The Minster Centre Bursary Scheme 2017

The Minster Centre established a bursary scheme in 2015. This is in accord with our ethos of inclusivity and our commitment to offering opportunities for training to all members of the community.

Please read through the guidance provided, to ensure that you are eligible to apply, and we look forward to receiving your application.

Lissie Wright

Background to the Bursary

Application for a Minster Centre Bursary & Guidance for Applicants

The Minster Centre is a registered charity that aims to:

  • advance the education of the public by providing training in psychotherapy and counselling
  • relieve suffering from mental, emotional and/or physical illness or distress by the provision of psychotherapy and counselling.
  • The Centre provides training courses in counselling and psychotherapy and a community therapy service. The Centre strives to be as accessible as possible to people from different cultures and backgrounds and welcoming to trainees and service users from all ethnic communities, sexual orientations, genders, beliefs and cultures. We aim to make our training and services accessible for people with disabilities wherever possible.

    Diversity at the Minster Centre and within the psychotherapy and counselling profession

    In the field of psychotherapy and counselling the figures that are available suggest the numbers of individuals from ethnic minorities or with disabilities working as therapists is disproportionately low ; for instance (according to UKCP monitoring in 2008) 98% of UKCP members are white. In England and Wales 88% of the general population are white; 69% of the population of London are white. About 90% of all Minster Centre students are white. The number of students at the Minster Centre with disclosed disability remains low at about 5% of students.

    Training to be a psychotherapist or counsellor is expensive and lengthy and often cannot be funded through student grants/loans. It is therefore likely that one of the most significant barriers, to access to training at the Minster Centre and elsewhere for under-represented groups is the cost of training.

    Number and scope of bursaries

    Bursaries are awarded at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees when they judge that Minster Centre reserves are sufficient to support them. Bursaries are administered by the Registrar and Finance Team. There will be no exchange of money with recipients of bursaries. The bursary will be delivered through the waiving of fees.

    In 2018 up to three bursaries will be awarded: two students undertaking Foundation or Fast track Foundation courses and one to a student embarking on the Diploma in Counselling, Minster Centre Advanced Diploma or the MA in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling. Applicants for the Diploma/Advanced Diploma or MA do not have to choose which qualification they intend to complete until the end of the second year of professional training but should indicate their expected preferences on their application form.

    The following groups are generally under-represented in Higher Education or in the professions of psychotherapy and counselling. We particularly welcome applications from individuals in these groups. Please indicate on your application form if any of these characteristics apply to you:

  • Residents of an area where relatively few people go into higher education. It is possible to check your postcode to see the level of participation in your area. To do this, go to Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • People with an annual household income of less than £25,000 before tax and after any pension contributions or allowances for dependent children.
  • People from ethnic minority backgrounds, including refugees.
  • Individuals with a disability.
  • Adults who spent parts of their childhood in care.
  • Adults who qualified for free school meals as children.
  • Adults whose parents did not attend higher education.
  • Bursaries will, normally, cover the full cost of the fees for the duration of the course applied for. The Bursary Committee can decide to award smaller sums to cover a proportion of a student’s fees. Applicants should note that there are further costs associated with the courses which are not covered by the bursary and they will have to meet themselves. The main cost will be weekly one-to-one personal therapy which is a course requirement. Other costs will include books and other learning resources (the Minster Centre has a small specialist library and will provide access to a range of electronic resources but you will need to buy some further materials). There will also be costs for room hire when you start to see training clients and travel costs. In house supervision of training clients is provided as part of the course and placements also usually provide supervision however, occasionally the supervision provided by placements is not sufficient and some trainees, in the later stages of training, also need to fund additional supervision.

    Students are considered for bursaries at the time of application only and cannot be considered should circumstances change during their course of study. Bursaries will not be backdated.

    Once awarded the bursary will be awarded for the whole foundation course, or the whole Diploma/Advanced Diploma/MA course provided you complete all components of the course successfully. See below for further information on progression criteria. Students who receive a bursary for a foundation course may apply for a further bursary to continue studying towards a Diploma/Advanced Diploma or MA but this is not guaranteed.

    Progression criteria and time limits

    The Foundation course bursaries will cover fees for the period of the course. Bursaries awarded for professional training (Diploma in Counselling, Advanced Diploma/ MA in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling will cover fees for three years for a Counselling Diploma up to a maximum of five years for the Advanced Diploma/MA (allowing students up to two years to complete after the third year of study). Re-marking fees for one assessed piece of work during the whole course that is marked as a fail and has to be resubmitted will be covered, but the student will have to pay remarking fees for any other resubmissions. The bursary will not normally cover fees for a student to repeat a year or part year. As for all our students, students who do not satisfactorily complete all the modules and meet the course progression criteria may be asked to leave, or to repeat components of the course or asked to complete a less demanding qualification. Bursary support will normally be maintained to help a student complete a less demanding qualification. Bursaries will be withdrawn if a student is asked to leave.

    A student who withdraws prior to completing their course will not normally be requested to repay any bursary up to the point of withdrawal however entitlement to all future funding will cease.

    Students who defer for one year during the course will have their bursary suspended; it will restart on their return to study. Students who defer for more than a year will have their eligibility for a bursary reviewed on their return to study. Continuation after a deferral will be dependent on the level of funds available for bursaries at that time.

    Should the student be suspended or subject to disciplinary proceedings for any reason the bursary will be withdrawn and consideration given to reinstatement depending on the result of disciplinary proceedings.

    Application process

    You will need to have completed your application for the course you wish to study on, and be accepted for this, following the normal application procedures, before you apply for the bursary.

    Applications for a bursary should be made separately on the attached application form and submitted electronically to Rory Page, The Registrar, Please mark your email Bursary Application Private and Confidential.

    Please make sure your application form is correct and complete and that it includes all of the evidence that we require, i.e. proof of all income, all bank statements, proof of benefits etc. Applications cannot be changed after they are submitted, and incomplete applications will not be considered. Your application for the course must be submitted by 12 noon on Friday 1 December 2017. If you have not been interviewed and offered a place on the Fast Track Foundation course, your bursary application will not be considered.

    The closing date for Bursary Applications for the 2018 Fast Track Foundation course is 12 noon Wednesday 13 December 2017, and a decision will be reached by Monday 8 January 2018.

    Please note that if you are not offered a bursary and you would still like to accept your place on the training, you will be asked to put down a deposit of £700 to secure your place within 1 week of being notified.

    Please ensure that you complete all sections of the application form. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

    You will receive an email within 1 working day, confirming receipt of your application, from the Registrar, Rory Page. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt please check that we have received your application.

    Applications will be considered by the Minster Centre Bursaries Committee which is made up of Trustees, graduates and members of training staff, and chaired by a Trustee.

    The Bursaries Committee will consider financial need, obstacles to training, the potential of the applicant and the contribution they wish to make in future as a practitioner. Applications are particularly welcomed from under-represented groups at the Minster Centre and in the profession. Applicants may be requested to come in for a meeting with some members of the Committee, once the initial short-list has been made.

    Part 2 of the form will be held confidentially and destroyed once the Committee has made its decisions. The form is in three parts. Part 1 contains your personal details, Part 2 is a confidential financial statement, and Part 3 is supporting information about your interest in the course and the obstacles that would prevent you training without a bursary. Please make sure you fill in all sections of the form.

    A report on the scheme will be presented to the Trustees annually; this will not contain the names of the trainees supported. The identity of students who receive bursaries will not be made known to staff, tutors or other trainees other than those staff who must administer the scheme.

    Application to Minster Centre bursary fund