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Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John): Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People

Institution Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John) View institution profile
Department School of Sport, Health and Wellbeing
Telephone 01752 636890
Study type Taught


The MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People provides an excellent education in the theory, research, and practice of psychotherapy and counselling in the specialist area of working with children and young people, with the aim of developing competent postgraduates who are well prepared for a career in this field. With consideration to theory, there are a variety of approaches to working with children and young people that are based on different theoretical paradigms. The degree embraces an integrative approach in order to include various theoretical perspectives (e.g., humanistic, play-based, attachment/psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural), equipping students with both theoretical understanding as well as skills-based interventions to meet the unique needs of the individual. With consideration to research, psychotherapy and counselling is an evidence-based profession. Teaching is evidence-based, and students learn how to interpret, critique, and apply research. They also learn how to conduct research in the context of psychotherapy and counselling for children and young people. With consideration to practice, students learn, practise, and develop the skills they need to become competent, ethical, and effective as child and young people therapists. They learn about the roles of psychotherapists and counsellors in children and young people services and schools, and develop the underpinning knowledge, understanding, and skills required to be successful in these roles.

This degree combines the strengths of a postgraduate psychotherapy and counselling training programme to support professional progression, with the academic rigour of a master’s degree. Students gain prolonged and in-depth professional training in the specialist area of psychotherapy and counselling for children and young people, which involves engagement with theory, skills work, and two placements spread across two full years. Students then focus on a master’s research thesis in their final year. The three-year, part-time model allows students to steadily develop their knowledge, understanding, intellectual skills, and practical skills through high-quality teaching that is complemented through gaining meaningful, supervised placement experience. The modules reflect contemporary trends and content requirements in the sector.

The proposed programme is informed by a professional body curricula and competency framework (BACP, 2019, 2020) ensuring the course meets criteria covering the necessary foundation of knowledge, skill, personal and professional development competencies to succeed in the profession. Students are encouraged to undertake supervised work-based placements within schools or youth agencies that aims to provide guidance and opportunities to facilitate the development of knowledge and competencies.

The programme includes unique field-based opportunities for curriculum delivery (most notably within the ‘theory to practice-based’ modules [CPYM02; CPYM05] where students are required to deliver counselling within professionally based settings).

The 60-credit thesis provides an opportunity for the postgraduate student to progress to a higher level of research and develop a research profile to their area of special interest.


Plymouth Marjon University 


Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John)* sits on a green and spacious campus, with world-class facilities, in a spectacular part of the world. Here, students build strong working relationships with a network of supporters, from their Personal Development Tutor, to their lecturers to the Student Union, and through this supportive community, they achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Marjon offers a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate study options tailored towards working professionals. Their support networks are there for postgraduate students, just as much as they are for undergraduates. In fact, 50% …

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