MA Psychotherapy & Counselling


Program Description

Psychotherapy & Counselling MA

Intermediate, pre-professional training. Includes taught clinical, experiential and self-directed components.

Key information

  • Name: Psychotherapy & Counselling
  • Qualification: MA
  • Level: Postgraduate
  • Study mode: Part-time
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Tuition fees: £7,900 *
  • Scholarships: Yes *
  • Next start date: September 2018
  • Future start date: January 2019
  • Study abroad: No
  • Validation: Regent's University London

*For more information please refer to the fees and financial support sections below.


* Please note that we are not able to sponsor students on this programme for a Tier 4 visa. *

The MA Psychotherapy & Counselling provides an intermediate pre-professional training and includes taught, clinical, experiential and self-directed components.

Upon completion, you will be able to go on to the final stage of training that leads to eligibility for UKCP membership as an integrative or existential psychotherapist.



The MA is a part-time programme. The taught components of the programme extend over two academic years, followed by time to write your dissertation.

The dissertation is normally completed in the third academic year of study. In exceptional and extenuating circumstances this period may be extended, but the dissertation must be completed within a maximum of three additional years.

Additional information

Prior to the start of the course, students are required to attend the Induction to the course. This is an important all-day event (normally, 09:00 – 16:30) where students register and are introduced to appropriate University facilities, systems, and staff. Students are introduced to teaching staff and the student presentations will be set for the first term of study.

The taught components of the programme extend over two academic years, consisting of six 10-week terms.

You will receive at least six hours of direct tuition per week, over one day, and will need additional time for independent study, research, and essay preparation.

Spring (January) Intake: Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00

Autumn (September) Intake: Thursdays, 10:00-17:00, or Fridays 10:00-17:00

There are three different levels of award from this course, depending on how much of the programme you cover.

  • Year 1 - you may exit the programme with the Postgraduate Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling
  • Years 1 and 2 - you may exit the programme with the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy & Counselling
  • Years 1 and 2 - completion of the whole programme, together with a 14,000-16,000 word dissertation leads to the award of MA Psychotherapy & Counselling

Students also take a four-day Research Methods Seminar module which introduces them to a variety of research methods in preparation for undertaking the dissertation. This module consists of one day in week 11 for the first four terms of the taught course.

Clinical placements

Clinical placements begin in the second year of the programme and require at least half a day (usually more) each week, both during and outside term time.

You will need to gather at least 100 supervised client contact hours before you can progress to one of our Advanced Diploma courses. The School’s Clinical Placements Coordinator, and the Careers & Business Relations Department, are available to advise you on how to find a clinical placement.

Personal therapy

You are required to be in the individual therapy for at least one hour a week with a UKCP registered therapist throughout the course.

Personal tutors

In years 1 and 2 each cohort of students is assigned a personal tutor who is available to offer guidance and support during the course.


Candidates for the MA are required to write a dissertation exploring a relevant subject. This should be 14,000 to 16,000 words in length. You will prepare your dissertation with the assistance of an academic supervisor. It will be evaluated by two readers. A viva examination may take place after submission of the dissertation.


  • Psychoanalytic Approaches to Psychotherapy
  • Existential-Phenomenological Approaches to Psychotherapy
  • Humanistic and Integrative Approaches to Psychotherapy
  • Contemporary Theory and Practice in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
  • Contemporary Theory and Practice in Existential Psychotherapy
  • Contemporary Theory and Practice in Integrative Psychotherapy
  • Research Methods in Psychotherapy: Academic, Clinical and Professional Skills
  • Clinical Placement

Teaching & assessment

Study methods

Learning methods include tutorials, independent study, group work, engagement with your own therapeutic experience and clinical practice guided by experienced professionals.

You must also remain in once-weekly individual psychotherapy with a UKCP member therapist throughout your training.

Assessment structure

Assessment is continuous. It is based on:

  • Student presentations
  • Essays - One academic theory essay per term. One Reflexive Skill essay each term in the first year only
  • Participation in discussions in academic seminars, skills training sessions and training supervision and the completion of a ‘Participation form’ each term.
  • Participation and reflection on learning within the personal and professional development group (PPD group) at the end of each course day. Students are expected to demonstrate appropriate self-evaluation and self-reflection including acknowledging their level of participation in group work as part of the Reflexive Skills essays in year 1. In year 2, reflection on learning relevant to personal and professional development is included in the clinical process reports and case study.
  • In Year 2, two clinical process reports and a case study, as well as clinical placement feedback, are required.

Students with disabilities

Some classes are delivered in teaching rooms accessed by stairs. If you have a condition that affects your mobility and you require ground-floor rooms or rooms with lift access, please notify Student Registry as soon as possible. You are also advised to contact the Disability Officer.


Future opportunities

Upon completion of the programme, you will be eligible to progress to one of our Advanced Diploma courses (in Integrative or Existential Psychotherapy), which is the final stage of training that leads to eligibility for UKCP membership.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

*Please note that we are not able to sponsor students on this programme for a Tier 4 visa. *

You will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any discipline* as well as a Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling of a minimum of 120 hours**.

We also require at least six months’ professional experience in an allied area (such as nursing, social work, teaching, human resources or mediation) or in a voluntary capacity in a helping or supportive context (such as befriending, mentoring or telephone helpline counseling).

You will need to demonstrate sufficient maturity and life experience to be capable of undertaking clinical training. Experience of personal therapy is desirable, but not required.

Please note: you will be expected to attend an interview before an unconditional offer can be made.

*If you have not completed an undergraduate degree you must have at least two years’ experience of working professionally in an allied area or in a voluntary capacity.

**It is desirable to have completed Regent's University London Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling.

English requirements

We require proof of English Proficiency. For example, we ask for:

  • A completed Undergraduate degree studied in English from a majority English speaking country
  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each individual component

This list is not exhaustive, we will review the English qualifications you have as part of your application and be in contact if we require anything further.

For applicants who wish to improve their English language proficiency, please see our English language courses.

On-campus diagnostic test

For offer holders in London, we can provide a free on-campus English diagnostic test. This test must be arranged in advance. Please note, this is a diagnostic test for Regent’s University London only.


Fees September 2018

  • Annual tuition fee: £7,900
  • Dissertation submission fee: £1,500
  • Advance deposit: £500 (non-refundable)

Tuition fees are set for the University’s financial year which runs from 1 August to 31 July. Annual fees for students commencing studies in spring will span financial years. Spring and autumn fees will be invoiced at the rate applicable for that term.

Last updated Feb 2020

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About the School

Regent's University London is London's only independent, not-for-profit university, with a highly cosmopolitan community based in royal Regent's Park and Marylebone.

Regent's University London is London's only independent, not-for-profit university, with a highly cosmopolitan community based in royal Regent's Park and Marylebone. Read less