understanding and awareness. Three main models of Counselling Psychology practice are taught (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Person-Centred Approaches and Psychodynamic Approaches), together with an exploration of professional practice standards across the diverse range of client groups and contexts. Teaching in research methods is central to this year of the Programme.

The programme contains both academic and professional components.  These provide the opportunity for trainees to develop knowledge and understanding of a range of theoretical models relevant to counselling psychology; acquire and demonstrate competency in research skills, become proficient in supervised clinical practice while fostering self-reflective skills.  Trainees learn about psychological counselling practice across a range of client populations and contexts. Knowledge and skill acquisition is built upon in subsequent years of the programme.

In addition to the academic requirements of the programme, trainees undertake their own personal psychological counselling; complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised client practice and ideally make a start on the 45 hours of indirect work in placement to be completed across the three years of the programme.

Year one modules:

  • Person-centred approaches to counselling psychology
  • Cognitive behavioural approaches to counselling psychology
  • Psychodynamic approaches to counselling psychology
  • Context, diversity and standards in professional practice
  • Research design and analysis 1
  • Research design and analysis 2
  • Professional components of counselling psychology
  • Professional development and supervision
  • Personal and professional development.

Year two

In order to develop advanced knowledge and practice skills, Year 2 of the Programme includes Level A Psychometrics , Groups and Couples: Counselling and Mediation, Specialist Group Supervision, Psychopathology: Clinical Skills and Critical Approaches, Elective Theory Advances and Developing Research Skills.

In addition to the academic requirements of the programme, trainees undertake their own personal psychological counselling and complete a minimum of 150 hours of supervised client practice and continue building up the 45 hours of indirect work in placement to be completed across the three years of the programme.

Year two of the Programme will provide an opportunity for trainees to:

  • Increase their theoretical knowledge in areas relevant to counselling psychology.
  • Extend their therapeutic skills.
  • Increase their understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.
  • Broaden the range of settings in which they are competent to practice.
  • Broaden the range of challenges they are competent to work with.
  • Develop skills in teaching other psychologists, psychological therapists and counsellors, including those from other professional groups such as nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, etc.
  • Continue to develop skills in addressing psychological counselling issues in the light of psychological theory and research.
  • Further develop their research skills, especially in relation to clinical practice.

Year two modules:

  • Professional components of counselling psychology
  • Groups and Couples: Counselling and Mediation
  • Elective Theory Advances
  • Psychopathology: Clinical Skills and Critical Approaches
  • Specialist group supervision
  • Research proposal for counselling psychology
  • Developing research skills in counselling psychology
  • Level A psychometrics.

Year three

The focus of the third year of training is to equip graduates to fulfil the role of a Counselling Psychologist.

Year three of the Programme includes modules to develop both Professional and Research Skills, Level B Psychometrics, certified by the BPS, as well as Specialist Group Supervision relevant to advanced practice.

In addition to the academic requirements of the programme, trainees undertake their own personal psychological counselling and complete a minimum of 200 hours of supervised client practice and 45 hours of indirect work in placement to be completed across the three years of the programme.

Year three of the Programme will provide an opportunity for trainees to:

  • Increase their theoretical knowledge in areas relevant to counselling psychology.
  • Extend their therapeutic skills.
  • Increase their understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.
  • Broaden the range of settings in which they are competent to practice.
  • Broaden the range of problems they are competent to work with.
  • Develop skills in teaching other psychologists and counsellors, including those from other professional groups such as nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, etc.
  • Continue to develop skills in addressing psychological counselling issues in the light of psychological theory and research.
  • Further develop their research skills, especially in relation to clinical practice.

Year three modules:

  • Professional components of counselling psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Supervision Practice
  • Integrative and Pluralistic approaches
  • Developing research skills in counselling psychology
  • Negotiating relationships: advanced skills
  • DPsych counselling psychology thesis
  • Specialist group supervision
  • Consultancy and Professional Development Issues
  • Level B psychometrics.

Teaching and Assessment

Course director

Course tutors/lecturers/research supervisors

Teaching

A wide range of learning and teaching methods are used, including lectures, group discussion, group work, role play, trainee presentations, supervised clinical practice, personal therapy and personal development activities.

Assessment

You will be assessed through role plays, learning logs, skills assessments, essays, process reports, client studies, examination, critical literature review and DPsych portfolio.

Student focus

We want your time on the Counselling Psychology MSc/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 

We were proud to be commended on our personal tutor system at our latest HCPC/BPS accreditation. Personal tutors play a particularly central role in the Counselling Psychology course, providing a link between you, the course and the University. The personal tutor's role is to ensure your welfare throughout the duration of your study. You meet with your personal tutor regularly as part of the weekly Personal and Professional Development module

Student-staff liaison committees 

We regard you as active contributors to the success of the course. Student-Staff Liaison Committees give you an opportunity to meet formally with academic staff in order to give us feedback on your experience of the course and the University in general. We use these meetings to implement your suggestions, to make changes to the course if required, and to ensure that we retain the aspects which get positive feedback. These meetings are held regularly and enable us to ensure that the student experience is a positive one.

Placements Co-ordinator

The Placements Co-ordinator acts as the link between clinical placements, you and the University. They liaise with placement providers and provide you with information about potential clinical training opportunities. A large part of this role is maintaining contact with placements and acting as a supportive link for you whilst on placement. The Placements Coordinator often visits placements and organises events for Clinical Supervisors. In the past this has included workshops and social events.

Module feedback

All modules on the programme are evaluated by you. Module feedback normally takes place midway through the module, when you are asked to give confidential feedback on teaching and learning.

Read the full 2014 programme specification.

Fees

  • Full-time EU: £9,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £14,500 per year

The fees listed above are per year and may increase in subsequent years.

Funding

For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Scholarships

  • Scholarship opportunities will be available for UK/EU and international students looking to study postgraduate courses in the School of Arts & Social Sciences starting in September 2016.

Bursaries

Placements

In addition to the taught components of the Counselling Psychology MSc/DPsych course, you are also required to complete 400 hours of professional face-to-face client practice in placements and 45 hours of indirect client work; frequent clinical supervision; personal development; 40 hours of personal therapy (at least 15 hours in Year 1); and various pieces of assessment throughout the three years, including a doctoral thesis.

Who arranges the placements?

It is your responsibility to find and arrange your own placements, although advice and support is offered by the Placements Co-ordinator and personal tutors. If your application is successful, on acceptance of a place on the course you will be sent further information about finding placements and available opportunities.

Do placements have to be in London?

No, you can undertake your placements wherever is convenient for you as long as you ensure your supervision is from appropriately qualified professionals. Supervisors should be registered  with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a 'Practitioner Psychologist', 'Registered Psychologist', 'Counselling Psychologist' or 'Clinical Psychologist'. All placements arrangements need to be approved by your personal tutor.

Supervision

Supervision should normally be in the ratio of one hour of supervision for every 8 hours of counselling work in Years 1 and 2, with a minimum of one hour of supervision per fortnight. In Year 3, supervision should be in the ratio of one hour for every 8 hours of counselling work, with a minimum of two hours of supervision per month.

Career Prospects

93 per cent of City's 2011 DPsych Counselling Psychology graduates were in employment or further study six months after graduation, with an average salary of £35,500.

Counselling Psychology graduates are typically employed in a variety of settings, including NHS primary, secondary or tertiary care, the prison service, schools and voluntary agencies.

Employers of recent graduates include:

  • St Bartholomews Hospital
  • South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Central & North West London NHS Trust
  • City University London
  • Maggie's Cancer Centre
  • Imperial College London
  • Roehampton University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Homerton University Hospital
  • The Priory
  • Capio Nightingale Hospital.

Job titles included Consultant Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, High Intensity Therapist, Lecturer, and Practitioner Psychologist.

For further information on working as a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, please see the following BPS website.


When to apply

The application deadline for this course is 31st March 2016.

The application process

Receipt of applications will be confirmed within one week. All complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Team from the beginning of February on a first come, first served basis, and shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview from the second half of February 2016 onwards. All applicants will hear whether or not they are shortlisted for interview soon after their applications are complete.

The interviews will take place from March to May 2016.

Supporting documents

We also require that you submit the supplementary application form. Please either upload the completed supplementary form as part of your online application or email it directly to counsellingpsych@city.ac.uk.

When applying online you must provide the email addresses to two referees, at least one must be from an academic referee if you are a recent graduate and we will contact them directly. Other suitable referees may include a current employer or an organisation where you have undertaken relevant work experience. If you are submitting a paper application you must submit two references with your application. References must be provided either on the form provided (with an institution stamp) or on headed paper. Download the reference form.

We also require evidence of your academic qualifications and English language qualifications (where applicable), when applying on-line these can be uploaded as part of your application. If you are already a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society, holding Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership status, please provide evidence of this.

Apply online

Online application is now open. Apply here.

(Supporting documents can be uploaded during the application process).

Alternatively, you can download and complete the application form and send it, with the supporting documents, to:

Counselling Psychology admissions team
City University London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom
T: +44(0)20 7040 8753
E: counsellingpsych@city.ac.uk