Taught course

Psychotherapy and Counselling

University of Leeds · School of Healthcare

Entry requirements

  • A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in any subject or other proof of your ability to study at Masters level.

  • Proof of counselling skills. It’s essential that students have already completed a level 3 certificate in counselling skills or equivalent, so we can assume this level of practice and knowledge of the professional context of counselling. The level 3 course or equivalent should include 20-50 hours of practice with other students and tutor feedback.

  • Two satisfactory references, one of which must normally be an academic reference.

  • A level of maturity associated with personal reflection on a variety of adult and childhood experiences and developed interpersonal skills, to be assessed at interview.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling is a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited course. The programme offers a strong focus on high quality research and clinical skills training. It provides an opportunity to critically and creatively evaluate current theory and practice issues. Psychotherapeutic theory which prioritises the therapeutic relationship as the crucial factor will be critically examined and students will be encouraged to learn more about themselves in relationships, to develop their own approach to therapy based on their own values and beliefs. You will be able to deliver psychological therapy across different socio-cultural contexts considering the ethical and intersectional dimensions of your practice.

You will be equipped to work as a professional counsellor/psychotherapist and make independent clinical decisions in a variety of settings including complex and unpredictable situations. You will learn to carry out specialist psychotherapeutic assessments, communicate and present complex and sensitive information and gain knowledge of adult safeguarding procedures.

Your therapeutic learning community will consist of no more than 24 students per cohort. You will engage in experiential learning activities to develop your self- and intersubjective awareness when becoming a relational practitioner. This small group enables personal support from your peers and tutors to help with the emotional challenges of the learning experience. Many students bring a wealth of personal experience that helps them to reflect on a range of human issues.

In addition to the taught elements of the programme you must complete 100 supervised practice hours to become eligible for BACP membership. You must find your own placement but the practice placement unit are available to support you. Our practice placement unit have a comprehensive range of approved placement opportunities in a variety of clinical settings.

You’ll benefit from the knowledge of experienced counsellors, psychotherapists and practitioner psychologists, with senior levels of registration. Our teaching staff are also active researchers, with a range of specialisms. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to conduct independent in-depth research into a complex specialist area. In your final year, our innovative annual student conference gives you chance to share your research with peers.

You will benefit from

  • High quality and intensive clinical skills training enabling you to become effective relational practitioners.

  • Learning from a passionate academic team with psychotherapeutic interests include third wave behavioural and cognitive psychotherapies, the person-centred and existential not-knowing approach, pluralistic therapy and psychoanalytic and integrative approaches, with a specific interest in psychodrama.

  • Studies enriched by the active research of our staff who are currently researching counselling and psychotherapy teaching methods, eating behaviours or disorders, infant-mother mealtime interactions, global mental health, neurodiversity, inclusive therapy, pluralistic approaches to therapy, working with trauma, ethical conflicts for counsellors working in IAPT and the psychological aspects of learning and teaching online.

  • Options to exit the masters at different levels if required. You can leave after year one with a PGCert in Interpersonal Studies (no BACP registration eligibility or right to practice) or, after year two, with a PGDip in Psychotherapy and Counselling (at this stage you will be eligible to register as a member of BACP after successfully completing their Certificate of Proficiency exam).

Information for international students

  • This course is available to UK residents only.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

The MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling is a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited course.

Course contact details

+44 (0) 113 343 7200