Postgraduate MSc

Advanced Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies

School of Health and Society

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

Course

One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

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Introduction

In a nutshell

This flexible course will enable you to advance your expertise in Counselling and Psychotherapy in the areas most relevant to your practice.

You will gain a deeper understanding of a range of psychological problems of varying degrees of severity and further develop your therapeutic skills.

To gain entry onto this course, you will need to be a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist and in practice.

You will:
  • Gain advanced skills for complex psycho therapeutic situations
  • Benefit from up-to-date thinking from experts in theory, practice and research
  • Conduct publishable research that creates a real impact
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You are a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist and in practice

2.

You want to conduct publishable research that creates a real impact

3.

Your practice would benefit from up-to-date thinking from experts in theory, research and practice

Course details

All about the course

This course will equip you with advanced knowledge relating to Counselling and Psychotherapy. The course has been structured to present you with opportunities to learn about different aspects of the lived experience and how these can be attended to therapeutically through brief and long-term interventions.

This award is aimed at meeting the needs of qualified counsellors who have already completed professional training in counselling. Students select the combination of modules which is best geared to meeting their individual training needs, with the exception of the Research Methods Module which is necessary for completion of the PG Dip and progression to the MSc. A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be employed, particularly:

  • Didactic lecturing
  • Experiential workshops
  • Experiential group work

All the modules are optional, apart from the Dissertation module on the MSc pathway. The course has a one-year full-time pathway and two and three-year part-time pathways.

Full Time One Year Pathway: You would do the Dissertation module and four of the other modules listed below in one year. This pathway is eligible for the PG loan.

Two Year Part Time Pathway: You do three of the modules listed below in Year One and would then do one further module and the Dissertation module in Year Two. This pathway is eligible for the PG loan.

Three Year Part Time Pathway: You do two of the modules listed below in Year One, two more in Year Two, and you would then the Dissertation module in Year Three. While this pathway is not eligible for the PG loan, the route it offers is ideal if you have a very busy schedule or if you can take the fast-track route onto Year Two or Three if you already have relevant postgraduate credits, and/or are an accredited counsellor or psychotherapist.

Note that the Research Methods module is an option that is available in either Semester 1 or Semester 2.

Year one, semester one

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Children and Young People

This module will support you in developing a critical understanding of the nature and impact of issues relating to social justice on the emotional well-being of children and young people and their access and use of counselling/ psychotherapy. The module will facilitate your development of an informed and applied understanding of the relevant research and professional literature, will present opportunities for you to develop a critical understanding of the particular developmental issues involved in providing counselling and psychotherapy for children and young  people e.g. emotional, physical cognitive and sexual, and will enable you to critically analyse the ethical, legal, professional, therapeutic and contextual aspects of working with children and young people. 

Module leader - Helen Millar 

Bereavement and Loss

This module offers theoretical and experiential learning opportunities to explore the topic in a sensitive and respectful learning environment. Contemporary theories are presented by a range of counselling practitioners with a wealth of experience and specialised knowledge in the field. The module offers an excellent opportunity for participants to enhance their awareness of their own responses to bereavement and loss as well as deepen their understanding of the people they live and work with.

Module Leader – Maria Kefalogianni.

Research Methods

This module will facilitate your development of advanced ability to evaluate critically current research and to evaluate research methods used by others. The module will support you in developing a comprehensive understanding of a range of research techniques that can be applied to a variety of research or scholarly situations, and in strengthening your ability to critically appraise the purpose, process and products of research activity, with reference to the politics and ethics of research. The module will offer you opportunities to gain the ability to select, apply and critically appraise applied research techniques to explore identified questions, and will strengthen your capacity to reflect critically on your competence as a researcher and the implications for the development of this part of your role. A major change in the revised programme is making this module an option. We would strongly recommend taking this module if you plan to do primary research for your dissertation but if you intend to do a literature review then this module is helpful but not essential. This module is the School’s shared research methods module and the sessions are shared with a range of health and social care masters students. This module can be taken either in semester 1 or in semester 2.

Module Leader – Alison Brettle. 

Year one, semester two

Compassion Focused Therapy

Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) was developed by a team led by Professor Paul Gilbert based in Derby specifically to help clients with deep-seated issues associated with shame. Since then the approach has been found to be helpful in a wide range of mental health contexts including trauma, anger and addiction. CFT offers a structured approach to help clients cultivate compassion for themselves and for others. This is within a neuro-psychological framework that is intrinsically de-shaming. The module offers training in how CFT approaches can be integrated into therapeutic practice. While this module is currently offered within the MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy it is relevant to all professionals working in the context of mental health.

Mindfulness Based Approaches with Cognitive Behavourial Therapy

While this module is currently offered within the MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy it is relevant to all professionals working in the context of mental health and the philosophical framework draws on person-centred therapy. Mindfulness-based approaches (MBAs) are increasingly recognised as being helpful in a wide range of contexts including health and social care, education and the corporate sector. This module offers training in the integration of accessible and flexible MBs in the context of 1-2-1 therapy. In particular, the MBAs explored work very well as an adjunct to counselling or psychotherapeutic work as they offer clients a very safe way of cultivating the resilience and insight in the time between therapy sessions.

Research Methods

This module will facilitate your development of advanced ability to evaluate critically current research and to evaluate research methods used by others. The module will support you in developing a comprehensive understanding of a range of research techniques that can be applied to a variety of research or scholarly situations, and in strengthening your ability to critically appraise the purpose, process and products of research activity, with reference to the politics and ethics of research. The module will offer you opportunities to gain the ability to select, apply and critically appraise applied research techniques to explore identified questions, and will strengthen your capacity to reflect critically on your competence as a researcher and the implications for the development of this part of your role. A major change in the revised programme is making this module an option. We would strongly recommend taking this module if you plan to do primary research for your dissertation but if you intend to do a literature review then this module is helpful but not essential. This module is the School’s shared research methods module and the sessions are shared with a range of health and social care masters students. This module can be taken either in semester 1 or in semester 2. 

Module Leader – Alison Brettle.

Expressive Therapies

This module offers both cognitive and experiential learning opportunities and offers ‘taster experiences’ of a range of different art therapy approaches. A number of psychotherapies exist that offer more than just the verbal interchange of ‘talking therapies’. These approaches invite other channels of communication, as well as verbal interchange, as a means of accessing core or organismic experience. There are obvious advantages of such approaches to client groups who may not have the necessary verbal skills to describe their experience e.g. children, people with learning disabilities. There may be further advantages of using expressive therapies, compared with purely verbal therapies, in enabling exploration with clients who may overly depend on verbal means of structuring their lives and experiences. In order to support students in learning about each expressive approach outlined opportunities will be provided for students to experience the ‘theory in action’, in this way students can find personal meaning from the particular theory being examined.

Module Leader – Leigh Gardner.

Year one, semester three

Dissertation

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to critically identify and apply knowledge of research/ inquiry techniques applicable to your own discipline to enhance research and advanced scholarship. You will be able to evaluate research/inquiry methods with due consideration of research, governance, project management and ethics frameworks at local, national and international levels. You will also gain skills in critically appraising and debating key concepts, methods and technical paradigms related to research. The module will support you in developing your ability to apply creative thinking and problem-solving strategies within your discipline to address the challenges of research and inquiry within a discipline and justify your chosen approaches to research and professional inquiry. The module will offer you the opportunity to critically evaluate current research evidence, policy and reflect upon your role as a researcher/change agent within professional, educational, clinical or organisational practice.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

ASSESSMENT

The evaluation takes the form of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments enable students to gauge their learning and development during the course of each module and to prepare them for summative assessment. Formative assessments vary from module to module and include peer and tutor review and feedback on the development of written work both in class and electronically online. The learning is experientially driven and enquiry-led, with opportunities review of assimilation of knowledge, critical skills and conceptualisations. Formative assessment is conducted via a range of methods such as quizzes and tests, and face-to-face and online discussion groups.

Summative assessment strategies will include:

  • Written essays addressing issues of theory and practice
  • Portfolios addressing issues of theory and practice
  • Presentations (including poster presentations) addressing issues of theory and practice
  • Supervised research dissertation

Find out more about certain aspects of counselling with our short two-minute psychotherapy lectures from Dr Mark Widdowson, lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Salford.

Transactional Analysis

Life Script

Ego States

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

Counselling Suite

We have recently developed a brand new special counselling suite which will be used for training students to become professional counsellors and psychotherapists.

The suite, featuring therapeutic areas where one-to-one, family and group interactions can occur, will also shortly be available for members of the local community and the University is hoping to work with local charities which will be able to use the facility.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This post-qualifying course will enable you to conduct advanced studies into counselling and psychotherapy which, in turn, will enhance your career prospects. Study of counselling and psychotherapy at this level could lead you to posts such as specialist or senior counsellor, counselling service manager, as well as academic careers. Because the course focuses on a range of perspectives, this could support you in contributing to the field of health and social health in a range of ways and with higher level contextual awareness. Following successful completion of the course, you may also consider studying for a PhD.

You may also choose to pursue further study and research on our Professional Doctorate (Health and Social Care/Advanced Practitioner/Social Work)

A taste of what you could become

A Qualified Professional Counsellor

Requirements

What you need to know

You will be a practising Counsellor and/or Psychotherapist, with professional membership - this includes newly qualified counsellors. You will be motivated to study Counselling and Psychotherapy at an advanced level to deepen your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Please note, this is a post-qualification course and those without a professional counselling or psychotherapy qualification are not eligible to apply. 

If you have any queries about eligibility for the course, please contact the Admissions Tutor for the course, Tim Duerden, on 0161 295 2429 or by email.

Accredited Counsellor or Psychotherapist Entry

  • Accredited counsellors or psychotherapists with the BACP or UKCP are eligible for specific entry routes.
  • Accredited counsellors or psychotherapists with a degree are able to receive 60 M-level credits via a specific accreditation of prior learning process, resulting in a fast-track through the MSc.
  • Accredited counsellors or psychotherapists without a degree are able to apply for direct entry onto the MSc.

Year 2 Entry: If you meet the standard entry criteria and have existing M-level modules then you may be able to enter directly into year two with up to 60 credits as long as your previous credits are a reasonably close match to modules on this course. This means you would just have 2-3 taught modules to complete and the Dissertation. 

Year 3 Entry - Dissertation only: For those with an existing PGDip in counselling or psychotherapy, who also have evidence of current professional membership, and have at least a year of supervised practice as a counsellor/psychotherapist, you may be eligible to enter the course at year three. This means you would only need to successfully take the Dissertation module to complete the MSc.

English language requirements 

International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this. 

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Normally 2:2 Hons degree or equivalent is required. 

 

Professional registration

RA recognised professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy: If you are not qualified, please apply for the MSc/PGDip Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies (Professional Training)

Evidence of a recognised counselling or psychotherapy professional membership (for example, BACP/UKCP or equivalent, or evidence of eligibility to successfully apply for professional membership).

Therefore, to gain entry onto this course, you will need to be a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist with a recognised counselling or psychotherapy professional membership (or evidence of eligibility to apply for recognised counselling or psychotherapy professional membership).

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully. The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course. Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2019/20 £7,776per year
Part-time 2019/20 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Distance learning 2019/20 7920
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £7,920per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £14670per year
Part-time 2020/21 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include travel, books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship. For information, go to International Scholarships.

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Enrolment dates

September 2020