MA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Counselling and Coaching
The MA Counselling and Psychotherapy top-up course is aimed at students who have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy or equivalent professional training.
You can also use it to build on previous counselling and therapy qualifications or training, or for an MA degree through independent research.
Students take an independent study approach, supported by individual academic supervision and workshops on research methodology.
The final award is an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy, with advanced standing of 120 credits for previous qualifications or training.
follow current research into what actually works in counselling and
psychotherapy, which means we use an integrative approach, employing a
variety of techniques to respond to the needs and preferences of
This three-year course (two years for the Diploma) is ideally suited to those with a part-time job, although it can also work for those with full-time commitments. The basis of study is one afternoon/evening per week.
Accredited by the BACP
Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since 1990, the longest running BACP accredited programme in the UK.
Focused on therapy
This programme has an Open System Integrative Approach that is founded on a secure evidence base for what works in therapy, rather than any particular modality or theoretical school.
A different approach
We have a strong emphasis on skills and the development of a collaborative therapeutic relationship, where the client is actively involved in developing the goals of their therapy, the ways their issues are conceptualised, and the approaches used.
What we're researching
UEL’s School of Psychology has just been ranked equal first in the country in terms of the impact of its research, beating Oxford and Cambridge.
The recently published Research Excellence Framework is a six-yearly review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
It rated 43 per cent of our research as ‘internationally excellent’ and a further 25 per cent as ‘world-leading’ – the highest accolade. It added that UEL’s School of Psychology was one of only four in the country whose research had a ‘100 per cent impact’ at the highest level.
Dr Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa researches the understanding of psychosocial wellbeing in the context of complex multi-dimensional problems such as addictions, trauma, migration or social change.
Dr Tim Lomas has explored the impact of meditation on men’s wellbeing, using a mixed-methods design comprising narrative interviews, cognitive testing, and EEG measurement.
Dr Christian van Nieuwerburgh is an internationally recognised academic and consultant whose ground-breaking research concerns his specialist area of coaching and mentoring, in which he conducts numerous international collaborations.
Dr Kate Hefferon’s work was the first to link participation in physical activity with post-traumatic growth. She has conducted several evaluation studies on the role of physical activity during and following breast cancer.
Among last year’s publications by Principal Lecturer Donald Ridley, who is a specialist in organisational development in the public sector in the former Soviet Union, are Safety management - the lessons of experience and The unspeakable and the sublime - the relationship between Stalin and Shostakovich.
Over the past few years Dr Aneta Tunariu has delivered psychological interventions in the UK and abroad working with disenfranchised young people to foster the development of positive identities, emotional resourcing and positive future perspectives.
Currently, Dr Tunariu is engaged in projects focusing on individual capacity for growth and resilience as a means of combating the risk of young people adopting radical belief systems.
Making a difference
UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.
Fees and funding
£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme
Postgraduate Loans (PGL)
The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,906 to taught and research masters students. It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.
Applications are made directly through Student Finance England
Whether you qualify depends on:
• if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
• your course
• your age
• your nationality or residency status
Full eligibility can be found here
Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.
The scholarship is open to full-time and part-time UK and EU students of taught postgraduate courses.
Find out more about full eligibility criteria and how to apply.Terms and conditions apply.
How we can help youDid you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree?
If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier. Below is some of the funding available to support you in your studies:
- Alumni Discount – up to 15% fee waiver
- Early Payment Discount – 5% fee waiver
- Asylum Seekers scholarship – 100% fee waiver
- Civic Engagement – £1,000
- Hardship Bursary – up to £2,000
- Sport Scholarships – Up to £6,000
- Team UEL – £1,000
Terms and conditions apply.
• By telephone
• In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
• Bank transfer
The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.
We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.
Phone: 020 8223 4444
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths.
What you'll study
We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.
- Counselling & Psychotherapy: Self, Skills and Theory 1 (core)
- Counselling & Psychotherapy: Self, Skills and Theory 2 (core)
- Counselling & Psychotherapy: Integration and Application 1 (core)
- Counselling & Psychotherapy: Integration and Application 2 (core)
MA ‘Top-up’ year
- Research Methods and Dissertation 1 (core)
- Research Methods and Dissertation 2 (core)
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, presentations, process reports and your dissertation. You will be assessed on your practical skills, on your personal journal and on your professional log, which is an ongoing record of your client work, supervision, personal development and training.Course specification
How you'll learn
The Diploma course is two years part-time, with teaching taking place one afternoon and evening each week (either a Tuesday or Thursday at UEL) and with 3 Saturday workshops each year.
The third year MA top-up is over one calendar year, part-time. You will have your own academic supervisor.
Once you have passed assessments in the first semester you will be eligible to secure a placement and start recording hours of supervised client work. If you have not reached 100 hours before the end of your second year you have another year to make up the total in order to qualify for your diploma.
A maximum group total of 25 in years one and two and 20 in year three will ensure you will benefit from an excellent student/tutor ratio.
Our teaching staff have extensive clinical experience and have written and published widely. Several have or still do contribute to the work of BACP committees.
You will develop your practical skills in our suite of six on-campus interview rooms with video recording and playback equipment. There is an emphasis on working in groups and the programme contains regular interactive structured exercises.
Other modes of learning include workshops, lectures, clinical supervision groups, personal therapy, individual tutorials, self-directed private study and assessed written assignments.
“Current research shows that the theoretical approach is by no means the most important thing in counselling and psychotherapy,” says Course Leader Gordon Jinks. “It’s about responding to the individual needs of the client sitting in front of you.”
What you'll learn
The course is designed to provide an education and training in an integrative approach to psychological counselling and therapy to a level appropriate for safe, ethical and effective practice.
Topics of study on the Diploma, which constitutes the BACP accredited training course, include: theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy; models for integration; theoretical frameworks (for example, person-centred, cognitive-behavioural, mindfulness based cognitive therapy and gestalt); and professional and clinical studies – including the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
You will also engage in practical skills training, personal development and clinical supervision; you will study social context/multiculturalism and common client presenting problems, including mental health issues.
If you choose to stay on for a third year to take your MA, your work will be based on clinical practice and an independent research project or dissertation.
Your future career
In recent years, around half to two-thirds of students leave after completing their Diploma (which is the professional qualification), with the remainder staying on for a final year of MA study.
In either case, you will be able to work towards the next level of professional standing by seeking individual accreditation within the BACP, which requires 450 hours of supervised working. Past students have attained this level two or three years after graduating.
Even if you do not go on to work as a counsellor or psychotherapist, this course is a strong supplement and support for work you may already be doing in health, social care or education.
Completing the course often leads to career progression. Many past students have returned to previous jobs while establishing and developing their own counselling practice as a second strand to their careers. In several cases this has proved successful enough to become their main source of employment.
“Many of our graduates become portfolio workers,” says Course Leader, Gordon Jinks. “They leave the course and carry on doing whatever they have been doing, but they also start doing some sessions as counsellors.
“Two, three, four years down the line they are spending more time on their practice than their other employment.”