MA/Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling

About the Course

Coronavirus Update: For prospective students who are considering applying for our courses in September 2021, the application process continues as normal. We will keep you informed of our responses to any developments throughout the process. Open events are being offered as on-line meetings. Please see our COVID-19 FAQS section which has more details about our plans for delivering our courses from January 2021 onwards.

About the course: This is a four-year modular course which qualifies students to practice as Integrative Psychotherapist and meets the training requirements for registration with UKCP as a psychotherapist. The first two years follow the same curriculum as the Diploma in Integrative Counselling; the last two years form the MA.

The Advanced Diploma is a high-level vocational qualification. The MA (Master of Arts) is an academic qualification. The MA is always obtained in combination with the Advanced Diploma, it cannot be obtained separately and the work submitted is the same. This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.

The Minster Centre’s Integrative approach encourages people to find their own voice and identity as therapists. The theoretical framework of the MA/Advanced Diploma includes Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Existential, Body work and Relational thinking within a structure which contains academic, experiential and practical components. As well as being grounded in the traditional approaches to psychotherapy and counselling, our tutors also have experience and expertise in contemporary understandings, such as neurobiology, relational and embodied work.

The Minster Centre prides itself in offering small study groups, personal attention and a friendly, supportive learning environment which encourages personal development. The Centre also has a long tradition of social commitment and our training syllabus reflects this, with students encouraged to reflect on issues of diversity and society as part of their work.

In most cases, we are able to refer ‘training clients’ to our students via the MCPCS, our affordable therapy service. Both training clients and placements will help you accrue the necessary client hours for graduation and accreditation with the BACP or UKCP.

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

Course Content

Students will have completed the course work from the first two years of the Minster Centre Diploma in Integrative Counselling. Students then go on to study:

Two core academic modules which develop students’ practical and academic integration, making links across theoretical and methodological models: Personal and Clinical Integration and Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy

Weekend Workshops (21 weekend days over 2 years): Students participate in weekend workshops during the course to extend their learning, they cover experiential exploration or give more time to cover areas in more depth. Topics covered include, Death and Bereavement, Working with Sexual and Erotic Charge and Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity.

One Mental Health Familiarisation module which consists of 6 weekend teaching days on Severe Presentations, The Use of Medication, Psychiatric Assessment, Self- harm and Suicide (included in the total of 21 weekend days stated above) plus direct experience.

Clinical Practice and Placements: Students continue their work with training clients. 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.

Two Clinical Supervision modules where work with long term training clients is supervised and students are supported to develop their clinical practice and prepare for final assessment. You will attend clinical supervision weekly in term-time plus 5 supervision sessions during the holiday periods.

Teaching on research methods, skills and ethics. There will be both weekday and weekend research teaching options.

Following research teaching students prepare a 15,000-word dissertation with the support of a research supervisor.

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

Clinical Practice and Placements

When both the student and their supervisor agree they are ready, usually in the second year, students start working with one or more training clients, and may start an external placement. A total of 450 supervised clinical hours is required to qualify.

In most cases, we are able to refer ‘training clients’ to our students via the Minster Centre Psychotherapy and Counselling Service (MCPCS) our affordable therapy service. You will usually work with two or three long-term training clients. In addition, you will need to work in an external placement. Placement experience accelerates and deepens your professional learning and understanding and increases your employability. Placements are an opportunity to learn about working within therapeutic services and to make contacts with others in the field. Both training clients and placements will help you accrue the necessary client hours for qualification and to seek registration with UKCP.

You will be responsible for securing a placement but will receive advice and guidance from the Placement Coordinator. You will need an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. One DBS check is included within your course fees and will be organised with you in the second year. Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist each case is considered on an individual basis. You will be given an opportunity at your selection interview to discuss this with your interviewers. For more information about DBS checks see here.

Accreditation

All four years are accredited by UKCP. Modules for the final two years are also quality assured by Middlesex University at postgraduate level (Level 7) and form the MA.

UKCP reviews course accreditation every five years, we were last reviewed in 2017. Middlesex University reviews validation every six years, our validation was last reviewed in 2020.

Assessment

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods are primarily coursework assessments including essays, portfolios, reflective accounts, case studies and live assessment of a recorded piece of clinical work, and a dissertation. Support and guidance is given for each assessment.

Assessment is by course tutors, except for the Live Assessment, which is assessed by examiners not teaching on this programme. In addition to formal assessment of written work, tutors and supervisors assess students’ experiential and clinical work. All marking is moderated and we also have an external examiner to ensure that marking is fair and consistent. You will receive feedback on all formal assessments to support your learning.

Students are assessed each year and given specific recommendations on areas they need to work on and whether they are ready to progress to the next year. Students can be asked to repeat modules or take time out of 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.

Course Leader(s)

Head of Year 1: Nancy Browner and Jenny Clark
Head of Year 2: Anne Marie Keary and Reena Shah
Head of Year 3: TBC
Head of Finalists: Nancy Browner and Julia Denington

Course Dates and Times

First-term
Compulsory Induction: Tuesday 14th September 2021 (Time TBC)
Monday 20th September to Friday 3rd December 2021
Half-term – Monday 25th October to Friday 29th October

Second-term
Monday 10th January to Friday 25th March 2022
Half-term – Monday 14th February to Friday 18th February

Third-term
Monday 25th April to Friday 8th July 2022
Half-term – Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June

Bank Holidays/Closure:
Christmas closure: 23rd December 2021 to re-open 3rd January 2022
Good Friday – 15th April 2022
Easter Monday – 18th April 2022
May Day – Monday 2nd May 2022
Spring B/H – Thursday 2nd June 2022 (within half-term)

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee B/H – Friday 3rd June 2022 (within half-term)

Term dates for following years will normally be available in July each year; timings for seminars will normally be released in early September.

This is a part-time course which takes a minimum of four years to complete. The first two years follow the same timing as the Minster Centre Diploma in Counselling. The first year of the MA (third year of professional training) runs on Wednesdays (9.30-6, 10-6.30 or 12- 8.30) for three ten week terms. In addition, there are six weekends covering personal and professional development topics and 5 2-hour holiday supervision groups.

In the second year of the MA (fourth year of professional training) students come into college for 35 supervision groups (weekly in term time) and complete the written final submissions of a dissertation and two case studies and present their clinical work for live assessment. There are also 14 taught weekends. Finalist supervision is usually on a Wednesday but there are some other options available and there is some choice of day and time.

Research is taught via both weekday and weekend teaching options.

From the second year of professional training onwards students will also need to allow time for clinical practice (you are likely to be seeing four or more clients a week). The timing of this will depend on your placement requirements and the time that both you and your training clients can manage.

Because of the experiential nature of learning required to become a counsellor and psychotherapist there is a 80% minimum attendance requirement for all components of the course i.e. 80% attendance of each module (including ETGs and supervision) and weekend teaching.

Course Length

Minimum 4 years, part-time.
Minimum 2 years for the MA component.
Some students take more than 1 year to complete the final submissions.
It is possible to complete the Diploma in Integrative Counselling concurrently.

Who Is It For

This course is for people who wish to train as psychotherapists working at depth and long-term with clients who may have more complex issues.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have:

  • Successfully completed the first two years of the Diploma in Integrative Counselling (also known as Professional Training) at the Minster Centre and be recommended to continue to further training

OR

  • Are trained practitioners who have successfully undertaken an Integrative counselling training elsewhere.
  • Have significant clinical experience of providing counselling and psychotherapy (at least 150 hours).
  • Be able to demonstrate extensive self-development activity (usually obtained through recent one to one personal therapy).
  • Have completed a minimum of 20 hours of ongoing personal individual therapy within the year prior to the start of the course and have had at least 40 hours of personal therapy at some point prior to the course.
  • Possess a first degree 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. 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 in your application and interview and through qualifications such as IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components).
  • We are not able to consider applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study.
  • Please note a DBS check will be required before you can start seeing clients. see section on Clinical practice and placements above for more information.

Practising as a counsellor or psychotherapist, and training to be one, is a psychologically, as well as intellectually, demanding process. Personal qualities we are looking for in trainees include:

  • Openness to forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships with others.
  • The ability to engage in experiential learning.
  • The ability to reflect on experiences.
  • Openness 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 difficulty in the past is not necessarily a barrier to training; however we do need to consider whether there is a danger of the training exacerbating mental health problems in applicants. For this reason, we 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 this course or for whom it might be too disturbing.

Accredited Prior Experience and Learning (APEL)

There may be aspects of your course that you feel you have already covered as part of another training course or as a result of previous experience in employment or elsewhere. In some circumstances it is possible to have this prior learning recognized through the award of credit which will exempt you from identified elements of the course. Prospective students wishing to join beyond the first year of Professional Training will be interviewed to assess the appropriate point of entry to our programmes. Credit may be given for previous training or life experience through The Minster Centre’s APEL procedure. For more information see our APEL Policy.

You can only apply for learning to be credited that relates to whole modules, weekend training sessions or other complete components of the course.

See the Diploma in Counselling section for details on APEL options and limitations for the first two years of professional training. For those wishing to register with UKCP on completion of the Advanced Diploma/MA APEL cannot exceed 50% of the credits of the full 4 year Psychotherapy training programme (of which the MA Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling forms the final 2 years).

Qualifications

Students who successfully complete all the requirements are awarded a Minster Centre Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling. If you have registered with Middlesex University you will also be awarded an MA in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling by Middlesex University.

Career Prospects

The Advanced Diploma/MA is accredited by UKCP. After successful completion of the course students may go on to seek UKCP Registration through the Minster Centre.

Graduates of The Minster Centre can be found working successfully all over the UK and abroad. As well as private practice, graduates work with a variety of client groups in the NHS; in schools, colleges and universities; in organisations such as MIND and other charitable foundations; and as tutors in other training organisations. After further clinical experience, graduates may obtain further qualifications in clinical supervision.

Graduates have gone to higher-level study on doctoral programmes.

Fees

Fees for September 2021-22

First Year: £5,780
Second Year: £5,930

To finish with the qualification Minster Centre Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling only (without registering for the MA):

Third Year: £5,960
Fourth Year: £4,410

To finish with Middlesex University MA in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling:

Third Year: £6,760
Fourth Year: £5,210

Course fees are subject to annual inflation. Once you have started a course we will endeavour to keep fee increases in subsequent years as low as possible. Increases may occur to reflect changes to the course, changes in the requirements of accrediting organisations, inflation, staff pay rises or other increases to the cost of providing the course.

For more details on fees and financial terms and conditions click on the Fees button below.

A non-refundable deposit of £700 is payable to secure your place once you receive an offer. If you withdraw your place on the course after you have paid a deposit and within 28 days prior to the course start date, half of the deposit can be refunded to you as long as we can fill your place with another applicant. The other half of your deposit will be retained to cover administrative costs. If you withdraw after the course start date, fees are non-refundable and the full year’s fees will be due. Fees are payable by bank transfer, cheque or card and may be paid in instalments.

Fees include supervision of training clients, one DBS check, common room facilities and refreshments, access to the library and on-line resources, insurance for seeing clients through the Minster Centre Psychotherapy and Counselling Service.

The following course related costs are not included in the fees:
personal therapy, placement supervision (usually but not always provided by the placement), any additional costs associated with placements, the provision of consulting rooms for seeing training clients, assessment of resubmitted coursework. Personal therapy can cost from £50 per session upwards in London, sometimes less outside London. In addition, you will need to budget for the purchase of key books each year (these are texts you will need to refer to frequently) and travel to the Centre, to placements and to therapy. Depending on the topics you choose for your written assessments you may need to buy books or internet access to articles, or access books, articles or other resources through the British Library or other specialist libraries. You will also need a secure means of audio recording client work, ideally this will be on a password protected and encrypted digital recorder, which cost around £400.

Once you have an Agreement to Practice you will need to arrange private supervision for any private clients and you will need to take out professional indemnity insurance which costs £80-100 per year.

Accommodation and living costs are not included in fees and, as all our students are part time, we do not have on-site accommodation. The Centre has no parking available for students unless you have a blue badge. The Centre is close to public transport. We cannot guarantee that the timing of courses will not require peak time travel.

Financial Support

If you register on the MA you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Student Loan in the final 2 years. These are Government funded student loans for students on Masters courses of up to £11,222 to help with fees and living costs. These are not based on income and are paid directly to you. There are personal eligibility requirements which are determined by the Government, for instance, you have to be under 60 and not already have an MA, you will need to repay the loan plus interest and repayments will be based on your income. More information loans and how to apply can be found here:

http://media.slc.co.uk/sfe/nysf/pgl/sfe_pgl_main_guide_1617_d.pdf

and

https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/overview.

The Minster Centre also offers some bursaries. Click here for more details on Funding.

Venue

The Minster Centre is a five minute walk from Queens Park Tube (Bakerloo line) and Rail Overground Station and a 10-15 min walk from Brondesbury Park Station.

How to Apply

Applications are now open for 2021/22. Please note we only have places left for direct entry into the 3rd year which requires applicants to have already obtained a Diploma in Counselling. Please see the section: Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL).

Coronavirus Update: From September 2020, teaching on this course has followed a blended model. We are continuing to monitor the situation with Covid-19. For prospective students who are considering applying for our courses in September 2021, the application process continues as normal. We will keep you informed of our responses to any developments throughout the process. Please be aware interviews for places are likely to be conducted remotely, and you will be contacted by our Admissions Team in the near future to arrange these interviews. Open events are being offered as on-line meetings. Please see our COVID-19 FAQS section which has more details about our plans for delivering our courses from January 2021.

Applications:

You apply directly to the Minster Centre via the online application form below.

Please note: we operate a rolling admission process. Round 1 application deadline is 15th March, 2021 by 12 noon. Interviews will take place in April-May 2021. EARLY APPLICATION IS RECOMMENDED.

We will open up a waiting list of applications for a possible Round 2 intake process, which might take place after 18th July 2021 depending on availability on the course. If applicable, Round 2 interviews will take place early August 2021. 

All candidates are selected by individual interview with two senior staff members. The interview fee is £95 and is paid upon application.

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates and people with disabilities, as they are currently under-represented at the Minster Centre and in the psychotherapy profession.

Course Handbook

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