Entry requirements for the Counselling Psychology (PsychD) programme

For 2023 entry 

The main round of interviews for the programme will take place in Spring 2023. To be considered for these interviews, applicants should apply as soon as possible.

Pre-requisites for application

  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society. Successful applicants to the PsychD who are in the process of gaining GBC will be made an offer to study that is conditional on them gaining GBC.
  • A minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent at undergraduate level. Applicants with a 2:2 may be considered if there is evidence of subsequent higher academic achievement, such as having a relevant master’s or doctorate (e.g. in psychology, social sciences or mental health).
  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7 with no element below 6.5 for applicants for whom English is not their first language.
  • Work experience in an emotionally demanding helper role that involves using counselling skills to provide face-to-face support to people experiencing psychological distress or mental health problems. This needs to be more in-depth than befriending, helpline work, shadowing or observing, for example, working as an assistant psychologist, wellbeing practitioner, support worker, counsellor or trained healthcare professional. Work experience can be gained in an employed or voluntary capacity but should consist of at least 6-12 months of continuous experience, prior to application, and working at least half a day per week in a relevant setting.
  • A basic training in counselling skills and theory, for example, a short intensive certificate or diploma course. This may not be required if an applicant demonstrates significant relevant work experience, knowledge and in-house training.


  • Applicants must complete an online application, which includes providing evidence of the above pre-requisites and a 1000-word personal statement, in which they should include the following:
    • Explain why they are interested in counselling psychology, as distinct from counselling, psychotherapy and clinical psychology, and why they want to train as a counselling psychologist
    • Summarise work experience, training, skills and learning gained to date
    • Reflect on how personal life experiences, including any experiences of mental health issues, have contributed to their intention to pursue this career
    • Outline current research interests, how this aligns with current research activity in the School of Psychology’s Centre for Research in Psychological Wellbeing, and how this could be developed into a doctoral research project
    • Show a standard of academic writing appropriate to doctoral level study

Selection criteria

  • Applicants need to demonstrate the following to make a successful application:
    • Reflective capacity, personal maturity and robustness to manage the emotional demands of the training
    • A clear understanding of counselling psychology as a profession and rationale for completing the PsychD
    • Knowledge, skills and experience necessary to begin working safely with vulnerable clients from the start of the programme
    • A capacity to develop research at doctoral level, including evidence of original and creative thought, topic knowledge and applicable techniques for research
    • Sufficient academic ability to support the production of doctoral work
  • Evidence of the above will be assessed from the applicant’s written application and personal statement, and again at interview if shortlisted.

In line with our Admissions Policy, a satisfactory declaration of health is  required to gain entry onto this programme. Applicants must also complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application. The enhanced DBS application currently costs £55 at enrolment plus £13 per year for an automatic annueal DBS update. These costs are subject to change.