Doctorate in Counselling Psychology

October 4, 2019

Are you a recent graduate of a
How to apply

Please upload the following documents with your application:

  • Copies of certificates and transcripts for all previous degree qualifications
  • A certificate in Counselling or evidence of equivalent experience
  • An academic statement of roughly 1500 words outlining your academic, professional and personal readiness to undertake this training. In this statement you should use academic referencing to support your points, and these should be listed at the end of the work. The reference list isn't included in the word count.
  • Evidence of Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society - a copy of your membership letter or a document including the web address on the BPS website where we can find evidence that your degree meets the criteria. Those with international degrees must approach the BPS personally to check the compatibility of their degree.
  • A CV
  • A copy of the data pages of your passport
  • Evidence of your English Language proficiency if applicable: IELTS certificate minimum overall score 7.5 with 7 in each section

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme description

The professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology is the first of its kind in the North West of England. It has received approval from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is accredited with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students completing this course will be equipped as competent Counselling Psychologists who are eligible to apply for HCPC registration and BPS chartered status.

Trainees will be introduced in detail to the Skilled Helper Integrative Model of therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Alongside the assessed units, students will have to complete a minimum of 450 hours of supervised therapeutic practice and 40 hours of personal therapy. The University has a number of potential placement opportunities available for trainees including HMP Manchester, local NHS settings and voluntary agencies however, it will support individuals in utilising existing work places where they are presently delivering therapeutic work (placements must comply with HCPC and University standards).

The course is three years full time study, with registration starting in September, and recruits approximately 12 trainees annually.

There are four major components:

  • The development of appropriate theoretical knowledge
  • The development of research skills
  • A substantial therapeutic practice component
  • An emphasis on personal development

Programme overview

Ultimately students completing this course will be equipped as competent Counselling Psychologists who are eligible to apply for HCPC registration and BPS chartered status.


This full time programme will consist of three full days contact with the University for the first two years; reducing to one full day within the third year. During this time students will take part in lectures regarding therapeutic theory, skills work (including skills development work, case discussion and professional issues seminars) and research seminars. Blackboard, a virtual learning environment is also utilised to support communication between the academic team and students. Additionally students will be expected to attend a full day annual research conference held in the School of Environment, Education and Development.

Teaching methods

There will be a large emphasis on experiential learning and case reflection in the programme. Professional input will combine large group seminars with smaller workshop based activities. Tutorials will be arranged at fixed intervals throughout the year and are available on request. Trainees will be expected to take an active part in the sessions and must be prepared to undertake pre and post session reading.


The first and second years of the programme will be divided up into four major elements:

  • Theory
  • Research
  • Practice
  • Personal Therapy


In addition to successfully completing academic assignments, throughout Years 1 to 3, students will also have to satisfy progression panels related to their therapeutic practice and research. This will include:

  • Initial fitness to practise review prior to commencement of first placement
  • Formal analysis of therapeutic practice (annually, as part of documentary evidence submission)
  • Regular review of the evidence of completion of the HCPC's Standards of Proficiency (annually, as part of documentary evidence submission)
  • A research plan presentation (end of Year 1)
  • A research progress panel (end of Year 2)

Only those successfully completing all components will be allowed to progress to the next year of study. Where students are unable to progress at the end of the second year of the programme, an exit award of M.Phil. Psychology of Counselling will be awarded on completion of a dissertation containing their assessed research papers from the first two years of the programme. This will be presented alongside documentary evidence of supervised practice and personal therapy. Students will also need to explain the context and implications of their work to the development of the discipline of counselling psychology and themselves as a researcher. Please note: this exit award will not provide the necessary training for registration with the HCPC or entry onto the register of Chartered Psychologists with the BPS.

Current staff team

Programme Director: Dr Terry Hanley

Core staff: Dr Laura Winter (nee Cutts) and Dr Tony Parnell

Additional research supervision will be offered by:

Dr Liz Ballinger, Professor Erica Burman, Professor Neil Humphrey, Dr Graeme Hutcheson, Dr Garry Squires

Additional professional input will be provided by tutors on the Counselling and Educational Psychology Programmes.

Further information


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2016, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • (full-time)

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