Counselling psychology brings a unique fusion of the science of psychology with the traditions of psychotherapy, enabling graduates to work in a variety of challenging professional settings.
Our counselling psychology doctorate is one of the longest-established training programmes in the United Kingdom, providing an exciting learning experience leading to professional recognition as a qualified counselling psychologist. It is a programme of personal and professional development designed to develop competencies in the assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment of complex mental health issues. You will gain expertise in applied psychotherapies, research, and professional practice.
Based on humanist values and emphasising the therapist-client relationship as central to mental health work, this doctorate offers an integrative framework for clinical, research, and reflective skills development. It offers an applied working knowledge of humanistic, cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic approaches. It supports the development of formulation-driven, integrated, and evidence-based ways of working, where trainees respond to the unique needs of each client they see. With this degree, you will receive a unique blend of academic psychology and practical counselling training.
Each year you will undertake a range of modules where you will learn from qualified experts in the field, who will teach you how to engage with clients and make a positive contribution to their welfare. You will engage in experiential learning throughout the programme, and develop a robust skill set that can be applied in any work situation.
Building on a programme history spanning two decades, this doctorate is committed to the development of ethical and reflective practitioners who work collaboratively with clients, as co-creators of the therapeutic experience. The vitality of the course comes from an experienced and supportive course team, passionate about empowerment in mental health.
The team has longstanding relationships with experienced placement supervisors in the NHS, education sector and surrounding services. We work closely to ensure that course content and clinical placement experiences remain at the forefront of modern mental health practice, with supervision normally provided by a Counselling or Clinical Psychologist.
We are a diverse group of people welcoming those of any ethnicity, culture, religion or sexual orientation to join our community and contribute to the profession of Psychology. Our team are members of professional bodies – including Advance HE, the British Psychological Society (BPS) as Chartered psychologists, and the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will be learning from experienced practitioners in Forensic, Counselling, and Clinical Psychology.
Join us at the next Postgraduate Open Evening and meet some of our team.
The course is part of the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Education, Health, & Wellbeing. The School of Psychology is the professional home to over 50 teaching and research staff, bringing a broad range of interests and experience to benefit students learning on our portfolio of courses. Our School is recognised as one of the leading providers of Psychology education, using innovative teaching methods focussing on the application of scientific and theoretical principles to the study of people’s lives. Psychology staff are grouped into a variety of highly active research clusters through our Centre for Psychological Research, publishing in the latest academic journals and working to make a real-world impact on people’s lives.
We provide multiple opportunities to enhance your career and create networks inside and outside of the department: including volunteering networks, peer mentoring, and the opportunity to become a research assistant for our academic staff using the Research Opportunities Network.
The course is based at our City Centre campus - the Millennium City building.
We offer many levels of support, such as academic, placement, research, and cohort tutors who provide personal support and professional mentoring in relation to many aspects of the training. While in training you will have access to our professional practice resources, teaching materials, CPD activities and regular tutorials with members of the team. We also support graduates as they enter the workplace, as alumni and members of the professional community. We work in partnership with Advance HE, the nationally recognised body in teaching quality, to continually develop the quality of our courses with modern teaching and learning practises.
Our programme begins with an intensive welcome-week study package, designed to facilitate your transition to postgraduate study. It includes group contracting, forming your peer relationships, expectations of trainees & staff, roles in the training process, library & literature searching skills, project management, and resilience building.
Our course creates critical thinkers, leaders, and innovators who make real contributions to any role in which they work. Our courses are integrative and inclusive, where we focus on teaching and assessment using multiple techniques enabled by digital technologies. A variety of teaching methods enables us to develop self-directed learners, who are adaptable and well-prepared for modern workforce. We provide a supportive learning environment for people with creative minds, who like to ask challenging questions and find out what is behind what they see in front of them.
You will experience a variety of high quality learning experiences, such as lectures, seminars, blended learning, online materials, group tutorials, and practical workshops. Assignments are supported with formative learning activities such as essays, research proposals, debates, presentations, quizzes, and online discussions. As you make progress you develop transferrable skills in writing, analysis, research, problem-solving, and reporting. You grow as an independent psychological researcher, skilled in complex problem-solving. Teaching develops knowledge and skills through hands-on work with psychological data, examining issues from across the spectrum of applied psychology. You will also examine various philosophical approaches to psychology in order to be able to evaluate, critique and question current psychological thinking.
All our courses actively embed employability initiatives into every aspect of the course, ensuring you are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. Graduates finish with a range of marketable skills in problem solving, data analysis, communication, information synthesis, and are well placed to take on further study or a career role. Research is also embedded throughout the programme, enabling you to see the links between research and the real-world.
- Stage 1: (Yr1) MSc Level - Building Foundations. Learn how Psychology understands the complex interactions between the mind, emotion, motivation, and behaviour. Gain understanding of the historical and scientific underpinnings of psychology. Study person-centred/humanistic, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic & family theory, critical psychopathology, and a research project related to your developing interests. You will learn skills in clinical assessment, formulation, therapeutic containment, and a range of placement-readiness skills.
- Stage 2 (Yr2): Doctorate Level - Growing Autonomy. Develop critical thinking as you refine advanced skills in the application of psychological research to everyday life. Gain skills in Quantitative and Qualitative Research methods. Modules include developmental lifespan psychology, psychodynamic therapy, working with personality issues, art therapy, supporting psychosis, cognitive analytic therapy, attachment & the Dynamic Maturational Model (DMM), and a range of professional skills such as: supervision & mentoring.
- Stage 2 (Yr3): Doctorate Level - Specialist Knowledge. Complete your doctoral research thesis, building expertise in a chosen area of study relevant to a clinical domain. Modules include professional issues, and up to date training in current areas of practise. Topics usually include: setting up a private practise, psychopharmacology, legal issues in psychology, LGBT issues, diversity & inclusion, working with clients experiencing domestic violence, assessment & treatment of sex offenders, working clinically in prisons, trauma focussed CBT.
- Part Time Flexible Study Options: If you choose to study part time, there are several routes through the programme designed to facilitate other home or work commitments. A pre-study meeting with one of the programme team can help you plan your study-route so you can ensure success in your personal circumstances.
Our programme includes a range of additional training packages, funded as part of the course fees.
- Additional training in Mindfulness based therapy
- Psychometric Training - BPS Accredited Ability & Personality.
- EMDR Level 1
- Funding for attendance at Annual DCoP Conference twice during your studies (*Stage 2: Year 2 & 3).
Planning your journey
* You can start planning your journey by joining us at a PG open evening, where we can share with you the current timetable and calendar. You can start planning your journey by joining us at a PG open evening, where we can share with you the current timetable and calendar. We can talk with you through the programme journey, and help you choose the right course for you.
*Funding for DCoP conference is conditional upon submission of your research in poster or presentation format. This is part of our professional development commitment to you.
*Entry Guidance note: Graduates of University of Wolverhampton BSc Psychology and Counselling degree are considered to automatically meet the counselling skills criterion in full. The BSc Psychology and Counselling has been designed by the professional team to include skills training with relevant placement, and place graduates at an ideal entry position for this programme.
Clinical placements: a network of partners
You will undertake a variety of clinical placements throughout your studies. We have a network of partner providers who work with us each year, hosting trainees in placement settings. Opportunities include:
As an enrolled trainee we will connect you with our partner network to open up opportunities for placements across the Midlands and beyond.
We are especially proud to have developed a three year placement pathway in collaboration with colleagues at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, providing a full training journey to those who study with us.
- All trainees are required to work in a supervised clinical setting, and achieve 450 hours of direct clinical contact throughout the programme.
Through our School of Psychology we also provide opportunity to complete a placement at the Psychology Community Research Clinic (PCRC), where you may support students undertaking other programmes throughout the university.