Person - Centred Counselling (Children, Young People and Adults), Certificate or MSc

Person - Centred Counselling (Children, Young People and Adults), Certificate or MSc


Examine the philosophy, theories, and research concerning the person-centred approach while developing a deeper understanding of the role counselling plays in society. This degree is grounded in the Person-Centred Counselling MSc but in the final year, it has a different outcome with students studying our Specialist Certificate for Counselling Children and Young People. This certificate can also be completed as a stand-alone course for qualified practitioners.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
Blended Learning or On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
Certificate or MSc
6 months, 18 months or 36 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
Location of Study

Our Person-Centred Counselling programmes offer the opportunity to embark on a fulfilling career providing life-changing therapy. The PgDip stage (120 credits) of this MSc, is validated by and meets the professional training requirements of COSCA, (Scotland’s professional body for counselling and psychotherapy) with the diploma consisting of a minimum of 400 tutor contact hours and 100 client hours.

Our full-time route allows you to gain an MSc in 18 months, completing the final 60 credits by undertaking a combination of a shorter Dissertation/Counselling Related Research Study and our Specialist Certificate for Counselling Children and Young People. Our part-time options give you more flexibility over 3 years for an MSc.

Our stand-alone specialist certificate allows the counsellor/psychotherapist to gain the knowledge, skills and expertise to work with children and young people in various settings.

We aim to ensure counsellors have the professional skills and competence to work with children and young people ethically and effectively. You will examine the philosophy, theories, and research concerning the person-centred approach, while exploring courses in ethical and professional practice, child protection and safeguarding, child and adolescent development, and working with diversity to develop your professional practice.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake practical assessment at our research centre for Person-Centred Counselling, The Bounds and within school settings, giving you valuable practical experience to build your confidence in the profession.

Available Programmes of Study


Person-Centred Counselling (Children and Young People)

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MSc 18 months or 36 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen More

Specialist Certificate for Counselling Children and Young People

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
Certificate 6 months Blended Learning Part Time September Aberdeen More

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Additional Costs

Supervision: A minimum of 17 hours of professional supervision. Reduced rates for students are typically in the region of £30 to £40 per hour, while full supervision rates are in the region of £45 to £60 per hour.

Personal Therapy: Although not a compulsory component of this programme personal therapy is highly recommended. Costs between £30-£80 per session. Some agencies run a donation-based service.

Residential weekend at the Burn – costs available on request.

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

How You'll Study

Throughout the course, peer feedback and self-assessment will be encouraged, a significant aim of the course is to support and encourage the development of ‘reflective practitioners, able to offer and use constructive feedback.

Discussion boards will be part of the course content, along with regular group supervision meetings, offering opportunities to engage and reflect on your learning and personal development.

Learning Methods

  • Clinical Learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Peer Learning
  • Professional Placements
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

We require two summative assessments to be completed successfully for the award of the certificate and 60 client hours logged.

Why Study Person - Centred Counselling (Children, Young People and Adults)?

  • Our aim at Aberdeen is for students to come to know themselves well enough to be able to offer the deep connectedness vital for successful therapeutic relationships
  • To develop self-awareness, reflective ability and an in-depth understanding of the person-centred therapeutic process.
  • To enhance the wellbeing of people and communities within our society.
  • To develop a sound foundation for ethical practice, based on the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Individuals on this course will need a high level of critical self-awareness and a willingness to reflect on their own process. Readiness to enter a programme which has at its centre the student’s own personal development is desirable. Voluntary or professional experience of support work with adults is also desirable.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:2 or above from a recognised university or body. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without this qualification may be admitted by achieving Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Please contact the programme director for guidance. Applicants must also prove they have relevant, credit-bearing counselling skills, totalling 60 credits, ideally from completion of Aberdeen University’s Counselling and Listening Skills courses 1 to 4.

Student membership of Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA) is advised and a PVG check and certificate will be required at the start of the programme.

Applicants must have completed a Validated Diploma in Counselling or Psychotherapy. The preference is for a postgraduate diploma, but undergraduate qualifications will also be considered. It is an advantage for applicants to have had the experience working with children/young people and be open to the humanistic values of this course.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme


On completion of the validated diploma, students can register as qualified counsellors with professional bodies. There are growing opportunities for employment in the third sector, in Employee Assistance Programme companies and for working in private practice. There are also opportunities in human resources, occupational health and in the NHS as counsellors or wellbeing practitioners.

The Specialist Certificate for Counselling Children and Young People provides evidence of expertise to work with Children and Young People in all settings; Schools, Mental Health Services and Private Practice.

Career Opportunities

  • Counsellor


This programme is accredited by COSCA.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Education
University of Aberdeen
MacRobert Building
King's College
AB24 5UA