This course is extremely competitive and has limited places available. We'd advise candidates looking to apply for next September submit their applications between October and early January at the latest, to avoid disappointment.
This course leads to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), and recognition within the UK as a chartered counselling psychologist eligible to practice.
Drawing on a range of approaches to psychological practice and enquiry, it will enable you to make a significant contribution to psychological knowledge, research and practice across a range of settings in public, private and voluntary sectors.
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is a three-year full-time (four-year part-time) taught doctoral programme that combines in-depth competency in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), strong humanistic values and psychodynamic awareness. The doctorate was commended by the BPS for the depth and breadth of the modules offered; a number of our modules were described as cutting-edge and well suited to the current zeitgeist and employment market. These modules include a first-year module devoted to working with difference and diversity and a third-year service evaluation research exercise.
Run by a dedicated team of HCPC registered and BPS accredited chartered counselling and clinical psychologists, this course offers wide-ranging and high quality clinical and research expertise to trainees. Course team members have between 1 to 11 years of post-qualification clinical experience, and two-thirds hold PhD or professional doctoral titles and are academically published authors.
The team prides itself on retaining a small cohort each year of 20 students. This enables us to offer you a high volume of individual attention. You'll be assigned a personal tutor and two research supervisors, and offered a relatively high proportion of research supervision (10 hours in Year 1 and 20 hours each year in Years 2 and 3), safe spaces for clinical group supervision and skills practice, and an experiential and workshop style of teaching and learning. Trainees and staff develop collaborative relationships in relation to learning and personal development.
The programme has a dedicated placements coordinator and an extensive online placement provider database that is accessible prior to your training. We offer a comprehensive placements induction in the first week of training and we encourage and support you to be in placement or at interview stage with placement providers by the beginning of your training.
The first year of training is the equivalent of a Master’s year. Students who exit at the end of Year 1 are eligible for an MSc in Psychological Therapy. This MSc offers eligibility to register with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), leading to clinical practice in either in public, private or third sector organisations. However, with the majority of students continue from the MSc level into the doctoral level of training in Years 2 and 3.
Through postgraduate teaching and workshops across the wider applied psychology subject area, London Met counselling psychology trainees develop advanced levels of knowledge and skills in a broad range of qualitative and quantitative psychological research methods. The course emphasises criticality, epistemological critique, and reflexivity across all research, teaching and learning. Extensive support in the form of individual and group supervision and teaching is offered, alongside methodology learning to support you in undertaking a piece of doctoral level research that will make an original contribution to the professional practice of counselling psychology.
You'll develop a wide range of intellectual and practical skills and knowledge. The training programme has a solid track record of trainees emerging as robust, sophisticated and highly employable practitioners of counselling psychology. In recent years a number of trainees have won BPS Division of Counselling Psychology trainee prizes for written assignments and research poster presentations, and have had papers published in the Counselling Psychology Review. Many students are conducting research in collaboration with National Health Service (NHS) Trusts or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The principle aims and achievements of the course are to produce graduates who are:
The course is involved in on-going in-house events and conferences such as Culture Shock, and in research and clinical collaborations with five NHS trusts. The programme is also involved in research and in the training of clinical staff with the Freedom from Torture Foundation and Khulisa, both community-based organisations close to the Holloway campus. The programme also collaborates with the School of Social Sciences and School of Social Professions to link interpreters with clinicians, to establish training inside and outside the University in mental health settings.
In Year 1 you'll complete seven master's level assignments, including a reflective essay, case formulation, process report, examination, and two short research assignments using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
You'll also complete a 7,000-word reflexive critical literature review and a 3,000-word proposal towards the end of Year 1. Your proposal must demonstrate an adequate basis for a doctoral level research project for you to proceed into Year 2 of the programme. Year 1 is the most intensive period of assessment on the programme.
If you progress to Year 2 you'll complete an extended clinical case study, integrative process analysis and theoretical essay at the end of the year, reflecting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic learning. At the end of Year 3, a similar assignment is completed, reflecting a trans-theoretical, pluralistic perspective. You should complete your research project by the end of Year 3, submitting a 25,000-word thesis and subsequently participating in a viva voce examination.
You are required to complete a minimum of 450 clinical hours in a range of placements under supervision over the duration of the programme, as well as a minimum of 60 hours of your own personal therapy.
Supervisors complete six-monthly practice competency evaluations, which enable bi-directional feedback and reflection on your progress and continuing professional development in your practice placements. Your personal and professional development is individually monitored and supported throughout the programme via annual reviews and appraisals with a tutor from the programme team.
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology leads to a doctoral qualification that automatically confers professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accreditation as a fully qualified chartered counselling psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
You will be required to have:
You will also need to submit a personal statement (maximum of 2,000 words) that shows:
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the University for a clinical and research interview and a counselling role-play exercise.
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology offers the possibility of accreditation of prior learning (APL) for some modules on the programme. This may be relevant for applicants who have already completed significant prior training or qualifications in the same field of counselling psychology. Applicants first need to complete the online application process as usual. If your application is successful, APL may then be considered following the interview stage.
APL can enable:
In both instances APL will only be considered in relation to prior learning in courses that have counselling psychology in their title and not in relation to other counselling or therapy training courses. This route requires a character reference from the university previously attended. If successful at the interview stage, candidates must then evidence a capacity to undertake research at doctoral level by submitting a comprehensive and viable 3,000-word research proposal in an area of relevance to counselling psychology, including consideration of ethical issues. The research proposal form must be completed separately to the online application and sent to email@example.com for consideration following the interview. Please note, the research proposal word count does not include references, appendices or the words in the proposal form.
Please note, it is not possible to enter Year 3 of our programme using APL.
The top-up doctorate route is only available for qualified, Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered, British Psychological Society (BPS) chartered counselling psychologists who may use their existing professional qualification to gain APL for Years 1, 2 and 3 (clinical components) of the programme. Please note, the top-up doctorate takes two years to complete.
If successful at the interview stage, candidates must then evidence a capacity to undertake research at doctoral level by submitting a comprehensive and viable 3,000-word research proposal in an area of relevance to counselling psychology, including consideration of ethical issues. The research proposal form must be completed separately to the online application and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration, at the latest, up to five working days after the interview. Please note, the research proposal word count does not include references, appendices or the proposal form’s words.
Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
introduces a range of advanced quantitative and qualitative methods employed in psychological research. The module is designed for inclusion in postgraduate psychology courses which have the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) as an entry requirement There are two equally-weighted items of coursework one based on quantitative approaches and methodology and the other based on qualitative approaches and methodology.
The module aims to support, integrate and evaluate a variety of aspects of students’ personal and professional development as they progress through Year 1 of the programme and begin their work supervised practice placement settings. It also aims to provide opportunities for students to regularly discuss and reflect on their practice and learning with their peers and members of the course team. It constitutes an important context in which development of key aspects of HPC and BPS frameworks can be supported and assessed.
The module aims to develop students’ understanding of key ethical and professional standards, principles, frameworks and policies relevant to their training and practice, and their capacity to apply this in an effective and critically reflective manner to inform their work and decision making. It also aims to develop students’ critical understanding of a number of aspects of contemporary professional practice, such as use of supervision, multi-disciplinary working, record keeping, psychological testing and psychopharmacology.
The module aims to introduce students to core areas of psychological knowledge and models of therapy relevant to counselling psychology practice. It aims to provide students with a broad based theoretical and philosophical introduction to the field of counselling psychology, as well as a framework that supports the development of their identities as applied psychology practitioners. The module also aims to promote development of core cognitive and intellectual skills that underpin the ability to translate psychological theory into practice, and provide a foundation for more advanced study and practice.
Research Project and Critical Skills is a year-long module which promotes the development of applied knowledge and skills needed to conduct postgraduate research in the domain of counselling psychology. It is assessed via a reflexive critical literature review and research proposal.
Aims of the module
The module aims to help students develop their understanding of the nature of counselling psychology research, and the intellectual and practical skills needed to plan and undertake research at postgraduate level. It provides opportunities for students to integrate their understanding of specific psychological research methods (e.g. as developed on the Advanced Research Design and Analysis for Psychology module) with their own applied interests and critical perspectives as counselling psychology researchers. The module adopts a focus on the foundation competencies needed to conduct a critical literature review and develop a research proposal in a relevant topic area at postgraduate level.
The module aims to foster core therapeutic and reflective skills that will support students’ clinical work in placements and provide a firm foundation for subsequent personal and professional development. It complements the theoretical and intellectual competences of the Psychological Knowledge and Models of Therapy module through its focus on developing the practical skills and capacities needed to work effectively with individual clients from a counselling psychology perspective.
The module aims to enhance student’s awareness of and ability to critically reflect on the potential relevance of issues regarding difference and diversity that arise in the course of contemporary psychological practice. It thus aims to support students’ ability to form effective therapeutic relationships with a range of clients and to promote high standards of non-discriminatory practice and service provision.
Year 2 modules include:
The module aims to support students’ advanced development as applied psychology researchers who are able to make an original contribution to professional practice through systematic enquiry. Specifically, it enables students to design, execute and write up a substantial piece of empirical research conducted at doctoral level in an area of relevance to counselling psychology. This and the Advanced Psychological Theory and Practice module constitute a framework via which students develop a standard of proficiency across academic, clinical and practical competency areas that will enable them to meet HPC and BPS standards for qualification as a counselling psychologist.
The module aims to support and monitor continued development of students’ theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in counselling psychology over the second year of the programme. It aims to promote students’ ability to critique and think about theory-practice issues in a way that reflects the development of their own professional identity and makes a potential contribution to psychological knowledge. This and the Advanced Psychological Research module constitute a framework via which students develop a standard of proficiency across academic, clinical and practical competency areas that will enable them to meet HCPC and BPS standards for qualification as a counselling psychologist at the end of the third year.
The module aims to support and monitor continued development of students’ theoretical and practical knowledge and skills over year 3 of the programme, to a level that enables safe and competent independent professional practice as a counselling psychologist. It aims to promote students’ ability to critique and think about theory-practice issues in a way that reflects the development of their own professional identity and makes a potential contribution to psychological knowledge. This and the Advanced Psychological Research module constitute a framework via which students develop a standard of proficiency across academic, clinical and practical competency areas that will enable them to meet HCPC and BPS standards for qualification as a counselling psychologist.
"Nearing the end of the three-year doctorate, I feel the course has served me well. The research training is excellent and the core model is CBT which means I feel well-placed in the current job market. At the same time, exposure to a wide range of other models and the emphasis on self-reflection and critical thinking encourages the development of an integrative approach supporting versatile practice for working in a range of settings"
Tara Lester, trainee counselling psychologist
“After graduating from London Met, I got a job with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. First I worked as a High Intensity Trainee where I did the IAPT diploma course. After I finished the course I kept on working within the IAPT as a CBT therapist/counselling psychologist. I currently see clients, run a group, and supervise trainee clinical and counselling psychology trainees!
“I think I have developed a lot in the last few years and managed to accomplish many of my own professional dreams. In the future, once settled in the role of supervisor, I would like to take some teaching as well. The counselling psychology programme helped me to come closer to the job I like, as it opened up the opportunity for further learning and work.”
Dorothy Calleja, HCPC registered counselling psychologist
Career opportunities for counselling psychologists include posts in a variety of areas. These include National Health Service (NHS) settings such as primary care, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, community mental health, drug and alcohol, rehabilitation, eating and personality disorder services, as well as the prison service, voluntary sector, private practice, academia, training, supervision, management and consultancy.
Graduates often find permanent employment within a few months post-qualification, with many trainees holding part-time clinical employment whilst they are in the final year of the training because their clinical skills and knowledge are of such a high standard. Other graduates from the programme have found work in academia in visiting or permanent teaching posts or as research fellows.
The range of advanced clinical and research skills and abilities gained through the course will prepare you to undertake work in a variety of fields.
Past students have even returned to London Met to supervise or teach students on the programme or provide practice placements.
Year 1 (MSc Level)
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 10am-5pm
Year 2 (Thesis Level)
Thursdays: 10am to 5pm
Year 3 (Thesis Level)
Wednesdays: 10am to 5pm
Year 1a (MSc Level)
Thursdays: 10am to 5pm
Year 1b (second year of the MSc Level)
Wednesdays: 10am to 5pm
Year 2 (Thesis Level)
Thursdays: 10am to 5pm
Year 3 (Thesis Level)
Wednesdays: 10am to 5pm
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.
Use the apply button to begin your application.
If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.
This course is extremely popular and we can only offer up to 15 places each year. Since we have a limited number of spaces, we have to close applications early.
To avoid disappointment, we'd recommend applying between October and early January of each year to begin study the following September. Interviews following a successful application usually take place in mid to late January.
Submitting your application between October and early January will give you the best opportunity of being considered for a place on our Counselling Psychology Professional Doctorate.To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.
Please select when you would like to start:
Lydia Baxter was recognised for her project exploring the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention among ethnic minority groups.