Doctorate in Counselling Psychology

The Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (D.Couns.Psych.) has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), as an initial professional training programme for Counselling Psychologists.

It will enable students to register with the HCPC to become a registered practitioner psychologist and thus ultimately use the protected title ‘Counselling Psychologist’ (SET1.1*). 

Those who are members of the BPS throughout their studies will also be eligible to apply for Chartered Psychologist Status with the Society. 

As such, it is expected that each successfully completing student will be eligible to begin working as a confident and competent practitioner, who has the ability to operate successfully in relation to consultation, assessment, intervention, training and research, and also contribute to the development of the profession of counselling psychology.

This handbook is intended to act as a reference point for supporting your work on the programme throughout the course. 

It begins by providing an overview of General Information that students at the University often find useful. 

Following this, it introduces the Core Units that students will need to complete throughout Years 1, 2 and 3 of the programme. 

In the next sections, the content moves on to discuss placement issues and personal therapy requirements in more detail. 

Running alongside this programme handbook are a number of documents outlined by the HCPC and the BPS.  In particular, we would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the following:


  • Standards of Proficiency: Practitioner Psychologists
  • Standards of conduct, performance and ethics
  • Guidance on conduct and ethics for students


  • Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • The Division of Counselling Psychology’s Professional Practice Guidelines
  • Guidelines for minimum standards of ethical approval in psychological research

The full references for these documents are noted in the reading lists outlined in the units which follow, and links to the BPS and HCPC websites can be found via the programme’s electronic resource, Blackboard.

Furthermore, this document should be read alongside the School of Environment, Education and Development Postgraduate Research Student Handbook, the Programme Handbook (placement) and each student is advised to be aware of the University of Manchester policies and procedures. 

Additionally, further relevant paperwork can also be found on the Faculty of Humanities area on the University website.  

The D.Couns.Psych. team is pleased that you have chosen to undertake your professional training in Counselling Psychology at the University of Manchester. 

We are very much looking forward to working together over the next three years.

We will do all that we can to ensure a stimulating, productive and successful experience for you and your colleagues on the programme.

*SET= Standards of Education and Training (as stipulated by the HCPC)