Postgraduate study

Counselling MCouns, PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MCouns, PgCert, PgDip

Programme website: Counselling

This programme aims to foster the development of critically reflective practitioners who are able to work in a variety of settings with a broad range of people. It is founded in dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives in counselling.

The Master of Counselling is validated professionally by Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA) at Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma levels. It is a flexible, student-centred training process with a strong emphasis on practice, including a counselling placement.

A distinctive feature of this degree is its focus on the student’s individual counselling practice with clients, which normally begins in year two.

Accreditation

The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling is a professionally accredited programme that allows you to practise counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, and in other countries where equivalence in qualifications is recognised. Successful completion of this programme, followed by post-qualification practice and supervision, enables you to apply for individual accreditation as a counsellor or psychotherapist with a UK professional body.

Teaching and learning methods include experiential group work, supervised practice, theory seminars and independent study. A distinctive feature is the system of individual tutorials.

Assessment methods combine essays with seminar presentations, self and peer assessments, placement-based assessment, the professional portfolio and the dissertation.

The programme provides a high level of student-tutor contact and close supervision of both counselling practice and research, in line with professional and academic requirements.

Students who successfully complete the programme will:

  • be reflective, self-aware, safe, accountable and competent counsellors
  • have a sound knowledge base of theories and research on the development of the person, group process, therapeutic relationships and processes, and the role of counselling in society
  • possess highly developed and transferable interpersonal, conceptual and analytical skills, including critical thinking, self-evaluation and research skills

The Master of Counselling allows students to gain employment in a variety of contexts where this unique combination of interpersonal, therapeutic, self-reflective and analytical skills is highly valued.

Postgraduate Certificate

The Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies enhances your career prospects in a variety of fields that use listening skills, such as healthcare, social work or education. It is also an excellent foundation for further specialist therapeutic training in the UK or abroad. In addition, the general skills you gain (such as communication, research and project management) will be of use in any professional or academic role.

Postgraduate Diploma

The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling is a professionally accredited programme that allows you to practise counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, and in other countries where equivalence in qualifications is recognised. Successful completion of this programme, followed by post-qualification practice and supervision, enables you to apply for individual accreditation as a counsellor or psychotherapist with a UK professional body.

Masters

Many employers today require masters qualifications for management positions in counselling and psychotherapy. With the Master of Counselling, you can join the many Edinburgh graduates who now hold senior positions in the field, and contribute to the development of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK and across the world.

As a graduate, you could also gain employment as a counsellor and psychotherapist working in the statutory, voluntary/non-government and private sectors. You can enter private practice, or use your counselling training and allied skills in communication and project management to enhance your career in a related profession, such as healthcare, social work, nursing or education.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

You should demonstrate a high level of motivation through your personal statement, indicating why you wish to study counselling, and demonstrating an understanding of counselling and the capacity to reflect on personal aptitude for work in this field.

We will also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with a strong personal statement and relevant experience or references confirming aptitude for study at postgraduate level.

We may also consider your application if you have other professional qualifications or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Progression from the first year of the programme requires an interview designed to determine your professional suitability.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 08/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Professional supervision

Students undertaking the PgDip or MCouns in Counselling are required to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of professional supervision in relation to their placement practice. Students may need to pay for this supervision of their counselling practice. See the programme website for further information:

Tuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG