Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy (MSc): 3-year, part-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Three years part-time

Attendance

One day a week, October to July

Other entry years for this course

2017

There are many different types of counselling, each based on their own concepts and orientations.

Psychodynamic counselling has been taught at Birkbeck for over 40 years. Those who laid the foundations for this course had a strong commitment to promoting the value of psychodynamic counselling, which offers a model for understanding the human personality and how it develops; our network of relationships and how we interact with others; how psychological problems may originate and the repetitive patterns that maintain them; and how personal change takes place.

Read about how you can become a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.

Read more

Highlights

  • Emphasis on how organisations and groups function, which will enable you to understand and manage professional settings and relationships.
  • Accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Counselling courses have been running at Birkbeck for over 40 years and have built up a reputation among employers for their high quality.
  • Offers an in-depth training in psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy.
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Course structure

Year 1

Year 1 gives an introduction to psychodynamic theory and practice, teaching observation and basic counselling/psychotherapy skills and processes, and professional/ethical issues.

Years 2 and 3

Years 2 and 3 look in more depth at psychodynamic theory, in particular the contributions of Freud, Klein and Winnicott. Also studied are forms of emotional disturbance, diagnosis and formulation, organisational dynamics, techniques, skills and principles of psychodynamic practice.

Read more about this programme in our handbook.

Read more about modules
  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    Second-class honours degree in any subject or an equivalent professional qualification; non-graduates with academic and professional experience will be considered.

    Work that includes a counselling/psychotherapy component.

    Prior completion of a counselling/psychotherapy course at Certificate of Higher Education level or equivalent.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for all Home/EU students.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 7975 pa

    Additional costs

    As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.

    On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:

    Students must be seeing a personal therapist at least once a week for the duration of this course. You will need to find your own therapist, although the course tutors can help you with this, and you will have to fund your therapy yourself. The cost of therapy can vary widely, depending on location, availability and income, but you should expect to pay £25-£60 per therapy session.

  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Seminars, work and case discussion group, practice exercises, experiential groups. In Years 2 and 3, week-long studies of how organisations function.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Year 1: two theoretical essays (total 5500 words), take-away examination (3000 words), student review (assessment of professional development).

    Year 2: two theoretical essays (total 5500 words), case study (5000 words), student review.

    Year 3: two theoretical/clinical essays (total 10,000 words), case study (5000 words), student review.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue a career in counselling, human resources, or education. Possible professions include counsellor, psychotherapist, or careers advisor. Some graduates remain in their current posts with enhanced competence. This degree can also be useful in becoming a human resources officer or market researcher.

    Find out more about these professions.

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

    In order for your application to be considered for this course, you must include full details of each of the following points in your supporting statement. Failure to include any one of them may lead to your application being rejected.

    1. Present employment

    Please include you job title, employer and describe the nature of your work, including details of responsibility and extent of counselling/therapy commitment.  If your clinical work is outside your main job, please describe the place, nature and extent of this.

    2. Previous experience of working as a counsellor/therapist, or of related or relevant voluntary work.

    3. Professional or personal activities or interests which support your application.

    4. Counselling/therapy training, or other relevant professional training already completed.

    Please give dates, length of course, and indicate how much of the teaching was psychodynamic.

    5. Experience of personal therapy or counselling

    Please give name(s) of therapist(s)/counsellor(s), dates of starting and finishing, frequency, orientation and professional affiliation of therapist (if known).

    6. Please indicate how familiar you are with a psychodynamic approach.

    7. Please add any information about your personal history, experience, interest in counselling and career plans which you consider relevant to your application.

    8. Please indicate whether you are making an application to another Birkbeck course, or to any other course. Please give details.

    9. How did you hear of this course?

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    Early application advised.

    Group and individual interviews from February.

Visit the Department of Psychosocial Studies