DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy

About the Course

Course Duration
4 years.
Available Study Modes
Intensive Study, Saturday Weekly or Wednesday - Weekly

Course Description

The Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy by Professional Studies is a joint programme between NSPC and Middlesex University.  It is designed for students who have obtained the Graduate Basis for Chartering of the British Psychological Society.

The philosophy of this programme is existential.  This  means that the focus of students’ practical work will be on understanding the human predicaments of their clients in a philosophical way. It draws on the work of existential and phenomenological thinkers and on the practice of existential psychotherapy. 

The course may be taken full-time, over 4 years, although a January start may extend the course by one term; or part-time for a longer period. For the first two years, students may participate as distance learners, attending on an intensive basis for blocks of study, or as weekly attenders, attending NSPC in London either on a Wednesday for three ten week terms, or on a Saturday.  Some of the modules may also be studied online with intensive online tutor support. Weekly attenders may also be required to attend some intensives.

The third and fourth years of the course are provided by 5 day intensives or, for some modules, online with intensive online supervision.

The final dissertation will therefore include a discursive, philosophical element and the research will usually be based on phenomenological enquiry.

The latest course fees are available here.

Entry Requirements

  • a good Bachelor's Degree in Psychology
  • Graduate basis for chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • An introductory course in psychotherapy and counselling such as the Foundation Course offered by the Existential Academy
  • Some counselling practice, either professionally or in a voluntary position, for instance with Childline or the Samaritans
  • Personal suitability for the course to be demonstrated at interview
  • Fluent English (ELTS for study score of 7.0 or TOEFL score of 87) 

Programme of Study

Year 1

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Practice
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Theory
  • Existential Practice
  • Existential Theory
  • Intro to Counselling Psychology Theory & Practice
  • Psychoanalytic Practice
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Year 2

  • Advanced Existential
  • Critical Psychopathology
  • Development Through the Life Span
  • Programme Planning/Research Planning
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Working with Gender, Sexuality & other differences in identities
  • Y2 Clinical Supervision 2/3
  • Y2 Clinical Supervision and case study 3/3
  • Y2 Research Supervision 2/3
  • Y2 Research supervision 3/3
  • Year 2 Clinical Supervision Term 1

Year 3

  • Advanced Research Seminar
  • Counselling Psychology Settings & Integration
  • Counselling Psychology Skills & Assessment
  • Families & Systems Therapy
  • Part 1 Research Project
  • Social, Cultural & Ethical Issues
  • Working with Gender, Sexuality & other differences in identities
  • Y3 Clinical Supervision 1/3
  • Y3 Clinical Supervision 2/3
  • Y3 Clinical Supervision and Case Study 3/3
  • Y3 Research Supervision 1/3
  • Y3 Research Supervision 2/3
  • Y3 Research Supervision 3/3

Year 4

  • Existential Group Training
  • Existential Supervision Training
  • Leadership Training
  • Preparation for Viva
  • Research Project Part 2 Final- Doctorates
  • Viva corrections
  • Working with Gender, Sexuality & other differences in identities
  • Y4 Clinical Supervision 1/3
  • Y4 Clinical Supervision 2/3
  • Y4 Clinical Supervision and Case Study 3/3
  • Y4 Research Supervision 1/3
  • Y4 Research Supervision 2/3
  • Y4 Research Supervision 3/3


Year of course

Modules to be completed in year

Fee payable per year

(if no modules have to be repeated)


8 modules over 3 terms



10 modules over 3 terms








Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

£100 per submission

NB You should also expect to pay for books, personal therapy, student membership of an accrediting organisation, and practice indemnity. If you are on the DCPsych and want UKCP accreditation, you will be required to take two additional modules not in this calculation. Students on doctoral programmes are eligible to apply for Student Finance.

Fees are charged per module as you take them, so costs are spread across each year rather than by an annual lump sum.

Words from Our Graduates

Excellent, great staff, good mix of students and interesting modules.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

The DCPsych changed my life and the direction of my career and allowed me to realise my life-long dream of becoming a psychological practitioner. The programme at NSPC, with its flexible and varied learning options, enabled me to fit in study with a busy career and family life. The quality of teaching was outstanding and the opportunity to explore a range of psychological-therapeutic theories enabled me to determine my own identity as a psychologist.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

It was a huge learning experience in so many levels. Lecturers were experienced practitioners willing to share their experiences. A well-structured programme with small classes

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

I was allowed to create my own style of practicing and thinking without insistence on archaic and unhelpful psychological theories. Digby’s neurological expertise mixed with Emmy’s philosophical expertise created an environment where science and philosophy could coexist and thrive. The admin team of Dawn and Sasha were always supportive.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate

The combination of rigorous academic engagement and experiential encounter Exercises, with the deep commitment in philosophy and existentialism, have prepared me for advanced professional work in both private and institutional practice. I’m very grateful.

DCPsych in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Graduate