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New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling: Existential and Humanist Pastoral Care

Institution New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Department Admissions
Telephone 0207 435 8067
Study type Taught


NSPC is at the forefront of the exciting, emerging field of non-religious pastoral care. This is the first MA of its nature in the UK and provides a much-needed pathway towards professional work in pastoral care/chaplaincy from a non-religious perspective. We work closely with Humanists UK to achieve this objective. Graduates should expect to work across a range of sectors including education, healthcare, the prison service and the armed forces. In addition, the MA provides probationary accreditation as a Humanist UK funeral, wedding and baby naming celebrant. Drawing on psychotherapeutic literature and on existential philosophy, we teach students to work in a holistic way, engaging with the unique world of each client.

The programme covers theory, skills training, placement and research. Prior learning can be granted for modules studied at level 7 covering the same learning outcomes as the NSPC equivalent – this can be discussed at interview stage.

Year one assumes no prior knowledge or experience, building your skills from the ground up. You will start with core competencies such as active listening, and build to a ceremonies training, as well as explicitly existential skills. Theoretical learning includes professional ethics, the psychology of worldviews, and a grounding in existential philosophy.

Year two provides an opportunity to start building experience in a placement with the support of supervision. You will also complete a research project, with the help of an experienced supervisor. This will be on a topic of your choice, and can take the form of a literature review or a qualitative piece. Students will build on the learning from year two, looking more deeply at ceremonies and ethical dilemmas.


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