MA/Advanced Diploma
in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling

The Advanced Diploma is a four year modular course. The first two years follow the same curriculum as the Diploma in Counselling, the last two years form the MA. Upon successful completion of the first two years, students may opt to continue onto the MA/Advanced Diploma course. It is also possible to complete the Diploma in Counselling concurrently.

Students who successfully complete the MA/Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling may go on to seek BACP accreditation and UKCP registration.

Students registered on the MA may be eligible for the new government postgraduate student loans. For information on eligibility, access to the loans, and repayment conditions see

Who is it For?

This course is for people who:
  • have successfully completed the first two years of professional training at the Minster Centre
  • are trained practitioners who have been assessed through the Minster's accredited prior learning procedures

When is it Held?

Training begins in late September/early October and finishes in early/mid July. The first year of the MA (third year of professional training) runs on Wednesdays for three ten week terms. In addition there are six weekends covering personal and professional development topics and 5 holiday supervision groups. In the second year (fourth year of professional training) students come into college for weekly supervision and complete the written final submissions of a dissertation and two case studies and present their clinical work for live assessment.

Entry Requirements

Students wishing to register for the MA must either:

  • already be enrolled on the Minster Centre Professional training and have successfully completed the first two years of professional training at the Minster Centre or previously studied psychotherapy and counselling to an equivalent standard (usually to at least Diploma in Counselling level), having studied modalities which are compatible with and will support learning in the Minster Centre Integrative approach.
  • Have significant clinical experience of providing counselling and psychotherapy (at least150 hours).
  • Be able to demonstrate extensive self-development activity (usually obtained through recent one to one personal therapy.)
  • Must usually also have at least 20 hours of personal therapy in the year prior to admission on the course and have had at least 40 hours of personal therapy at some point prior to the course.
  • Possess a first degree, or have demonstrated their capacity to study at Postgraduate Level (level 7) through successfully completing the first two years of the Minster Centre Professional Training, or be able to demonstrate the capacity to study at Postgraduate level through providing evidence of work at this standard produced through academic or professional study or other experience.
  • Must be competent in the English language; we normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. If English is not your first language you will need to demonstrate a capacity to study in English – either through your written and practical work during previous training at the Minster Centre or, the most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components). For the full range of equivalent English language qualifications please download the full range of English language qualification equivalents from
  • We are not able to consider applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study

  • Disclosure and Barring Service: A DBS check will be required before you can start seeing clients. Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from training or seeing clients but you should disclose all convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings or occasions when you have been bound and any active involvement with police investigations on your application form so that we can consider their relevance to your suitability to train and see cleints.
    If you do not disclose this material and a DBS check subsequently identifies it this will be dealt with as a fitness to practice issue and you could result in you leaving the training. If you are accepted on the course we cannot guarantee external placements will accept students with a criminal record.
    Working with clients is an essential part of the qualification and you will not be able to receive the qualification without them. There may be implications resulting from a criminal record for future employment, and there is no guarantee that completing the course will mean students will also be eligible for professional registration. This is a decision made by the relevant regulatory body. More information is available here

    Practicing as a counsellor or psychotherapist, and training to be one, is a psychologically, as well as intellectually, demanding process because it requires us to be open to forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships with others, who, at times, may be deeply distressed or confused. Therapists need to be able to do this safely without harming others or ourselves. In order to prepare for this, trainees need to be able to engage in experiential learning, to reflect on their experiences and to be open to feedback from tutors and peers. This requires a degree of psychological robustness and a capacity for self reflection. Having had a mental health diagnosis or problem in the past is not, necessarily, a barrier to training and some people are able to train whilst managing a level of ongoing difficulty; however we do need to consider ,carefully ,whether there is a danger of the training exacerbating mental health problems in applicants. We also need to consider the well-being of any current or future clients. For this reason, we will ask about mental health during the application process, and the Centre reserves the right to refuse admission to applicants who we judge would not, at this time, be able to benefit from our training or for whom it might be too disturbing.

    Course Description

    Routes to Qualification


    1. Personal Integration

    Bringing together professional and personal learning is at the core of this module. The emphasis is on personal exploration of professional experience, and the examination of personal experience within a framework of reflective understanding.

    The task is making links across contrasting theoretical and methodological models, philosophies of practice and the experience of states of being in order to form a dynamic integrative synthesis.

    The critical use of personal experience to develop and form theory will predominate throughout the seminar.

    2. Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy

    The aim is to develop students’ practical and academic integration. Using presentations of work with clients and discussion, understanding of psychotherapeutic processes will be deepened. Contemporary psychotherapy approaches, including developments in neuroscience will be studied.

    3. Weekend Workshops

    Students take part in seven weekend workshops during the year, including Understanding Research Methods, Death and Bereavement, Integrative Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, and Sexuality

    4. Clinical Practice

    Students will continue their work with training clients.

    5. Supervision Group

    Attendance at a weekly supervision group is required. All students are in supervision during the second and subsequent years of the MA/Advanced Diploma and MA courses. Sessions may include presentation and discussion of work with training clients, role plays, practice sessions and discussion of issues related to practice. Learning outcomes include: sensitivity to context
    and the environment of the client, ethics, assessment skills, communication skills, ability to relate theory to practice, self management skills, developing an integrative practice style.

    6. Individual Psychotherapy

    It is essential for all students to be in individual psychotherapy at least once weekly throughout the course.

    Completion of the MA/Advanced Diploma

    In the Finalist year, students continue in ongoing clinical supervision and come in for weekend specialist teaching on "Turning Research Proposals into Action", "Assessment and Psychiatry", “Gender Diversity and Further Sexualities”, “Self harm and Suicide” and "Developing Your Practice". Additionally students choose at least five training days from “Eating Disorders”, "Adolescents", “Transpersonal”, "Refugees", "CBT", "Groupwork". This teaching is held at weekends to enable students to build their clinical practice or engage in other employment. Some students choose to spread their finalist work over two years.

    1. A dissertation of 15,000 words.

    2. Two Case Studies:
    (1 x 2.5k words) and (1 x 7.5k words)

    3. External Assessment:
    Prepare a ten minute section of recorded clinical work for live assessment.


    Assessment is by Minster Centre staff, except for the process report which is assessed by external examiners. In addition to formal assessment of essays, tutors and supervisors continue to assess students' experiential and clinical work. Students are assessed each year and given specific recommendations vis-à-vis their training.

    As well as passing all modules and written work as required, students must have accrued 450 hours of supervised clinical practice with training clients and on placement and undertake a Mental Health Familiarisation Placement.


    Students who successfully complete all the requirements are awarded the MA/Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling. The training is recognised by the UKCP and BACP. After completion of 450 hours of supervised practice, students may go on to seek UKCP accreditation through the Minster Centre, or personal accreditation with BACP. Modules are also accredited by Middlesex University at the postgraduate level. See course information concerning the MA programmes.

    MA in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy

    The MA Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling is an optional qualification that can be taken at the same time as the final two years of the Advanced Diploma. Successful completion of the coursework is valid for both, there are no additional academic requirements. The award of an MA is subject to registration with Middlesex University, for which an additional fee is charged. Middlesex University website can be found at

    Information about the Application Process

    The Academic Year 2017/2018 starts on 26th September 2018.


    We run regular Introductory Evenings where a senior member of staff will present pathways through training, give details about the course curriculum, and answer questions. Current dates can be found here.

    To apply, you must email an application form, a CV and a personal biography. Please see the “Notes for Guidance”. All candidates are selected by individual interview with two senior staff members. The interview fee is £90.

    Notes for Guidance here in PDF

    Download Application Form here in Word

    Therapist Approval Form in Word

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    Course Summary
    Who is it for?
    When is it held?
    Entry Requirements
    Course Description
    Completion of the Diploma
    Application Process
    Course Fees
    Course Handbook
    Application Form