Study modes: Full-time, Part-time
Programme website: Counselling Studies
This PhD programme is an advanced research degree enabling students to conduct in-depth independent research on a topic of their choice, thereby making a significant and original contribution to knowledge in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.
Counselling and psychotherapy specialise in qualitative, reflexive and critical approaches to research, and have particular expertise in practice-based research that draws directly on practitioners' own therapeutic work, on the client's experience of therapy, and in narrative, reflexive and auto-ethnographic methods.
We are especially keen to encourage research concerned with the interface between counselling, psychotherapy and social, cultural and political life.
Our research portfolio is highly interdisciplinary, integrating concepts, practices and scholarship from counselling and psychotherapy, psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, cultural studies, health and social care, and other social sciences.
Our interests include disability, gender, trauma, abuse, counselling children and young people, and sexualities.
You can read more about our research interests and publications on our website:
Recent successful PhD topics have included:
You will be assigned two supervisors with whom you will meet monthly. The second supervisor may be drawn from another discipline relevant to your research topic.
In the first year, you will attend epistemological and research methods courses.
You will also attend and contribute to counselling and psychotherapy research seminars and School research student seminars throughout your studies, including the annual Counselling and Psychotherapy Postgraduate Student Research Conference.
All students are encouraged to present their research at national and international conferences and to publish their research findings in relevant journals. You are also welcome to attend other selected courses in counselling and psychotherapy, as well as courses provided by other subject areas in the School, and in related disciplines across the University.
Studying at a world-class institution, you will benefit from outstanding resources to support your learning on this established and recognised programme.
The PhD by Distance is available to suitably qualified applicants in the same areas as our on-campus programmes: Clinical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Health in Social Science and Nursing Studies.
The programme allows students who are unable to commit to basing themselves in Edinburgh full time to study for a PhD in a field of Health in Social Science from their home country or city - however this is not intended to be a fully online distance learning programme.
Students enrolled on this programme will be expected to come to Edinburgh at least once per year of study to meet with their supervisors. The length and timing of these visits are negotiable but students should expect to spend at least two weeks at the University of Edinburgh during each year of study.
For further information on the programme (including entry requirements and how to apply) please see the school website:
A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.
We will also consider your application if your degree is in another subject but you have a professional qualification in counselling or psychotherapy.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Find out more about our language requirements:
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.
For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:
Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.