DPsych Counselling Psychology

Gain integrated clinical training and extensive professional development through GCU’s DPsych Counselling Psychology – the only programme of its kind in Scotland. Counselling psychology is a rapidly growing area of applied psychology, and a wide range of diverse settings are in need of highly skilled HCPC Registered Counselling Psychologists.

In this doctorate programme, you’ll expand your ability to work with complex client groups and contribute impactful research to the field of psychological health.

We draw on our relationships with active practitioners to give you a world-class and highly relevant education, with clinical training in both humanistic (person-centred) and cognitive-behavioural approaches. We take a holistic and comprehensive approach to instruction, and you’ll develop your skills in applied psychological theory and research as well as complete work in ongoing clinical placements.

Here, you’ll be a part of a thriving, open and diverse community with a shared investment in social responsibility and a commitment to the common good.

Graduate prospects

On graduation, you will qualify for Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society and you are eligible to apply for HCPC registration.

Our graduates benefit from the growing demand for in-depth training and leadership abilities in the field of psychological therapy – and from GCU’s excellent academic reputation and world top 5% ranking. Our alumni work as registered counselling psychologists, making a positive impact in independent practice and academia, the NHS and in social care, organisational, educational and forensic settings.

DPsych covers Psychotherapeutic Competencies and Skills; Critical Enquiry in Counselling Psychology; Advanced Research Methods and Dissertation; and Personal and Professional Development in modules ranging from 15 to 60 credits.

To reach the award of D.Psych, you much achieve a total of 540 credits. Early exits points are available at PgCert in Psychological Counselling (60 credits); PgDip in Psychological Counselling (120 credits); and MSc in Psychological Counselling (180 Credits) levels.

Programme delivery

The D.Psych programme is delivered over three years full-time and up to 7 years part-time. Trimester attendance for teaching is over two days per week (Thursdays and Friday) full-time and one day per week, part-time. In subsequent years attendance is on Fridays only, supplemented by several intensive teaching weeks.

Placement experience of at least 450 hours of supervised clinical practice must be gained during the programme and placement practice is on-going year-round. Full-time students are expected to undertake placement activities over two days per week (outside the timetabled academic days), developing a range of related skills in addition to direct client work. Students are responsible for securing placements, although the programme provides considerable support and opportunities towards this.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

The application deadline for this course is 7th March 2020. To ensure your application is considered please submit your full application including academic essay, CV, qualifications and references by the closing date or your application will be withdrawn.

Study Options

  • 2020/21


Mode of study


Start date



Full Time
3 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
DPsych Full Time 3 Years 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

English language

Academic IELTS score of 7.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 7.0.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.


All students must provide adequate disclosure of criminal convictions, which for those who will undertake placements in Scotland will mean joining the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. Non-UK students will additionally need to supply an equivalent disclosure from their previous place of residence.

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Typical entry requirements

UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent) that meets British Psychological Society (BPS) standards for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC). Personal maturity and demonstrable experience in a helping role.  

Academic essay

Along with your application please provide a 1000 word essay on "How does Counselling Psychology differ from related professions (such as clinical psychology, psychotherapy and counselling), and how has your life experience prepared you for such work?"

Please ensure that your essay is at an appropriate academic level, including referencing.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2020/21

Home: £7,000
RUK: £7,000
EU: £7,000
International: £13,500

Tuition fees 2019/20

Home: £6,835
RUK: £6,835
EU: £6,835
International: £15,120

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only. Fees and refund policy.

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs

The fee for the programme includes all taught elements, research supervision, support in gaining placements and access to all the benefits of studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. There are additional costs as follows:

Clinical supervision
Although some group supervision is provided within programme teaching, detailed clinical supervision takes place in conjunction with placement practice. Some placements may provide appropriate supervision, but in many cases students will need to fund their supervision. This typically costs £40 - £70 per hour and should normally take place at least fortnightly.
Other costs
In addition to clinical supervision, students will have costs including: personal therapy (a minimum of 40 hours across the programme, with costs similar to supervision); books and additional learning materials; professional indemnity insurance (around £80 a year); a PVG application (around £60). You will be required to undertake an Occupational Health Screening which may incur a small charge. You will have to pay the costs of travelling to and from your placements.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

View our Postgraduate scholarships.

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. Students receiving this award are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Counselling Psychologist. 

Accredited by the British Psychological Society. Students receiving the D.Psych in Counselling Psychology are eligible to apply for Chartership as a Counselling Psychologist.

For new international students, particular care is taken around our induction events which begin on 11 September 2020 to welcome you to the UK and GCU prior to the start of teaching. There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus tours, city tours and social events where you can meet other international students. Where possible, we encourage you to arrange travel to allow you to arrive in time to enjoy these.

Find out more about international life at GCU.