Counselling Psychology

DPsych

Programme details

  • Next start date: Sep 2019
  • Future start date: Sep 2020
  • Study: Full-time
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Fee: £12,500

Please note: this programme is nearing capacity for September 2019, please be aware that, if successful, you may be offered a deferred place for September 2020 entry.

This doctoral training programme aims to develop you as a highly skilled, reflexive psychologist practitioner and researcher.

This programme is accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS), you will study three approaches to counselling therapy:

  • Existential-phenomenological
  • Cognitive-behavioural
  • Psychodynamic

You will gain in depth knowledge and skill in Existential-Phenomenological approaches to therapy which emphasise subjective lived experience and take a holistic, relational view of human nature and its predicaments. Staff at Regent’s have particular expertise in Existential approaches to psychotherapy. Trainees also learn second- and third-wave approaches to CBT as well gaining a working knowledge of psychodynamic therapy.

For the duration of the programme, you will also undertake supervised clinical placements as a trainee counselling psychologist. Throughout your placements you will keep a detailed clinical portfolio that will be regularly reviewed and discussed with your personal tutor.

Your placement may be within:

  • Charities
  • Community mental health teams
  • Drug- and alcohol-related services
  • Eating disorder services
  • NHS psychological services
  • Primary and secondary care settings

You will also produce a piece of original doctoral research, which forms the main assessment at the end of the programme.

The DPsych programme is validated by the Open University, UK and accredited by the BPS for a five-year period. More information about the Open University validation.

The DPsych programme is undergoing a potential revalidation this year. This may result in some beneficial changes to the structure and assessment of some programme's modules. However, overall credits and content of the programme will remain unchanged.

DPsych Frequently Asked Questions

Register for an open evening

Length

The DPsych training takes place over three years of full-time study. Each year consists of three trimesters of 10 weeks (including one reading week), with optional workshops, conferences and seminars throughout the year focusing on research and other specialist topics.

Attendance days are Mondays and Tuesdays for first year students, Mondays for second year students and Tuesdays for third year students.

Additional information

Clinical Practice Placement

Throughout your training, you will undertake clinical practice placements for a minimum of one day per week, practising as a trainee counselling psychologist under clinical supervision. Some trainees undertake additional external clinical supervision to support their practice during the course of the training. We provide a variety of workshops and seminars, together with weekly small-group tutorials throughout the year where client material can also be explored and discussed. Detailed placement records and supervisor evaluations are regularly reviewed by your dedicated personal tutor, to support your progress in developing clinical and professional competencies.

A CBT placement and a placement in an NHS setting are two of the programme’s placement requirements to support trainees’ future employability. Trainees are also encouraged to find placements that support existential and phenomenological ways of working throughout their training.

Our trainees work in a wide variety of placement settings, including but not limited to: NHS primary care and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services; NHS secondary care services; Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs); Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and other organisations working with children and young people, for instance in schools; third-sector organisations; psychotherapy departments and independent psychotherapy organisations; substance misuse services; eating disorder services, learning disability services; student counselling services; bereavement and hospice settings; and organisational settings and employee assistance programmes (EAPs).

The programme provides full support for trainees in sourcing and developing their placement portfolio throughout the programme via the personal tutor system and placements function.
 

Doctoral Portfolio

Your doctoral training culminates in the submission of a three-part doctoral portfolio, which is examined by viva voce.  This doctoral portfolio consists of an introduction; your final third-year clinical practice paper; and a doctoral research thesis of no more than 40,000 words.

Year 1 modules

The first year of the DPsych introduces you to the theories and practices of counselling psychology and equips you with two therapeutic approaches: existential-phenomenological, and cognitive-behavioural. Course input on Mondays and Tuesdays aims to build your confidence and skills, so that you can begin to practice safely and ethically with clients. Training in counselling psychology’s research values, skills, and methodologies begins straightaway, with two consecutive research modules, followed by a term of individual research tuition, putting you in an excellent position to submit your research proposal at the end of the year.

Weekly group and individual tutorials with personal tutors support you in starting out in placements and beginning work with clients. By the end of the year, you will have completed 70 client hours, an accompanying 12 hours of supervision, and 40 personal therapy hours, together with a research proposal, and other clinical and academic assignments.

Module Title Credits Overview
Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches in Counselling Psychology 10 credits Day-long mixed theory and practice module, focusing on second-wave CBT; this module supports you in your acquisition of a CBT placement. Assessment: a vignette-based formulation and treatment plan.
Counselling Psychology Research I 10 credits Introduction to Master’s and doctoral level research skills and processes, counselling psychology research values, and qualitative methodologies, with an emphasis on generating a research question from a literature review; innovative didactic and experiential methods of teaching.
Assessment: a methodology information sheet.
Counselling Psychology Research II 10 credits This second research module continues to develop your competencies in counselling psychology research, with an emphasis on quantitative, practice-based and mixed methods, and the skills you need to write a Master’s level research proposal with doctoral viability.
Assessment: a 5000-word research proposal is due at the end of the year, after individual tuition in the Summer term to support its development.
Submitting your research proposal at the end of the first year supports you in completing your doctoral research on time - three years from registration.
Counselling Psychology Settings & Contexts 10 credits Increases familiarity with the range of clinical contexts and placements available; a basic introduction to psychometrics and outcome measurement.
Assessment: an essay focusing on a particular working context of interest.
Counselling Psychology Theory & Practice 20 credits Day-long mixed theoretical and clinical module, aiming to build foundational skills in counselling psychology practice.
Assessment: an exam, short reflective piece, and in-class skills appraisal.
Critical Psychopathology 10 credits Aims to inform and develop critical and experiential perspectives on common diagnostic systems such as the DSM-V.
Assessment: an in-class presentation.
Ethical & Professional Issues 10 credits Aims to enable you to begin practicing safely and ethically with clients.
Assessment: an “ethical dilemma” essay.
Existential Approaches in Counselling Psychology 20 credits Day-long mixed theory and practice module, introducing you to the DPsych programme’s primary therapeutic model; a three-hour afternoon seminar portion uses a variety of methods to help you put theory into practice.
Assessment: a formulation & process report.
Working with Difference & Discrimination 10 credits Aims to develop reflexive awareness of your own biases and assumptions to help you in working with difference and avoiding discriminatory practice.
Assessment: an essay on a topic of your choice.
Year 1 Professional Practice 20 credits One hour a week is devoted to individual or group tutorials with your personal tutor, to support your acquisition of a placement, supervisor(s), and a personal therapist, and to explore the early stages of your work with clients.
Assessment: client, supervisory, and personal therapy logs, supervisors’ evaluations, client notes, and programme team feedback are all reviewed with your personal tutor at a Collaborative Evaluation of Progress meeting at the end of the year. A formative Collaborative Evaluation of Progress meeting occurs in the Spring term. These meetings are opportunities for on-going reflective practice, and help to ensure you are on track in gaining all practice and placement requisites.

Year 2 modules

During the second year, you will be formally assigned an experienced Director of Studies (Dos), with whom you may already have been working in the Summer term of Year 1. Your DoS and an additional supervisor will support you through your doctoral research, offering you up to 15 hours of supervisory meetings per year, with additional time allocated for reading and feeding back on written work.

You will be introduced both to third-wave CBT, and to psychodynamic approaches, the third model of the programme this year. The module, Philosophical & Psychological Perspectives on Human Issues, extends and advances your learning of existential and phenomenological approaches, in an applied fashion – exploring human issues through these lenses, such as the life-span.

Weekly group and individual tutorials with personal tutors continue to support your work in placements and the development of your placement portfolio. By the end of the year, you will have completed 150 client hours, an accompanying 25 hours of supervision, and 40 personal therapy hours, together with other clinical and academic assignments. The increasing commitment to placements and research means that you only attend university one day a week on a Monday.

Module Title Credits Overview
Cognitive Behavioural Approaches 2: Third Wave 20 credits Day-long mixed theory and practice module focusing on third-wave CBT approaches.
Assessment: an in-class presentation plus a vignette-based formulation and treatment plan.
Philosophical & Psychological Perspectives on Human Issues 20 credits Day-long mixed theory and practice module continuing the study of existential and phenomenological approaches.
Assessment: a theoretical essay on a human issue of your choice, incorporating client material.
Psychodynamic Approaches in Counselling Psychology 20 credits Day-long mixed theory and practice module.
Assessment: a client study and process report focusing on integration (Note: a psychodynamic clinical placement is not required).
Year 2 Professional Practice 50 credits One hour a week continues to be devoted to individual or group tutorials with your personal tutor, to support your on-going acquisition of placements and your placement portfolio, and to explore your work with clients, together with ethical and professional issues as these come up on placements.
Assessment: client, supervisory, and personal therapy logs, supervisors’ evaluations, client notes and programme team feedback are all reviewed with your personal tutor at a Collaborative Evaluation of Progress meeting at the end of the year. A formative Progress Check meeting takes place in the Autumn term, followed by a formative Collaborative Evaluation of Progress meeting in the Spring term. These meetings are opportunities for on-going reflective practice, and help to ensure you are on track in gaining all practice and placement requisites.

Year 3 modules

In the third year of training, trainees continue to experience much of their learning on placement and through research activity, meaning that attendance in the university is only for one day per week, on Tuesdays. Your research supervisory team will continue to support your doctoral research, again offering up to 15 hours of supervisory meetings, with additional time allocated for reading and feeding back on written drafts. Research is further supported through Doctoral Research Clinic and Viva Preparation modules, which are organised in a bespoke fashion around trainees’ individual and group research development needs, with a focus on building confidence and on dissemination.


A series of Advanced Counselling Psychology workshops are highly collegial and interactive modules geared towards strengthening your employability in the transition to qualified practice. Learning on these modules includes: advancing your knowledge of psychometrics, outcome measurement, service evaluation and audit, and practice-based research; demonstrating your influencing, consultancy, and leadership skills through the delivery of an activity-based assignment; and developing your CV and professional plan, including consideration of areas of potential specialisation post-qualification. In additional, a Clinical Seminar module, extends your knowledge of pluralistic and integrative theories and practices, towards the development of your emerging professional identity.


Weekly group and individual tutorials with personal tutors continue to support your work in placements, the development of your placement portfolio, and your transition to qualified practice. By the end of the year, you should have completed 230 client hours, an accompanying 38 hours of supervision, and 40 personal therapy hours. In September, you will submit your doctoral research portfolio, consisting of an introduction; your clinical paper from the Clinical Seminar module; and a doctoral research thesis of a maximum of 40,000 words. This is examined by viva voce.

Module Title Credits Overview
Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops I: Influencing and Leading 10 credits Assessment: each trainee develops a plan for influencing/leading activities in line with their particular interest (e.g., teaching; leading workshops; academic supervision; clinical supervision) – this plan is implemented and assessed during the year and may involve work with Year 1 trainee.
Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops II: Measurement & Evaluation 10 credits Advanced input on psychometrics and outcome measurement, service evaluation and audit, and practice based research
Assessment: an examination
Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops III: Specialisation & Employability 10 credits Focuses on specialist topics, contexts, and communities of particular interest to your cohort; helps you develop your post-qualification plans and to prepare and situate yourself in the current employment market.
Assessment: a CV and post-qualification plan.
Clinical Seminar: Pluralistic & Integrative Working 20 credits This seminar brings together threads from your training to date and extends your knowledge of pluralistic and integrative theories and practices relevant to counselling psychology, with an emphasis on formulation.
Assessment: a client study and process report (this paper forms part of your doctoral portfolio).
Doctoral Research Clinic 10 credits Focuses on further research support, particularly with regard to dissemination of work.
Assessment: an abstract and conference poster.
Viva Preparation & Independent Study 0 credits Trainees are offered four weeks’ worth of viva preparation, to include formative feedback on a mock viva.
The remaining weeks of term are given over to independent study, research writing, and supervision time.
Year 3 Professional Practice 50 credits One hour a week continues to be devoted to individual or group tutorials with your personal tutor, to support your on-going work on placements and your placement portfolio as you begin your transition to qualified practice. Sessions continue to explore your clinical work with clients, together with ethical and professional issues as these come up on placements.

Assessment: once again, a formative Progress Check takes place in the Autumn term, followed by a formative Collaborative Evaluation of Progress in the Spring term. These formative meetings continue to offer opportunities for reflective practice and support with gaining all the practice and placement requirements of the DPsych programme. At the end of year Collaborative Evaluation of Progress, client, supervisory, and personal therapy logs, supervisors’ evaluations, client notes, and programme team feedback are finally reviewed and signed off. An HCPC Standards of Proficiency log, which you will have developed throughout your three years of training, together with cumulative programme requirements, are formally reviewed and signed off. This end of year meeting is an opportunity to reflect on all your achievements while on the DPsych programme.

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)
  • 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).

2019 interview dates:

  • Wednesday 26 June 2019, 10:00 - 14:00
  • Wednesday 17 July 2019, 10:00 - 14:00

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 2019

Annual tuition fee: £12,500
Thesis submission fee: £2,700

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 hold 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.

Counselling psychology training also entails various additional costs and fees. These are listed below with approximate amounts in £s, which are subject to change:

  • External supervision, if supervision is not offered or offered sufficiently within placements: £40-£60 per supervision session
  •  Personal therapy - 120 hours over three years and 40 hours per year: £40-£70 per session
  • Professional indemnity insurance: £50-£70 per year
  • BPS graduate membership (MBPsS): £135 - some discounts may be available
  • BPS Division of Counselling Psychology membership (recommended): £12
  • Enhanced DBS check, for example, as 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

Study methods

The DPsych at Regent’s has been commended by the British Psychological Society for its collaborative approach to learning and for its creative, innovative teaching methods. The teaching on the programme is interactive, with workshops, seminars and tutorials.

Contact hours and expected workload

Year One:

  • Teaching sessions from 10:00-17:00 on two days per week
  • Independent study

Year Two:

  • Teaching sessions from 10:00-17:00 on one day per week
  • Independent research, taking around one day per week
  • Independent study

You will attend your clinical placement(s) for a minimum of one day per week for the duration of the programme. You will need to complete a minimum of 450 hours of supervised clinical practice over the three years.

You will also be required to remain in once-weekly individual psychotherapy with an appropriately qualified therapist who is registered with a recognised professional body throughout your training, completing at least 120 hours over the three years.

Programme team

Our growing programme team are HCPC registered practitioner psychologists and portfolio professionals who are actively engaged in a wide range of activities both within and outside Regent's. These activities include working in schools, the third sector and private clinical practice; research and writing; clinical supervision and academic consultancy; external examining for other academic programmes; and public and policy facing work. Please do explore the team’s staff profiles for more information.

Dr Isabel Henton is Acting Head of Programmes; Professor Martin Milton is Professor of Counselling Psychology; Dr Rosemary Lodge is a Senior Lecturer and Research Lead; Dr Andreas Vassiliou is a Lecturer and Professional Practice Lead; Dr Helen Damon is a Lecturer and Placement Coordinator; Selina Goldberg is a Lecturer.

Additionally, we regularly welcome visiting lecturers, guest speakers and staff from the wider Regent's School of Psychotherapy & Psychology who make important contributions to teaching, supervision and examination on the programme.

Methods of assessment

For your final assessment, you will submit a doctoral portfolio made up of:

  • An introduction
  • A combined clinical case study, profess report and reflection
  • A research thesis (40,000 words)

You will then have a viva voce (oral examination) on your portfolio.

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.

Academic Calendar

Disability support

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

Our dedicated Disability Officer is here to support you. We ask that you speak with Student Registry and our Disability Officer as early as you can to enable us to support you. Find out more about our disability support and contact us.

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.

 

This programme is accredited by the British Psychology Society (BPS) and on completion you will be able to apply for Chartered Membership with them. You will also be eligible for full membership of the Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP).

This will enable you to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Counselling Psychologist. This is a legal requirement of anyone who wants to practice under this title.

In your final year, the programme focuses on leadership, specialisation and employability, to help you secure a successful career. Past graduates have gone on to work as counselling psychologists within the NHS and private practice, as well as becoming practitioners in a range of settings, and academia.

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