Institute of Education

Professional Doctorate in Education

Professional Doctorate Part-time 5 years

Please note that there is a high demand from applicants for a small number of places on this course.

Please note that there is a high demand from applicants for a small number of places on this course.

  • Institute Code W75
  • UCAS Code
  • Fees View
  • Course Specifications View
  • Start Date(s) 27 September 2022
  • Award Professional Doctorate
  • Study Mode Part-time
  • Course Length Part-time (5 years)
  • Campus Location Walsall Campus
  • School Institute of Education

Why choose this course?

Please note that there is a high demand  from applicants for a small number of places on this course. You are encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible to give you the best opportunity to be successful in gaining a place. This course can be withdrawn at short notice and places may only become available if successful candidates withdraw at a later date.

Our Professional Doctorate is a fully accredited professional training route toward recognition as a qualified counselling psychologist, with expertise in applied psychotherapy and research. It is a programme of personal and professional development designed to develop competencies in the assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment of complex mental health issues. The programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), enabling graduates to have recognised professional expertise.  Counselling psychology brings a unique fusion of the science of psychology with the traditions of psychotherapy, enabling trainees to work in a variety of challenging professional practice settings. 

The vitality of the course comes from an experienced and supportive course team, passionate about empowerment in mental health.

Building on a programme history spanning two decades, the programme is committed to the development of ethical and reflective practitioners who work collaboratively with clients, as co-creators of the therapeutic experience. A foundation in humanist values, with emphasis on an empathic therapist-client relationship as central to mental health work, allows an integrative framework for the development of a range of clinical, research, and reflective skills. 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. 

What happens on the course?

The course has both full-time (3 years) and part-time (5 years) pathways. The pathways for this course are structured into two stages in accordance with the University of Wolverhampton Professional Doctorate Course Regulations (2021). These stages are normally sequential and a student progresses to the stage two when stage one has been successfully completed.

Stage one prepares trainees with the foundations in therapeutic, research, practicum and personal development skills to grow autonomy. At this stage, trainees will engage with therapy trainings in humanism/person-centred, cognitive behavioural therapy, systemic approach and critical psychopathology modules, as well as trainings and engagement with research methods and clinical placement. 

At stage two, trainees consolidate their learning towards becoming a professional and attaining qualification. Here, trainees will maximally engage in their doctoral thesis, continue their therapy trainings in human development and psychodynamic therapies, as well as engage with advanced level clinical practice and personal development.

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Applying theory and research in helping to resolve a range of client’s life issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement, sexual abuse and trauma, counselling psychologists bring extensive training in psychotherapy and a grounding in evidence-based research to alleviate distress and improve personal functioning.

Types of employment where you can use your Psychology degree outside of becoming a registered psychologist include:

  • Commercial companies (analyst, statistician, public relations)
  • Charities (engagement worker, fundraiser, project leader, grant writer, PR)
  • Advertising, press and media.
  • Financial organisations (insurance, banking, statistician)
  • Human resources (recruitment company, HR manager, careers consultant, coach)
  • Local and national government
  • The legal sector (e.g. legal researcher)
  • The NHS (creative therapies, mental health support work, speech and language therapy, management training programmes)
  • Security services (intelligence officer with MI5, customs officer, police forces)
  • National Probation Service and prisons etc
  • Schools, sixth form colleges and colleges of further education
  • Social services

Counselling psychologists work in a range of settings, performing assessment and therapy with clients presenting with personal problems. They offer assessment and formulation work, followed by brief and long-term psychotherapies characterised by active collaborative relationship, facilitating empowerment and change. Areas of work include the effects of childhood abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, and complex family issues. The skills of a counselling psychologist extend outside the therapeutic setting such as leading and developing mental health services, clinical supervision, legal settings, court and expert witness work and consultation with charities. Some examples of work settings are:

As a private practitioner - engaging in therapy with those seeking therapy through insurance agencies or charities, providing clinical supervision, training placements, and consulting to solicitors and other organisations.

  • NHS - including primary care; community mental health teams; tertiary settings for psychiatric in-patients; specialist services for older adults, those with eating disorders, personality disorders and learning difficulties; and in general healthcare settings where psychological services are offered
  • Prison and Probationary Services - social services; voluntary organisations; employee assistance programmes; occupational health departments; student counselling services, and as an independent consultant.


Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton has a proud programme history spanning two decades. The programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), enabling graduates to have recognised professional expertise.

Our research supervisors are skilled in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods and are committed to high-quality and impactful research focusing on the application of psychological theory in practice.

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. 

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. 

Within the Department of Psychology, we also provide opportunities for clinical placements and in-house supervision as part of our Psychology Clinic, with routes toward placement pathways with several NHS partners. 

  • Qualify as a professional counselling psychologist who is well placed to work with clients in a broad range of settings to include the NHS, forensic settings, voluntary and third sector providers, industry, private practice, academic and research settings.
  • Gain a grounding in the application of humanistic values in counselling psychology practice upon which other models can be developed and/or integrated.
  • Achieve core competencies in reflective practice, assessment, psychological formulation, criticality and evidence-based practice.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of theoretical models of practice relevant to professional practice in the public and private sectors focusing on the application and integration of person-centred, cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic, and systemic models.
  • Attain an appreciation for and commitment towards ethics in practice and research.
  • Have opportunities to develop competence in systemic practice and organisational working to include involvement with audit, service evaluation, consultation, teaching and clinical leadership.
  • Develop a commitment to and ongoing engagement with reflexive practice including both personal and professional development.
  • Learn anti-discriminatory practices attending critically to wider social, cultural and political contexts.
  • Gain understanding and a commitment to social justice aims and actions.
  • Discover the research and development skills necessary to making an impactful contribution to counselling psychology practice and research, and to evaluating the effectiveness of your interventions through systematic case study research.

Location Mode Fee Year
Home/EU Part-time £3200 per year 2020-21
Home Part-time £3275 per year 2021-22
Home Part-time £3998 per year 2022-23

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

“Thanks to the team not only do I feel confident, competent, and ready to take on the challenge of this profession - but also I have learnt to become a better person and reflect on who I am in my professional and personal life. Every aspect of this course has taught me something valuable, and I am a better person for it thanks to the team here.” 

“The doctorate offered me an excellent grounding in a variety of core approaches, enabling me to broaden and strengthen my skill set. Of the approaches that are taught, I took a lot away from the whole-person-focused humanistic approach, and the relationship-focused systemic approach. The evidence-based nature of the CBT approach prepared me to work within the NHS. The ‘developing relational approach’ found at the heart of psychodynamic theory helped me to see that many problems that people face are borne out of relationships with others, and it resonated with me that a helpful way forward is to focus on the skills needed to build a good therapeutic relationship.”

“The programme has changed not only my personal life, but also the quality of my relationships with others.  I have become a better person to those around me, and feel I have developed a greater flexibility and resilience in my work. I am very happy to have chosen this route, and feel I understand the values and ethics at the heart of counselling psychology.”

Financial support for research study:

Before applying, you should consider carefully how you will finance your studies for the duration of your programme, including tuition fees, research support fees and living costs.

Government loans (Home Fee Status):

Government loans are available for postgraduate research students of up to £27,265, to cover fees and living expenses. More information can be found at Doctoral-loans website.

Studying in the UK:Guidance for EU students

For 2021/22 new entrants, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status and financial support from Student Finance England.


We are able to take payments in instalments, to spread out the cost of your studies, and it is possible to switch between full-time and part-time modes of study. For more information go to How to pay.

Postgraduate Research Loyalty Discount:

To students progressing from an undergraduate programme and/or a taught postgraduate programme to a postgraduate research programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree and/or Masters level qualification, as long as the new award is at a higher level.

For full terms and conditions please see: Loyalty Discount for Postgraduate Research Students

Research councils:

The UK Research and Innovation funds postgraduate study in all subject areas on a discretionary basis.

University Research Studentships:

The University offers a very limited number of research stipends, formerly known as bursaries, to research students. Stipends are designed to support specific projects as determined by the Research Institute rather than individual student-led projects. Funds are accessible from the relevant Research Institute or Centre - please contact them directly.

Other sources:

Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund.

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22



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