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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


Applications for September 2022 are now closed. Admissions for September 2023 will open in October.

The MA Counselling and Psychotherapy top-up course is aimed at students who have completed a BACP-accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy or equivalent professional training. (Equivalent to 120 credits).

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 for the PG Diploma is one afternoon/evening per week.  The final MA year can be carried out at distance.

Students take an independent study approach, supported by individual academic supervision and online workshops on research methodology. 

The final award is an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy with advanced standing of 180 credits. 

We 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 individual clients.

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.

What makes this course different

BACP logo

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.

Students chatting

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.

Students in class

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  been ranked equal first in the country in terms of the impact of its research, beating Oxford and Cambridge.

The 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 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 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. 

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.


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.

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up to date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change. 




Please note: teaching takes place over two academic years on a part-time basis, one day a week, which remains the same for the two years you are with us (plus three Saturday workshops each academic year).  The cohort for 2021 met at the Stratford Campus on either Wednesdays or Thursdays. 

There is no facility to complete this course full-time.  Because we are BACP accredited, the course must be completed in full and we do not accept any prior qualifications gained in counselling and psychotherapy.  However, that experience may well strengthen your application.

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.'


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.


Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Professional Psychology.

Read more

Gordon Jinks

Gordon Jinks is Head of Programme for the PGDip and MA Counselling & Psychotherapy.

See full profile


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 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."

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.