Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Person-Centred Counselling

Programme Details

MSc 180 credits (part-time)
PgDip 120 credits (part-time)


The overall aim of the programme is to offer a sufficiently safe, supportive and challenging learning environment that will enable students to develop and demonstrate those personal qualities and professional skills deemed necessary for competent and reflective practitioners within a person-centred framework.  Self-awareness, counselling theory, practice and research are integrated to a level that enables course members to engage with therapeutic processes in a range of counselling relationships.

The programme aims to enable students to:

  • Understand the philosophy, theory, and research concerning the person- centred approach.
  • Develop a high level of awareness of and competence in person-centred counselling relationships.
  • Understand person-centred therapeutic processes.
  • Develop awareness of their professional developmental needs and of the importance of the full use of counselling supervision.
  • Evaluate the importance of personal development in relation to training as a person-centred counsellor.
  • Consider the effect of personal experience, values, and attitudes on the counsellor’s practice.
  • Develop critical understanding of the place person-centred counselling occupies in the field of counselling and the role counselling plays in society as a whole.
  • Place individual counselling practice within a sound ethical framework as outlined in the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.

Contact Information

Programme Secretary

School of Education


 The Postgraduate Diploma runs over two academic years and provides 400 student/tutor contact hours covering theory, observed practice, personal development, and group supervision.  Programme members are required to complete at least 180 hours of supervised counselling practice within a suitable practice setting prior to graduation. 

The programme comprises 4 courses:

Course 1 - Foundations of Person-Centred Counselling
Course 2 - Therapeutic Process in Person-Centred Counselling
Course 3 - Development of Professional Counselling Practice
Course 4 - Reflexivity and Professional Enquiry 

Although the programme is structured on a modular basis it is conceptualised as a comprehensive and integrated experience. The programme has four strands running throughout and linking the separate courses:

•            Counselling Relationship and Therapeutic Process
•            Counselling Theory and Research
•            Personal Development
•            Professional Development

The Master’s stage of the programme consists of the participation on the ‘Work Based Project and Dissertation Course’ (WBP&D). The WBP&D course supports the student to frame, specify, plan, carry out and report an academic or work-related research-based investigation or development to complete a Master’s degree.


A significant aim of the course is to support and encourage the development of 'reflective practitioners’, able to offer and use constructive feedback. Throughout the programme peer feedback and self-assessment will be encouraged and course members together with tutors and supervisors will be involved in the various assessment processes. Through the process of self, peer, and tutor assessments, the programme members will have the opportunity to realise and understand the impact of their personal power and responsibility in the process of becoming recognised as professional counsellors.

The contexts for continuous self-appraisal are provided through the participation in personal development groups, observed practice sessions, supervision and study groups, as well as through the discussion of tutors’ and peers’ feedback on written assignments and group presentations.

Applicants will normally be graduates or able to provide evidence that they can work at postgraduate level.  They must have previous relevant counselling experience and/or introductory skills level training and be able to undertake counselling practice in their workplace setting or other appropriate agency.

Prospective applicants should submit a completed application form and attend an individual interview. 

The English Language Requirement for all College of Arts and Social Sciences Masters programmes is an IELTS of 6.5 with 6.0 in the writing and reading (or equivalent TOEFL iBT or PTE).  For more information see 



Full details of tuition fees is available here

Additional costs:

180h (COSCA) / 200h (BACP) supervised practice over 2 years, 1h or more of supervision per 6h of client work is required, cost per hour £20-50. 

Factors to also consider:

  • Study materials; possible spend of £50-100. 
  • The Burn Residential Weekend (arrive Friday late afternoon and leave Sunday late afternoon - full board £60 (2015 cost per day). There is a residential at the end of the PG Cert (year one) and then a final one at the end of the PG Diploma (year two)- attendance is counted as a part of the training hours over the academic year). 
  • Accessing one to one counselling  during the course is strongly encouraged. Cost can range from free if accessing student counselling to a donation based service up to £60 per session.



For funding opportunities, prospective students should visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
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