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Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip

Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip

Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Counselling Skills (General) Psychological Counselling

Course type


Course Summary


Developed in reaction to the dominance of behaviourism and psychoanalysis, the humanistic paradigm emphasises the human capacity for self-determination.

It holds that we have the freedom to shape and give meaning to our own lives, and helps clients to regain their independence.

The humanistic paradigm draws on concepts and ideas from phenomenology and existentialism and is a philosophy of mind.

The postgraduate diploma helps to ground your understanding of humanistic counselling in the relevant literature, clinical practice and your developing self-awareness.

It is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and therefore recognised as preparing students for work as a professional counsellor. The university is an organisational member of the BACP as well as the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UCPA).

Course structure

The course consists of seven modules taught over a period of two years. Study involves one day per week at the university, eight non-residential weekends, two two-day blocks in September of the second year and one further study day.

In addition to academic study, you need to complete 100 hours of supervised counselling practice in an approved clinical practice area. Students are required to find their own clinical practice area and this will be discussed with you are interview. Clinical practice areas often provide clinical supervision as part of the clinical practice experience however you may be required to pay for external supervision and we recommend that you factor this into the cost of the course.

You also need to undertake a course of personal therapy that lasts for the duration of the course, from October of year 1 to June of year 2 or until you finish the course if you have not fulfilled the course requirements, and we recommend that you factor in the cost of this therapy before your application.

Areas of study

The course contains four major elements: academic and professional studies, clinical practice, training supervision, and personal growth and development.

The course is designed to:

provide a sound base of theory and practitioner attributes for persons practising counselling;
illuminate theory and practice by drawing upon students’ personal experience;
promote personal growth and self-awareness essential to successful counselling.

The philosophy of the course is based on the principle that there is no single presiding theory or model of counselling that commands widespread agreement and support, and that the practice of counselling cannot be separated from underlying values, theoretical assumptions and hypotheses concerning the nature of human experience and change.

Successfully completing this postgraduate diploma makes you eligible to apply to continue your studies on our Psychotherapy MSc.


The postgraduate diploma has an excellent reputation in the locality and our students have gone on to hold counselling posts across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Others have progressed to further training or used their counselling skills in their existing professions.

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


2 years

Start date



Themes in Professional Practice ? Semester 2
Humanistic Counselling Practice and Personal Development ? experiential workshops and process groups ? Semester 1 and 2
Humanistic Counselling Theory and Human Growth and Development ? Semester 1
Critical Perspectives in Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Applied Humanistic Counselling Practice 1
Applied Humanistic Counselling Practice 2
Research Methods for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

Part-time, 1 year £4,129 GBP

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Degree and experience You should hold a degree or professional qualification. You also need to have successfully completed an accredited, externally assessed counselling skills course that: is at least level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills involved at least 30 hours of face-to-face tuition at level 2 or level 3 (online courses are not acceptable) included both theory and practice took place within the last six years. We would normally expect you to have gained experience in volunteering. This can be within a therapeutic environment or where you are working with people in a helping capacity.

University information

Located on England’s beautiful south coast, the University of Brighton is a busy multi-campus university with a diverse body of over 3,800 postgraduate students. The university offer over 200 postgraduate courses, many accredited by professional bodies, and most providing flexible study options so that students can balance their studies with other commitments. The University was awarded silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017. The...more