Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences


The structure of the MSc by Research in Counselling Studies.

Taught Courses

  • Between Counselling and Research 1: Approaches, Issues and Debates
  • Between Counselling and Research 2: Qualitative Research Design and Methods (NB: Exceptionally, students may substitute a quantitative methods course from the Graduate School of Social and Political Science)
  • Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection (or equivalent)
  • Core Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Research (or equivalent)
  • One research training option course

Other components

  • Dissertation - normally a 15,000 word full research proposal which can serve as the basis for PhD/MPhil study.

Additional information 

The MSc by Research is a postgraduate degree designed to provide research training in counselling and psychotherapy. It consists of five taught research training courses (four core compulsory courses and one option course), totalling 100 credits and a research-focussed dissertation of 80 credits.

The research training course portfolio contains both subject-specific research courses in the field of counselling and psychotherapy (40 credits) and generic social science research courses (40 credits) and, additionally, an optional course which may be more generic or specific to the student’s research field, as required.

MSc by Research students are also welcome to audit other courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy, or other courses in the School of Health in Social Science, the Graduate School of Social and Political Science and other cognate disciplines.

The MSc dissertation provides the opportunity to thoroughly research and develop an original and engaging research question, producing as a result a full proposal for PhD/MPhil research. Full guidelines for the dissertation are provided in the relevant handbook.

Dissertations are 15,000 words in length and are submitted by the end of the August following the September in which the student commenced study. While working independently to develop their research proposal, the student is supported throughout by a dissertation supervisor.

MSc by Research students are appointed a supervisor, chosen on the basis of the compatibility of their background in both therapeutic practice and research to the student's proposed area of research. The student and supervisor meet regularly throughout the period of study, with the focus and content of supervision meetings negotiated jointly by both parties, depending on the student's learning needs.

MSc by Research students attend and contribute to Counselling and Psychotherapy and School Research seminars throughout their studies, including the annual Counselling and Psychotherapy research student conference in May. All students are encouraged to present their research at national and international conferences and to publish their research findings in relevant peer-reviewed journals.