Brains and cogs

Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy

Programme details

  • Next start date: Sep 2023
  • 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 Programme Specification

Application process

  • Copies of academic transcripts and certificates from all university studies (i.e. undergraduate degree)
  • One letter of academic recommendation
  • One letter of recommendation detailing professional/clinical experience
  • A copy of your CV/resumé. If this does not include details of professional/voluntary psychotherapy and counselling work experience, then please submit a separate statement detailing this experience.
  • A 700-1000 word personal statement outlining your background, your reasons for applying to your chosen programme. This should demonstrate an understanding of a current issue relevant to the subject, how you feel you will benefit from the programme of study, what contributions you will make to the University and how this will help your future career aspirations.
  • A copy of your passport photograph (ID) page
  • If you are not a native English speaker, proof of your English proficiency

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

Annual Tuition fee

£9,750

Non-refundable advance deposit

£1,000

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, that you choose to participate in outside of the tuition offered as part of the programme.

You will also be liable for your own costs of personal therapy, professional supervision, and travel or other costs for your placement.

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

When are fees paid?

Fees are payable in the following instalments:

  • An initial non-refundable advance deposit paid when you accept your offer of a place
  • The advance deposit is allocated against the first term’s fees
  • Tuition fees (including fees for subsequent terms) are due two weeks in advance of classes commencing

Teaching and assessment

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 

Content 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.

Entry requirements

  • MA Psychotherapy & Counselling (taught pathway in Existential Psychotherapy) or a Postgraduate Diploma with the equivalent study of existential psychotherapy to the MAPC Existential pathway
  • A minimum of 200 client-contact hours in a formal clinical placement
  • A minimum of three years (120 sessions) regular individual psychotherapy
  • Interview
  • IELTS: Overall score 7.0 with 6.0 or above in all 4 components, or equivalent*

*qualification satisfies the English language requirements of the UK Immigration and Visas (UKVI) for non-UK/Irish nationals.

Careers

Throughout the year, you'll define and develop your career with dedicated one-to-one support from our Careers, Enterprise & Industry team. They'll help to organise industry placements and build life-long connections.

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.

Structure

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

Programme content

  • Existential Philosophy Applied to Psychotherapy
  • Practice and Reflexivity

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