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This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.

Therapeutic Counselling and Psychotherapy MA

This course is designed for professionally qualified counsellors who wish to take their knowledge and skills to the next level.  


A two or three year programme. We recommend that you apply to complete in three years and reassess your completion date towards the end of the first year depending on your available time for study.


Entry Requirements

A degree or Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling, which will have typically included 450 tutor contact hours and a clinical practice requirement of at least 100 hours, is required for entry to the programme. If applicants hold a Diploma in Counselling they will normally be required to hold a first degree in another subject 2:1 or above.


Entry Points

Students enter the programme at the beginning of the academic year in September.


Mode of Study

This programme is taught in two or three day blocks, depending on the module, with residential option (subject to availability).


Dates and fees of programme



Programme Content

Students taking this programme will complete three modules in years 1 and three in year 2.  You will have the option of taking the Research Dissertation either in year two or as a stand-alone module in year three.

  • Counselling and Spirituality*
  • Counselling Integration and Theological Perspectives
  • Systemic Therapy with families, couples and individuals
  • Complex issues in Counselling: areas of avoidance, blocks and impasses
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy Supervision
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychological Disorders: theory and practice
  • Trauma, Abuse and Dissociation
  • Transcultural Counselling
  • Research Dissertation (completed in years two or three)

* This module is mandatory and must be taken in either years one or two.



This programme is validated by Middlesex University.  It is level 7 of the Higher Education Framework and upon successful completion, will amount to 180 credits.



Students are required to complete written assignments, exams and journals during the programme.


Description of Modules
Counselling and Spirituality
Counsellors working within faith communities are inevitably faced with the interface between Christian spirituality and counselling.  This module provides students with the further opportunity to reflect on the relationship between spirituality, counselling and spiritual direction and to increase understanding and deepen awareness of the tensions that inevitably arise in work within church, pastoral and counselling settings.  The module will also further explore counselling and spirituality which is non-faith specific, and consider relational dynamics in transpersonal counselling.
Counselling Integration and Theological Perspectives
This core integrative module will enable students to review and build upon their previous and current learning and experience across the fields of psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, and consider how to develop a dialogue between this learning/experience and Christian theological understandings of human beings.

Students will be enabled to critically review theological and practical issues relevant to the Waverley Integrative Framework of Counselling and their own developing personal integrative philosophy of counselling.  They will also be assisted to reflect to the person of the counsellor, and of the therapeutic relationship as a means to further integration for the person of the client, and their own ongoing journey in the areas.

Systemic Therapy with families, couples and individuals
This module is designed to deepen the student’s understanding of the Systemic Therapy approach and to develop awareness of clinical interventions with families, couples and individuals.  The module will assist students to critically review the body of knowledge of Family and Systemic Psychotherapy (FSP).
Complex Issues in Counselling: areas of avoidance, blocks and impasses
This module builds on students’ previous training and clinical experience, and looks at common areas of potential struggle, avoidance, blocks, ruptures and difficulty relevant to counselling practice.  It is intended to offer students a supportive yet challenging setting to expand and deepen their capacity to learn, reflect, practise and work clinically in these areas.
Counselling and Psychotherapy Supervision
Supervision is a formal arrangement for counselling practitioners to discuss and evaluate their work with someone who is external to the counselling relationship in order to maintain the standards of therapy.  The overall aim of this module is to equip students with the necessary skills, knowledge and professional development to enable them to provide competent supervision to counsellors in clinical practice.

The counselling profession recognises that practitioners are expected to have gained approximately 350 hours of client work before commencing supervision training.  This is therefore an optional module and students will be required to provide evidence that they have reached the level of clinical experience necessary in order to undertake this module.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Psychological Disorders: theory and practice
This module aims to build on and deepen the students’ previous learning and experience of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.  The module will enable students to gain an in-depth understanding and critical awareness of the skills and strategies utilised in CBT for a variety of psychological disorders and recognise the complexity of their use in the clinical setting.  In addition, this module will assist students to critically review the body of the knowledge of CBT.
Trauma, Abuse and Dissociation
This module builds on students’ previous learning and their client experience.  Since issues of trauma, abuse and dissociation are quite common in counselling clients and may not always be apparent at assessment, this is an important area in which all counsellors require awareness, knowledge and skills.  This module is designed to assist the student critically develop their knowledge base: theory, approaches and skills.  For some counsellors, trauma, abuse and/or dissociation are or have been personally significant, but by this stage in their development, the risks of training and working in more depth in this area should be balanced by more highly developed self-awareness and mature self-care.
Transcultural Counselling
Counselling and psychotherapy practice requires adaptability to work across cultures.  Those from minority cultures may be more likely to face socioeconomic and other difficulties, which sometimes make them more vulnerable and more likely to seek counselling.  In most settings counsellors will regularly need to work across cultures with clients and/or in supervision, and in some settings, such in work with refugees and displaced persons, transcultural work may predominate.  Additionally, particularly in Christian contexts, travel to or return from volunteer or mission work contexts sited among other cultures with whom they may have strongly identified, sometimes in unplanned ways, may create particular difficulties which may benefit from counselling.  This module therefore aims to build on and deepen the trainee’s previous learning, experience and reflection in this area, to build their transcultural competence.
Research Dissertation
This module enables the student to build on their knowledge and clinical practice by framing a research question of interest and relevance to them personally.  It requires them to build on their knowledge and understanding of research methods, their advantages and limits, in order to evaluate the literature, choose an appropriate methodology and carry out a substantial empirical research project at the forefront of the field of counselling and psychotherapy.  The student will critically assess and form a systemic understanding of the knowledge base in the subject area in a literature review, and demonstrate how their research relates and contributes to this.
Entry Requirements
  • Counselling training to degree level or DipHE, which will have typically included 450 tutor contact hours and a clinical practice requirement of at least 100 hours
  • If you have counselling training to DipHE level, a first degree in another subject is normally required at level 2.1 or above

Waverley Abbey College, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham GU9 8EP


For further information

If you require further information on this, or any of our programmes, email: or call 01252 784731