DPsych Counselling Psychology


Program Description

Counselling Psychology DPsych

A pluralistic programme offering existential, phenomenological, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic approaches, with a strong focus on employability.

Key information

  • Name: Counselling Psychology
  • Qualification: DPsych
  • Level: Postgraduate
  • Study mode: Full time
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Tuition fees: £11,500 *
  • Scholarships: No *
  • Next start date: September 2018
  • Future start date: September 2019
  • Study abroad: No
  • Validation: This degree is validated by the Open University, UK

*For more information please refer to the fees and financial support sections below.


The DPsych programme aims to develop highly skilled, reflexive practitioner psychologists and researchers who will make a valuable contribution to the profession, both inside and outside the consulting room.

A successful graduate of the DPsych meets all the standards and competencies set out by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is eligible for registration and chartership with these bodies.

The DPsych programme is committed to producing practitioner psychologists who are well prepared to meet the needs of each client and to utilize individualized formulation and intervention, while never losing sight of the relationship at the core of the endeavor.

To support this, the DPsych offers training in three approaches to psychotherapy: existential-phenomenological, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic. The primary models of the programme are existential-phenomenological approaches to psychotherapy; these theories and practices are foundational influences in the history of UK counseling psychology. Existential-phenomenological approaches emphasize subjective lived experience; recognize the importance of dialogue; and take a holistic, relational view of human nature and its predicaments. These approaches are taught and practiced explicitly within two modules on the programme; however, their influence pervades many of the modules across our three-year training.

Trainees are also learning second-wave and third-wave cognitive-behavioral approaches to psychotherapy – CBT as the programme’s secondary model is taught within a further two modules. Trainees are required to undertake a cognitive-behavioral therapy placement during the course of the training, to enhance their employability in the practitioner psychologist marketplace.

A working knowledge of psychodynamic approaches to practice, as the programme’s third model, is offered in a further psychodynamic module. Learning these approaches supports our graduates in working with the dynamics and complexities that can arise, not only within therapeutic relationships, but also across professional relationships, and in organizations.

The DPsych programme is validated by the Open University, UK and accredited by the BPS for a five-year period.



The DPsych training takes place over three years of full-time study. Each training year consists of three trimesters of 10 weeks (including one reading week), with optional workshops, conferences and seminars throughout the year focusing on research and other specialist topics.

Attendance days are Mondays and Tuesdays for first-year students, Mondays for second-year students and Tuesdays for third-year students.

Additional information

Clinical Practice Placement

Throughout your training, you will undertake clinical practice placements for a minimum of one day per week, practicing as a trainee counseling psychologist under clinical supervision. Some trainees undertake additional external clinical supervision to support their practice during the course of the training. We provide a variety of workshops and seminars, together with weekly small-group tutorials throughout the year where client material can also be explored and discussed. Detailed placement records and supervisor evaluations are regularly reviewed by your dedicated personal tutor, to support your progress in developing clinical and professional competencies.

A CBT placement and a placement in an NHS setting are two of the programme’s placement requirements to support trainees’ future employability. Trainees are also encouraged to find placements that support existential and phenomenological ways of working throughout their training.

Our trainees work in a wide variety of placement settings, including but not limited to: NHS primary care and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services; NHS secondary care services; Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs); Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and other organisations working with children and young people, for instance in schools; third-sector organisations; psychotherapy departments and independent psychotherapy organisations; substance misuse services; eating disorder services, learning disability services; student counselling services; bereavement and hospice settings; and organisational settings and employee assistance programmes (EAPs).

The programme provides full support for trainees in sourcing and developing their placement portfolio throughout the programme via the personal tutor system and placements function.

Doctoral Portfolio

Your doctoral training culminates in the submission of a three-part doctoral portfolio, which is examined by viva voce. This doctoral portfolio consists of an introduction; your final third-year clinical practice paper; and a doctoral research thesis of no more than 40,000 words.


Year 1

  • Counselling Psychology Theory & Practice
  • Counselling Psychology Research I
  • Counselling Psychology Research II
  • Existential Approaches in Counselling Psychology
  • Cognitive-behavioral Approaches in Counselling Psychology
  • Ethical & Professional Issues
  • Counselling Psychology Settings & Contexts
  • Critical Psychopathology
  • Working with Difference & Discrimination
  • Year 1 Professional Practice

Year 2

  • Cognitive Behavioural Approaches 2: Third Wave
  • Psychodynamic Approaches in Counselling Psychology
  • Philosophical & Psychological Perspectives on Human Issues
  • Year 2 Professional Practice

Year 3

  • Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops I: Influencing and Leading
  • Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops II: Measurement & Evaluation
  • Advanced Counselling Psychology Workshops III: Specialisation & Employability
  • Doctoral Research Clinic
  • Viva Preparation & Independent Study
  • Clinical Seminar: Pluralistic & Integrative Working
  • Year 3 Professional Practice

Teaching & assessment

Study methods

The DPsych at Regent’s has been commended by the British Psychological Society for its collaborative approach to learning and for its creative, innovative teaching methods.

The ultimate assessment occurs in the form of a viva voce on your doctoral portfolio, which consists of an introduction; client study, process report, and reflection from Clinical Seminar in year 3; and a doctoral research thesis (maximum 40,000 words).

Programme Team

The DPsych programme has a team of experienced trainers, all of whom are also involved in clinical practice, and in research, writing, scholarship, and consultancy.

Dr. Elaine Kasket is the Head of Programmes for Counselling Psychology and is currently on sabbatical. Dr. Anna Butcher and Dr. Russel Ayling are the Course Leaders and currently Interim Heads of Programmes; Anna leads the academic side of the programme and Russel the research side. Dr. Isabel Henton is Senior Lecturer, Practice and Placements Lead, and currently Interim Course Leader. Professor Martin Milton is Professor of Counselling Psychology; Dr. Rosemary Lodge is Senior Lecturer; Dr. Andreas Vassiliou and Helen Damon are Lecturers.

We also regularly welcome a number of regular Visiting Lecturers, Guest Speakers, and staff from the wider faculty to the programme, who make important contributions to research supervision, doctoral thesis examination, and teaching.

Open University Validation

The DPsych Counselling Psychology programme is validated by the Open University.

Students with disabilities

Some classes are delivered in teaching rooms accessed by stairs. If you have a condition that affects your mobility and you require ground floor rooms or rooms with lift access, please notify Student Registry as soon as possible. You are also advised to contact the Disability Officer.

Entry requirements

In accordance with the BPS and HCPC standards and criteria for entry, applicants to the programme are required to meet the following entry requirements, which are assessed during the interview and selection procedure.

Academic requirements

  • A minimum of 2:1 psychology degree or above (in exceptional circumstances, such as for individuals who hold a Master’s or Ph.D. degree, we will consider a 2:2 award).
  • Reasonably substantive experience with face-to-face counseling work or other formal helping roles (e.g., ideally one year’s full-time equivalent though we consider the quality of the experience gained more important than the quantity).
  • In cases where the applicant has less clinical experience and/or does not have a letter of reference speaking directly to the applicant’s clinical skills, the applicant must have successfully completed a Certificate or Foundation course in counseling skills, or an alternative introduction to psychotherapy and counseling. Please note that Regent’s offers a foundation Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling.
  • Capacity to undertake doctorate-level research, as demonstrated through research experience/knowledge and academic skills as demonstrated in previously completed work.
  • High level of interpersonal skills and self-reflective capacities.
  • References.
  • A graduate basis for chartered membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society. [The GBC was previously referred to as GBR (a graduate basis for registration). Both will be accepted as proof of appropriate prior training.]
  • Clear understanding/expression of why training in counseling psychology is being sought.

English Requirements

We require proof of English Proficiency. For example, we ask for: A completed Undergraduate degree studied in English from a majority English speaking country. IELTS: 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component.

If you are in London, we offer all offer holders a free on-campus English diagnostic test. This test must be arranged in advance to book a test, please contact our Admissions Team. Please note, this is a diagnostic test for Regent’s University London only

This list is not exhaustive, we will review the English qualifications you have as part of your application and be in contact if we require anything further.

For applicants who wish to improve their English language proficiency, please see our English language courses.

Next interview date: TBC


Tuition fees are set for the University’s financial year which runs from 1 August to 31 July.

Fees September 2018

  • Annual tuition fee: £11,500
  • Thesis submission fee: £2,700
  • Home/EU fee: £1,000 (non-refundable)
  • Non-EU advance deposit: £4,000 (non-refundable)

Tuition fees are set for the University’s financial year which runs from 1 August to 31 July. Annual fees for students commencing studies in spring will span financial years. Spring and autumn fees will be invoiced at the rate applicable for that term.

Last updated Feb 2020

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About the School

Regent's University London is London's only independent, not-for-profit university, with a highly cosmopolitan community based in royal Regent's Park and Marylebone.

Regent's University London is London's only independent, not-for-profit university, with a highly cosmopolitan community based in royal Regent's Park and Marylebone. Read less