Professional Doctorate Counselling Psychology

University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)
Bristol, United Kingdom
Doctoral Degree (PhD)
Study mode
3 years
Tuition fee (local)
Contact the university / college
Tuition fee (foreign)
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Entry Requirements

  • Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society;
  • Upper second class or first class degree in psychology;
  • Certificate in Counselling Skills (comprising a minimum of 100 class hours);
  • One year's experience of working in a one to one helping role.
  • Meet the standard University levels of proficiency for English Language.


Year 1

  • Principles of Counselling Psychology - this module introduces the fundamental values and ethos of counselling psychology, with a strong focus on ethics and diversity.
  • Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology 1 - a look at the relational aspects of therapy.
  • Personal and Professional Development 1 - involving practice placements and personal reflection.
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychology - this module covers advanced methods in qualitative and qualitative analysis, ensuring that students have the essential skills for carrying out their research.
  • Systemic Thinking and Practice in Counselling Psychology - this module covers issues around working with couples, families and groups. Thus it gives the students the basis for extending their practice beyond the core emphasis on 1:1 work with individuals.
  • Research Methods in Counselling Psychology - this module contextualises research with the field of counselling psychology, covering additional advanced methods, It also provides support for students in developing their initial research ideas, and guides them through the various ethical processes.

Year 2

  • Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology 2 - a look at the CBT approach.
  • Personal and Professional Development 2 - further development through practice placements and personal reflection, based on CBT.
  • Exploring Client Issues in Counselling Psychology - this module explores key issues which are frequently presented in psychotherapy, for example anxiety, depression and substance use.  It also considers mental health issues, such as trauma and psychosis.
  • Professional Issues in Counselling Psychology - this module will present a critical oversight of current issues within the profession, such as the current emphasis on empirically supported treatments. It will also consider current work contexts, including multi-disciplinary working and current structures within the National Health Service. 

Year 3

  • Personal and Professional Development 3 - here we begin to integrate current relational and CBT approaches in applied practical and personal contexts.
  • Advanced Theory and Practice in Counselling Psychology - studies and learning that bring relational and CBT perspectives and practices together.
  • Professional doctorate thesis and viva examination

*If you don't complete the Professional Doctorate route, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in Psychotherapeutic Studies, or a Master's in Psychological Therapy.

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