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  1. Counselling Psychology
    1. 2017
Courses

Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology

DPsych |
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.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017

Duration

Full-time: Three years

UK/EU

Full-time: £9,500 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £14,500 per year

Application period

Until February 2017

Who is it for?

The DPsych aims to develop ethical, reflective and professional practitioners of counselling psychology who work collaboratively with service users 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 will build a solid foundation of the clinical and professional knowledge and skills for working in mental health on the programme.

Equality of opportunity is central to the programme and trainees work in the course community to foster their valuing of difference in society and their own personal relationship to diversity, developed in relationship within the course community and then integrated into their practice outside. The diversity of our trainees is a highly valued feature of our course, and is integral to the learning context.

Objectives

This programme of study enables graduates to meet the training requirements for chartered membership as a Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and the eligibility to apply for registration as a practitioner psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

The Counselling Psychology programme aims to:

  • Train practitioner psychologists to be competent, reflective, ethically sound, resourceful and informed practitioners able to work in therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts who are sensitive to their clients’ subjective experiences, while at the same time being pragmatic, confident and, competent to deliver a comprehensive range of evidence-based practice interventions to meet clinical needs;
  • Develop practitioner psychologist skills in assessment, formulation, planning and implementing interventions, assessment of outcome effectiveness, consultation, teaching, supervision, service audit and evaluation, and leadership;
  • Provide the research and evaluation skills which will enable graduates as practitioners and researchers to contribute to the development of the profession and to evaluate and assess the effectiveness and impact of their psychological interventions;
  • Foster a personal awareness and openness in our graduates to equip them to work with a broad spectrum of people recognising and appreciating the significance of wider social, cultural, spiritual, political and economic domains;
  • Be able to develop and demonstrate communication, influencing, teaching and leadership skills by applying psychological knowledge and skills in a range of professional, clinical, organisational, and research contexts; and
  • Produce graduates who are well placed to work in a broad range of settings, including the NHS, forensic settings, Third Sector (voluntary), industry, government and private practice as well as academic and research settings, among others.

Accreditation

The British Psychological Society Accredited logoHealth and Care Professions Council (HCPC) logo

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three year full time programme of study. The programme is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK, and is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

    There are two stages to the selection process for the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at City: 1) a written application, which is used by the programme team to short list candidates, and 2) an interview process, which is used to select the strongest candidates from the short list. The programme receives a high volume of applications each year. This inevitably means that selection is competitive and applicants who can demonstrate the strongest applications are most likely to be short listed for interview and offered a place. The team makes its decisions on the basis of evidence gathered through the application process.

    All applicants must meet the programme’s eligibility criteria before applying, as listed below. Those who meet these criteria should submit a written application using the University’s standard application for postgraduate courses and a supplementary application form. The written application should clearly demonstrate that applicants meet the criteria.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Degree and GBC

    A 2:1 honours degree or above which confers the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) (see below) or other first degree with relevant conversion course. The evidence 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.

    Mental health experience and therapeutic skills training

    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.

    Research

    The capacity to undertake research to doctoral level.  This will be evidenced through the submission of a research proposal, and through consideration of your prior research learning and experience.  In developing your research proposal you should consider the following.  

    Your research should make a valuable contribution to the body of knowledge within Counselling Psychology. In general, you should focus your research in an area that has clear applicability to clinical practice. This requires the consideration how service user populations might benefit from the outcome of project, and how service delivery might be enhanced.  You should be able to ask yourself whether practitioners are likely to be engaged by the topic of research and whether it will add to the knowledge base underpinning the clinical practice of Counselling Psychology.

    For this purpose it is important to understand that the existing body of research in Counselling Psychology in the UK, due to the relative youth of the discipline, is currently relatively narrow, internally focused on the profession and its practitioners, and overly focused on small scale qualitative projects. Rather than perpetuate this in doctoral projects currently undertaken in universities, the drive from the profession now is to broaden the considerable annual research effort and outputs into areas that are applicable to, and will be valued and esteemed more generally by, applied psychologists working in many different settings including the NHS, forensics, the independent sector and Third Sector services. Methodology choices should also be more widely considered.

    Where you plan to carry out your research should also be thought about carefully.  There is a common belief that to do research on clinical populations in a service setting (especially the NHS) will be difficult and take time to get the necessary approvals. This is largely a myth. Where there are large, well-organised research and development departments, considerable assistance is often afforded to trainee researchers; student projects are often expedited; and service managers and clinical leads are eager to sponsor research in their services.  We encourage trainees to carry out their research in conjunction with one of their clinical placements.  

    APL/AEC (Accreditation of prior learning / existing competence) Requirements

    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 an HCPC approved and 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.

    It may also be possible to receive APL for certain modules in Year 1 of the programme. A common request is for APL for our module Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Counselling Psychology.  Module APL will only be granted for study at Level 7 (typically High Intensity diploma).  

    Any exemptions against practice requirements will only be granted on the basis of competence gained following achievement of eligibility for the GBC.  

    DBS Check/Occupational Health

    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.  Immunisations are required in order to protect both potentially vulnerable service users and the student on clinical placement.  Successful applicants will be given specific details of your mandatory appointment during your induction.

    The DBS check and occupational health procedures are designed to check whether you are suitable to do our programme. The costs of them are borne by the programme.  They do not assess or give any guarantees about whether someone completing our programme will be registered by the HCPC.

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 City 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.

Overseas Qualifications
Equivalent qualifications from an overseas university will be considered.

IT Skills
All students are expected to be computer literate.

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 six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

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

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Apply now:

DPsych in Counselling Psychology, full-time, 2017 entry

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 2017 onwards. Please note that applications which are not complete at this stage will be disregarded so please make sure you submit all the necessary documents by February. Conditional offers can be considered for applicants who still have to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, and/or submit an English language test, but all other documents must be included in your application before it can be considered. 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.

You should ensure that in completing the personal statement section of the application form, you address the criteria for entry carefully, see the programme specification ‘How do I enter the Programme’ for more details.  In relation to mental health experience and therapeutic skills training, you should ensure you complete the employment and training / education sections with full details of organisations where you have obtained that experience including dates, for both paid and voluntary experience. You are required to submit a research proposal as part of your application.  The proposal should be no more than 1000 words and should include the following: Research Question, Methodology, Ethical Considerations, Analytic Strategy and Potential Implications for Counselling Psychology Research and Practice. Submission of this proposal would not be considered a final choice of research topic if you are successful in your application. Guidance is available in the programme specification.

When applying you must provide 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. 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.  The evidence for this must be in the form of a letter from the BPS Membership Department confirming your Graduate Membership and specifically stating that you hold the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

84%
City's DPsych Counselling Psychology graduates were in employment six months after graduation (DHLE 2014-15)
1st
University in the UK to provide accredited counselling psychology training
Practising clinicians
teach the programme so you learn from professionals with significant experience within the field.

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding

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 activities within the modules, you are required to be on clinical placement. You will have a variety of different placements over your time on the programme.  Time on placement varies but is usually a minimum of two days per week. Typically trainees stay in each placement for six months to one year.  You may need to travel to a suitable placement. You are required to keep records of and reflections on your clinical development on placement.  You will be encouraged to learn through working collaboratively with a supervisor from your placement context during the programme of study.

Who arranges the placements?

The programme provides the support of a placement co-ordinator with finding suitable placements although the responsibility to find a suitable placement rests with the trainee.

Do placements have to be in London?

No, you can undertake your placements wherever is convenient for you as long as the arrangements meet the course requirements. All placement arrangements need to be approved by your personal tutor.

Supervision

Supervision requirements are set by the course in line with the requirements of our accreditation.  Supervisors should be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a 'Practitioner Psychologist', 'Registered Psychologist', 'Counselling Psychologist' or 'Clinical Psychologist'. Occasionally if placement supervision does not fully meet our requirements and a trainee still wants to attend that placement, external psychology supervision is needed and would need to be funded.

Personal Psychological Counselling

You will be required to undertake your own personal psychological counselling (40 hours, 15 minimum in the first year of the programme).  Practitioners should be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a 'Practitioner Psychologist', 'Registered Psychologist', 'Counselling Psychologist' or 'Clinical Psychologist'. Trainees will need to have funds for the personal psychological counselling requirement of the programme, some psychologists will offer concessionary rates but not all.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

The programme involves a variety of learning and teaching strategies for each module. The learning outcomes are achieved through a range of methods, including:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops led by the staff team and outside specialists
  • Problem-based learning in small groups
  • Technology-supported and enhanced learning
  • Supervised practice on placement
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Role play
  • Self-reflection
  • Experiential group work
  • Clinical discussion groups
  • Personal therapy/development work
  • Independent and directed reading.

Please note that teaching is held on different days of the week over the three years of the course.

  • Year 1: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Wednesdays
  • Year 2: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Fridays
  • Year 3: Trainees are required to attend lectures for each 10-week term on Thursdays.

Assessment

Assessment will be varied to reflect the range of professional competencies and experiences that you will develop on the programme. This includes:

  • Clinical case studies and process;
  • practice placement competency evaluations;
  • a critical literature review and research proposal;
  • a research thesis; and
  • attendance monitoring to ensure adequate engagement with the taught curriculum.

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
  • Student-staff liaison committees
  • Placements team.

Modules

Throughout the programme, trainees are exposed to a range of approaches and their application to practice, so they can conceptualise human psychological processes from different perspectives, sensitising them to clients’ needs and the choices they may make, enabling an understanding of how other psychologists work and fostering respect for both clients and professionals who operate from a range of conceptual world views.  

The programme teaches humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and systemic therapy approaches, as well as contemporary developments.

Trainees are required to demonstrate professional competence in a minimum of two models of psychological therapy in order to successfully complete their programme of training. Trainees will be required to present coursework and undertake supervised clinical practice using more than one psychological model.

Year 1

Year one modules:

  • Context, Diversity and Standards in Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Research design and analysis 1 (15 credits)
  • Research design and analysis 2 (30 credits)
  • Professional components of counselling psychology (45 credits)
  • Personal and professional development (15 credits)
  • Cognitive behavioural approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
  • Person-centred approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
  • Psychodynamic approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
  • Professional development and supervision (15 credits).

Year 2

In order to develop advanced knowledge and practice skills, Year 2 of the Programme includes Level A

Year two modules:

  • Professional Components of Counselling Psychology (45credits)
  • Systems and Systemic Psychological Therapies in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
  • Psychopathology: Clinical Skills and Critical Approaches (15 credits)
  • DPsych Counselling Psychology Thesis one (30 credits)
  • Developing Research Skills in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
  • Contemporary Developments in Psychological Approaches (15 credits)
  • Specialist group supervision (15 credits)
  • Psychometrics A: Ability and Aptitude Training (15 credits).

Year 3

Year three modules:

  • Professional Components of Counselling Psychology (60 credits)
  • Psychometrics B: Personality Measures (15 credits)
  • Negotiating Relationships: Advanced Skills (15 credits)
  • DPsych Counselling Psychology Thesis two (45 credits)
  • Integrative and Pluralistic Approaches to Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
  • Developing Research Skills in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
  • Specialist Group Supervision (15 credits)
  • Supervising, Consulting and leading in Counselling Psychology (15 credits).
  • Academic expert
    Co-Director, DPsych Counselling Psychology; Senior Lecturer working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Co-Director, DPsych in Counselling Psychology; Senior Lecturer in Psychology working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Career prospects

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at City equips you to build a successful and fulfilling career across the broad range of work undertaken by contemporary counselling psychologists. The practice focussed teaching, clinical placement experience, and choice of research topic for the thesis on the programme act as a building block for this.

Our graduates work 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, intellectual disabilities, children and young people; IAPT);
  • 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
  • consultancy.

Some of our graduates in clinical practice have gone on to lead services and many provide placements and supervision to our trainees. Others have gone into teaching and academia, including as contributors to the programme.

While on the programme trainees receive individualised career guidance through team members involved in the process of reviewing, appraising and planning their practice placement work and professional development.

They also have access to careers information and resources through the British Psychological Society and trainee membership of the Society’s Division of Counselling Psychology.

If you would like more information on the Careers support available at City, please go to: http://www.city.ac.uk/careers/for-students-and-recent-graduates.

88% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Application Deadline

February 2017


Apply now:

DPsych in Counselling Psychology, full-time, 2017 entry

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 2017 onwards. Please note that applications which are not complete at this stage will be disregarded so please make sure you submit all the necessary documents by February. Conditional offers can be considered for applicants who still have to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, and/or submit an English language test, but all other documents must be included in your application before it can be considered. 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.

You should ensure that in completing the personal statement section of the application form, you address the criteria for entry carefully, see the programme specification ‘How do I enter the Programme’ for more details.  In relation to mental health experience and therapeutic skills training, you should ensure you complete the employment and training / education sections with full details of organisations where you have obtained that experience including dates, for both paid and voluntary experience. You are required to submit a research proposal as part of your application.  The proposal should be no more than 1000 words and should include the following: Research Question, Methodology, Ethical Considerations, Analytic Strategy and Potential Implications for Counselling Psychology Research and Practice. Submission of this proposal would not be considered a final choice of research topic if you are successful in your application. Guidance is available in the programme specification.

When applying you must provide 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. 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.  The evidence for this must be in the form of a letter from the BPS Membership Department confirming your Graduate Membership and specifically stating that you hold the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.