counselling

Psychotherapy & Counselling

MA

Programme details

  • Next start date: Apr 2020
  • Future start date: Sep 2020
  • Study: Part-time
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Fee: £8,100

*Please note that as this is a part-time programme, we are not able to sponsor students on this programme for a Tier 4 visa.*

The MA Psychotherapy & Counselling will give you a broad knowledge of psychotherapy and the work of key historical and contemporary figures. Through a mix of academic work and practical experience you will gain knowledge and understanding of various approaches to psychotherapy. The programme will prepare you for psychotherapy practice by developing your skills in the safe environment of the classroom and by supporting your work whilst you are in clinical placement. 

You will be taught a range of theoretical perspectives, covering existential, psychoanalytic, humanistic and integrative approaches. You will be encouraged to discuss, give constructive feedback, and debate current issues in psychotherapy. 

The programme will help you develop your individual approach to psychotherapy and counselling, and reflect upon your personal beliefs and prejudices. You will learn to apply your theoretical knowledge and acquired skills in an approved clinical placement under the supervision of experienced practitioners. 

At the end of the second year you will choose the pathway to follow on the third year of your studies. You can specialise in integrative psychotherapy via the integrative pathway, or existential psychotherapy via the existential pathway, or you can undertake a significant piece of research in the field via the dissertation pathway.

For those choosing the dissertation pathway there are five days of research methods seminars designed to assist students to complete the dissertation in year three. We encourage our students to publish their work in academic books, journals, or in our in-house Journal of Psychological Therapies published by Phoenix Publishing House.

You are required to remain in once-weekly individual psychotherapy with a UKCP registered therapist throughout your training. The Programme espouses a reflexive practitioner approach which, combined with the personal and professional reflection encouraged by the experiential group and personal therapy, promotes a strong professional identity. This enables students to work in a variety of settings such as medical care, research agencies, charities, social services, and private practice.

Upon successful completion of the taught MA Psychotherapy & Counselling, you will be eligible to apply for our postgraduate certificate programme in either integrative or existential psychotherapy, the final stage of your training for eligibility to apply to become a UKCP registered psychotherapist. 
 

Register for an open evening

This Master’s degree is designed as one day a week attendance augmented by personal study, clinical placement practice and supervision, and personal therapy. The syllabus comprises a combination of academic, research, clinical, and experiential components. In line with the philosophy and ethics of the profession we consider these to be interconnected and cannot be taught in isolation. 

Programme Structure


Year One

  • Academic seminars on theories of psychotherapy - psychoanalytic, existential, and humanistic/integrative approaches 
  • Training seminars on skills from various approaches, skills practice and evaluation 
  • Personal and professional development (PPD) groups 
  • Independent study (self-directed)
  • Personal therapy (minimum weekly)

Year Two

  • Academic seminars on the three core approaches above
  • Clinical placement in an approved organisational setting to gather 100 supervised client contact hours (private practice is not accepted as a clinical placement in Year Two)
  • Training supervision linking academic learning with clinical work and placement supervision
  • Personal and professional development (PPD) groups 
  • Independent study (self-directed)
  • Personal therapy (minimum weekly)

Year Three (Taught pathways: Integrative psychotherapy or Existential psychotherapy)

  • Academic seminars on aspects of theory and practice  
  • Clinical placement in an approved organisational setting to gather an additional 100 supervised client contact hours (private practice is limited to maximum of 20%) 
  • Training supervision linking academic learning with clinical work and placement supervision
  • Personal and professional development (PPD) groups 
  • Independent study (self-directed)
  • Personal therapy (minimum weekly)

OR

Year Three (Dissertation pathway)

  • Five days of research methods seminars
  • Submission and ethics approval of research protocol 
  • Twenty five hours of research supervision (representing total tutor engagement) 
  • Regular supervision meetings through the year – on site or via Skype
  • Submission of a research dissertation of 14,000 – 16,000 words


Additional information

Prior to the start of the programme students are required to attend the Programme Induction Day. This is an important event (normally, 09:00 – 16:30) where students register and are introduced to the university facilities, systems and staff. Students will meet teaching staff and decide on their presentations for the first term.

You will receive at least six hours of direct tuition per week, over one day, and will need additional time for independent study, research and essay preparation.

  • Spring (April) Intake: Tuesdays 10:00 – 17:00
  • Autumn (September) Intake: Thursdays, 10:00 -17:00 
  • Autumn (September) Intake: Fridays, 10:00 -17:00

Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice during years two and three of the programme in an approved setting. This means meeting with a minimum of three adult clients at least once per week, which count towards the total of 450 hours needed for UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) membership.

Year 1

Module Title Credits Overview
Existential-Phenomenological Approaches to Psychotherapy/Practice 20 credits As part of the course rationale of allowing competing and diverse approaches to be considered, knowledge of the theories, and experience of practice in existential- phenomenological approaches are seen as part of attaining competence in the complex and specialised profession of individual adult existential psychotherapy.
Therefore, the aims of the module are to enable students to:
• Acquire knowledge of the philosophical underpinnings and development of existential-phenomenological approaches, and gain understanding of the core concepts that underpin this approach
• Explore the divergent views on theory and practice that existential approaches hold, as well as the controversies that result in relation to diagnostic systems and outcome measures
• Examine how various existential-phenomenological approaches understand techniques and skills, in relation to cultural expectations and psychotherapeutic context
• Practice therapeutic encounters from an existential-phenomenological approach, in the clinically simulated controlled environment of the classroom
• Engage in insight-orientated learning regarding self and others through peer group participation
Humanistic and Integrative Approaches to Psychotherapy 20 credits As part of the course rationale of allowing competing and diverse approaches to be considered, knowledge of theory and experience of practice in humanistic and integrative approaches is part of attaining competence in the complex and specialised profession of individual adult psychotherapy.
The aims of the module are to enable students to:
• Acquire knowledge of the origins and development of a range of humanistic and integrative approaches to psychotherapy, including experiential and transpersonal approaches, and gain understanding of the concepts that underpin these, taking into account the socio-political dimension
• Explore the divergent views on theory and practice which the various approaches to humanistic and integrative psychotherapy hold
• Examine how various approaches to humanistic and integrative theory and concepts may relate to technique and skills, placing this in the wider psychotherapeutic context;
• Practice the application of humanistic and integrative techniques and skills in the clinically simulated, controlled environment of the classroom
• Engage in insight-orientated learning regarding self and others through peer group participation
Psychoanalytic Approaches to Psychotherapy 20 credits Knowledge of theory and experience of practice in psychoanalytic approaches to psychotherapy. The aim of the module is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of key psychoanalytic concepts.
The aims of the module are to enable each student to:
• Acquire knowledge of the origins and development of psychoanalytic theory, and gain understanding of the core psychoanalytic concepts that underpin theory
• Explore the divergent views on theory and practice within the psychoanalytic approaches
• Examine how various approaches to psychoanalytic theory and concepts may relate to techniques and skills, and to address the social context of the psychotherapeutic encounter
• Encourage students to reflect on the ethical, social and cultural dimension when practicing their skills in the controlled environment of the classroom
• Engage in insight-oriented learning regarding self and others through peer group participation

Year 2

Module Title Credits Overview
Contemporary Developments in Psychotherapy – Practice 30 credits The Module rationale is to provide an advanced knowledge and clinical experience of the practice of contemporary psychoanalytic, existential-phenomenological and humanistic and integrative psychotherapy approaches. This, combined with the clinical engagement and clinical / training supervision, constitutes a further stage of attaining the standard of proficiency needed in the process of becoming a competent and professionally qualified adult psychotherapist and counsellor.
The aims and objectives of the Module are to enable each student to:
• Further enhance knowledge and understanding of the practice of the psychoanalytic, existential – phenomenological and humanistic and integrative approaches
• Acquire clinical skills of working with clients ethically, professionally and competently in a professional setting, applying theories taught on the programme
• Examine case studies in their social context and demonstrate sensitivity in regard to issues of social similarity and difference such as race, culture, gender, class, sexuality, age and mental and physical ability
• Present for discussion and review by supervisor and peers, in training supervision groups, clinical material demonstrating experience of psychotherapeutic practice in clinical placement; participate actively in discussion and review of the clinical material of others
• Engage in advanced reflexive learning about self and others through experiential peer group participation
Contemporary Developments in Psychotherapy - Theory 30 credits The Module rationale is to provide an advanced knowledge of the theory of contemporary psychoanalytic, existential-phenomenological and humanistic and integrative psychotherapy approaches. This constitutes a further stage of attaining the standard of proficiency needed in the process of becoming a competent and professionally qualified adult psychotherapist and counsellor.
The aims and objectives of the Module are to enable each student to:
• Further enhance knowledge and understanding of the psychoanalytic, existential – phenomenological and humanistic and integrative approaches.
• Acquire knowledge on the developments in theories and concepts of the contemporary psychoanalytic, existential-phenomenological and humanistic and integrative approaches and examine their impact on practice.
• Further enhance critical thinking through engagement with the contemporary psychotherapy theories and the key controversies and debates within, as well as between, the taught modalities.
• Explore and critically examine the value of theories and concepts in their contemporary social context and demonstrate sensitivity with regards to issues of social similarity and difference, such as race, culture, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, and mental and physical ability.
• Engage in advanced reflexive learning about self and others through experiential peer group participation.

Year 3 – Existential Pathway

Module Title Credits Overview
Existential Psychotherapy: Practice and Reflexivity 30 credits This module builds upon the learning acquired from Years 1 and 2 of the MAPC programme to focus on the development of the skills, qualities and attributes required in becoming a competent, ethical and humane existential psychotherapist. The aim to exhibit humility and discernment in all areas of professional practice.
You will begin to bridge the gap between existential philosophical ideas as intellect and the embodiment of philosophical enquiry as action and process. You will develop phenomenological practice as a fundamental method of existential psychotherapy by learning to incorporate phenomenology into your way of being. This will lead to looking afresh at yourself, others and the world. This module seeks to foster an open and enquiring attitude and to explore the power relations which are inherent and inevitable in the psychotherapeutic encounter. Practising and developing such a way of being requires, in all aspects of the course and in professional life, the courage to step-up to the challenge of recognising, remaining with and exploring emotional discomfort and to embody ‘fearless speech’.
Perspectives in Existential Psychotherapy - Theory 30 credits This module builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the first two years of the programme through a deeper immersion into primary and secondary existential texts and to consider the position the existential psychotherapy occupies in the wider mental health field. Through close reading of texts coupled with ensuing dialogue within the group the aim is to deepen knowledge and understanding beyond the cognitive level and into a realm in which this very knowledge and understanding is incorporated into a different way of perceiving and making sense of phenomena. The aim is make a significant step in relation to clarifying your identity as a becoming existential psychotherapist through a recognition of your place within the mental health system which includes the NHS (IAPT and NICE guidelines), psychopathological categories as well as the place of professional bodies such as the UKCP.

The module comprises three subject areas, one for each term:
• Heidegger and Existential Psychotherapy
• Ethics, Language and Professional Practice
• Critical Psychopathology

Year 3 – Integrative Pathway

Module Title Credits Overview
Integrative Psychotherapy in Practice 30 credits This module aims to build on the clinical and experiential training in years 1 and 2 of the MA. It aims to develop the skills, qualities and attributes required to become a competent, ethical and humane integrative psychotherapist. The module is composed of supervision, both training and clinical, which will continue to monitor the trainee’s clinical work with supervisor and peer feedback, and also an experiential personal and professional development group which will enable trainees to further the development of their emotional and relational maturity. The student will be required to be in a clinical placement and to have ongoing personal therapy for the duration of the course.
Perspectives in Integrative Psychotherapy – Theory 30 credits The module aims to build on the foundations of the learning on the MA Years 1 and 2 in terms of a grounding in the basic approaches of psychodynamic, existential and humanistic therapy, and to help the trainee to follow a personal journey of becoming a professional integrative psychotherapist in the modern world.
This module will further widen the trainee’s knowledge and understanding, with a view to them being able to integrate different contemporary perspectives into their professional practice and equip them with the tools to practice integrative psychotherapy in the professional world of today. The trainee will not only learn about these perspectives in theory but also be able to embody them in their practice.

The module is composed of three subject areas designed to address all aspects of
working as a modern professional therapist, including setting up in private practice, working for institutions like the NHS, how to use research to inform practice, aspects of governmental directives for psychotherapy like IAPT and the NICE guidelines, the use of psychiatry and cognitive behavioural therapy as related to integrative psychotherapy, the role of UKCP and BACP and many others.
Those subject areas are:
• Professional Issues in Practice
• Critical Psychopathology
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Year 3 – Dissertation Pathway

Module Title Credits Overview
Research in Psychotherapy and Counselling 60 credits There is a growing professional and economic imperative for psychotherapists to be aware of the debate about the efficacy of psychotherapy and what works and for whom. How can the practice of psychotherapy be researched, outcomes be measured and what is the importance of context and environment in such research. A research-oriented approach entails practitioners being critical and reflexive so that they can build theory, engage as practitioner researchers and ensure their practice is informed by research.
The aims of this module are to enable students to understand how to construct and determine a research project and write a Masters-level dissertation and explore the principal approaches to both quantitative and qualitative research, and acquire an appreciation of their relevance to psychotherapy and counselling.

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.

Not received your results yet?

That's fine, you can still apply even without your exam results. We can issue a conditional offer without your results. You just need be clear in your application which qualifications you are currently studying for.

Application deadlines

April 2020
 
Priority deadline: Wednesday 11 December 2019 click here to find out more about this deadline


September 2020

Early deadline: Wednesday 11 December 2019 click here to find out more about this deadline

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].

  • 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

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. 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.

Future Finance loans

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

Full details

Postgraduate loans - Student Finance England 2018-19

Student Finance England (SFE) is now offering funding for UK and EU nationals, as well as students with the status of Migrant Worker (under the age of 60 on the date of first class of the first Master’s degree).

Students, who already hold one Master’s degree (or an equivalent or higher-level qualification) will not be eligible.

Full details

Regent’s Family Reward

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.

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Regent's Postgraduate Progression Scholarships

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

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Annual Tuition fee


Years 1 & 2: £8,100
Taught pathways, year 3: £8,100
Dissertation pathway, year 3: £3,000

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 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.

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
  • For students starting their programme in January the programme spans two separate financial year accounting periods. Fees for the different teaching terms are calculated separately in line with fees charged in each financial year
  • 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

Teaching and learning methods


Learning methods include tutorials, group work, independent study, engagement with your own therapeutic experience, and clinical practice guided by experienced professionals.

The range of teaching methods used to convey theory includes:

  • Tutor lecture and tutor-led discussion
  • Student presentation and student-led discussion
  • Group exercises

Methods used for training clinical skills and reflexive practice include:

  • Tutor demonstration
  • Group exercises
  • Small-group skills practice
  • Training supervision
  • DVD recording of practice therapy sessions with peers
  • Experiential peer group participation
  • Independent individual therapy

The methods above are delivered using the following means:

  • Academic Seminar 
  • Skills Practice Sessions 
  • Training Supervision 
  • Personal and Professional Development Group (PPD) 
  • Personal Tutorials 
  • Clinical placement 
  • Individual therapy 
     

Academic Calendar

Contact hours and expected workload

During term time you will have at least six hours of contact time per week, which takes place on a single day. You will also need to allocate time for independent study.

During the second and third year clinical work and placement supervision also require additional time of approximately half a day or more each week, both during and outside term time.

You will be required to remain in once-weekly individual therapy with a UKCP member therapist throughout your training. This is not included within the course fee and prices vary. You will also need to find your own therapist as it is not something that the University can provide.

Teaching staff

The programme is taught by accomplished academics with considerable experience of clinical practice that is brought into the learning context to enrich the student experience and knowledge.

Our academics are research-active, frequently presenting at conferences and publishing their work. 

Methods of assessment

A variety of methods of assessment are used during the programme. These include:

  • Academic essays
  • Case studies
  • Clinical portfolio
  • Dissertation (Dissertation pathway only)
  • Process reports
  • Reflections on skills practice
  • Research protocol (Dissertation pathway only)
  • Seminar presentations
  • Training supervision 

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.

Academic requirements

*Please note that we are not able to sponsor students on this programme for a Tier 4 visa. *

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree (or equivalent), and have satisfactorily completed introductory certificate level (minimum 120 hours) training in psychotherapy and counselling. 

All applicants must give evidence of having the language and study skills necessary for successful completion of the Programme. This is evidenced by the submission of application materials including a personal statement of 700-1,000 words, and through the interview process. 

All applicants will have: 

  • An honours degree from a British university (or equivalent), or a qualification deemed to be equivalent by the Head of Programmes. Applicants without an undergraduate degree are required to have a minimum of two years of relevant work experience in a position of responsibility in a helping and supportive role 
  • Successfully completed an introductory certificate course in psychotherapy/counselling of at least 120 hours involving theoretical, practical and experiential elements 
  • A minimum of six months’ experience in a helping and supportive role within an appropriate people-oriented work setting 
  • Demonstrated a capacity for independent study 
  • Demonstrated personal maturity 

Experience of personal psychotherapy/counselling as a client is highly desirable although not a mandatory requirement for admission onto the programme. 

All applications are read by the Head of Programmes or Course Leader and approved where appropriate for interview. During interview applicants are required to show their ability to:

  • Reflect on the learning experience within the psychotherapy and counselling courses 
  • Engage in discussion and identify issues 
  • Relate to, and engage well with others 
  • Share personal material 
  • Reflect on significant personal experience 

Following interview applicants are notified in writing of the outcome. 

Recognition of Prior Learning


In keeping with University policy, applicants can request for RPCL (Recognition of Prior Credited Learning) for up to 60 credits of the Programme. Application for RPCL will be based on certified proof of passed credit-bearing modules from another HEI where the learning outcomes of the requested modules are equivalent to those of this Programme.

Regent’s University London’s acceptance of credit from other institutions of higher education is subject to the following conditions:

  • The transcript is an official transcript from the initiating institution. (An official translation should be provided where relevant)
  • The transferred module must be similar in scope, content and competency to a Regent’s University London module
  • The transferred credit must have a Pass grade (of “C”), or higher
  • All transfer students must subsequently complete at least 120 credits of their programme at Regent’s University London
  • Credits are awarded at the point of an offer being made to a student. Transcripts presented later will not be considered for credit
  • Academic credits which meet the above conditions are not an automatic entitlement, but are at the discretion of Regent’s University London’s Heads of Programmes
     

English requirements

Level of English: We are keen on welcoming students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures; for those applicants for whom English is not a first language, we require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no individual component below 6.0. Applicants whose first language is English are required to show evidence of a minimum grade C in GCSE English or equivalent.

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.

After completing the three-year taught programme, you may wish to progress onto the Postgraduate Certificate in Integrative Psychotherapy or Postgraduate Certificate in Existential Psychotherapy, the final stage of the four-year training that leads to eligibility for UKCP registration.

Regent’s School of Psychotherapy & Psychology is an accredited organisational member of the UKCP and  the MA Psychotherapy & Counselling is UKCP accredited.

We aim to educate students to become skilful and ethical professionals able to think independently, critically and creatively, and undertake highly responsible jobs. Employment opportunities are wide ranging, with our graduates pursuing careers in NHS hospitals, GP practices, universities, colleges and schools, counselling centres, agencies offering specialised counselling, and private practice. Some graduates continue in their existing careers, working as practitioners on a part time, private basis.

Achievement of MA will enable you to pursue research to MPhil/PhD level, or use the theoretical knowledge and communication skills in writing and/or teaching in the field.
 

Apply now

MA Psychotherapy & Counselling

Farzana Numan

Photo of MA Psychotherapy & Counselling student Farzana Numan
'This MA has exposed me to a wide range of approaches, which has enabled me to collect the real pearls of knowledge, enhance my personal development and take my clinical practice to a whole new level.' Farzana Numan