Frequently asked questions

USW Therapy Counselling Clinic room

Frequently asked questions about the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.

My undergraduate degree is not in psychology
To apply for the professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology you must have completed a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited course or conversion course, giving you eligibility to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC) with the BPS.

I have a Masters, but only got a 2:2 in my undergraduate psychology degree
You can still apply for the course, if you have a 2:2 in your undergraduate psychology degree, if you have since completed a Masters, with a 2:1 or higher for your dissertation.

I have a postgraduate certificate in counselling but it did not cover much or any CBT
You will need to evidence at interview that you have a basic understanding of CBT theory and grasp of foundation CBT skills. If your postgraduate certificate in counselling did not cover CBT, then you will need to do an Introduction to CBT course (further details of USW’s Introduction to CBT course contact the course lead)

I don’t have a postgraduate certificate in counselling but I use counselling / CBT skills in my work role
You will need to evidence the use of counselling and/or CBT theory and skills through your work role, e.g. evidence of CPD learning and an employer’s reference, which evidences your use of counselling /CBT skills in a helping role in a relevant field. As above, you will be also be required to complete the Introduction to CBT course.

I have already completed the postgraduate diploma in CBT or equivalent, will I still need to study the CBT modules
If you have already completed the postgraduate diploma in CBT or equivalent at level 7, you will not be required to do the CBT modules in year one of the course.

Can I count the practice hours I achieved as part of the postgraduate diploma in CBT?
You can only count the hours for your course if you rescind the original award / qualification as you cannot count hours twice.

I have already completed a Masters in Research or equivalent, will I still need to study the research module?
As above, you will not be required to undertake the research module if you can evidence you have studied the equivalent level and content.

Will I be able to change the topic of my research proposal if I am offered a place on the course?
While you will most likely develop your research proposal under supervision, the overall focus will remain the same to ensure that we have the expertise and supervisory capacity to supervise your project.

How do I structure the research proposal?
We have put together a guidance document to support you through this process, which can be found here.

Do I need to have a placement before I start the course?
If you have been offered a place on the course, we would encourage you to find a placement as soon as possible. However, you will not be able to count practice hours until your placement has been assessed as suitable by the placement officer and you have completed your five week readiness for placement assessment.

Can I use my place of work for my placement?
Yes many trainees are able to use their place of work for their placements. The same processes and procedures will need to be followed for work placements as voluntary placements.

Can I do a specialist placement in my first year?
Trainees are discouraged from doing specialist placements in their first year as we feel it is important to gain some good foundation experience first, so adult placements are encouraged in year one. However a specialist placement may be permitted by your placement tutor if you already hold a counselling qualification with experience of the particular specialist area or client group.

Does my supervisor need to be a Counselling Psychologist?
While you will need to have a minimum of 6 months supervision with a counselling psychologist during your training, you practice can be supervised by a supervisor with a recognised qualification who is accredited or registered with e.g. BPS, HCPC, BACP, UKCP.