Doctor of Psychotherapy by Professional Studies (DPsych) - Online
A Joint Programme with Middlesex University
Faculty Head Dr Bijana Vanrijn
Director of Studies Dr Cristina Harnagea
To apply, please click the "Apply" button at the bottom of the page to begin the process.
We are currently accepting applications for 2023/24.
Would you like more information regarding the programme?
Metanoia’s professional doctorate is a unique post-qualification training programme that enables accredited therapists, counsellors and other practitioners to apply their knowledge and experience in a research context and demonstrate an ability to conceptualise, design, carry out and report a piece of original research that is related to their professional practice. The programme introduces students to a wide palette of research methods and provides them with an opportunity to learn to appraise and critique research, generate interesting and valid research questions, collect and manage data, conduct analyses and report their findings up to a publishable level.
Briefly, Metanoia’s professional doctorate adds a set of important and useful skills to a practitioner’s professional toolkit, as well as a valuable academic award (the programme is equivalent to a PhD).
Who is it for?
The programme takes between three and seven years to complete and is aimed at accredited therapists, counsellors, counselling psychologists and suitably qualified practitioners from related professions. The programme draws on extensive theoretical and practical resources to enable the student to understand, conduct and publish research at a professionally acceptable level. Generally, a research topic selected by the student should relate to their professional practice/experience. The programme encourages theoretical and methodological diversity and aims to generate quality research projects that are relevant to the real-life issues in therapeutic/counselling practice.
A Practice-Based Research Approach
The focus of the programme is on utilising students’ knowledge and experience as the starting point and ultimate motivation of their research. In other words, the student is given considerable latitude in arriving at a (doctoral-level) research question as long as it relates to their area of practice. The latter is interpreted broadly so that the student is constrained only by the quality of the proposed research and its viability. Once the question has been formulated and approved by the supervisor, the student is free to employ a number of qualitative and/or quantitative methods. One factor that makes this type of research both challenging and rewarding is reflexivity—the ability to develop or demonstrate awareness of one’s own motives, challenges, limitations and mistakes. While the ability to reflect is a critical quality in therapeutic practice, the programme’s explicit focus on reflexivity enables the student to approach it analytically and explicitly. This in turn results in a better understanding of one’s own impact on the research and therapy processes.
Applications will be considered from candidates who possess:
- A first degree and of a standard which indicates their suitability for work at Doctoral level, normally a good upper second or first class Honours degree.
- A Master’s degree in psychotherapy or related subject with a research component or equivalent. Applicants are expected to be accredited by UKCP, BACP, BABCP, BPS or other similar national or international counselling, psychotherapy and psychology bodies, which will be assessed on a case by case basis.
- Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken English of a standard necessary to support academic study and professional practice at doctoral level. Applicants for whom English is not a first language must possess an English language qualification demonstrating proficiency of an IELTS minimum of 7 with no element below 6.5 or TOEL IBT min 110 with a minimum of 26 in reading and a minimum of 28 in writing speaking and reading.
The selection process aims to ensure that students admitted to the programme are likely to complete it successfully. The DPsych programme places high demands on students’, abilities and personal resources. Therefore, the selection process has to be thorough and rigorous. Applicants who fulfil entry requirements (1), (2) and (3) will be invited to attend an interview.
Structure of the programme
The structure of the programme allows students to attend teaching and complete the project at the pace appropriate to their circumstances. The teaching is divided into semesters and assessment of progress is divided into stages.
Full-time students attend both semesters in year 1 and part-time students attend semester 1 in year 1 and semester 2 in year 2.
Part-time students continue to receive supervision approximately every other month and attend Presentations/Group supervision monthly during the period in which they are not attending teaching. This is to ensure that part-time students remain engaged with their project and the research community at Metanoia Institute.
Stage 1: (first 12-24 months of study)
The first stage includes lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations and consultations. These are organised over two semesters (October to June) and give students a lot of opportunities to shape their ideas and learn about various research methods. Generally, group sessions (lectures and seminars) are held weekly (10:00-14:30 GMT) with the exception of reading weeks and holidays. At this stage, the syllabus is focussed on introducing students to research methods and ethics via lectures and seminars, honing their writing and presentation skills and making them engage with their research and practice reflexively, that is, with a deep awareness of their own role in the process.
Students’ progress through Stage 1 is assessed formatively by means of a literature review (understanding of research, writing skills) and summatively via a research proposal and a presentation at the Annual Progress Review.
Progression to Stage 2 is assessed through a methodology chapter and presentation at Review Stage 2 Panel.
Stage 2 is structured so that it allows students to devote more time to submitting their ethics approval form, recruitment, data collection and initial thesis drafting. While the delivery format is similar to that of Stage 1, the sessions are less frequent (every other week, likely on Thursdays) and the focus is on more advanced research methods and specific workshops.
The remaining years of study are focussed on the completion of the thesis and the progress monitoring continues via submission of completed chapters and Annual Progress Review. The final result is a thesis, comprising of a 50,000-word monograph and a publishable paper.
This is a Middlesex University programme and qualification, jointly developed, delivered and assessed by Middlesex and Metanoia Institute and quality assured by Middlesex University. This programme is a collaborative research initiative between Metanoia Institute and Middlesex University.
If you have any questions please get in contact with us below and we will respond to your enquiry.