MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy

The three-year MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, the first two years of which are accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), emphasises the integration of theory, research, practice, and a commitment to self-awareness to help you develop into a competent, creative and ethically-sound counsellor.

The programme has a long tradition of preparing students to be versatile and adaptable in their therapeutic practice to meet the individual needs of different client groups and work settings.

The MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy course facilitates students in developing a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of integrative counselling practice, with a view to them developing their own coherent, ethical and effective approach to counselling practice, which can be adapted for use in a wide range of settings for short and long term work. On completion, you will be ready to work as a trained integrative therapist.

The MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy is made up of two years training which covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of learning to be an integrative qualified counsellor/psychotherapist, plus a 3rd year completing the research requirements.

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C

The core integrative model taught is based on the relational pluralistic approach, comprising of three main elements: The Contemporary Relational Psychodynamic Approach, a Humanistic-Existential approach and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

Year One

Integrative Counselling Theory and Practice: Introduces the core model of the course (Relational and Pluralistic) and provides foundation theory and skills in humanistic/existential counselling practice - 20 credits

Applied Integrative Counselling Theory and Practice: Introduces foundation theory and skills of relational psychodynamic and psychosynthesis counselling. Students begin to learn to integrate approaches in applied practice with client issues - 20 credits

Personal and Professional Development: This module runs throughout the year and places emphasis on personal and professional development, group work and skills practice within a sound ethical framework - 20 credits

Year Two

Advanced Integrative Theory and Skills Practice: Introduces foundation theory and skills of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and third wave approaches, such as mindfulness and ACT. The module also offers an overview of mental health and how the theories taught on the course can be integrated and applied to practice - 20 credits

Advanced Applied Practice: The emphasis of this module is on integration and applied practice: showing students how the core integrative model taught can be used to work ethically with the range of client issues typically found in professional counselling practice. There is also a focus on developing research skill through the completion of a small-scale research project - 20 credits

Advanced Personal Development and Counselling Practice: This module runs throughout the year and places emphasis on personal development group work and skills practice within a sound ethical framework.

Year Three

In the final year, you’ll have the opportunity to choose between conducting an academic research dissertation and delivering a professional practice project in the community. Whichever you choose, it will need to be on a topic relevant to Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.

You will learn about a range of appropriate research, evaluation and project management methodologies and methods to support you in the development, implementation and completion of your final submission. You will be allocated a personal academic supervisor or project mentor to provide expert guidance, advice and support through the process


Classes include interactive theoretical lectures, experiential workshops, reflective practice groups, role plays, skills groups, and digital recording of skills sessions for assessment and presentations.

In addition, you will need to be in placement seeing ‘real’ clients and will have to complete a minimum of 100 hours of counselling practice by the end of your 2nd year.

There is a BACP requirement that you should have fortnightly supervision for your counselling practice and a minimum of 1.5 hours of supervision per month.

Years One and Two are taught over approximately 34 days each academic year which include weekend delivery.

We expect that students attend all teaching sessions, and there is a minimum requirement of 80% attendance in order to complete the course successfully.

In Year Three there are seven days of tutor facilitated teaching and learning and nine hours of direct dissertation supervision.


A range of assessments are used to test your knowledge, skills, self-awareness and practice ability.

Year One: Essays, skills assessments, a professional practice portfolio, and a personal development review. 

Year Two: Essay, skills assessment, a research proposal, a case study, a professional practice portfolio and a case discussion activity.

Year Three: 17,000-word Dissertation for summative assessment. There will also be formative assessment opportunities set throughout the year that support your progression towards your final Dissertation submission.


Placements may be available (by application/interview) in USW Therapy Centre, the USW counselling service for the local community which operates from the University counselling clinic facilities.

There is no formal requirement for a placement during Year Three.


A light, modern suite of rooms at Newport City Campus. IT and library facilities including access to appropriate data analysis software 

Personal Therapy 
During years One and Two students will be required to have therapy to help with their personal and professional development as a counsellor; you will need to arrange and pay for this yourself.

A course requirement is that students have a minimum of 10 hours of personal therapy for the first two years of the programme. 


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Integrative Counselling Skills or equivalent.

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Adult Workforce and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)

  • Two references uploaded with your application (one from your previous/current Counselling tutor)*

  • The criteria for a suitable placement will be discussed at interview and we will provide you with information about organisations who regularly accept integrative counselling students on placement. You will need to organise the placement for yourself but our placement team are available for advice and support.

  • The references must be on letter headed paper or the referee can send them direct from a professional/work email address to [email protected]


Interview Dates 2022

 An interview is required for this course. The interview process will involve the following, a brief demonstration of your counselling skills in role play format, group exercises, a brief one-to-one interview and a short written submission. This will include the time for you to ask questions and to find out in detail how the programme runs. Applicants are asked to allow approx half a day for this process. If you are selected to attend an interview we will contact you by e-mail to make a booking. We strongly advise that you book yourself onto the earliest interview date to avoid disappointment as the numbers are limited for each date and are filled on a first come first served basis.



Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Professional body student fees *
Cost varies depending on the organisation
Other: Personal Therapy * £25 - £55
10 hours therapy per academic year. Cost is per session.
Other: Professional Indemnity Insurance * £75 - £150
Cost varies depending on individual circumstances. Each year if not already covered.
Other: Personal Supervision * £30 - £65
Some agencies require you to pay for the supervision required in Year 1 & 2. Cost is per session.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


While more practice experience will be required to build the hours to achieve personal BACP accreditation, having successfully completed the formal training hours and assignments, graduates of the MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy will be ready to look for work in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Former students from the course have enhanced their career profile within their current employment or found new positions in the voluntary sector, in health settings, in Higher or Further Education, in Employment Assistance Programmes (EAPs), in business and in private practice.

The course has a good record of graduates developing portfolio careers, using their adaptable approach to work in a variety of settings. It is also possible to undertake further specialised training in order to work with children and young people.

Once you’ve completed the Masters, you will have demonstrated that you have an in-depth knowledge of integrative counselling, including specialist knowledge gained by your own research dissertation or applied professional project findings. This is likely to further develop your reputation and employability as a counsellor or therapist in the statutory, commercial and third sector. There may also be opportunities for you to progress on to a PhD.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.