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Psychological Therapy - MSc

Why study this course?

Our Psychological Therapy MSc makes up the first year of our Counselling Psychology Professional Doctorate and can be taken as a standalone course. The course doesn't make you eligible for the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) counselling psychologist registration or British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered status, but it equips you with the expert knowledge and skills in the field of counselling psychology and psychological therapies which you can build upon as you move towards those goals.

The course is also highly useful if you're an overseas student who doesn't plan to practice in the UK, but would like to develop valuable experience that you can apply when you return to your home country.

If you graduate from this course and meet the progression criteria, you can apply to join Year 2 of the Professional Doctorate programme, subject to availability of places.

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The MSc in Psychological Therapy is the equivalent of Year 1 of the professional doctorate in counselling psychology. A small number of places are usually available each year if you wish to apply for the MSc and not the full doctoral programme in counselling psychology.

Although this award does not confer eligibility to apply for HCPC registration as a counselling psychologist or BPS chartered psychologist status, it may be of interest to you if you want to gain experience in the field of counselling psychology, do not intend to practice in the UK, or if you seek to gain a qualification that is supportive of your professional development in a current area of related activity.

You can also apply to complete smaller numbers of modules from Year 1 of the programme to be eligible for the interim awards of Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological therapy (120 credits) or Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological Therapy/Applied Psychology Studies (60 credits).

The same initial admissions criteria are applied to all applicants, whether you wish to complete the full doctoral programme or just the MSc. You can also apply to complete smaller numbers of modules from Year 1 of the programme to be eligible for the interim awards of Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological therapy (120 credits) or Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological Therapy/Applied Psychology Studies (60 credits).

You'll be introduced to the humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural models of therapy and encouraged to develop a set of generic counselling psychology skills (including assessment, formulation, treatment planning, intervention strategies and evaluation), underpinned by the core conditions of therapeutic relationships.

This forms a framework which supports your work in practice placements and within which model specific CBT skills can develop. Areas of core professional knowledge, including diversity, ethics, lifespan development, psychopharmacology, psychometrics, record keeping, evidence-based practice and use of supervision are also introduced.

Regular case discussion provides opportunities for you to reflect on your work and learning, and to receive feedback from other students and staff. A central role is also given to facilitate your personal development and self-awareness. You engage in your own personal therapy and participate in reflective practice groups, which promote a capacity to reflect on the therapeutic process, and ethical and safe clinical practice.

Teaching on research provides you with knowledge, support and practical skills to enable you to utilise a variety of research designs, to carry out a literature review and develop a research proposal in a selected topic area.


Assessment on the course combines a variety of methods that reflect the range of competencies and experience that you'll develop on the programme. This includes:

  • case studies and process reports to assess your ability to effectively plan, implement, reflect on, evaluate and make recommendations regarding psychological interventions, within a recognised model of therapy and service context
  • essays and examinations to assess areas of professional knowledge and understanding
  • practice placement competency evaluations to rate the level of proficiency attained by students in your placement work
  • a mid-year review and end-of-year appraisal to monitor your performance across the programme and accrual of the necessary experience
  • research assignments to assess knowledge and understanding of a range psychological research methods
  • a reflexive critical literature and proposal to assess your ability to appraise the state of knowledge in a professionally relevant topic area and design a coherent research study for the generation of new knowledge
  • attendance monitoring to ensure that you demonstrate adequate engagement with the taught curriculum

You will be required to have:

  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society
  • a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree in Psychology 
  • practical experience of using counselling skills in an emotionally demanding helping role gained over at least one year prior to application and ideally some training in counselling skills
  • a level of professional and theoretical understanding adequate to support work in practice placements with vulnerable clients from the beginning of the programme
  • evidence of personal maturity, self-awareness and reflective capacity
  • a clear and appropriate rationale for wanting to train as a counselling psychologist
  • evidence of a realistic appreciation of and capacity to undertake professional training and research at postgraduate level
  • research interests relevant to the field of counselling psychology and an ability to think about how these could be developed into a viable research project (applicants for the doctoral programme must submit a short draft research proposal)

All successful candidates undergo a selection interview with a panel from the programme team.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

This may be relevant for applicants who have already completed a significant amount of prior training or qualifications in the same or a related field.

Accreditation prior learning (APEL) offers the possibility of providing exemptions from some of the modules on a programme of study. In order to meet the requirements for APEL, applicants need to demonstrate they have achieved, via previous study, the learning outcomes associated with a module or modules on the MSc programme. If this can be demonstrated and the applicant is successful in their basic application for the programme, they will be awarded APEL for any module where they have already accrued the required learning.

Applications and eligibility for APEL should be discussed with a member of the course team if invited for interview, where further guidance on the APEL application process can be provided. This essentially involves the applicant submitting additional documentary evidence (e.g. prior course or module specifications and certification) and a covering letter clearly outlining how the applicant has met the learning outcomes of one or more of the London Met programme Year 1 modules.

Modules coming soon.

Stage / Year 1 topics include:

  • Psychological knowledge and models of therapy 
  • Therapeutic and reflective skills
  • Professional and ethical issues 
  • Working with difference and diversity 
  • Counselling psychology practice and development
  • Advanced research design and analysis for psychology
  • Research project and critical skills 

Graduates of this course gain the skills and experience for career development in roles as assistant psychologists, mental health practitioners, psychotherapists or counsellors.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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