Brains and cogs

Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy

Programme details

  • Next start date: Sep 2024
  • Study: Part-time
  • Duration: 12 months

Overview

*Please note as this is a part-time programme, we are not able to sponsor students for a Student visa.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy (PGCEP) constitutes your final year of training and leads to professional registration as an existential psychotherapist through the Society for Existential Analysis of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Human experience is too complex to be explained by theory. Existential psychotherapy embraces this complexity, employing a philosophical approach to exploring what it means to be human. This practice nurtures enquiry, openness and a fresh gaze upon the world and human beings.  

This course will take you on a transformative journey, challenging your understanding of human existence and changing the way you see yourself and relate to others.

Combining academic study of existential texts and experiential encounter exercises, you’ll develop a philosophical attitude and acquire a new vocabulary for contemplating human experience. You'll go beyond cognitive and rational understanding – instead focusing on an open and embodied way of making sense of experience. This prepares you to connect with others in their ambiguity and complexity and begin a relational process of deep exploration. 

You’ll engage in a range of activities designed to encourage you to question your own beliefs and values, be courageous, embody fearless free speech, balance openness with circumspection and be willing to explore moments of discomfort with others.

Through peer feedback and critical reflection, you'll develop a deeper understanding of self in relation to others as well as their relationship to issues including power, freedom, responsibility, boundaries, limitations and strengths. This critical awareness will enable you to develop into a well-informed and ethical practitioner who able to work in different settings with a wide variety of clients.

You'll graduate a qualified existential psychotherapist, holding a privileged position which requires humility and discernment. Our training will teach you how to uphold clinical standards of practice and work competently, humanely and ethically with the most vulnerable members of society. 

Clinical placements

Throughout your training, you’ll be expected to work with at least three adult clients on a minimum basis of once a week and be required to complete a minimum of 100 clinical hours. For UKCP or BACP accreditation, you're required to complete 450 clinical hours in total. The total you accrue will include the hours acquired during previous training.

You will also be expected to participate in weekly personal psychotherapy sessions with a UKCP-registered therapist.

Accreditation and next steps

This course meets the accreditation criteria of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Upon successful completion of this certificate, you’ll be eligible for professional registration with the UKCP through the Society for Existential Analysis.

At the end of the course, you may have enough training hours to apply for individual accreditation with the BACP. To apply, you must show evidence of 450 hours of supervised clinical practice. This can only be done by the individual and Regent’s is unable to play a role in this process.

Download course specification

How to apply

Applying to Regent's is quick and easy. We accept direct applications year-round and there's no application fee. If you haven't received your exam results, you can still apply and we'll issue you with a conditional offer. You just need be clear in your application which qualifications you're currently studying for.

Step 1: Apply

During the application process, you'll have the chance to upload supporting documents, including:

  • A copy of your passport (photograph ID page)
  • Academic transcripts and certificates from all previous studies
  • A 500-700 word personal statement (view guidance)
  • If you're not a native English speaker, proof of your English proficiency

Credit transfer

If you’ve already studied part of your degree elsewhere, you may be able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and join your new course at an advanced entry point. To apply for RPL, you'll need to state this clearly in your application and provide us with the certificates, transcripts and module descriptions for your previous course.

Step 2: Receive a response

You can expect to receive a decision on your application within 10 working days. We'll assess whether you meet our entry requirements and will notify you of our decision via email. UCAS applicants will also receive official notification via the UCAS system.

For some of our courses, the selection process may include an interview or audition. They can take the form of a one-to-one interview, a group interview or a portfolio review, which may be conducted by telephone or online. Arrangements of these are made between you and the Admissions department.

Step 3: Accept your offer

If you wish to accept your offer, you must pay your (non-refundable) advance tuition fee deposit. This will confirm your place. Here's how.

Step 4: Register 

Closer to the start of term, our Admissions team will send instructions regarding your registration process. This will include information on completing your online enrolment before you arrive, as well as a checklist of documents you'll need to bring with you to campus.

Information for international students

If you're an overseas student, you'll likely require a visa to study in the UK. Here's how to apply

Scholarships and funding

There are a wide variety of funding and scholarship opportunities to help you finance your studies. For more information, please visit our scholarships and funding page.

Fees

Tuition fee: 

  • £13,000 for the academic year starting in September 2024.

Non-refundable advance deposit:

UK students: £1,000
International students: £4,000

Read more about tuition fees.

When you accept your offer, you'll pay a non-refundable advance deposit. The remaining portion of your first year’s tuition fees will be due when you enrol. At this time, you’ll receive your invoice for the full year. You can choose to pay for the year in full before the start of your first academic year or in three instalments, spread out across the academic year. The dates of these instalments will be determined by when your course starts.

What do fees include?

Fees cover the cost of all tuition and access to the University’s IT infrastructure and library learning resources. Fees are presented for the first level of study which equates to two terms. 

What other costs should I budget for?

You will need to budget additional funds for accommodation and living expenses, travel, and any additional trips, visits, activities or courses that you choose to participate in outside of the tuition offered as part of your course.

The library holds a limited number of copies of core textbooks and where possible in e-format. You will be encouraged to purchase your own textbooks and will need to budget approximately £80-£100 per year, depending on your course.

How you'll learn

At Regent's you’ll have the freedom to explore your interests in a supportive and nurturing environment with interactive classes, regular one-to-one contact with tutors, specialist facilities, industry opportunities and tailored careers advice – ensuring you develop the skills, experience and confidence you need to succeed.

We centre our teaching around your individual goals, identifying the support you need to thrive. You’ll be part of a collaborative environment, that brings all the nuances of psychotherapy to life in the classroom as you learn the most current approaches and gain the knowledge, practical skills and confidence to pursue a career in this life-changing field. 

Rather than promote a single approach, we teach a range of perspectives (covering existential, psychoanalytic, humanistic and integrative) via debates, simulations and placements – preparing you to make informed choices in your practice and meet the professional challenges of this rapidly-evolving field.

You’ll pair deep industry knowledge with hands-on experiences, taking part in a blend of learning formats to give your studies context: 

  • Seminars, lectures, tutorials 
  • Practical simulations and debates 
  • Professional clinical practice 
  • Training supervision 
  • Guest lectures and masterclasses 
  • Peer group participation 
  • Industry placements 
  • Independent individual therapy 

Contact hours: teaching will run on one regular day each week. You’ll also be expected to work with at least three adult clients, two of which must be long-term, on a minimum basis of once a week throughout your training –completing a minimum of 100 clinical hours.

Teaching staff 

You'll be taught by academics who all practice professionally and are recognised for excellence in their fields. They frequently speak at international conferences, so you can feel confident that you’re being taught the most cutting-edge methodology and thinking, and practice a wide range of therapy approaches – ensuring you’ll study contrasting views in an open and constructively critical arena. 

You'll be allocated a personal tutor too, who'll meet you on a one-to-one basis at various stages throughout the year to support your personal and professional development.

We're really proud of the global nature of our courses, and our tutors also reflect this ethos – coming from a wide variety of countries and cultures across the world. In every way, you'll feel part of a global family.

Independent learning

Throughout the course, you'll be expected to undertake extra reading, research, revision and reflection, as well as preparing work for workshops, and working collaboratively with other students in preparation for assessment.

You'll be required to remain in once-weekly individual therapy with a UKCP member therapist throughout your training. You'll need to find your own therapist as this isn't something Regent's can provide, although we can assist with your search. Please note this isn't included within the course fee and prices vary.

Method of assessment

The assessment criteria is based on a portfolio of four pieces of written evidence that demonstrate that you have successfully met the programme learning outcomes. You may also be tasked with other forms of assessment including written journals, oral presentations, video and audio recordings of your practice and interviews, as part of your final portfolio. It's important to us that your learning and assessment is:

  • Inclusive – fostering a student-focused approach
  • Engaging – encouraging interaction and participation
  • Authentic – based on real business challenges

Disability support

We welcome and support students with a wide range of disabilities and health concerns, including learning difficulties, visual and hearing impairments, mental health difficulties, autism conditions, mobility difficulties and temporary or chronic health conditions. 

Our Student Support & Welfare team is here to support you. We ask that you speak with us as early as possible to enable us to support you. Find out more about our disability support and contact us.

Academic requirements: Level 7

We're interested in your potential, as well as your prior achievements – and review each application comprehensively on its own merit.

The following qualifications:

  • MA Psychotherapy and Counselling (Existential pathway) or equivalent
  • Minimum of 200 client-contact hours in a formal clinical placement
  • Minimum of three years (120 sessions) regular individual psychotherapy

As well as:

  • A CV outlining your academic, professional and voluntary history
  • A 500-700 word personal statement outlining your experience and ambitions*

You may also be required to attend an interview*, where you'll:

  • Engage in discussions and identify issues
  • Relate to, and engage well with, others 
  • Share personal materials and experiences
  • Reflect on personal learning experiences

*Applicants who have completed the MA Psychotherapy and Counselling with us during the previous academic year are exempted from providing us with a personal statement and attending an interview.

English language requirements 

Minimum English proficiency requirement through one of the following qualifications (or equivalent):

QualificationSubjectGrade
GSCE*EnglishC (4)
IB SL or HL*English A4
IB HL*English B5
US HSD (studied in a majority English-speaking country)*Cumulative GPA2.5
IELTS*AcademicOverall score of 7.0, with 6.0 or above in each component
UG degreeFrom English-speaking countries – defined by the UKVISecond class

Please note, we do not accept home/online editions of English language tests.

*Qualification satisfies the English language requirements of the UKVI for non-UK/Irish nationals.

We also offer conditional students a free, online diagnostic test known as the Regent’s English Proficiency Test (REPT). This must be booked in advance. Discover more.

Careers

You’ll graduate a qualified existential psychotherapist, holding a privileged position which requires humility and discernment. Our training will teach you how to uphold clinical standards of practice and work competently, humanely and ethically with the most vulnerable members of society. 

Upon successful completion, you'll be eligible for professional registration with the Society for Existential Analysis of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

UKCP membership

The Society for Existential Analysis is an accrediting organisation within the Constructivist and Existential College of UKCP. It registers Regent's University London Psychotherapy and Counselling graduates as UKCP-registered existential psychotherapists.

BACP accreditation

At the end of the course, you may have accrued enough training hours to apply for individual accreditation with the BACP. Please note that BACP also requires candidates to show evidence of 450 hours of supervised clinical practice. Application to BACP can only be done by the individual and the programme is unable to play a role in this process.

Careers support

Don't worry if you feel overwhelmed – our Careers, Enterprise and Industry team are here to provide personalised advice and access to resources for life!

  • 24/7 access to online guidance and resources
  • Exclusive internships, networking opportunities and industry events
  • Personalised consultations – from interview and CV prep to business advice
  • Access to Handshake, connecting you with 650k+ global employers

Influential alumni

  • Dr Mick Cooper – globally recognised author, trainer and consultant in the fields of humanistic, existential and pluralistic therapies.

Structure

Teaching will run on one day each week, and consists of academic seminars, experiential exercises, training supervision and personal and professional development (PPD).

Thursdays, starting 28 September 2023
10.00-17.00

The full 2024-25 academic calendar will be released here shortly.

Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy

Core modules

Module title
Existential Philosophy Applied to Psychotherapy Engaging in existential philosophy opens the horizon within which meaning is made. In this module, you'll read primary and secondary existential texts and take part in meaningful group discussions. The rationale for such an approach is twofold: to gain a diverse vocabulary (able to articulate, reflect upon and work with phenomena as they appear); and a deliberate attempt to mirror the therapeutic experiences a client would face.
Practice and Reflexivity This module develops the skills, qualities and attributes required to become a competent, ethical and humane UKCP registered existential psychotherapist. The aim is to bridge the gap between existential philosophical ideas as intellect, and the embodiment of philosophical enquiry as action and process. With Phenomenology as our method, we shift from the deliberate and direct implementation of technique, towards enquiry. The aim is to let go of a dependence on deterministic thinking (based in scientific knowledge and understanding) in favour of ‘not-knowing’ – always in a process of revealing and uncovering. You'll learn to incorporate Phenomenology into your way of being, with an attitude of wonder and openness – looking afresh at people and things. It fosters an enquiring attitude and mitigates the usual power dynamic between the therapist and the client. Practising this method requires the courage to step-up to the challenge of recognising, remaining with and exploring emotional discomfort to embody ‘fearless speech’. These are prerequisites for reaching UKCP standards.

Apply now

Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy

Serena Fianco quote

Image of student Serena Fianco
Studying existential psychotherapy was my opportunity to explore and challenge my understanding of the ambiguity and perceptual complexity of human experience – I see it as the first stepping-stone in a life-long journey.' Serena Fianco, Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy alumna

Hear from Nandu

Nandu Menon
'Regent's has an exceptional reputation for its existential and phenomenological research. I felt at home from the very start and found my tutors to be open, welcoming, thought-provoking and flexible in their approach.' Nandu Menon, Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy alumnus