MSc Counselling Studies

The MSc Counselling Studies programme is a taught Masters which firmly locates the practice of counselling within the field of social science enquiry.

Name MSc Counselling Studies
Start Date September
Mode of Study 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Programme Director

Nini Fang/ Charlene Plunkett

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

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Our MSc Counselling Studies is a comprehensive and flexible programme delivered over one year full-time or two years part-time. The programme provides advanced academic study of counselling and psychotherapeutic practices and theories. It introduces students to non-directive, relational approaches, particularly within the psychodynamic and person-centered frameworks. Its aim is to connect theoretical learning with real-world issues and encourage critical reflection on counselling practice and theory in both professional and personal contexts.     

The curriculum includes the Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies, a core research course, two or more option courses, and a research dissertation. Dissertations may be on any topic related to counselling or psychotherapy and can be focused either on an empirical research project or a piece of critical scholarship.

Please note that this programme may not be suitable for students seeking solution-focused, diagnostic, or behavioural approaches to psychological health.

Why choose this programme? 

This programme complements professional training in counselling by introducing key debates and professional issues in the field of counselling and psychotherapy to students from various backgrounds. It is firmly grounded in social science inquiry, addressing psychological conditions, social relations, and counselling practice with a focus on examining context and the complex interactions between the personal and the social.  

Find out what our students think:

CPASS Luyao interview

No, this programme does not offer a professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy. If you are interested in obtaining a professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy, please see our other professionally accredited programmes: 

Beyond the programme 

Successful completion of the MSc Counselling Studies opens up employment opportunities in a broad range of fields, including education, policy, research and development on health and illness, emotional health and wellbeing, and counselling. The degree enhances career prospects of professionally qualified counsellors and practitioners using counselling skills in related fields, such as health care, social work or education.  

Further Study Opportunities   

Often the MSc Counselling Studies programme is a foundation for undertaking further specialist therapeutic training in the UK or abroad. Students enhance their careers with the addition of highly developed conceptual, analytical and research skills and may also use this programme to embark on doctoral research. 

Students interested in qualifying to practice as counsellors or psychotherapists who complete the MSc Counselling Studies programme can transfer into year 2 of the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (subject to meeting interview and other entry requirements) and then graduate with a Master of Counselling degree. 

Find out more about our postgraduate Counselling and Psychotherapy options