Research course

Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology

University of Surrey · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

Please see website for details.

Months of entry


Course content

The practitioner doctorate in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology trains high-calibre professionals who have a passion for the philosophical and epistemological foundations of the Reflective Scientist Practitioner identity and who believe in the importance of making a significant contribution to the field.

The programme is embedded within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS) that promotes an international, interdisciplinary and pluralistic attitude evident in the applied strengths of the School when it comes to research and clinical practice.

Moreover, the School of Psychology has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as ESF, Defra, the MoD, the Home Office, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, Surrey County Council and the EU. As it stands, we are one of the highest ranked Schools in the country for graduates entering employment, and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

The field of Counselling psychology is an innovative branch of applied psychology concerned with the promotion of psychological well being through a relational understanding of difficulties in living and persons’ subjective experience, values, and meaning as constructed through interactions with the world and other people.

In line with the field’s ethos and philosophical underpinnings to theory and practice, our programme is firmly rooted in phenomenological and humanistic traditions that conceptualise human existence in dynamic, relational, embedded, embodied, and temporal terms.

As such, during the first year you will be exposed to the philosophical underpinning of counselling psychology, which will include seminars on phenomenology and its relevance to the theory and practice of counselling psychology, intersubjectivity, embodiment, and temporality followed by person centred and existential/phenomenological approaches to the theory and practice of counselling psychology.

The second year will expose you to an in depth understanding of contemporary psychodynamic traditions and in year three you will gain a working knowledge of cognitive behavioural approaches that will include both 2nd and 3rd wave theories.

At the heart of this pluralistic attitude lie an emphasis on dialogue, reflexivity, and human relatedness as well as a focus on understanding subjective experience as it emerges out of a relational context that takes into consideration the social, political, economic, spiritual, and historical dimensions of living.

Our practitioner doctorate has been running for over 15 years and is the first training to be accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Our team comprises of counselling psychologists and psychotherapists who share a passion for the field and its unique place within the wider community of applied psychologies.

Our small cohorts (maximum 15 per year) allow us to ensure a high staff/student ratio and in depth monitoring of trainees development on all aspects of the training including provision and monitoring of clinical placements.

Upon successful completion it confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a counselling psychologist and BPS for as a chartered psychologist.

Information for international students

IELTS minimum overall: 7.0

IELTS minimum by component: 7.0

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
01483 686 509