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.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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:

Entry is subject to passing a professional suitability interview. As this is a professional training programme, students are subject to the University's Fitness to Practise policies and processes.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional porgramme costs

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 are two stages to the application process.

Stage one requires you to submit an online application.

Stage one application deadline: Friday 21st January 2022

More information about the stage two application process, and all deadline 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 will be conducted online.

More information about the application process, and all deadlines 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