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MA - Counselling and Psychotherapy

If you're interested in supporting people and the world of the psyche intrigue you, you can make an immense impact on the lives of others by becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist.

You can combine your compassionate character with the academic knowledge and practical skills you need to competently and compassionately help people explore their difficulties, express their feelings and work towards deeper self-awareness and understanding.

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Course Overview

On this course, you will explore how to work with others as they explore and experience pain/trauma. Throughout, you will consider mental health and illness and work with clients presenting with a wide range of issues – including those who are suicidal, experiencing grief, loss, or trauma.

You will learn to fully comprehend the processes your clients go through and will train to become emotionally and psychologically resilient– a key trait required for your future as a therapist. Our aim is to see you become an ethically competent practitioner who can positively transform the lives of clients and alleviate their personal distress in both a professional and reflective way. During the course, you will need to complete 100 supervised counselling practice hours.

On this course you will...

  • Explore and apply counselling and psychotherapeutic literature to current issues, contexts and experiences with a specific focus on the person centred modality.
  • Be given high quality support and guidance by our lecturing team who are active in their research and practice.
  • Learn valuable transferrable skills in PG research, which are highly sought after by employers.
  • Have the opportunity to choose topics and areas that you want to learn more about to tailor your learning experience through your assessments e.g. ethical dilemmas, literature reviews an case studies.
  • On graduation, you will be eligible to apply for individual membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and may also apply for registration, subject to passing the BACP Certificate of Proficiency.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

You will learn to adopt a person-centred approach to your work, with the opportunity to learn about and critically evaluate other approaches such as CBT, solution-focused and systemic ways of working. Though the focus is on adults, you will also be introduced to working with couples, children and families. Emphasis is placed on developing research skills and your understanding of evidence-based practice.

During the course, you will need to do 100 supervised counselling practice hours. You will be expected to make arrangements for your own placement but will be offered support from the counselling team.

In the first semester, you will attend a weekend residential that focuses on your personal and professional development, and you will also be expected to have 10 hours of your own personal therapy.

Year one
  • Theory and Practice 1
    Prepare for supervised Person Centred practice personally, professionally and theoretically. You will develop an in depth understanding of Person Centred Theory and how you can offer and communicate the core conditions of the approach to clients.
  • Theory and Practice 2
    Develop a critical theoretical awareness and professional understanding of the theories and experiences of psychological and emotional distress.
  • Personal and Professional Development 1
    Develop a critical theoretical awareness and in-depth professional understanding of ethical practice and decision making with attention to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework and relevant legislation.
Year two
  • Personal and Professional Development 2
    Develop as an ethical, reflexive and effective practitioner, exploring the complexity of therapeutic practice and linking it with theory, research and self understanding.
  • Attachment and Adversity
    Develop a critical theoretical understanding and professional appreciation of theories of attachment and adversity.
  • Understanding Therapeutic Diversity
    Develop a complex understanding of several therapeutic approaches and critically compare them to the Person Centred Approach.
Year three
  • Research Methods
    Select, devise, analyse and synthesise research and evidence-based practice findings.
  • Undertaking and Presenting Research
    Undertake an in-depth investigation on a specialised research question of your choice related to therapy practice and to present it effectively.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
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