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Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice (Distance Learning)


Postgraduate degree

MA Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice
School of Education
Campus or location
Distance learning
Course length
One year full-time or two years part-time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.

Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Gain a Master's in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice to complement your professional counselling and/or psychotherapy training.

  • Full-time and part-time distance learning options allowing you to study online.
  • Flexible learning linked to your specialist interest in counselling and psychotherapy practice.
  • Enhance your skills and develop self-awareness to support your Continued Professional Development.

This Master's in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice is suitable 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.

On successful completion of the programme, you'll not only be well-versed in counselling and psychotherapy research and your chosen subject area, but you'll also have gained an academic degree to complement your existing professional qualification.

“The MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy offers wonderful support, from the course lead to the administrative staff and the library resources. The flexibility of the course and being able to choose my own topic within counselling and psychotherapy was a significant advantage over other courses. Once I had an opportunity to speak to the course leader I was convinced it was the right course for me.”

Ruth Smith, MA Counselling and Psychotherapy

What you'll learn


Our Master's in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice gives students an academic qualification alongside their professional counselling training. You can gain a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or Master’s Award (180 credits) in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice. This is beneficial when applying for work as the qualification is nationally and internationally recognised. 

The aims of the programme are to recognise and enhance understanding of good professional practice and deepen theoretical knowledge, to engage in evidence-based practice and research, and to enhance skills of reflection and reflexivity and develop self-awareness to support Continued Professional Development.

Course structure

This is an online course taken over a period of one year full-time or up to two years part-time. This offers a flexible career track suited to meeting the demands of professional counsellors and therapists needing to study part-time through distance learning.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information.

  • Independent Study
  • Counselling Ethics and the Law
  • Reflecting on Clinical Practice
  • Research and the Professional Part 1
  • Research and the Professional Part 2
  • Dissertation.
How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed through a range of written assignments related to professional learning in the counselling and psychotherapy field.

How will I be taught?

All modules are completed through distance learning. Individual contact with a tutor is either face-to-face by telephone or through online tutorials. There'll also be webinars/online seminars available. Contact could be individual or in groups. You'll also have access to open seminars and workshops throughout the year.

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

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.


Career development

The programme will give practising counsellors and psychotherapists an academic, University-based higher degree qualification to complement their professional qualification.

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Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

“The biggest highlight was having the opportunity to take the topic I was interested in and studying it in depth. It also ignited a passion for study and my time at Bath Spa gave me a solid foundation to pursue further research. I feel that my knowledge as a counsellor has been deepened due to this MA which has only benefited my clinical practice. It has also opened up other career avenues such as lecturing, training and research which I had not considered before commencing the course.”

Ruth Smith, MA Counselling and Psychotherapy

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

This is a distance learning programme. Tutorials can be face-to-face via telephone, video call or email. You'll also have access to webinars/online seminars. Contact could be individual or in groups. You'll be able to make full use of the facilities offered at the University.

You’ll benefit from access to:


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,595
UK part time £4,298
International full time £15,905
International part time (distance learning) £7,953

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

This programme is suitable for counsellors and psychotherapists who have completed a recognised counselling or psychotherapy training qualification. Applicants should also be working, or have previously worked, professionally as a counsellor or psychotherapist.

To qualify for entry, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist with a recognised training qualification
  • Need to be qualified to at least Level 4 Diploma
  • Have completed at least 100 clinical placement hours
  • Must be a member of a professional body such as the BACP.

We ideally look for applicants to any of our MA courses to hold a degree. If you don't have a degree or equivalent level 6 qualification you'll be asked to complete a written assignment to ensure your subject knowledge is at the level we would expect for postgraduate study.

If you've completed a recognised counselling qualification or you have evidence of relevant academic study at Level 7 within the last five years, you may be able to apply for Accredited Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L). See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

If you wish to be considered for AP(E)L, please contact the course leader before submitting your online application.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page, or apply for either version of this course below:

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Course leader: Michael Sims

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