menu icon
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest news
Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip

Psychodynamic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis Counselling Skills (General)

Course type


Course Summary


Based on the idea that mental illness is to some extent the result of repressed negative experience, psychodynamic counselling aims to expose the contents of a client's unconscious to make him or her aware of any underlying psychological conflicts.

It prioritises the therapeutic relationship and draws from the work of psychoanalysts such as Freud, Klein, Winnicott and Bion, as well as more contemporary thinkers such as Lacan, Bowlby, Kohut, Mitchell and Benjamin.

The postgraduate diploma teaches models of both long-and short-term counselling, the second of which is particularly relevant to NHS work and employee counselling schemes. It stresses the importance of developing counselling awareness through practice in workshops and provides a sound theoretical foundation to the psychodynamic approach.

The course 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 courses are taught on a semester system with two semesters each year.

In addition to academic study, you will need to complete 100 hours of supervised counselling practice in an approved clinical practice agency, for example at the Rock Clinic or Sussex University counselling service.

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, and we recommend that you factor in the cost of this therapy before your application.

Assessment consists of four essays and three case studies. You will also keep a professional log of your clinical work and maintain a personal journal.

Areas of study

The course contains four major elements: academic and professional studies, practical training, training supervision, and personal growth and development. A strong theoretical knowledge is of great importance and considerable weight is given to canonical writers. The seminars provide a broad overview of the reading material and invite you to reflect further on it.

Psychodynamic counsellors rely on their own feelings to help make sense of the moment-by-moment changes in client sessions. This process underlies the need for a certain level of self-awareness and maturity, hence why personal growth and development is the fourth key strand on the course. This is partly met through personal development groups and partly through your own counselling or therapy.


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.


Introduction to Psychodynamic Counselling Theory: Human Growth and Development
Themes in Professional Practice
Personal Development Groups
Psychodynamic Counselling Workshops
Psychodynamic Counselling Practice 1
Psychodynamic Counselling Practice 2
Research Methods for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Critical Perspectives in Psychodynamic Counselling
Personal Development Groups

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

You should hold a degree or professional qualification, for example nursing or teaching. You need to have successfully completed an accredited, externally assessed counselling skills course that: is at least a level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills which ordinarily involves at least 30 hours of face-to-face tuition at level 2 or level 3 (online courses are not acceptable). Please note L2 Award, Helping Skills and Introductory courses are not accepted. This includes both theory and practice were gained within the last six years. You must have experience of working with people in a helping capacity and access to clients throughout the course. Ideally, you will have gained some counselling experience through full or part-time employment, or through voluntary or pastoral work.

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 offers 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. For students in need of additional financial support, there is a range of...more

Similar courses at this uni