MSc in Clinical Skills in Integrative Psychotherapy


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

What evidence is there to support the effectiveness of psychodynamic interpersonal therapy? How does Socratic questioning affect a client’s perspective of their difficulties? What does practitioner self-care look like?


Explore the Person-Centred therapeutic process, brief interventions, and different approaches to psychotherapy. Practise core therapeutic skills, from active listening to paraphrasing. And, reflect on practitioner resilience and self-care.

On this course, you’ll explore the theories behind therapeutic methods related to promoting psychological wellbeing, and develop practical skills.

You’ll study topics including the principles of therapeutic approaches (such as developing positive therapeutic relationships with clients and Person-Centred care), therapeutic strategies of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT (including cognitive restructuring), and cognitive analytic therapy.

In skills sessions, you’ll complete role-plays and scenario-based tasks to practise core therapeutic techniques, such as reflecting, identifying internal/external frames of reference, and Socratic questioning.

You’ll also reflect on practitioner wellbeing and development. Some of the themes you’ll consider include boundaries and safe practices, privilege and social responsibility, and core values and beliefs.

We’ll help you to develop your awareness of self-care through experiential learning groups based on your experiences and you’ll complete a practitioner log and reflective diary, too.

You’ll have the opportunity to complete a service-based dissertation relevant to the service you’d like to work in, such as with particularly vulnerable groups, children or in community settings.

At Manchester Met, our teaching team includes practitioner psychologists (clinical, counselling and health) with experience in working in NHS and private settings in the UK and internationally.


  • 1 year, full-time: September to October, with teaching September to April.
  • 2 years, part-time: September to May year 1, September to October year 2.

Features and Benefits

  • You’ll develop the skills to begin a career in psychological therapies (such as counselling, psychotherapy, and clinical psychology).
  • You’ll connect research and practice through a service evaluation-based dissertation.
  • This course forms Stage 1 of our Doctor of Psychological Therapies.
  • You’ll have access to our specialist facilities for psychology demonstration and practice, which includes an fNIR imaging research device, 12 experimental testing laboratories and 6 psychology laboratories.
  • Our teaching staff includes practising researchers and clinical, counselling and health psychologists.
  • Our department is home to the Stress, Health and Performance Research Group and our staff engage in a wide range of research areas, including health and psychological interventions, and neuropsychobiology.

Career Prospects

With further postgraduate training, through a professional doctorate, for example, you could develop a career in psychological therapies (such as counselling or psychotherapy) in the NHS or private practice, as this course offers a comprehensive theoretical foundation upon which to build professional skills and practitioner accreditation.

You might choose to pursue further study, and this course forms Stage 1 of our Doctor of Professional Studies in Psychological Therapies (DProf).

When you complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 (the professional doctorate), you can apply to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for practitioner accreditation.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for this programme are as follows:

  • A 2:1 or above in an honours degree course or overseas equivalent related to the allied health/social care professions (e.g. psychology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, education). Each applicant will be judged on an individual basis.
  • Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.
  • Although not a requirement of this course, we recommend that students try to obtain some part-time paid or voluntary work in a relevant therapeutic service, which is beneficial the reflective exercises in the second-semester units and overall learning experience.
  • Successful completion of one unit within this course requires a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure you are able to undertake a suitable placement component. The cost of the DBS check is included in your academic fees.
  • Finally, we will specifically look for applicants who can showcase their ability to develop skills in reflective and ethical practice.

If you are unsure as to whether you meet the entry requirements for the course, please liaise with the admissions team who can provide further information.

Course Details

Our master's degree in Clinical Skills in Integrative Psychotherapy is designed for practitioners looking to update their skills and advance their knowledge, as well as for students hoping to develop a career in psychological therapies.

With further study, you might work in counselling, psychotherapy, counselling and clinical psychology, or as an allied healthcare practitioner using therapeutic skills.

We aim to develop your understanding of the theoretical frameworks that form the basis of evidence-based practice, and your critical awareness of issues relating to promoting psychological wellbeing.

We look at innovative and inclusive approaches to promoting psychological wellbeing and consider self-awareness, reflective practice and practitioner resilience.

On this course, you’ll discuss, critique and compare therapeutic modalities, focusing on an integrated and person-centred approach.

You’ll consider contemporary theories and practical issues in therapeutic services across both the NHS and private sectors. This is to help you critically appraise the variety of therapeutic provisions.

Some of the topics you’ll study include the evidence supporting the effectiveness of interventions (such as motivational interviewing), key policies and guidelines relating to common conditions, and contemporary psychodynamic approaches.

You’ll learn through a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops, skills practice, and peer learning, where you’ll share your practice experiences.

We assess you through a range of methods, such as group presentations, exams, and critical reports. You’ll submit a dissertation, too. This typically focuses on the experience of therapeutic interventions and processes within a range of therapeutic services.

You might consider group reflections with a therapeutic community or focus groups with clients and staff teams to explore therapeutic processes. You might conduct individual qualitative interviews with clients to explore their experiences of one-to-one counselling or psychological therapy.

For your dissertation, you’ll submit an evaluation and an article written to the guidelines of an appropriate journal of your choice.

Usually, your evaluation is 6,000 words and presents the theoretical basis, undertakings and findings of your work. Your clinical recommendations article is typically a 2,000-word piece that develops the clinical implications and findings of your work further, to help services develop.

Core course teaching takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays, although additional Study Skills teaching and supervisory meetings will take place throughout the week. Therefore, full-time students should ensure they are able to attend all teaching and supervision meetings to maximise their learning experience throughout the course.

Year 1

Over the duration of your course, you'll cover the following units:

Core units

  • Brief Intervention Models
  • Core Therapeutic Skills
  • Professional Practice Values
  • Therapeutic Relationships and Processes
  • Personal Development and Reflection
  • Research Principles and Methods
  • Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation
Unit Descriptions

Core Units

Brief Intervention Models

This unit covers the rationale and key components of each brief intervention. For example, you'll critically appraise therapeutic strategies of CBT (including exposure, cognitive restructuring, relaxation, assertiveness training); solutions focused brief therapy (e.g. the miracle question, exception questions, scaling questions), motivational interviewing (e.g. open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, summaries) and brief psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (a dynamic exploration of core repetitive patterns of relating). Emphasis is placed on the evidence supporting the effectiveness of these interventions. Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, role-plays, experiential exercises, and class discussions of case studies. Formative assessment and feedback will take place through class discussions and presentations of ideas.

Core Therapeutic Skills

This unit presents the basic principles of different therapeutic approaches (Freudian, Cognitive-Behavioural, Compassion-focused, etc) and their theoretical underpinnings. Special emphasis is given to the Person-Centred / Humanistic Model (eg Carl Rogers’ views, self-actualisation, congruence, conditions of worth, etc) and central elements of the Person-Centred therapeutic process (eg the role of empathy, genuineness, acceptance, positive regard, etc). The unit addresses the role of the therapeutic alliance and evaluates various other relevant issues, such as areas of diversity in therapy, boundaries and ethics. Using scenario-based learning, role-playing and exercises, you'll practice various core therapeutic skills (eg active listening, reflecting, paraphrasing, identifying internal/external frame of reference, Socratic questioning, etc).

Professional Practice Values

This unit covers topics that are essential for practitioners in the field of mental health including: the development of psychological therapies and how accessible they are to different communities of people; key policies and guidelines relating to common conditions; ethical codes of conduct including those from professional, regulatory and commissioning bodies and responsible practice issues. There will be a reflective focus to encourage self-evaluation of developing ethical knowledge and awareness. Learning will include direct teaching, discussion and debate, group appraisal tasks and PBL tasks relating to case vignettes.

Research Principles and Methods

This unit will introduce you to the principles and practice of research and evaluation will allow you to develop a critical overview of various methodologies. The content will allow you to make comparisons between different quantitative and qualitative modes of investigation and review the ethical, legal and political issues in the research process. Reflection and reflexivity in the research process will be encouraged.

You'll be introduced to computing and information technology and how to undertake a literature searching strategy, develop a research question and write a research proposal/protocol and review descriptive and inferential statistics and hypothesis testing.

Finally, you'll review methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis and experience interpreting the results of data analysis.

Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation

This unit will develop and apply independent clinically relevant research skills. It is related to applied psychology, social and personal change and to best practice in services.

You'll identify research questions, prepare an evaluation proposal and submit these to the Department of Psychology Postgraduate Ethics Committee for approval along with risk assessment appraisals and letters of authorisation from external bodies, prior to commencing the work. You'll design and carry out their evaluation study under the supervision of a member of staff in collaboration with a suitable service. All projects will involve the collection of empirical data. Research may utilise whatever method or methods most suitable to address the identified evaluation aims. Depending upon the design of the project, qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approaches could be used. Collaborations with external agencies are likely to be required. Teaching is mainly via one to one supervision or group supervision (where appropriate). This enables you to develop research skills and use supervision sessions appropriately at the different stages of research.

Therapeutic Relationships and Processes

An introduction to three different approaches to psychotherapy characteristic of psychological practice; group/systems therapy, contemporary psychodynamic approaches, and cognitive analytic therapy. An understanding of each approach in terms of the processes of psychic change, techniques and interventions and the characterisation of the role of the therapist in the therapy. Critical evaluation of each approach will include a review of the research and the suitability and adaptation for the individual client in their social and cultural context. You'll be expected to develop a personal reflective attitude to the module content.

Personal Development and Reflection

This unit will focus on theory, research and practice in personal development and reflective practice. A number of psychological theories will underpin student learning and the practice of development and reflection. Core topics include boundaries and safe practices, motivations, core values and beliefs, training needs, record keeping, reflexivity and reflective practice, professional identity, privilege and social responsibility, supervision, self-care and resilience, working in teams and groups.

Learning will take place through a range of modalities including personal development groups, facilitator-led tasks, and discussion groups and one-to-one tutorials. You'll be required to keep a practitioner log and reflective diary throughout the unit.

Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

10 credits equate to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


  • Full-time: 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 80% independent study
  • Part-time: 20% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 80% independent study


  • Full-time: 64% coursework; 20% practical; 16% examination
  • Part-time: 64% coursework; 20% practical; 16% examination
Placement Options

This course would fulfil a substantial component of the face-to-face teaching hours required for a practitioner to apply for individual accreditation through the BACP but does not include an integral placement component. Further support around employability is provided by the course staff, the Manchester Met Psychology employability team and careers service.

Professional Practice Values

The learning outcomes for the Professional Practice Values unit are specifically practice-based and require the experiential learning of developing and implementing practitioner knowledge and values. Work-based learning will help you demonstrate your ability to work in the field of mental health and enhance your confidence in becoming practitioners. It will also deepen your experiential understanding of theory-practice links. Through the undertaking of work-based learning, you will gain work-based specific skills, contacts and knowledge to complement your academic learning. All students, irrespective of background, will be supported by members of staff in order to choose a suitable work-based learning provider.

For this unit, you will require a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure you are able to undertake the suitable placement component. The placement component will be discussed in detail during your course induction.

Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practising researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.


UK and EU Students
  • UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £5,667 to £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Non-EU and Channel Island Students
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £10,334 to £15,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2584 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5 pence per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop, up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

Manchester Met has a proud heritage dating back to 1824. We are also one of the largest universities in the UK with over 38,000 students. We have over 3,500 international students from more than 140 c ... Read More

Manchester Met has a proud heritage dating back to 1824. We are also one of the largest universities in the UK with over 38,000 students. We have over 3,500 international students from more than 140 countries. We are ranked amongst the world’s top 200 universities under 50 years old according to the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2019 which is a measure of our commitment to delivering and supporting quality research and teaching. Read less