Counselling Psychology


Programme details

  • Next start date: Sep 2020
  • Study: Full-time
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Fee: £13,000

The Regent’s DPsych Counselling Psychology programme is a professional doctorate in counselling psychology validated by The Open University. The programme underwent a successful revalidation with The Open University during 2019 and has subsequently been revalidated with no conditions for a full-term period of five years with effect from 1st September 2019. 

The DPsych meets the learning outcomes and standards of training for counselling psychology required by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 

Upon successful completion of the programme, DPsych trainees are eligible to apply to the BPS for Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) status and for full membership of the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology, and to apply to the HCPC register to work under the legally protected title of Counselling Psychologist. 

The Regent’s DPsych programme promotes relational, pluralistic and anti-discriminatory practices in therapy and in research. It consists of taught theory, practice and research modules over three years; a practitioner psychologist training; and a doctoral research degree.

You will explore existentialist and phenomenological theories and practices, contemporary second-wave and third-wave cognitive behavioural therapy approaches, and relational psychodynamic psychotherapy, together with fields such as critical psychology, art and literature, and philosophies including postmodernism, pluralism, ontology, epistemology, and ethics.

You will gain an understanding of how different theories and perspectives conceptualise the nature of distress and the role of the therapist and explore diverse ways of working across different settings and among different communities.

Throughout your training, you will be encouraged to demonstrate critical thinking, creativity and reflexivity. You will learn how to respond to your clients’ needs while also considering organisational parameters and contextual demands. You will explore the nuances of the “between spaces” in encounters with others and the ethics of intersubjectivity.

This programme will enable you to:

  • Develop as a competent, reflective, ethically sound, resourceful and informed practitioner, able to work in therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts
  • Value the imaginative, interpretative, personal and intimate aspects of the practice of counselling psychology
  • Commit to ongoing personal and professional development and enquiry 
  • Understand, develop and apply a range of different psychological models and theories
  • Appreciate the significance of the wider social, cultural and political domains within which counselling psychology operates
  • Adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the philosophy, practice, research and theory which constitutes counselling psychology

DPsych Frequently Asked Questions

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Programme structure

The DPsych is a three-year full-time programme. It is taught over Autumn, Spring and Summer terms. Each term is 10 weeks long, with one reading week per term. 

During Year 1, the taught components run over two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays). In Years 2 and 3, when placement activities increase and the doctoral research stage begins, teaching occurs on one day per week (Mondays or Tuesdays). There is no teaching in the Summer term of Year 3. 

During the days you are not on campus, you will be expected to undertake placement(s) and placement supervision, to carry out independent study and doctoral research, and to attend personal therapy.

Academic Calendar

Practice placements and personal therapy

Our trainees work in practice placement settings such as NHS primary, secondary and tertiary care services, acute mental health services, student counselling services, drug and alcohol services, specialist clinical health and eating disorder services, and third sector settings.

You can expect to undertake practice placements, in which you will work under the title of Trainee Counselling Psychologist, for one to two days per week throughout your training.

You will need to complete a minimum of 450 client hours, 75 supervision hours and 120 personal therapy hours and will keep a log of your placement work and professional development over the course of three years.

Year 1

Module Title Credits Overview
Counselling psychology theory and practice 20 credits
Existential phenomenological approaches in counselling psychology 20 credits
Cognitive behavioural approaches in counselling psychology 20 credits
Working with distress difference and discrimination 20 credits
Ethics settings and professional issues 20 credits
Year 1 counselling psychology research 60 credits
Year 1 professional practice 20 credits

Year 2

Module Title Credits Overview
Advanced existential approaches to human development and practice 20 credits
CBT approaches 2: Third wave 20 credits
Psychodynamic approaches to counselling psychology 20 credits
Year 2 professional practice 30 credits

Year 3

Module Title Credits Overview
Clinical seminar: Pluralistic and integrative working 20 credits
Advanced counselling psychology practice, research and employability 20 credits
Doctoral research clinic 10 credits
Year 3 professional practice 40 credits

How to apply

Applying to study at Regent's University London is quick and easy. We have put together some helpful information to guide you through the process. We accept direct applications and there is no application fee.

Step 1 Apply

You can apply in the following ways:

If you have not uploaded the relevant supporting documents during the online application process, you should ensure that we have the below supporting documents as soon as you have completed your application. These can be sent to the Regent’s Admissions Department via email to [email protected].

Supporting documents:

  • Copies of all academic transcripts and certificates from undergraduate degree level and above
  • One academic reference
  • One professional reference, ideally relating to your counselling or practitioner experience or work in a formal helping capacity
  • A personal statement (maximum 2000 words) - please see below for details of what to include in the personal statement
  • A sample of academic work
  • A copy of your CV
  • Evidence of Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) or Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) from the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • A copy of your passport photograph (ID) page
  • If you are not a native English speaker, proof of your English proficiency

In your personal statement (maximum 2000 words), you might consider including:

  • What led you to want to train in counselling psychology
  • Your interest in training on Regent’s counselling psychology programme
  • Any experience to date that will support you in working on placements with vulnerable people from the start of the programme
  • Evidence of your interpersonal skills, self-awareness and reflective capacities
  • How you will approach the challenges of undertaking a programme that includes a practitioner training, academic components, and postgraduate research
  • Any research interests relevant to the field of counselling psychology, and a starting point for how you might develop these into a counselling psychology research project

Step 2 Receive a response to your application 

Your completed application along with all the relevant documentation will be assessed to determine whether you meet our entry requirements. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview day in person (interviews cannot take place over the phone or online). Shortly after the interview date the Admissions team will notify you of the decision via email.

Step 3 Accepting your offer

If you wish to accept the offer, please pay the advance tuition fee deposit (non-refundable) to confirm your place. 

Please see here for information on how to pay.

Step 4 After you have accepted your place

Closer to the start of the term the Admissions Team will send information regarding the registration process. This will include information on completing your online enrolment prior to your arrival as well as a checklist of documents you will need to bring with you to fully register onto the programme.

Read our Admissions Policy.

Information for international students

If you are an overseas student requiring visa sponsorship to study in the UK, our team will be in touch with information on applying for your student visa and the documents you will need. More information can be found on our visas and immigration page.

Regent's MPhil/PhD Progression Scholarships

Regent's MPhil/PhD Progression Scholarships reward the loyalty of undergraduate students or taught postgraduate students who progress to enrol on an MPhil or PhD degree with us. It's our way of saying thank you. Scholarships are worth up to 15% of tuition fees. 

Full details

Fees September 2020

Annual tuition fee: £13,000
Thesis submission fee: £2,700

Non-refundable advance deposit

Home/EU students: £1,000
Non-EU students: £4,000
Non-EU students in receipt of US Federal Loans: £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 year of study. 

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

The library holds copies of core programme text books and where possible in e-format. You will be encouraged to purchase your own books and will need to budget approximately £80-£100 per year for this.

The DPsych also entails additional costs and fees listed below and are subject to change: 

  • External supervision, depending on placement supervision offered: £40 - £60 per session
  • Personal therapy, 120 hours over three years: £40 - £70 per session
  • Professional indemnity insurance: £50 - £70 per year
  • BPS Graduate Membership (MBPsS): £135 (discounts may be available)
  • BPS Division of Counselling Psychology membership (recommended): £12
  • Enhanced DBS check (available via the BPS): £65-£85
  • Thesis printing costs, miscellanea: £ variable

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

Calculating fee increases

  • The University sets tuition fees on an annual basis in line with the University's financial year which runs from 1 August to 31 July
  • The fees quoted here are for one academic year of study
  • Fees for subsequent years of study are subject to fee inflation
  • The University aims to keep annual fee increases in line with the University’s cost inflation. The expectation is that this will be no greater than UK consumer price inflation (CPI) plus 3%. There are occasionally variations to this dictated by the costs of running specific programmes or facilities required for our programmes
  • As a registered charity, all fee increases are subject to approval of the Trustee Board thus ensuring that affordability for our students remains a primary concern in any decisions regarding fee increases

Approaches to learning and teaching

Teaching involves a wide range of approaches aiming to promote an experiential, creative, dialogical and collaborative environment. We offer small class sizes and a bespoke system of individual support for doctoral research development, with individual research tutoring in Year 1 (10 hours) and doctoral research supervision (75 hours) in the doctoral years of the programme. 

Trainees are supported in their development via a personal tutor system housed within professional practice modules. Trainees are in contact with their tutor through regular individual meetings and group tutorials. Personal tutors fulfil a pastoral role and a coordinating supervisor role, supporting and signing off trainees’ practice placements and progress with attaining HCPC standards of proficiency at the end of each year.

Assessment methods and structure

The DPsych has been commended by the BPS for its wide-ranging and innovative methods of teaching and assessment. Formative and summative assessments include experiential exercises, reflective work, research abstracts, conference posters, workshops, and presentations as well as written assignments.  

Programme team

The DPsych programme team consists of practitioner psychologists and psychotherapists who are committed to providing an ethical, high-quality training in counselling psychology, and to support and challenge trainees across the academic, practice and research activities of the programme. 

The programme team is actively engaged outside Regent’s in a variety of activities such as private practice, consultancy, research, writing, clinical supervision, external examining, and public- and policy-facing work. 

The team also works with visiting lecturers, guest speakers and staff from the wider Regent's School of Psychotherapy & Psychology, who contribute to teaching, supervision and viva examinations on the programme.

Explore our staff profiles for further information:

Dr Helen Damon Lecturer and Placement Coordinator
Dr Kate Du Toit Lecturer
Dr Anastasios Gaitanidis Senior Lecturer
Dr Isabel Henton Head of Programme
Dr Rosemary Lodge Senior Lecturer and Research Lead
Professor Martin Milton Professor of Counselling Psychology
Dr Andreas Vassiliou Lecturer and Professional Practice Lead

Criteria for the DPsych award 

The DPsych culminates in the submission of the doctoral portfolio (180 credits), representing trainees’ cumulative achievements in theory and practice, research, and personal and professional development within counselling psychology. The doctoral portfolio consists of an introduction, a final-year clinical practice paper, and a doctoral research thesis of 40,000 words. 

The doctoral portfolio is assessed by an internal and external examiner at a viva voce examination. Passing the doctoral portfolio and viva voce examination is the final stage to complete in order to demonstrate that all the required BPS learning outcomes and HCPC standards of proficiency relevant to the DPsych Counselling Psychology award (540 credits) have been met.

Open University validation

The DPsych Counselling Psychology programme is validated by the Open University. For more information, please read the Regulations for validated awards of the Open University and the Student's Guide for OU Validated Programmes.

Disability support

Regent’s University London is committed to developing an environment in which students are given the opportunity to demonstrate and realise their full potential. You are encouraged to disclose any disability on application, so that the Disability Officer can send you relevant information in advance. Otherwise, please contact the Disability Officer on arrival at the University to complete a Student Support Agreement (SSA). Find out more about our disability support.

Academic requirements

In accordance with the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) and Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) standards and criteria for entry, applicants to the DPsych Counselling Psychology programme at Regent’s must meet the following criteria, which will be assessed during and after the application and interview process:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 or above in a psychology degree. In exceptional circumstances, for example if you already hold a master’s or a PhD, we will consider a 2:2 psychology degree award
  • Your psychological degree qualification(s) should confer eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) from the BPS. We ask you to provide evidence if you have already achieved this. Note: GBC was previously referred to as GBR (Graduate Basis for Registration). Both will be accepted as proof of appropriate prior qualifications
  • A clear understanding and expression of why you are seeking to train in counselling psychology at Regent’s
  • Reasonably substantive experience of face-to-face counselling or practitioner work, or work in a formal helping capacity - ideally a minimum of one year’s full-time equivalent, although we will consider the quality of your experience as well as the quantity
  • If you have less counselling or practitioner experience and/or no professional reference relating to your counselling or practitioner experience or work in a formal helping capacity, you must have successfully completed a certificate or foundation course in counselling skills, or an alternative introduction to psychotherapy and counselling. Please note that Regent’s offers a foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling
  • Demonstration of interpersonal skills, self-awareness and reflective capacities
  • Evidence of a capacity to undertake postgraduate research in counselling psychology
  • One academic reference and one professional reference

English requirements

We require proof of English Proficiency. For example, we ask for: A completed Undergraduate degree studied in English from a majority English speaking country. IELTS: 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component.

This list is not exhaustive, we will review the English qualifications you have as part of your application and be in contact if we require anything further.

For applicants who wish to improve their English language proficiency, please see our English language courses.

On-campus diagnostic test

For offer holders in London, we can provide a free on-campus English diagnostic test.  This test must be arranged in advance. To book a test, please contact [email protected]. Please note, this is a diagnostic test for Regent’s University London only.

Employability is a key aim of the DPsych. As the programme progresses, you will learn advanced skills and competencies in consultancy, leadership, supervision, service evaluation and audit, and the use of psychometrics and outcome measures, to prepare you for employment and life post-qualification.

Many of the programme’s assessments are products that can also be used in real-world contexts, for example, a workshop, abstract and a conference poster. Our trainees present their work at national and international conferences and deliver workshops in their placements and other community settings.

Career prospects for counselling psychologists are very promising and varied. Many counselling psychologists have a portfolio career. 

  • Qualified counselling psychologists work in settings such as:
  • The NHS - primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical health and specialist services (Entry at Level 7 and in some circumstances at Level 8a)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Private practice and consultancy work
  • The third (charity) sector
  • School, college and university counselling services
  • Teaching and research posts in higher education
  • Forensic and prison settings
  • Employee assistance programmes (EAPs)
  • Occupational health settings and services
  • Expert witness services 

Upon successful completion of the programme, the vast majority of our graduates are already working in the NHS, the third sector, private practice, or in educational or organisational contexts. 

Of our Year 3 trainees finishing the taught components of the programme in September 2018:

  • 67% had been offered or accepted paid practitioner roles
  • 78% were setting up their own business and/or a private practice
  • 89% were already employed or self-employed

Apply now

DPsych in Counselling Psychology

Keri Delport

Keri Delport DPsych student
‘The practical and professional aspects of the course are incredible. It has taught me how to work reflectively, to sit with tension and vulnerability, and how to truly be with people.’ Keri Delport