Counselling MSc/PGDip/PGCert


Course facts

  • Name: Counselling
  • Qualification: MSc/PGDip/PGCert
  • Duration: Two years as a full-time student

The MSc in Counselling aims to prepare you to take an active role as a member of the professional counselling/ psychotherapy community. This course explores a range of psychological approaches and therapeutic methods to provide holistic training in counselling adults. You will learn about the Humanistic approach and Person-Centred therapy, Psychodynamic approach and Psychoanalytic therapy, Behavioural approach and Behaviour therapy, and Cognitive approach and Cognitive therapy. You will also be introduced to several integrative approaches, such as CBT, REBT, and TA. In addition, you will take part in practical activities to develop your communication skills and help you to introduce the therapeutic techniques into your practice. This extensive curriculum will equip you to work with adult clients across various settings, and provide you with a toolkit of evidence-based techniques and relationship-focused methods. This course will also include a solid foundation in Psychology and Research, so that you will graduate with all of the skills needed to apply for doctorate level study or work in an empirically-based practice. 

Additional Course Costs:

Additional costs may also be charged as follows: Enhanced DBS check (approx. £65).

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

During the first year of the course, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of psychology, counselling, research, and mental health through the following modules:

  • Research Skills (10 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Therapeutic Process and Context (20 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Communication Skills (10 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Approaches and Therapies 1 (20 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Research Methods and Statistics (10 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing (20 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Counselling Skills (10 credit) Core and Compulsory
  • Approaches and Therapies 2 (20 credit) Core and Compulsory

During the second year of the course, you will have a unique opportunity to elect two modules from the wide range of options available in the School of Psychology. These options may include courses in Mindfulness, Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Applied Behaviour Analysis. This additional specialised training will give you an extra advantage as a counselling graduate, and will further equip you with the skills needed to excel in your career.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Our MSc in Counselling will use a range of teaching methods to provide a challenging and engaging learning environment. You will attend lectures introducing the core theories, be supported through computer labs, watch video demonstrations of counselling in action, participate in workshops simulating counselling and supervision, debate important and controversial issues in the field, and receive regular one-to-one support from your personal tutor. Your assessments on the course will also be varied and diverse, and they will include essays, on-line quizzes, oral exams, presentations, and research reports. You will receive support and guidance for all of these assessments, as we work with you to ensure that every individual has an opportunity to excel.

Research Thesis

Our MSc in Counselling includes an empirical research project in the field of counselling. Our two-year course will provide you with enough time to develop your research skills, design a project, obtain ethical approval, run your study, and write up your research thesis. Research is an essential skill for a career in counselling, as more workplaces demand that their counsellors are able to empirically test their interventions and evidence their impact on clients. Our research training will help you to develop these skills and your research thesis will demonstrate that you are able to work as an empirically-based practitioner.

Counselling Placement

Our MSc in Counselling requires that you complete a core counselling placement of 150 supervised face-to-face counselling hours and 50 hours of work based practice. After learning the foundations of ethics, boundaries, and communication skills in the first semester, you will be expected to begin your placement at the start of the second semester in your first year. You will then need to complete all of your hours before graduating from the course in order to gain the MSc in Counselling. You will be provided with support and guidance in identifying a suitable placement, but the responsibility for obtaining a placement and completing all required hours remains with the student. You will also be responsible for ensuring that every month of practice is supported by at least 1.5 hours of supervision by an appropriate counselling supervisor (please be aware that you may need to pay for the services of a supervisor, if sufficient supervision is not provided within your placement). Supervised practice and work-based learning hours are a core requirement of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Entry Requirements

You must have one of the following academic qualifications:

  • 2ii or above undergraduate degree in psychology or counselling (or closely related) subject
  • OR 2ii or above undergraduate degree in unrelated subject AND certificate in counselling
  • OR relevant professional experience AND evidence of academic capability to postgraduate level

If the student has English as a second language, then they will also be required to hold an IELTS of 7 and exhibit clear evidence of communication skills through the medium of English in the interview. This is an essential professional requirement.

Students will also be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and the acceptance on the course will depend on their fitness to practice with vulnerable adults.

Applicants must pass a structured interview assessing suitability for the course and professional practice as a counsellor. This structured interview is a requirement of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

International Students

This course does accept applications from overseas students (Non-EU) but overseas students should note that they will have to attend Bangor University to take part in interviews which will be held in June – due to the professional requirements of the course it is NOT possible to have Skype type remote interviews. IELTS of at least 7.0 required.


Admissions to the programme are made using Bangor’s online application system.

For this course, the application process will be as follows:

  • Applications accepted throughout the year, but we advise you to apply before 1st June after which we will start to shortlist and schedule interviews with the course having a maximum capacity. Once that is reached no more applications will be able to be considered for that years entry though we may revisit them if places become available due to withdrawal/deferral.

For applications received by 1st June 2019:

  • Week after the 1st June: All applications received to date will be reviewed together
  • Week of 10th June: Selected applicants will receive an invite to interview and applicants not selected for interview will be notified (please check emails/post)
  • Week of 1st July: Interviews will be held in Bangor and although we can’t guarantee the ability to reschedule for allocated time we are committed to make every reasonable attempt we can to be flexible for those with real problems in making their original date. All applicants (including overseas applicants) will have to come to Bangor for interview as, due to requirements of the professional accrediting body, we can NOT offer remote interviews via Skype etc.
  • Week of the 8th July: Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified.
  • Ongoing: Applications received after the 1st June 2019 will be consider in the 2nd recruitment round if places are still available and interviews will take place in late August/Early September.

Careers and Employability

One in four adults experience at least one mental health difficulty in any given year and mental health issues account for the largest single cause of disability in the UK (Mental Health Taskforce Strategy, Feb 2016). The NHS has committed to a transformation of mental health care across the UK and pledged to invest more than one billion pounds a year by 2020/21. As a result of this commitment and the increasing need for mental health support, employment opportunities in counselling are likely to expand in the near future. Graduates from this course will be particularly well equipped to succeed in this growing market.

Research / Links with Industry

The academics involved with this MSc have extensive research links with external bodies and companies, which are fully utilised in ensuring that the modules are relevant to the modern work and research environment graduates will enter.


There are School funded achievement scholarships for first class students, international scholarships and information on other funding sources on our scholarships School page.


Fees for this programme vary over the two years and there are additional costs to take into account. Please see the University Fees page for more details.  

Additional Costs

Additional costs may also be charged as follows:

  • Enhanced DBS check (approx. £45)
  • 1.5hrs supervision for every month of practice/placement
  • 15hrs of personal therapy to be completed during the two years on the course
  • Student membership of BACP (approx. £80)
  • Should also consider travel (including to and from placement), books, stationery, printing, binding, and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Please note that all additional costs quoted are approximate at time of publication and subject to change by the external organization concerned. Hourly costs for supervision and personal therapy can vary based on a number of factors, but will typically fall within a range of £35 to £75 per session.

Further information

Next steps