MSc Clinical Skills in Integrative Psychotherapy

What evidence is there to support the effectiveness of psychodynamic interpersonal therapy? How does Socratic questioning affect a client’s perspective of their difficulties? What does practitioner self-care look like?

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Explore the Person-Centred therapeutic process, brief interventions, and different approaches to psychotherapy. Practise core therapeutic skills, from active listening to paraphrasing. And, reflect on practitioner resilience and self-care.

On this course you’ll explore the theories behind therapeutic methods related to promoting psychological wellbeing, and develop practical skills.

You’ll study topics including the principles of therapeutic approaches (such as developing positive therapeutic relationships with clients and Person-Centred care), therapeutic strategies of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT (including cognitive restructuring), and cognitive analytic therapy.

In skills sessions, you’ll complete role plays and scenario-based tasks to practise core therapeutic techniques, such as reflecting, identifying internal/external frames of reference, and Socratic questioning.

You’ll also reflect on practitioner wellbeing and development. Some of the themes you’ll consider include boundaries and safe practices, privilege and social responsibility, and core values and beliefs.

We’ll help you to develop your awareness of self-care through experiential learning groups based on your experiences and you’ll complete a practitioner log and reflective diary, too.

You’ll have the opportunity to complete a service-based dissertation relevant to the service you’d like to work in, such as with particularly vulnerable groups, children or in community settings.

At Manchester Met, our teaching team includes practitioner psychologists (clinical, counselling and health) with experience in working in NHS and private settings in the UK and internationally.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

With further postgraduate training, through a professional doctorate for example, you could develop a career in psychological therapies (such as counselling or psychotherapy) in the NHS or private practice, as this course offers a comprehensive theoretical foundation upon which to build professional skills and practitioner registration.

You might choose to pursue further study, and this course forms Stage 1 of our Doctor of Professional Studies in Psychological Therapies (DProf).

When you complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 (the professional doctorate), you can apply to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) for practitioner registration.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this programme are as follows:

If you are unsure as to whether you meet the entry requirements for the course, please liaise with the admissions team who can provide further information. 

Course details

Who is the course for?

Our masters degree in Clinical Skills in Integrative Psychotherapy is designed for practitioners looking to update their skills and advance their knowledge, as well as for students hoping to develop a career in psychological therapies.

With further study, you might work in counselling, psychotherapy, counselling and clinical psychology, or as an allied healthcare practitioner using therapeutic skills.

What will you study and how will you learn?

We aim to develop your understanding of the theoretical frameworks that form the basis of evidence-based practice, and your critical awareness of issues relating to promoting psychological wellbeing.

We look at innovative and inclusive approaches to promoting psychological wellbeing, and consider self-awareness, reflective practice and practitioner resilience.

On this course, you’ll discuss, critique and compare therapeutic modalities, focusing on an integrated and person-centred approach. You’ll consider contemporary theories and practical issues in therapeutic services across both the NHS and private sectors. This is to help you critically appraise the variety of therapeutic provisions.

Some of the topics you’ll study include the evidence supporting the effectiveness of interventions (such as motivational interviewing), key policies and guidelines relating to common conditions, and contemporary psychodynamic approaches.

You’ll learn through a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops, skills practice, and peer learning, where you’ll share your practice experiences.

We assess you through a range of methods, such as group presentations, exams, and critical reports. You’ll submit a dissertation, too. This typically focuses on the experience of therapeutic interventions and processes within a range of therapeutic services.

You might consider group reflections with a therapeutic community or focus groups with clients and staff teams to explore therapeutic processes. You might conduct individual qualitative interviews with clients to explore their experiences of one-to-one counselling or psychological therapy.

What will your dissertation consist of?

For your dissertation, you’ll submit an evaluation and an article written to the guidelines of an appropriate journal of your choice.

Usually, your evaluation is 6,000 words and presents the theoretical basis, undertakings and findings of your work. Your clinical recommendations article is typically a 2,000-word piece that develops the clinical implications and findings of your work further, to help services develop.

When will you study?

Core course teaching takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays, although additional Study Skills teaching and supervisory meetings will take place throughout the week. Therefore, full-time students should ensure they are able to attend all teaching and supervision meetings to maximise their learning experience throughout the course.

Part-time students have core teaching on Mondays in year one and Tuesdays in year two. In year two, part-time students will also need to attend Wednesday lab classes monthly and allow time for dissertation prep.
We recommend one day per week is allocated for independent study for the dissertation from the beginning of year two.

All students should be available for meetings with tutors and supervisors on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.

Students should ensure they are available for the 40 hour integrated placement throughout the week during term two to accommodate the schedule offered by the placement provider.

Over the duration of your course, you'll cover the following units:

Core units

  • Brief Intervention Models
  • Professional Practice Values (placement)
  • Therapeutic Relationships and Processes
  • Personal Development and Reflection
  • Research Principles and Methods
  • Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation
  • Core Therapeutic Principles 

For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Brief Intervention Models

This unit covers the rationale and key components of each brief intervention. For example, you'll critically appraise therapeutic strategies of CBT (including exposure, cognitive restructuring, relaxation, assertiveness training); solutions focused brief therapy (e.g. the miracle question, exception questions, scaling questions), motivational interviewing (e.g. open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, summaries) and brief psychodynamic interpersonal therapy (a dynamic exploration of core repetitive patterns of relating). Emphasis is placed on the evidence supporting the effectiveness of these interventions. Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, role-plays, experiential exercises, and class discussions of case studies. Formative assessment and feedback will take place through class discussions and presentations of ideas.

Professional Practice Values

This unit covers topics that are essential for practitioners in the field of mental health including: the development of psychological therapies and how accessible they are to different communities of people; key policies and guidelines relating to common conditions; ethical codes of conduct including those from professional, regulatory and commissioning bodies and responsible practice issues. There will be a reflective focus to encourage self-evaluation of developing ethical knowledge and awareness. Learning will include direct teaching, discussion and debate, group appraisal tasks and PBL tasks relating to case vignettes.

Research Principles and Methods

This unit will introduce you to the principles and practice of research and evaluation will allow you to develop a critical overview of various methodologies. The content will allow you to make comparisons between different quantitative and qualitative modes of investigation and review the ethical, legal and political issues in the research process. Reflection and reflexivity in the research process will be encouraged.

You'll be introduced to computing and information technology and how to undertake a literature searching strategy, develop a research question and write a research proposal/protocol and review descriptive and inferential statistics and hypothesis testing.

Finally, you'll review methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis and experience interpreting the results of data analysis.

Service Evaluation and Development Research Dissertation

This unit will develop and apply independent clinically relevant research skills. It is related to applied psychology, social and personal change and to best practice in services.

You'll identify research questions, prepare an evaluation proposal and submit these to the Department of Psychology Postgraduate Ethics Committee for approval along with risk assessment appraisals and letters of authorisation from external bodies, prior to commencing the work. You'll design and carry out their evaluation study under the supervision of a member of staff in collaboration with a suitable service. All projects will involve collection of empirical data. Research may utilise whatever method or methods most suitable to address the identified evaluation aims. Depending upon the design of the project, qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approaches could be used. Collaborations with external agencies are likely to be required. Teaching is mainly via one to one supervision or group supervision (where appropriate). This enables you to develop research skills and use supervision sessions appropriately at the different stages of research.

Therapeutic Relationships and Processes

An introduction to three different approaches to psychotherapy characteristic of psychological practice; group/systems therapy, contemporary psychodynamic approaches, and cognitive analytic therapy. An understanding of each approach in terms of the processes of psychic change, techniques and interventions and the characterisation of the role of the therapist in the therapy. Critical evaluation of each approach will include a review of the research and the suitability and adaptation for the individual client in their social and cultural context. You'll be expected to develop a personal reflective attitude to the module content.

Personal Development and Reflection

This unit will focus on theory, research and practice in personal development and reflective practice. A number of psychological theories will underpin student learning and the practice of development and reflection. Core topics include boundaries and safe practices, motivations, core values and beliefs, training needs, record keeping, reflexivity and reflective practice, professional identity, privilege and social responsibility, supervision, self-care and resilience, working in teams and groups.

Learning will take place through a range of modalities including personal development groups, facilitator led tasks, and discussion groups and one-to one tutorials. You'll be required to keep a practitioner log and reflective diary throughout the unit.

Core Therapeutic Principles

The unit presents the basic principles of different therapeutic approaches (Freudian, Cognitive-Behavioural, Compassion-focused, etc.) and their theoretical underpinnings. Special emphasis is given to the Person-Centred / Humanistic Model (e.g. Carl Rogers’ views, self-actualisation, congruence, conditions of worth, etc.) and central elements of the Person-Centred therapeutic process (e.g. the role of empathy, genuineness, acceptance, positive regard, etc.). The unit addresses the role of the therapeutic alliance and evaluates various other relevant issues, such as areas of diversity in therapy, boundaries and ethics. Using scenario- and observation-based learning, students will develop familiarity with core therapeutic skills (e.g. active listening, reflecting, paraphrasing, identifying internal / external frame of reference, Socratic questioning, etc.). 

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Placement options

This course has an integrated placement and includes just over 300 hours of teaching, which together can form part of an individual application for registration with organisations such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). However, it is predominantly an academic postgraduate degree and not a professional qualification. Further information about careers in therapy can be found on the BACP and UKCP careers webpages. 

Professional Practice Values

The learning outcomes for the Professional Practice Values unit are specifically practice-based and require the experiential learning of developing and implementing practitioner knowledge and values. Work-based learning will help you demonstrate your ability to work in the field of mental health and enhance your confidence in becoming practitioners. It will also deepen your experiential understanding of theory-practice links. Through the undertaking of work-based learning, you will gain work-based specific skills, contacts and knowledge to complement your academic learning. All students, irrespective of background, will be supported by members of staff in order to choose a suitable work-based learning provider.

For this unit you will require a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure you are able to undertake the suitable placement component. The cost of the DBS check is included in your academic fees and further information about the DBS policy at Manchester Met can be found here. The placement component will be discussed in detail during your course induction.

Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £5,667 to £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £10,667 to £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2667 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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