Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice

  • Award: MA, PG Dip
  • School: Institute for Education
  • Fees and Finance Information
  • Course length: The MA up to six years part-time though normally completed in three years. The PG Dip up to 4 years part-time though normally completed in two years.
  • Campus: The course is run through distance learning with tutorials at present held either in central Bath or Corsham Court, Bridgwater or North Devon.
  • Course Handbook (PDF)

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How to Apply

Gain an academic qualification in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice alongside your vocational counselling training.

  • Choose from a range of accredited modules.
  • Flexible learning linked to your specialist interest in counselling and psychotherapy practice.
  • Run through distance learning with individual tutorials.

“The flexibility of the MA programme enabled me to fit course work around my employment and other commitments and provided an ideal opportunity for me to develop in my profession.”
– Carol Swanson, Counselling and Psychotherapy graduate

Why study Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice?

This award is for counsellors and psychotherapists who have completed a recognised counselling or psychotherapy training qualification, and who are working or who have worked professionally as a counsellor or psychotherapist.

It is also open to those working within the helping professions who have a first degree within their field and relevant counselling training and/or qualifications, who wish to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.

Course structure

By the end of your studies you will have:

  • Increased your knowledge base and understanding of the relevant literature.
  • Systematically informed and updated your professional understanding.
  • A critical awareness of relevant current issues in your professional context.
  • An appreciation of how differing perspectives are dependent on context.
  • An original approach in the application of this knowledge with a practical understanding of research and inquiry techniques.
  • The ability to evaluate critically current research and theoretical frameworks.
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research.
  • The ability to reflect upon own professional practice; with a view to improving it.
  • The communication of ideas through appropriate ways.
  • The management of time and work.
  • The ability to work independently.
  • Information and data handling skills.

Course assessment

Assessment is through a range of written assignments related to professional learning in the counselling and psychotherapy field.

Career development

This academic qualification alongside your vocational training course will enhance your CV and job opportunities in a highly competitive field.It will also provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) specific to your professional needs and requirements.

Teaching methods

All modules are completed through distance learning with individual contact made with a supervisor, either through face to face tutorials, telephone supervision or on line supervision.

The award is modular, based on accumulating credit points (180 are needed for a Masters), and gives a flexible career track suited to meet the demands of professional counsellors and therapists needing to study part-time.

Each module has a certain number of hours of formal contact time with your tutor:

  • 15 credits: 3-4 hours
  • 30 credits: 6-8 hours
  • 45 credits: 9-11 hours
  • 60 credits: 12 hours

You should allow yourself an additional 4 hours or more each week for private study/student-centred learning.

Application method

Applications can be made online. Please contact CPD Admin for full details of how to apply and the relevant project/module code.

Telephone: (01225) 875593.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please contact the CPD admin office:

Telephone: (01225) 875593.

Entry requirements

Applicants who have qualified through counselling or psychotherapy trainings are invited to apply and accreditation for prior learning (APL) is given according to the level of their counselling or psychotherapy training qualification. This can be discussed on application though in general level 5 counselling qualifications are granted 90 APL and level 4 60 APL. APL is recognised only within six years of a training qualification.

There are direct arrangements with the following courses and qualifications and we encourage students who have completed counselling courses at these trainings to apply:

  • Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling;
  • Bridgwater College Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy;
  • The Counselling Foundation, Training Centre, St Alban's;
  • The Manor House Centre, North London, Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling and Therapy in the Community;
  • The National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy;
  • Northbrook College, Sussex, Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Therapy;
  • Southampton Counselling Service Advanced and Diploma courses;
  • Strode College, Street
  • Wessex Counselling Service Advanced and Diploma courses.


What students say...

Sue Arnold 2013, MA Graduate

"I had wanted to study for an MA for several years, but needed to find a course that would fit round my work commitments. The MA was ideal because I could study at my own pace and decide the subjects I wished to explore. I had many misgivings about undertaking a piece of research, but the study materials were well structured and the support I had from my tutor enabled me to grow in confidence in this area. Overall I enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal, both about my subject and myself."

Carol Swanson 2013, MA Graduate

"The flexibility of the MA programme enabled me to fit course work around my employment and other commitments and provided an ideal opportunity for me to develop in my profession. The course modules leading to the dissertation were well structured and along with the available support prepared me well for the final dissertation stage of the MA."

Claire Sainsbury 2013, MA Graduate

"The MA programme has expanded my knowledge and awareness as a practitioner within the field of problem gambling.  The experience of managing my own research schedule with tutor support has been challenging and ultimately empowering.  I now feel more engaged with this specialist field and stimulated to study further."