Counselling and Psychotherapy - MSc
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Entry months
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time*
- Subject Area
- FEES (2022/23 academic year)
- UK - £10,200 FT £5,600 PT
- International - £20,800
The Master's in Counselling and Psychotherapy is a professional training in counselling. The full-time programme has been running for over 10 years and has been accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This means that students who successfully complete the programme gain automatic entry onto the BACP register.
Jenny Delrose, MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy
"The encouragement I have received to think critically and to risk making mistakes has been the greatest inspiration. " - read more about Jenny Delrose, MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy
Lauren Grover, MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy
"As an international student on this course, I have been consistently supported and encouraged by tutors." - read more about Lauren Grover, MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy
About the course
This MSc programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy aims to equip you with the knowledge and expertise to become professional person-centred/humanistic counsellors. The course integrates your counselling skills practice with academic study of counselling related theory at Masters level and facilitates student’s personal and professional development, as well as offering you a grounding in research methodology.
The course is founded on a person-centred view of personhood and person-centred ways of being and the core training offered by the programme is in the person-centred approach. We accept the overwhelming evidence of the theorists that the major factor in helping human beings change in a desired positive direction is a relationship in which they feel safe, valued and challenged. Therefore, we view the relationship in counselling as central, and support Carl Rogers’ belief in the ‘self-therapeutic capacity and wisdom of clients’. However, we also take a strong ‘anti-schoolism’ stance which reflects our sincere respect for other, non-person-centred practices and practitioners. Our starting point for the Keele Counselling Model is thus a unifying ethos which enables us to respect and welcome a diversity of professional skills and orientations. Additionally, the centrality of a secure and constantly reviewed ethical position, based on the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, is presented to the programme members as a major personal responsibility.
Why study at Keele
- Both the full-time and part-time MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy are BACP accredited programmes.
- We offer a thorough theoretical grounding in person-centred/humanistic counselling and an introduction to research methodology.
- Keele Counselling staff have a wealth of experience in providing counselling training to both UK and international students.
- Keele has a thriving counselling community with students from a range of professional, cultural, social and educational backgrounds.
- All staff are active practitioners in counselling who are up to date with current therapeutic practice, training and research.
- An annual Counselling Conference with internationally renowned keynote speakers and researchers in counselling.
- Students are supported in a counselling placement where they gain workplace experience
*This course involves 100 hours of counselling practice which may exceed the duration of the programme. Please take this into consideration when applying for the Master's programme.
How the course is taught
We employ a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, large group work, community meetings, tutorials and small group work. Within this framework, you are introduced to a range of practices which are related to relevant philosophical traditions including existentialism and phenomenology. Throughout the course, you are supported to establish a sense of coherence in their own therapeutic position in line with the course philosophy and aims.
Please note due to the sensitive nature of the course and personal material raised it is not possible to make recordings on the course as a reasonable adjustment for student engagement.
The course is taken full time over one complete year (Wednesdays and Thursdays) or part time over two complete years (Wednesdays in Year 1 and Thursdays in Year 2). Please note that additional time is required on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to work with peers to make recordings of practice.
All Masters students are required to take the seven modules listed below. All modules must be passed for the award to be made (total of 180 credits at level 7). Students who successfully complete the six modules indicated *below (120 credits) may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma, and those successfully completing any combination of modules worth 60 credits may exit with a Postgraduate Certificate. However, it must be noted that these exit awards are not BACP accredited qualifications. Please note that part-time students should successfully complete all year 1 modules (aside from Practicum 1) in order to progress to year 2 of the course.
With the exception of a multiple-choice questionnaire classroom test, all modules are assessed on the basis of coursework. There is a dissertation of 15,000 words which is a piece of independent research on a counselling related topic of the student’s own choice.
Core Taught Modules
- Exploration in counselling (15 credits)*
- Understanding in counselling (30 credits)*
- Integration in counselling (15 credits)*
- Practicum 1(15 Credits)*
- Practicum 2 (15 credits)*
- Research Methods (15 Credits)*
- Dissertation (60 credits) 15,000 words. The preparation and submission of a dissertation will give students the opportunity to research, in-depth, a counselling topic or issue of interest to them
- Personal and Professional Development and Reflexivity (15 credits)*
In addition, all students have tutor led training in the practical skills of counselling, as well as access to digital recording equipment for counselling practice with peers and for the production of case material for critical analysis.
Usually the programme begins with compulsory attendance at a residential weekend and a two week induction. Attendance at the annual counselling conference is compulsory. For part-time students, these elements (residential, two week induction and conference) are required in Year 1 only. Attendance requirement for this course is set at 90%.
Personal Therapy and Counselling Placement
For the Practicum module, students must have a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy. They must also complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised counselling practice at a suitable counselling Placement. Students are encouraged to identify and apply for a placement that fits with their career aspirations in counselling, and Keels students undertake placements in a very wide range of settings and with diverse client groups. While it is the individual student’s responsibility to secure a placement there is a dedicated Keele Placement Officer who provides information and support.
Students will have to pay for their own personal therapy and may have to pay for their counselling supervision, so should be aware of the additional cost and time implications of this, as well as of completing their placement.
Applications for course entry in September 2022 - please note the closing date of midnight, 28 January 2022
This course operates a 'gathered field' approach for admission. All applications received by the application deadline (midnight on 28 January 2022) will be given equal consideration. Therefore, you will not receive a decision on your application until after this date.
Academic Entry Requirements
The entry requirements, for applicants who have not already completed the Keele Graduate Certificate in Counselling or BSc Psychology with Counselling at Keele, are a 2i degree in any discipline or equivalent professional qualifications. This is to ensure that students have the required foundational written and analytic skills to study at MSc level.
We are also looking for applicants with some experience of working with people in a helping capacity, whether voluntary or paid.
The MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy is a very demanding course - emotionally as well as academically; we are training to people to work with people who may be in great emotional and psychological distress. For this reason, and in line with the requirements of BACP, applicants also need to demonstrate the following attributes: self awareness, maturity and stability; ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience; capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course; ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirements; ability to form a helping relationship; ability to be self-critical and use both positive and negative feedback; awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression; awareness of the nature of difference and equality; ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support; competence in or the aptitude to develop generic personal skills, including: literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self-managements skills, communication and interpersonal skills.
Applicants will need to address all of these points in their personal statements in the application form and in response to the criteria questionnaire to be completed as part of the application process.
Applicants will be required to initially complete an online application form including a personal statement. Once the application has been received, if the applicant meets the entry requirements for the programme, they will be sent a set of criteria questions to fill out. In line with the gathered field process, applicants will be scored on their responses to these questions and, on the basis of this scoring, applicants may progress to the next stage of the selection process, a group interview with other applicants and two members of the course team. Applicants not initially called for interview will be held on a waiting list to see whether or not they may be called for interview at a later date or will be informed that they will be not be progressing further.
If called for interview, applicants will be informed of the criteria against which they will be assessed at interview and, following this interview, will be offered a conditional or unconditional place, depending on references and other conditions that might need to be met (e.g. the completion of required qualifications); will be held on a waiting list, or may be informed that they will not receive an offer for a place.
Disclosure and Barring Service
A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or overseas police check will be required.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional english language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
- Applicants for 2022 entry and beyond will be required to pay a £300 deposit. For 2022 entry, deposits must be paid by 30 June 2022.
- Students are required to attend a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy to complete the course and payment for this is the responsibility of the students. An average cost for personal therapy is approximately £35–£45 per hour.
- When completing the 100 hour placement requirement, students also have to undertake clinical supervision, for which (depending on their choice of placement) there may also be a charge. Again, an average cost for supervision is approximately £35–£45 per hour. This may result in costs up to £200 per month depending on caseload of clients.
- Parking is also an additional cost for students who wish to use their cars on campus. Details of student parking permits are sent out with the pre-enrolment information.
- Students are also expected to pay travel costs to and from their placements.
- Students should also be aware that possible additional costs may be incurred when attending the compulsory non-residential Conference weekend. Refreshments and lunches are provided for the students free of charge during the weekend but there will be an additional cost should students wish to attend the Saturday evening Conference dinner and also if wishing to book local accommodation.
- Students have access to an extensive library at Keele, however they may also wish to purchase textbooks or use the inter-library loans service.
- A basic DBS check will currently cost approximately £37
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our scholarships and bursaries webpage for more information.
It's important to plan carefully for your funding before you start your course. Please be aware that not all postgraduate courses are eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans and, in this case, you would be expected to source alternative funding yourself. If you need support researching your funding options, please contact our Financial Support Team.
The course team are all active counselling practitioners, with expertise in a range of fields, including the NHS, university counselling services, hospices, charities, employee assistance programmes and in private practice. Staff each have their own specialist areas of counselling research and practice, such as ecotherapy, trauma, eating distress, attachment, loss and bereavement, supervision, Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity and arts based research.
Academic staff who teach on the programme include:
Keele counselling students go on to work in a wide range of counselling and mental health fields in the UK and internationally as well as progressing on to further study, research or specialist training. To find out more about careers in counselling visit the BACP careers page.
The University has a Careers and Employability team who can provide you with advice and guidance about your future career. The team offer specialist workshops, for example 'Options with Postgraduate Study' and Moving on with your PhD', and can also meet you individually to give guidance and support to help you develop your career. We also hold regular careers fairs on campus and informal events where you can meet employers. You will also have access to our database of job opportunities and digital resources such as online psychometric testing.
Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 September 2022
2 week induction
Tuesday 13 - Friday 16 September 2022
Tuesday 20 - Friday 23 September 2022