Students sit in a circle around a lecturer while engaging in a group discussion.

MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling – Contemporary Creative Approaches

Integrate creative and expressive arts methods with the study of person-centred process experiential therapy on a programme approved by the UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.

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      Covid-19 - Psychotherapy and Counselling – Contemporary Creative Approaches Essential Information

      View essential information and videos about the changes to teaching and learning and campus facilities from September 2020

      Course Length: 2 Years Full-Time, 4 Years Part-Time
      Start Dates: September 2021, September 2022
      Subjects: Counselling and Psychotherapy
      Health and Social Care
      Location: Edge Hill University

      This distinctive and professional programme, which is suitable for those with or without a background in counselling, draws upon psychology, neuro-psychotherapy, neuroscience and biosciences to reflect the scientific content required in psychotherapy training. The course focuses on contemporary creative approaches to psychotherapy and counselling and has a multi-modal and integrative approach that includes the sequential use of drawing, painting, guided imagery, movement, drama, writing, poetry and sculpture to immerse you in the therapeutic process. This will help you facilitate the exploration of emotions, experiences and challenges to emotional wellbeing.

      A key feature of the programme is the inclusion of placements and experiences working with children, young people and adults, ensuring you gain the expertise required to work with contemporary creative approaches across the lifespan. You will benefit from a financial contribution of up to £1,200 from the University towards the cost of personal therapy and clinical supervision. You will graduate equipped with the skills needed to work at emotional depth with people experiencing psychological distress and find yourself well placed to pursue individual professional accreditation with one of the national awarding bodies.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The programme is designed around the conceptualisation of creative connections. It reflects the differing connections that you will learn to make between the process of facilitating creative expressions with clients, your own creative exploration of self, and the theoretical, psychological and psychotherapeutic underpinnings that guide such work.

      Year 1 focuses on theoretical and practical preparation for practice, exploring theories of psychological and psychotherapeutic modalities, as well as key research methods and approaches, alongside the development of expressive arts and counselling skills.

      Year 2 focuses on progressing your clinical skills in practice with clients, enhancing your therapeutic use of self, and supporting your capacity to practice at emotional and relational depth. Individual supervision with an external independent clinical supervisor will take place each week.

      Developing self-awareness and emotional availability are key to this programme. To support this and help prepare you for future employment, you will engage in facilitated personal development sessions throughout the programme, including a process-orientated peer supervision group.

      How will I study?

      The course is delivered through a combination of short blocks of classroom teaching on campus and online learning seminars, supplemented by the use of online skills practice sessions. When off-campus you will have scheduled online teaching sessions each week, as well as online academic support sessions.

      To support your growing self-awareness and emotional insight, you will practice your therapy skills with peers both in person and via the online virtual learning environment, receiving feedback and guidance from academic staff. You will also help to set up and run a small community support group in an approved placement setting to enhance your growing capacity to work in an empathic helping relationship.

      All students will be expected to attend ongoing personal therapy for the duration of the programme. At least 40 hours of personal therapy must be undertaken in Year 1, with support provided to help you secure a placement to undertake the required 100 hours of clinical practice in Year 2. The University will make a contribution of up to £600 towards the costs of the personal therapy in Year 1 and clinical supervision in Year 2. Any additional costs above this amount are to be met by the student.

      How will I be assessed?

      You will be assessed using a variety of approaches including portfolios, vivas, presentations, seminars and written assignments.

      There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

      Who will be teaching me?

      You will be taught by a range of practitioners and tutors who have national and international expertise in counselling and psychotherapy.

      The core programme team have published research in person-centred expressive arts therapy, psychology, psychotherapy, arts psychotherapies and dance movement psychotherapy, as well as medical sociology, mental health philosophy, critical counselling studies and feminist health praxis.

      There will also be contributions to programme delivery from guest speakers and visiting lecturers to help further enhance your learning experience.

      A Great Study Environment

      Two participants engage in a counselling session on a sofa.The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

      Offering some of the best facilities for health, social care and medicine students in the country, the outstanding teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

      The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.


      Expand All

      HUG4004Research Methods (20 credits)

      Research Methods will enhance your knowledge of the research process, including both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. You will develop a proposal that will demonstrate your ability to plan a small-scale empirical project in your chosen discipline.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG4007Dissertation (60 credits)

      Dissertation enables you to focus upon a significant piece of investigative enquiry in an area of interest, from conceptualisation through to completion. The module will develop your skills as an independent learner who is able to manage a project over an extended period of time. Critically evaluating existing research and theoretical perspectives to identify a gap in research knowledge, you will be expected to justify the choice of methodology and underpinning theory, analyse the impact of the research project and appraise the ethical considerations encountered during your research.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG4024Creative Connections 1: Therapeutic and Psychological Theories (20 credits)

      Creative Connections 1: Therapeutic and Psychological Theories introduces you to current debates and conceptualisations of psychotherapies. These include humanistic theories, attachment theory, developmental psychology, and abnormal and clinical psychology. The module will enable you to establish the differences between traditional and non-traditional forms of treatments for mental health and wellbeing. It will also develop your ability to critically reflect on ‘truth claims’ of differing therapy models, equip you with an appreciation of clinical and developmental psychology, and place psychological therapies in their social and historical context.

      Assessment: Coursework: 75%, Practical(s): 25%.

      HUG4026Creative Connections 4: Advancing Creative and Therapeutic Process Skills (20 credits)

      Creative Connections 4: Advancing Creative and Therapeutic Process Skills blends casework supervision with further experience of creative therapy approaches and practitioner research. Coupled to insights from neuroscience and neuropsychotherapy, the aim is to promote and support your capacity for critical praxis on your clinical placement, develop and deepen process-sensitivity in your work, and enhance your capacity to use a broader range of creative and expressive methods, in response to client need and lifespan stage. You will be supervised in adapting treatment principles and tasks. The mode of delivery will be predominantly  group work and action learning supplemented by whole group input on therapeutic processes, skills training, ethical issues, process work and placement issues. This will create an arena in which you are able to share examples of best practice and process and develop your capacity to work as an autonomous practitioner.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%, Practical(s): Pass/Fail Element.

      HUG4027Creative Connections 3: Expressive Personal Development (1) (20 credits)

      Creative Connections 3: Expressive Personal Development (1) provides opportunities to learn person-centred expressive art therapy (PCEAT) together with building an awareness of Self in relation to Other within the medium of group process. A key purpose of this module is helping you to become more self-accepting, self-knowing and congruent in relation to Self and Other, both in a one-to-one relationship and as a group member. The module facilitates the process of accessing and expressing emotion within a group process as you and your peers work with your own emotion schemes, existential touchstones, younger Self, and configurations of Self in relation to Other. You will also experience the role of leading a group coupled to your burgeoning understanding of group psychology.

      Assessment: Coursework: Pass/Fail Element, Practical(s): 100%.

      HUG4028Creative Connections 5: Expressive Personal Development (2) (20 credits)

      Creative Connections 5: Expressive Personal Development (2) enables you to deepen your awareness of Self in relation to Other within an emotion-focused experiential process group. The module is underpinned by the concept of the Therapist’s Developmental Agenda and offers a space where you can apply your expressive and creative responses to processing experiences of your changing self-identity. The focus is on enhancing your expertise in accessing and expressing emotion within a group process, as well deepening your understanding of group  psychology. Through a series of experiential activities, encounter-group meetings, action-learning meetings and student-led seminars, you will have opportunities to develop advanced practice in emotion theory and relationally-orientated therapy. You will subsequently become highly skilled in process work and in accessing and expressing emotional availability.

      Assessment: Coursework: Pass/Fail Element, Practical(s): 100%.

      HUG4047Creative Connections 2: Developing Creative and Therapeutic Skills (20 credits)

      Creative Connections 2: Developing Creative and Therapeutic Skills introduces you to basic counselling skills, active listening, and the core competencies of humanistic psychotherapy across the lifespan. You will also explore the relationship between humanistic psychotherapy and both developmental neurobiology and neuroscience. The module enables you to develop creative, verbal and non-verbal psychotherapy skills, as well as a critical awareness of Self and Other in relationships, and enhances your expertise in the respectful and empathic offering and receiving of feedback. The aim is for you to develop competency for client work in the process of accessing and expressing both emotions and experiencing within therapy. You will therefore explore the characteristics and attitudinal qualities of an effective therapeutic relationship. This will be underpinned by critical application of knowledge and understanding of psychotherapeutic approaches, and methods for supporting therapeutic expression and change across the lifespan. You will undertake a period of work-based learning and a mental health familiarisation placement to further your understanding of how differing models of personhood and community understand mental wellbeing and mental illness.

      Assessment: Practical(s): 100%.


      You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or upper second-class honours (2:1 or above) in either counselling and/or psychotherapy or a cognate discipline which has a focus on supporting and developing individual growth and expression and psychological mindedness. Relevant subjects include care work, community arts, dance, education, music, nursing, psychology, social work, sport, theatre studies or visual arts.

      Students with lower degree classifications and/or demonstrable practice experience may be admitted at the faculty’s discretion, subject to the production of additional written evidence of your ability to study at Master’s level.

      Ideally, you should have at least 50 hours of paid or voluntary experience working with clients from vulnerable populations, experiencing issues relating to emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as working creatively with diverse arts media and/or demonstrating an interest and curiosity in engaging with the creative process.

      Your application should demonstrate both creative and psychotherapeutic skills and qualities:

      • Creative skills in any art form and, if relevant, the use of these skills with vulnerable populations;
      • Your understanding of psychotherapeutic qualities such as warmth and compassion.

      Owing to the demanding nature of the course, if you accept an offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire. In exceptional circumstances you may need to have a medical examination in order to establish your medical fitness.

      If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

      English Language Requirements

      International students require IELTS 7.0, with a score no lower than 6.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

      If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course

      Recognition of Prior Learning

      Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

      Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      On completion of this programme you will be able to demonstrate the skills and expertise required to enter practice as a psychotherapist.

      Psychotherapists work with a wide range of clients, either individually or within groups, in both the public and private sector as well as with third sector organisations. The psychotherapist skillset is highly valued by employers, not only in those offering mental health services across the lifespan, but also in the employment market more widely.

      Career destinations could include the NHS, charities, employee assistance and wellbeing programmes, youth justice, social care, probation, pastoral support in schools, advocacy and special educational needs, health, education, social welfare, or leadership and workforce development.

      The programme is approved by the UKAHPP (the UK Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners). On successful completion of the programme and subject to meeting the published criteria, you may wish to apply for and work towards individual UKAHPP Psychotherapist Accreditation. This is the pathway for UKAHPP sponsorship to the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) for Psychotherapist Registration with the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC). Alternative awarding bodies are also available in the UK who you may also choose to approach.


      Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for full-time study on this MSc are £9,250 for the entire course for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22. The tuition fee will be split with £6,000 payable for Year 1 and £3,250 payable for Year 2.

      Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22 are £20,300 for the entire course. Exemptions apply for EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, who may be eligible for the UK full-time tuition fee rate.

      Tuition fees for part-time study on this MSc are £51 per credit for UK students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22, i.e. £1,020 per 20 credit module. 180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree. EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK part-time tuition fee rate.

      If you’re an Edge Hill University graduate joining this programme in academic year 2021/22, you may be eligible for a reduction in tuition fees. You could receive a 50% reduction if you graduated in academic year 2020/21 or a 20% reduction if you graduated in academic years 2018/19 or 2019/20. This offer is available to eligible UK students, EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status, and Irish nationals. Please see to find out more.

      The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

      Financial Support

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2021/22, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2021/22 guide at

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

      Visit for more information about the application process.

      Visit to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

      Visit Us

      If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

      Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at

      Request a Prospectus

      If you would like to explore our full range of taught Masters degrees, MBA awards and our Masters by Research (MRes) degree before you apply, you can order a postgraduate prospectus at

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

      If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

      Course Changes

      Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

      13th July 2020 - Change of Module

      HUG4047 Creative Connections 2: Developing Creative and Therapeutic Skills  (20 credits) replaces HUG4025 Creative Connections 2: Developing Therapeutic Process Skills (20 credits) as a compulsory module.

      29th May 2020 - Change to Entry Requirements

      Owing to the demanding nature of the course, if you accept an offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire. In exceptional circumstances you may need to have a medical examination in order to establish your medical fitness. This replaces the previous requirement for a medical certificate from your GP.

      Covid-19 - Psychotherapy and Counselling – Contemporary Creative Approaches Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.