Entry requirements and training (counselling psychologist)

This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed for a career in counselling psychology.

You’ll need a BSc or BA honours degree in psychology to become a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society which allows you to apply for post graduate courses in counselling psychology.

Academic requirements for psychology degrees

Some universities are flexible about the A-levels or equivalent qualifications needed for entry onto psychology degrees while others may have more specific requirements. Check with individual universities for specific entry requirements. 

Undergraduates will need to be able to handle scientific concepts, be numerate and have excellent writing skills. Biology, mathematics, English, history, economics or similar arts or social science subjects are all useful preparation for a psychology degree. Maths at the Scottish Standard Grade or at GCSE level, at grades A, B, C, are usually required. 

Applying for psychology courses

The number of students applying for psychology courses has risen dramatically in the last few years, which has resulted in higher grades being required to get accepted. A or A/S-level psychology is not required for entry onto degree courses, but many students find that it provides them with insight into the subject and helps them decide if they want do a psychology degree.

Most universities are flexible with their entry requirements, however, you should contact the institution you wish to study at for further information. University courses, whether single, joint or combined honours degrees, tend to be general in content and cover all the main areas of psychology required to go into further post-graduate training. 

Registration 

After undertaking a postgraduate professional training course (at doctoral level) to become a counselling psychologist, you must then register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This allows you to practice as a counselling psychologist.  

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