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MSc in Counselling Psychology Studies

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Keele University
School of Psychology
Contact Provider
School of Psychology, Keele University, Keele, ST5 5BG, Staffordshire, United Kingdom


Keele University, along with the University of Reading, was

the first Higher Education Institution to offer counsellor

training and has been delivering programmes in counselling

since the 1970s. The current Masters course is available on

a full-time or part-time basis, and provides a professional

training in counselling studies. This course is similar in all

respects to the MSc in Counselling Psychology except

that there is no requirement to undertake supervised

counselling practice and, as such would not constitute training to become a counsellor. However, the programme offers training in counselling skills to a Masters level and would be suitable for candidates who envisaged a career in counselling related fields.

This MSc in Counselling

PsychologyStudies is founded on a person-centred view of

personhood and person-centred ways of being. In this we

view the relationship in counselling as central, and support

Rogers’ belief in the ‘self-therapeutic capacity and wisdom

of clients’. However, we also take a strong anti-‘schoolism’

stance which reflects our sincere respect for other, nonperson-

centred practices and practitioners. Our starting

point for the Keele Counselling Model is thus a unifying

ethos which enables us to respect and welcome a diversity

of professional skills and orientations. This unifying ethos is

based upon the centrality of the relationship in counselling

and a belief in the ‘self-therapeutic capacity and wisdom

of clients’.

We employ a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies

including lectures, large group work, community meetings,

tutorials and small group work. Within this framework

students are introduced to a range of practices which

are related to relevant philosophical traditions including

existentialism, phenomenology and poststructuralism.

Throughout the course students are supported to establish

a sense of coherence in their own position.

The centrality of a secure and constantly reviewed ethical

position, based on the BACP Ethical Framework for Good

Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, is presented to

the programme members as a major personal responsibility.

We accept the overwhelming evidence of the theorists that

the major factor in helping human beings change in desired,

positive directions is a relationship in which they feel safe,

valued and challenged.

Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to equip successful students with

the knowledge and expertise to support their work in

helping professions. It aims to integrate students’ practical skills

with academic study at Masters

Level and to facilitate student learning in the three areas

of counselling psychology practice; professional practice,

theory, and self-development.

The programme offers to students a thorough theoretical

grounding in Counselling Psychology and introduction to

research methodology. The principles underpinning the

programme are empowerment, holistic development,

relationships and community.

Entry Requirements

The programme is open to graduates with a good degree or

equivalent, for example, professional qualifications. In some

cases where students have significant relevant experience

this requirement may be waived.

All successful applicants will demonstrate emotional

maturity and a capacity for sustained self-directed study,

the ability to present written exposition of information

and argument, to work experientially as a member of a

small group, an awareness of self and an awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression.

Applicants will need

to address these points in their personal statements in the

application form. Normally applicants will be interviewed.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English

must have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with at least 5.5 in

each sub-test (or equivalent).

Programme Structure and Content

The programme is taken full-time over one year or part-time

over two years. Students are required to take four 3 0-credit

taught modules (120 credits at level ), plus a research training

module (15 credits) and a 60-credit dissertation. – see below. All modules

must be passed for the award to the made (total of 195


Part-time students take all the 30 credit modules in Year 1 and the research methods

module and the dissertation in year 2.

In addition, students are required to have a minimum of 8 hours of

personal therapy

The programme begins with compulsory attendance at a residential weekend, (15 & 16 Sept 2012,) followed by a two week induction and attendance at the annual counselling conference which is also compulsory.


Taught Modules

• Exploration in counselling (30 credits)*

• Understanding in counselling (30 credits)

• Integration in counselling (30 credits)

• Practicum (30 credits)*

• Research methods (15 credits)

• Dissertation (60 credits) 15,000-20,000 words – The

preparation and submission of a dissertation will give

students the opportunity to research, in-depth, a

counselling topic or issue of interest to them.


Exit awards are available at Postgraduate Diploma level and, for those successfully completing

only the two modules indicated * below (60 credits) , the Postgraduate Certificate.


In addition, all students have tutor-led training in the practical

skills of counselling, as well as access to DVD for counselling

practice with peers and the production of case material for

critical analysis.

Students may apply for exemption from the

four taught modules if they have previously been awarded

a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling from

Keele University or equivalent..


All modules are assessed on the basis of coursework.

The pass mark for a module is 50%. The dissertation is a

piece of independent research written up in 15,000-20,000

words. Masters students attaining exceptional performance

(average of at least 70% including 70%+ for the dissertation)

may be awarded a Distinction.



Most students will be self-funded, though some may receive

a contribution to their fees from their employers. Students

should be aware that in addition to their fees they will also be responsible for the payment of their personal therapy


Career Destination Information

Successful Masters students will be able to seek

postgraduate posts in a wide range of fields such as the

NHS, private industry and public service.


F T & EU: £6,500 OS: £13,750 Tuition Fees for 2014/15

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