Counselling Psychology

Counselling Psychology


Programme details

  • Study: Full-time

The DPsych is no longer offering places to applicants in 2021-22 and going forwards.

The Regent’s DPsych Counselling Psychology programme is a professional doctorate in counselling psychology validated by The Open University. The programme consists of taught theory, practice and research modules over three full-time years, a practitioner psychologist training, and a doctoral research degree.

The DPsych underwent a successful revalidation during 2019 and has subsequently been revalidated with no conditions for a full-term period of five years with effect from 1st September 2019. 


BPS logo

The programme 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, you will be eligible to apply to the BPS for Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) status and for Full Membership of the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology. You will also be eligible to apply to the HCPC Register of Practitioner Psychologists to work under the legally protected title of Counselling Psychologist. 


The Regent’s DPsych programme promotes a relational, pluralistic and anti-discriminatory ethos in therapeutic work and in research. 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, postmodernism and pluralism, ontology and 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 in 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 that constitute the discipline of counselling psychology

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 keep a log of your placement work and professional development over the course of three years.

Year 1

Module Title Overview
Counselling psychology theory and practice The aim of this day-long introductory module is to provide a general grasp of counselling psychology and the beginnings of a critical engagement with its philosophy, values and theoretical perspectives, as well as developments in the field. Trainees also begin learning practice skills, with an emphasis on developing an awareness of the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic process.
Existential phenomenological approaches in counselling psychology This day-long module offers learning in existential phenomenological theory and practice. The module supports trainees in using philosophical ideas in a therapeutic context and in critically appraising existential phenomenological works and their relevance to the field of counselling psychology. Emphasis is placed on working with the issues, tensions, paradoxes and dilemmas of human existence.
Cognitive behavioural approaches in counselling psychology This day-long module introduces trainees to the history, theory and practice of second-wave CBT. Teaching focuses on the knowledge and skills relating to assessment, formulation and intervention. Emphasis is also placed on the relationship between CBT and counselling psychology. This module also supports trainees in undertaking a practice placement using CBT.
Working with distress difference and discrimination This module takes place over two terms. The first term focuses on a critical understanding of human distress. Trainees will explore diagnostic manuals (DSM-5 and ICD-10) and will be encouraged to critically reflect on the implications of the medical model for the theory and practice of counselling psychology. The second term explores aspects of difference and diversity and the ways they may impact therapeutic practice. Ethical practice and professionalism are at the heart of counselling psychology, as is the challenge to the notion of individual psychotherapy, as we situate practice within wider socio-economic and political parameters. Throughout the module, trainees will critically reflect upon issues, examples, and applications from practice.
Ethics settings and professional issues In line with HCPC and BPS guidelines, this module focuses on ethical and professional issues in counselling psychology practice. The module prepares trainees to practice ethically and safely with clients. Trainees will learn about the aims, scope and complexities of a range of placement settings and the roles of counselling psychologists within healthcare settings. An introduction to outcome measurement, psychometrics, service evaluation and auditing will be provided. There is also an introduction to the therapeutic framework, professional communication and record-keeping.
Year 1 counselling psychology research This year-long research module provides trainees with the foundational knowledge, understanding and skills they will need to carry out a doctoral research project. The module is a hybrid module that supports learning in three areas: research methods; the skills to write a critical literature review and research proposal; and counselling psychology research concepts and values. The module culminates in the submission of a 10,000-word critical literature review and research proposal that is assessed at doctoral level and provides the starting point for doctoral-level research from Year 2 of the programme.
Year 1 professional practice This module provides a foundational orientation to practice through individual and group tutorials. Personal tutors provide pastoral, practice-based and professional guidance and support the on-going development of practitioner intuitions from learning in the field, setting the foundation for skilled and ethical practice in the future.

Year 2

Module Title Overview
Advanced existential approaches to human development and practice This module’s main aim is to help trainees to use philosophical ideas in a therapeutic context and to develop an existential model of human development, including critically appraising traditional theories of human development. Many of the ideas and theories will be considered in a clinical context using role-plays and discussion of case material, to consolidate an advanced understanding of existential phenomenological theories and how these apply to practice.
CBT approaches 2: Third wave In the theoretical portion of this module, trainees will learn about the ontological and epistemological foundations upon which third-wave CBT approaches rest. They will critically compare and contrast these approaches and their foundations with other models, including the existential-phenomenological paradigm and second-wave CBT. Implications for therapeutic practice are considered and put into action in the experiential practice portion of the module.
Psychodynamic approaches to counselling psychology In this module, trainees acquire knowledge of key concepts from classical and contemporary psychoanalysis. The module focuses on the philosophical foundations of these approaches and their application to therapeutic work. Trainees will develop their therapeutic skills in relational psychoanalytic practice as relevant to counselling psychology. There will be focus on psychoanalytic techniques as well as on formulating clients’ concerns from this perspective. Trainees will also have the opportunity to explore and reflect on their learning in this module.
Year 2 professional practice This module provides a developing orientation to practice though continued individual and group tutorials. Personal tutors provide pastoral, practice-based and professional guidance and support the on-going development of strong practitioner intuitions from learning in the field, setting the foundation for skilled and ethical practice in the future.

Year 3

Module Title Overview
Clinical seminar: Pluralistic and integrative working The aim of this module is to help trainees produce a final client study, process report, and self-reflection that demonstrates their counselling psychology competencies for inclusion in their final doctoral portfolio. The paper is an opportunity for trainees to reflect on their emerging identity in counselling psychology and to explore their work with a client from a pluralistic or integrative position.
Advanced counselling psychology practice, research and employability This module enhances trainees’ employability by strengthening their skills in areas relevant to the contemporary practice and research of registered counselling psychologists. These skills include advanced service evaluation and auditing, psychometrics, practice-based research, leadership and consultancy. Specialist areas of practice are explored with signposting to further sources of future learning or training.
Doctoral research clinic The module refreshes trainees’ doctoral research resources and offers a peer group supervision space. Trainees learn more about each other’s designs and explore the challenges they have faced in their projects so far. Doctoral level thinking and analytical skills are strengthened through mutual engagement. Opportunities for dissemination including the viva, conferencing, and poster presentations are supported.
Year 3 professional practice This module provides an advanced orientation to practice though continued individual and group tutorials. Personal tutors provide pastoral, practice-based and professional guidance and support the on-going development of strong practitioner intuitions from learning in the field, setting the foundation for skilled and ethical practice in the future. The module culminates in a collaborative evaluation of progress and signing of an HCPC standards of proficiency log that has been maintained throughout the programme.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans - Student Finance England

Student Finance England (SFE) is now offering postgraduate doctoral loan funding for UK and EU nationals, and students in some further categories.

Full details

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

Future Finance Loans

Alternative loan funding for students studying at Regent's University London.

Full details

Regent's Family Rewards

Regent’s offers an intimate style of education, characterised by lots of personal attention. This personalised approach extends beyond our students to their families, with the University welcoming increasing numbers of brothers, sisters and even children of our alumni each year. The University is delighted to offer the Regent’s Family Reward as a thank-you to our alumni for their and their families’ loyalty.

Full details

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. These are listed below. Please note amounts are approximate and may be subject to change: 

  • External clinical supervision - please note this is not always needed. All placements offer clinical supervision and the vast majority offer this for free. However, you may need to pay for some additional (external) clinical supervision depending on the amount and nature of the supervision your placements offer each year. Even if this is the case in one year, it may not be the case in subsequent years.
  • 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
  • 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


Employability is at the heart of the DPsych. As the programme progresses, you will learn advanced skills in consultancy, leadership, supervision, service evaluation and audit, psychometrics and outcome measures, to prepare you for employed life as a qualified counselling psychologist.

Many of the programme’s assessments are also real-world products - for example, a workshop, a conference abstract or a conference poster. Our trainees present and win prizes for their work at national and international conferences, as well as in their placements and other community settings.

Most counselling psychologists have a portfolio career. Career prospects are very promising and varied, and include 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 who finished the taught programme in September 2019 and September 2020, 100% have already been offered and/or accepted paid practitioner and/or managerial roles.

Congratulations to Dr Natalie Stechler, HCPC registered Counselling Psychologist and DPsych alumna, who recently secured a position with an NHS hospital in London, working with a wellbeing service for staff responding to COVID-19.  

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