Postgraduate study

Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) MCouns

Awards: MCouns

Study modes: Full-time

This programme is a two year, full-time professionally-accredited postgraduate qualification in counselling. It is an accelerated version of the well-established Master of Counselling (MCouns), which is offered over four years part-time.

The programme is specifically designed for international students, with significant professional experience in related fields, who are seeking to gain a fully accredited professional qualification in counselling in the United Kingdom.

Combining academic rigour with high quality professional training, the programme provides unique opportunities for training, learning and research in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

The award of this degree allows graduates to practise as counsellors or therapists in the UK and in other countries with equivalent professional and academic standards.

The programme is founded in dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives in counselling. It involves substantial placement practice (internships) with counselling clients.

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 Master of Counselling 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.

The Master of Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) enables graduates to practise as counsellors or psychotherapists in the UK, and in other countries with equivalent professional and academic standards.

Graduates can gain employment as counsellors and psychotherapists working in the statutory, voluntary/non-government and private sectors, or can use their counselling training to enhance their career in a related profession such as health care, social work, nursing, or education.

Increasingly, employers are seeking masters qualifications from applicants for management roles in counselling and psychotherapy, and graduates will be well positioned for these opportunities.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a subject relevant to counselling and psychotherapy. You should also have substantial relevant experience of working in helping roles in counselling or a cognate area, such as education, social work, nursing, mental health practice, applied psychology or equivalent.

We will also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a subject relevant to counselling and psychotherapy with references confirming your aptitude for study at postgraduate level.

If your undergraduate degree is not relevant to counselling and psychotherapy, you may be admitted at the discretion of the programme director as long as you meet the personal and professional suitability and relevant experience requirements laid down by the British professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Check the programme website for more information:

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 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass 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 on the Master of Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) are required to undertake a minimum of 30 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:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

There will be two application rounds. Each round involves two stages.

Round Stage Deadline
Round 1 Stage 1 1 February 2019
Round 1 Stage 2 22 February 2019
Round 2 Stage 1 29 March 2019
Round 2 Stage 2 26 April 2019

Stage one of each round requires you to submit the online application by the deadlines shown below. Following submission, applicants who have met the required entry criteria for Stage one will be invited to proceed to Stage two and the relevant application documentation will be provided by email.

More information about the stage two application process, the application deadlines and interview dates can be found on the programme website.

Please submit your Stage one application online.

Applicants who are selected following Stage one will be invited to proceed to Stage two. The relevant documentation for Stage two will be emailed to those applicants.

Stage two allows us to assess professional and personal suitability for the programme. You will be asked to provide a personal statement and a professional reference. Stage two also includes an interview which can be conducted in person, by telephone or webcam / Skype.

More information about the application process, the applications deadlines and interview dates can be found on the programme website.

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

Further information

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG