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MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People

Have a positive impact on the mental health, well-being, and resilience of young people. This part-time course blends the knowledge, expertise, and skills necessary for therapeutic work with those aged 4 to 18 years. Course starts in September 2023, but applicants may also be interested in our MSc Advanced Psychotherapy and Counselling Studies.

Counsellor looks on as child draws

Train to work as a counsellor who is specialised in supporting children and young people

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Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree, preferably at 2:1 or above, or postgraduate degree in a relevant area e.g. psychology, counselling and psychotherapy

A counselling qualification to Level 4 minimum, including 100 hours minimum of supervised practice (unless you have a degree in counselling)

A genuine interest in working with children and young people is essential, as is a commitment to evidence-based practice

International students will be expected to meet the English language requirements of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent

See full entry requirements

UCAS code Apply to Marjon: course starts Sept 2023

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Three years part-time

Course Summary

MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People is designed for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists who are keen to develop their professional skills and enhance their career prospects. On this course you will:

  • Develop a critical and in-depth understanding of professional therapeutic practices, relevant to a range of settings.
  • Learn through practical placements within youth settings, where you will gain insight into young people’s services and the legal and ethical challenges of working with those aged 4 to 18 years.

Throughout MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People, you will be encouraged to develop a high level of self-awareness, to support you in meeting the demands of therapeutic work. This will be achieved through a combination of approaches, including assignments, a reflective practice journal, and clinical supervision on your practice placements.

An enquiring attitude to theory, research, and practice will be encouraged as you cultivate your cognitive and reflective skills and learn creative and practical ways of working therapeutically with your clients in order to alleviate suffering, facilitate change, and optimise wellbeing.

Our specialist team teach an integrative approach to the specialised work of counselling children and young people that is rooted within best practice and experience within the field. This course offers an opportunity to become a professional practitioner contributing towards the health and wellbeing of our future generations, while realising your own potential.

Why this course at Marjon?

Develop your self-awareness and reflective practice

A supportive and personal learning environment

Delivered by experienced professionals who draw on their knowledge and experience from professional practice

Marjon excels at delivering a high-quality teaching and learning experience

You will be nurtured in developing towards your own potential

Gain experience from work placements in youth settings

Modules for this course

1st Year

The developing child and their mental health
This is an opportunity to learn about theories of child development and the various mental health challenges that children may experience.
Therapeutic competencies 1: Theory, skill and practice (4-11 years)
You will learn about the theory and practice of working with younger children with an opportunity to apply learning within a placement.
Professional practice issues
You will learn about the professional and legal issues relating to practice with children and young people.

2nd Year

Contexts and settings
This is an opportunity to learn about the various practice settings relevant to working with children and young people and working within multi-disciplinary settings.
Therapeutic competencies 2: Theory, skill and practice (11-18 years)
You will learn about the theory and practice of working with older children and young people with an opportunity to apply learning within a placement.
Research in psychotherapy: consumption and production
You will learn about the research process, how to conduct rigorous research, and how to use research findings to benefit your practice.

3rd Year

Research in psychotherapy: Empirical project
You will conduct an independent research project on a topic that you are passionate about, relating to psychotherapy and counselling. It could be a quantitative project, qualitative project, reflective study, or scientifically-grounded case study.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

How do you best promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people?

Why ask ‘what has happened to someone’ and not ‘what’s wrong with them’?

How do you successfully engage children and young people when their wellbeing is suffering?

What is evidence-based practice and how do I become a research informed professional?

How do I develop my research skills?

How do I grow and develop both personally and professionally?

What might you become?

Successful completion of MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling for Children and Young People will enable you to work as a counsellor with children and young people (4 -18 years).  Additionally, you will be equipped with skills, knowledge, and understanding to work in various welfare and pastoral related roles within multi-professional environments such as mental health, education, youth, and social care.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Teaching includes lectures, seminars, skills practice, discussion, presentations, one to one tutorials, and workshops.

How will you be assessed?

To ensure that you have the best opportunity to demonstrate that you have met the programme learning outcomes, our assessments are designed to include a broad range of assessment methods that give you the opportunity to draw upon your professional and academic learning.  These include essays, written reflections, case studies, recorded practice, critical reviews, presentations, self-reflective journals and clinical portfolios of practice. There are no exams.

The dissertation enables you to independently undertake an original piece of research, which will be assessed through a written research report. Additional support is provided in the form of either face-to-face or online tutorials.


Dr Alister McCormick

Course leader

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Psychologist Alister leads the Psychotherapy and Counselling courses at Marjon If you have any questions about this course, or would like to find out more, please contact Alister on

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,500

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Additional costs:

If you are seeking to become accredited with a professional body, you may be required to undertake personal therapy and this is not included within course fees. You will need to attend at least 80% of each module to meet eligibility criteria for application for professional registration.

You will need the following which are not included within the course fees:

  • Student membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more

Your schedule

The course will run on campus at Marjon on one day a week. Please anticipate dedicating an additional 1-2 days a week on independent reading, learning activities, coursework, and placement activities.

Course location(s):

Plymouth Marjon University


Lucy Cooper


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Lucy has clinical experience is in supporting students within Higher Education as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist, a Specialist Mental Health Mentor, and in other Student Support and Welfare roles. She has worked in a variety of mental health charities and services as a counsellor or service manager. Her research focus is student mental health spanning measures perfectionism, anxiety, worry, resilience, wellbeing and social media use in students. 

Juliana Hopkins


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Juliana is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and currently works in private practice alongside this lecturing role.

Dr Alister McCormick

Senior Lecturer

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Alister teaches psychology and its applications to sport, exercise, and health. His main research interest is how psychological interventions can be used to improve the performances of people who participate in endurance events, such as middle- and long-distance running, cycling, swimming, and triathlon events.

More information

This course has been informed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) curricula and competencies for work with young people. The degree is not accredited by BACP. Please email the course Dr Alister McCormick on if you have any queries.

Professional registration and accreditation are achieved through the professional body with whom you wish to register. In order to progress towards registration and/or accreditation, please refer to professional organisations such as the BACP.

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