Psychotherapy and Counselling MA

Year of entry

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

Wednesday 15 February. Find out more

Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
36 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) plus proof of counselling skills
Full entry requirements
UK fees
£17,500 (total)
International fees
To be confirmed
Accredited
Yes
Available to UK residents only
Yes

Course overview

ma in social work

The MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling is a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited course. The programme offers a strong focus on high quality research and clinical skills training. It provides an opportunity to critically and creatively evaluate current theory and practice issues. Psychotherapeutic theory which prioritises the therapeutic relationship as the crucial factor will be critically examined and students will be encouraged to learn more about themselves in relationships, to develop their own approach to therapy based on their own values and beliefs. You will be able to deliver psychological therapy across different socio-cultural contexts considering the ethical and intersectional dimensions of your practice.

You will be equipped to work as a professional counsellor/psychotherapist and make independent clinical decisions in a variety of settings including complex and unpredictable situations. You will learn to carry out specialist psychotherapeutic assessments, communicate and present complex and sensitive information and gain knowledge of adult safeguarding procedures.

Your therapeutic learning community will consist of no more than 24 students per cohort. You will engage in experiential learning activities to develop your self- and intersubjective awareness when becoming a relational practitioner. This small group enables personal support from your peers and tutors to help with the emotional challenges of the learning experience. Many students bring a wealth of personal experience that helps them to reflect on a range of human issues.

In addition to the taught elements of the programme you must complete 100 supervised practice hours to become eligible for BACP membership. You must find your own placement but the practice placement unit are available to support you. Our practice placement unit have a comprehensive range of approved placement opportunities in a variety of clinical settings.

You’ll benefit from the knowledge of experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and practitioner psychologists, with senior levels of registration. Our teaching staff are also active researchers, with a range of specialisms. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to conduct independent in-depth research into a complex specialist area. In your final year, our innovative annual student conference gives you chance to share your research with peers.

You will benefit from

  • High quality and intensive clinical skills training enabling you to become effective relational practitioners.

  • Learning from a passionate academic team with psychotherapeutic interests include third wave behavioural and cognitive psychotherapies, the person-centred and existential not-knowing approach, pluralistic therapy and psychoanalytic and integrative approaches, with a specific interest in psychodrama.

  • Studies enriched by the active research of our staff who are currently researching counselling and psychotherapy teaching methods, eating behaviours or disorders, infant-mother mealtime interactions, global mental health, neurodiversity, inclusive therapy, pluralistic approaches to therapy, working with trauma, ethical conflicts for counsellors working in IAPT and the psychological aspects of learning and teaching online.

  • Options to exit the masters at different levels if required. You can leave after year one with a PGCert in Interpersonal Studies (no BACP registration eligibility or right to practice) or, after year two, with a PGDip in Psychotherapy and Counselling (at this stage you will be eligible to register as a member of BACP after successfully completing their Certificate of Proficiency exam).

Watch the course video

Discover more about our course community, hear about the programme journey from current students, and learn how skills are developed.

Accreditation

Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

MA Psychotherapy and Counselling has received British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited course status which, on successful completion, will allow you to be added to their voluntary assured register of practitioners.

Course details

Over the first two years you study nine modules: four theory and four concerned with development as a reflective practitioner, plus research methods. In the third year, you have the opportunity to undertake small-scale research.

On completion of the programme students will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of psychotherapeutic theory and clinical skills. You will be able to demonstrate self and intersubjective awareness as a relational therapist and incorporate a critical awareness of socio-cultural issues into your practice.

Teaching day and study time required

Teaching takes place on one day each week for all modules except research methods so you can plan work and other commitments around taught sessions. We estimate that 2.5 days per week are necessary to complete the requirements of this course (teaching, private study, placement, supervision and personal therapy).

The teaching day for students starting the course in 2023 will be Tuesdays.

Undertaking a postgraduate qualification is a significant decision, especially when you are studying part time and have other commitments. If you would like to talk to us at any point please get in touch with:

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Psychotherapy and Counselling MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Counselling Theories 15
Relational Counselling Skills Part 1 15
Working as a Professional Counsellor 15
Relational Counselling Skills Part 2 15

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Ethical and Cultural Considerations in Psychotherapeutic Counselling 15
Relational Counselling Skills Part 3 15
Theories of Intersubjective Human Development 15
Relational Counselling Skills Part 4 15
Research Methods 15

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 45

Learning and teaching

Learning will be conducted through a variety of structured teaching, experiential activities and applied practice. We will draw on the lived experience, knowledge, and skills of individuals within the group, along with readings and other external sources to assist effective reflection. The majority of your teaching will take place on campus with self-directed learning provided through online platforms to deliver a blended learning approach. You will receive in depth and intensive clinical skills training where your practice will be recorded and observed by tutors and peers from the course.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

You will complete a range of authentic assessments which will have real world value when working as a professional psychotherapist/counsellor. The assessment methods will include written essays, oral presentations, recorded clinical skills, psychotherapy reports, examination, clinical portfolios and a research dissertation.

Applying

Entry requirements

  • A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in any subject or other proof of your ability to study at Masters level.

  • Proof of counselling skills. It’s essential that students have already completed a level 3 certificate in counselling skills or equivalent, so we can assume this level of practice and knowledge of the professional context of counselling. The level 3 course or equivalent should include 20-50 hours of practice with other students and tutor feedback.

  • Two satisfactory references, one of which must normally be an academic reference.

  • A level of maturity associated with personal reflection on a variety of adult and childhood experiences and developed interpersonal skills, to be assessed at interview.

Disclosure and barring screening (DBS)

All successful applicants will also need to pass disclosure and barring screening.

The University has a policy statement on students with criminal records. For the vast majority of students who are resident in the UK the record will be checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The DBS check can only include background checks on your time in the UK. A criminal record check from other countries in addition to the UK DBS check may be required. Abroad this may be referred to as a "Certificate of Good Conduct" (CoGC), but the name varies.

Any offer of a place to study Psychotherapy and Counselling MA conditional upon a satisfactory confidential occupational health assessment, which will include a health questionnaire, and if necessary further telephone consultation and/or an appointment with an occupational health clinician. Screening for serious communicable disease, (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and a review of immunisation status and needs, which includes COVID-19, will also be arranged before beginning your studies.

How to apply

The application deadline is the end of May 2023.

Interview dates to be confirmed.

The link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Healthcare Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Healthcare

Contact us

School of Healthcare Admissions Team

Email: admissions@healthcare.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £17,500 (total)

Students enrolling on the MA may be eligible for a Master’s loan. For full details on eligibility and how to apply visit the government masters loan information page.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There are additional costs for supervision (minimum 18 hours) and personal therapy (minimum 70 hours) payable directly to the practitioners concerned. Fees may vary from approximately £35 to £75 per hour with an average cost of £45.

You are required to become a student member of BACP (currently £82 per year in 2022) and to take out professional liability insurance for your practice, the cost of which depends on the amount insured (estimated at £75 per year).

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates go on to combine counselling and psychotherapy with their existing professions, such as nursing or education. Some continue to work in a voluntary capacity to build sufficient supervised client hours to join the advanced category of individual BACP accreditation, while others set up in private practice.

Our graduates are highly sought after by employers within the region, many of whom are closely associated with the course as practice providers or supervisors.

Many of our graduates have gone on to hold positions of responsibility as counsellors or psychotherapists within the NHS and voluntary bodies, and some have returned to us to undertake PhD research or teaching.

Future additional accreditation opportunities

We are currently developing further study opportunities which would enable you to register with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Graduates from the MA Psychotherapy and Counselling would be eligible to apply for an additional certificate and standalone module to achieve double registration with both BACP and UKCP. Details and accreditation is pending for this further opportunity but please check back in summer 2023 for the latest updates.

Study abroad and work placements

Work placements are a necessary part of this course, and 100 supervised practice hours must be completed. It is your responsibility to find a placement and it will be unpaid. The practice placement unit has a database of approved organisations you can approach for different placement opportunities. You will be given specific learning resources to help you with securing a clinical placement and we hold annual contact events where you can meet some of our placement providers.