Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences

Programme structure

Study is offered either full or part-time, and comprises a blend of compulsory components and a wide range of optional courses.


Compulsory Courses

The programme comprises 2 compulsory courses (40 credits), a dissertation (60 credits) and 80 credits from a wide range of options.


Encountering Health Humanities and Arts

This interdisciplinary course invites students to explore and critically analyse key developments in Health Humanities and Arts through experiential, innovative and collaborative methods. The field of Health Humanities is closely linked to (Critical) Medical Humanities, and to Sociologies, Anthropologies and Geographies of health and illness. This core course supports students to articulate and contribute to debates about the naming – and implications of naming – disciplinary fields in this still-developing area. The course builds on this critical stance to examine some of the ways in which arts and humanities approaches have been enrolled to think through, respond to and transform health in its broadest sense. This incorporates critical engagements with policy processes, practice development, as well as health and medical research.  We explore how far arts and humanities approaches might offer creative and intellectually stimulating ways of (re)conceptualizing and (re)presenting health, illness and disability; whether and how they can improve knowledge of individual and community experiences of health and illness whilst challenging structural issues in society.


Humanities and Arts-informed Research Methods in the Social Sciences

This core research training course will provide a systematic and critical introduction to a range of humanities and arts-informed methods that are being used across the social sciences.  It will introduce students to various theoretical foundations for this type of work and to specific issues that may arise through the use of humanities and arts-informed methods, including ethical issues and questions around analysing and presenting the resulting data. Students will use this course to explore a range of different methods in relation to their own research interests and plans. Approaches will vary according to staff availability but may include: narrative and story-telling as method, poetry, documentary film, design, and visual/photographic methods.


Dissertation (MScR Health Humanities and Arts)

This course gives students the opportunity to carry out an original piece of research to deepen their knowledge on a topic related to Health Humanities and Arts. Research projects can draw upon a range of humanities, arts-informed and/or collaborative methodological approaches and be presented in a range of forms in line with the themes of the programme, related to a small, delimited study. They can also be both wholly or largely library or document-based. The design of the research, how it is to be carried out, including reflecting on and minimizing any potential ethical issues related to the research, will be undertaken in close consultation with a dissertation supervisor and with the advice of the dissertation course organiser.

Optional Courses

Option courses can be selected, in consultation with the Programme team, from a wide range of subject areas dependent on interest and previous experience and studies. Students will choose one further research course from a selected range, along with two further option courses from across the University.

Examples of courses that may be available include, Health Humanities and Documentary Film, Critical Perspectives on Mental Health, Poetry and Psychotherapy, Health Management and Management of Health, Landscape and Wellbeing, Literature, Reading and Mental Health, Autoethnographic Research Methods in the Social Sciences, Philosophy of Well-being, Anthropology of Health and Illness and the Sociology of Health and Illness. Course availability will vary each academic year.