Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

The Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling is an advanced qualification enabling graduates to practise as a psychotherapist or counsellor in a wide range of settings.

Name Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling
Start Date September
Mode of Study 4 years full-time, 7 years part-time
Programme Director Sharan Collins

Please check the postgraduate Degree Finder to see the specific entry requirements, start date and application deadlines. 

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The Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling combines full professional training, meeting recognised standards for counselling training and education, with the opportunity to develop as a researcher in a lively research community. With the full-time route designed to meet the needs of – but not exclusive to – international students and the part-time route aimed more at local students, the programme provides a route both to professional qualification and doctoral-level research achievement. 

Studying at a world-class institution, you will benefit from outstanding resources to support your learning on this programme. You will be facilitated in your professional learning by core tutors who are experienced practitioners of counselling and psychotherapy, as well as by a clinical tutor who will meet with you regularly, and a practice supervisor who will help you reflect on your counselling work. Students must complete 300 hours of supervised client work in a practice placement to gain this qualification. As you take up your research project you will have opportunities to attend research seminars, workshops, conferences and events within an active and supportive research environment. 

Why choose this programme? 

This programme is an advanced research degree enabling students to conduct in-depth independent research on a topic of their choice, thereby making a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. 

A distinctive feature of this programme is the opportunity to gain practice experience at a range of counselling agencies, including our own dedicated placement agency, Hope Park Counselling Centre, one of only four such research and practice centres in the UK.  We guarantee our full time Doctorate students a first placement in Hope Park Counselling Centre. 

Find out more about Hope Park Counselling Centre

We also have excellent links with a range of agencies across Scotland, and support students to find their second practice placement within one of these agencies. 

While this degree qualifies you to provide one-to-one counselling with adult clients, you can also develop your skills, knowledge and experience for working with couples and/or children and young people by taking additional option courses and through placements with relevant counselling agencies. You are also welcome to attend other selected courses in counselling and psychotherapy, as well as courses provided by other subject areas in the School, and in related disciplines across the University. 

Beyond the programme 

The Doctorate of Psychotherapy and Counselling is the highest level of qualification available in this area. It enables graduates to practice as counsellors or therapists in the UK, and in other countries with equivalent professional and academic standards. 

Graduates can gain positions as practitioners, counselling educators, managers and academics working in a range of settings, including private, statutory and voluntary or non-government sectors.