Person-Centred Counselling, MSc, PgCert or PgDip

Person-Centred Counselling, MSc, PgCert or PgDip


Our Person-Centred Counselling programme is the starting point for a career providing life-changing therapy. Full-time or part-time, you can achieve an MSc, PgDip or PgCert allowing you to progress to your chosen career.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc, PgCert or PgDip
6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months or 36 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
Location of Study

This programme is grounded in Carl Rogers’ theory of human potential, and training in this approach opens you to the self-knowledge needed to offer clients the deep connectedness at the heart of the therapeutic relationship.

Our full-time route allows you to complete an MSC in 18 months, with an option on the final 60 credits coming from either a Dissertation/Counselling Related Research Study, or 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 PgDip

This qualification 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 400 tutor contact hours and 100 client hours.

The programme aims to enable students to:

  • Understand the philosophy, theory and research of the person-centred approach
  • Develop a high level of awareness of, and competence in, person-centred counselling relationships
  • Understand person-centred therapeutic process
  • Develop awareness of their professional developmental needs and how to fully use 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 practice
  • Develop critical understanding of where the person-centred modality is placed 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 the Counselling Professions and the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of client work in accordance with professional body ethical guidelines (BACP 2018, COSCA 2018)

Applications are accepted until the end of March for the start of the next academic year.

Available Programmes of Study


Person-Centred Counselling

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

Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programme(s) above.


Person-Centred Counselling

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
PgDip 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time September Aberdeen More
PgDip 24 months On Campus Learning Part Time September Aberdeen More

Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programme(s) above.


Person-Centred Counselling

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
PgCert 6 months On Campus Learning Full Time September Aberdeen More
PgCert 12 months On Campus Learning Part Time September Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
UK £1,950
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year This is a modular programme charged on the basis of the number of credits. The fee is £1950 per 30 credits.
EU / International students £3,905
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year This is a modular programme charged on the basis of the number of credits. The fee is £3905 per 30 credits.

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

Foundations and Therapeutic Process in Person - Centred Counselling (ED50NE)

60 Credit Points

This course aims to enable students to develop the personal qualities and professional skills 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. Although the counselling programme is structured on a modular basis it is conceptualised as a comprehensive experience. The programme has four strands: Counselling Relationship and Therapeutic Process; Counselling Theory and Research; Personal Development; Professional Development. This course constitutes the 1st module of the fulltime counselling programme.

Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programme(s) above.

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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 Tuition Fees page.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

Attendance, after the 4 day induction, is 1 full day each week on campus for part-time, or 2 full days each week on campus for full-time study. Learning on the PG Diploma prepares you to work within the counselling profession and is quite different from learning in other subjects. The emphasis is on experiential and relational learning which is central to the course operation and ethos. You’re encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning, to see learning as a tool that will help you achieve your goal of becoming a person-centred counsellor, able to confidently and comprehensively fulfil your personal and professional duties.

Learning on Placements

Students are expected to be on placement as part of their training. All students will be offered a placement at The Bounds, our counselling and research centre, after successful completion of the programme’s ‘readiness to practice’ process. Students will also be supported by staff to approach agencies that offer counselling placements if they wish this additional/alternative opportunity.

(Full registration on the PG Cert/PG Dip or MSc is required alongside ‘readiness to practise’ and a current Protecting Vulnerable Groups certificate (PVG) before students are able to undertake a practice placement)

Residential learning

There is a residential weekend at the Burn at the end of year one, allowing for deeper experiential learning away from the academic environment. There is a 2-day block on campus at the end of year 2.

Learning Methods

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

Assessment Methods

A significant aim of the course is to support and encourage the development of 'reflexive practitioners’, able to offer and use constructive feedback. 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.

Why Study Person-Centred Counselling?

  • 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

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.

A 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.

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 - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


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

PTE Academic:

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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; 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 Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
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
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals


On completion of the validated diploma students can register as a qualified counsellor with the 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.

Career Opportunities

  • Counsellor


This programme is accredited by COSCA.

Our Experts

All our counselling tutors are practising counsellors. As a staff team we aim to reflect the person-centred emphasis in our relationships with participants, always endeavouring to offer open, genuine and responsive opportunities for learning. We believe in experiential growth and accept that our own learning and development is ongoing and enhanced by those we work with.

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX