Advanced Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies

Part-time study available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Advanced Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies at Salford


Gain advanced skills in critical evaluation for complex psychotherapeutic situations


Benefit from up-to-date thinking from experts in theory, practice and research


Conduct publishable research that creates real impact

Course Summary

This course will enable you to:

  • Gain an advanced expertise in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Become a practitioner who is capable of working effectively with a wide range of clients, together with a range of psychological problems of varying degrees of severity
  • Become a practitioner who is capable of making autonomous professional decisions in complex circumstances
  • Become a practitioner who has a critical understanding of the theoretical knowledge which underpins practice and has the ability  to critically appraise research evidence

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

Course Details

Course Structure

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. The course will provide contexts to your work, from different perspectives that will enable you to consider more complex needs than is possible during initial Counselling and Psychotherapy training. Whatever your chosen focus of practice, each module will challenge you to extend your ability to critically inform the rationales for your work with clients at an advanced level.

Year 1

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 to 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.
This module will support you in identifying types of presentations (including underlying) that may require more long term counselling and psychotherapeutic interventions. It will present you with opportunities to develop an advanced capacity for describing and critique experientially contextual factors affecting the development of long term psychotherapeutic needs. The module will also help you identify and appraise different models of intervention and their relationship and appropriateness to longer term needs.

Year 2

This module will facilitate your development in critically examining the theoretical and practical issues of working briefly in counselling and psychotherapy. It will offer you opportunities to critically examine contextual issues of working briefly, and to appraise a range of approaches to and models of brief counselling and psychotherapy. The module will support you in gaining advanced skills in critically evaluating theoretical and practical issues involved in developing a personal model of brief counselling and psychotherapy, through critically appraise research into the efficacy and effectiveness of brief counselling and psychotherapy interventions.
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.

Year 3

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 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.

Entry Requirements

Normally 2:2 Hons degree or equivalent.

Evidence of professional membership (BACP/UKCP or equivalent) and currently in practice as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist.

You will need to have a professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy.

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

Year 2 - Entry with credits degree and evidence of professional membership, currently in practice as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist and:

Either: Up to 60 credits of M-Level modules that are related to Counselling/Psychotherapy OR being an accredited member of professional body and currently in practice. 

Year 3 - MSc entry PGDip in Counselling, evidence of current professional membership, currently in practice as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist.

If you do not hold these entry requirements, you may be interested in applying for our BSc Counselling and Psychotherapy: Professional Practice programme.

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

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).

English Language Requirements

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

Suitable For

You will be a practicing Counsellor and/or Psychotherapist, with professional membership. You will be motivated to study Counselling and Psychotherapy at an advanced level, and to deepen your knowledge and critical thinking skills. You may have aspirations to influence policy-making, commissioning and service delivery as well as to strengthen your own practice.

Applicant profile


This award is aimed at meeting the needs of qualified counsellors who have already completed a 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


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 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

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Programme Leader: Dr Anthony Hickey - Academic Profile

Module Leader for Module 1: Helen Millar – Academic Profile


Career Prospects

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.

Alumni Profile

Links with Industry

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-timeHome/EU: £5,100; International: £13,300
Part-timeHome/EU: £1,700 for year 1
Full-time PgDipHome/EU: £3,400; International: PgDip £8,870
Full-time PgCertHome/EU: £1,700; International: PgCert £4,435

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,230 per 30 credit module

Scholarships and Bursaries

The Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships for 2017-18 entry are currently under review and subject to change. A revised schedule of scholarships and bursaries will be published in Spring 2017.


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.