Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences

PhD Counselling Studies

The PhD/MPhil in Counselling Studies programme is an advanced research degree enabling students to conduct in-depth independent research on a topic of their choice, thereby contributing to the knowledge and evidence base for counselling and psychotherapy.

Start date

Recommended start dates are September and January. 

You should submit your application at least two months before the proposed start date.

Length of study Three years full-time, six years part-time
Programme director Jonathan Wyatt


Students who successfully complete the MPhil / PhD will have a number of important skills and capabilities.


PhD and MPhil study involves substantial independent research supported by an academic supervisor or supervisors.

Career prospects

A PhD or MPhil from the University of Edinburgh enhances the career prospects of professionally qualified counsellors, psychotherapists and practitioners using counselling skills in related fields, such as health care, social work or education.

Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements for the PhD/MPhil programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Before you apply

Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences is a small subject area, which specialises in qualitative, reflexive and critical research approaches.


Information about tuition fees for the PhD and MPhil programmes.

Apply now

We recommend that prior to application for this programme you contact the school to discuss your outline research proposal.

Beyond the programme

Students can return to the University to attend continuing professional development courses to support their ongoing professional development as counsellors and psychotherapists.

Related links

PhD by Distance

Scholarships and Student Funding Information