Counselling Studies, Ph.D.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #41 ,
The PhD / MPhil programme is an advanced research degree enabling students to conduct in-depth independent research on a topic of their choice, thereby contributing to the knowledge and evidence base for counselling and psychotherapy.


The Counselling & Psychotherapy division specialises in qualitative, reflexive and critical research approaches, and the research portfolio is highly interdisciplinary, integrating concepts, practices and scholarship from counselling and psychotherapy, psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, cultural studies, health and social care, and other social sciences.

Candidates are welcome to propose research on topics that do not fall within staff's current research interests, in which case we will discuss with prospectuve students whether we are able to support proposed research. Candidates are also encouraged to contact academic staff to discuss PhD/MPhil research projects linked to existing, ongoing research initiatives, or to partner organisations with which staff already have connections.

The research interests of the Counselling and Psychotherapy team are detailed on the Counselling and Psychotherapy website:

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • Project Type Open
  • Educational Form Academic

Programme Structure


Students who successfully complete the MPhil / PhD will:

  • Be able to contribute to knowledge of counselling through undertaking effective research.
  • Identify, conceptualise and offer original and creative insights into therapeutic practice.
  • Be able to communicate research findings and advanced practice-based knowledge to a standard required of published academic, peer-reviewed work.


PhD study involves substantial independent research undertaken over a 3 years full time or 6 years part time and supported by an academic supervisor or supervisors.

PhD/MPhil students are also able to attend postgraduate seminar courses from across the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and may wish to attend other courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy or relevant courses in the School of Health in Social Sciences and other cognate disciplines. Your supervisor can advise you about the relevance of particular courses to your research.

You will also attend and contribute to seminars, presentations and events throughout your studies, including the annual Counselling and Psychotherapy research student conference, which takes place in May each year

You will also be encouraged to present your research at national and international conferences and to publish your findings in relevant peer-reviewed journals.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score: 580

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 92

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Entrance requirements

  1. Prospective applicants to the PhD/MPhil programme should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in any subject and/or a postgraduate qualification in counselling.
  2. Applicants for the PhD/MPhil programme should submit an outline research proposal, between 500 and 1500 words in length, describing the topic of their proposed research. There is no pro-forma for this outline but we suggest that you include some or all of the following:
  1. Two references commenting on your suitability
  2. English language requirements (IELTS 6.5+ or equivalent) apply to students whose first language is not English or whose first degree was not taught in English

Points to consider in your research proposal

  • Why the topic is of interest to you. This will include an indication of how the proposed research grows out of your personal and/or professional development.
  • How your proposed research will build on and/or contribute to knowledge (including professional practice). This will include brief discussion of existing literature, an indication of the debates or gaps in knowledge you wish to address, and/or the theoretical or conceptual framework you plan to adopt or explore
  • How you will conduct the research, including consideration of ethical issues. Under this heading please identify the methodological and/or ethical challenges you anticipate: you do not need to resolve them at this stage.

Further information

Students who are uncertain about their capacity for and commitment to this kind of study are advised to complete the MSc by Research in Counselling Studies first. However, an MSc is not a prerequisite for MPhil/PhD study and students with other research experience or with a high degree of motivation may wish to proceed direct to this degree pathway.

Student Visa

Students from United States of America need a visa in order to study in the United Kingdom.
Read more about visa information and requirements for this country.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 13800 International
  • GBP 4121 EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Testimonial Registration Module

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.