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 must have successfully completed the first two years of Minster Centre professional training, or have a Minster Centre Diploma in Integrative Counselling or have successfully undertaken an integrative counselling or psychotherapy training elsewhere to an equivalent level and have significant clinical experience. Prospective students wishing to join at this level will be interviewed to assess the appropriate point of entry to our courses. Credit may be given for previous training or life experience through the Minster Centre’s Accredited Prior Learning procedure and are advised if any additional credits have to be gained before successful completion of the MA/Advanced Diploma can be achieved.

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 20 hours of ongoing personal individual therapy within the year prior to the start of the course.

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 2016/2017 starts on 27th September 2017.


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