MSc Counselling and Positive Psychology

Are you interested in applying positive psychology and positive psychotherapy in practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist? Our dual qualification Master’s in Counselling and Positive Psychology offers you the opportunity to develop core counselling skills, alongside your understanding of the theoretical models of counselling and psychotherapy. We’ll support you to gain the ABC level 4 Diploma in Counselling, and help you prepare to meet the BACP registration requirements.

MSc Counselling and Positive Psychology

Course details

Our MSc in Counselling and Positive Psychology takes you on an immersive journey exploring the applications of a relatively new subject area within psychology and its relevance and benefits for counsellors and psychotherapists. Offering two qualifications and support to prepare for professional registration with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), this career relevant course is designed to take you deep into the concepts, theories and practice of counselling and positive psychology.

With a special focus on the applications of positive psychology and positive psychotherapy for counselling, the course is taught by experienced and enthusiastic teaching staff with an excellent knowledge base. You’ll have the opportunity to practice counselling and psychotherapy skills independently under supervision and guidance. We’ll encourage you to explore and critically debate positive psychology’s new techniques and research, supporting you to evaluate developing theories and applications in positive psychology. Our supportive and passionate team offers expert training in counselling skills, techniques, helping you to conceptualise, design and implement theory in to practice.

Successfully completing the University of Bolton’s MSc in Counselling and Positive Psychology can put you in a highly favourable position for seeking employment in relevant helping professions, educational institutions, and for securing a place on a specialist psychology-related higher degree or doctorate programme. You could also become an individual counselling practitioner.

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MSc
  • Duration: 18 months

Course highlights:

  • On successful completion of this course, you’ll be awarded an MSc in Counselling and Positive Psychology by the University of Bolton and gain the ABC level 4 Diploma in Counselling.
  • For the duration of the course, our expert team will also support you as you prepare to undertake the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Certificate of Proficiency exam required for registration with this well-respected professional body (fees apply).
  • We’ll support you as you develop an in-depth and advanced knowledge of this emerging field of positive psychology, and its applications for counselling and psychotherapy.
  • Our teaching staff for this programme are involved in therapeutic practice and ongoing research in this subject.
  • You’ll be supported throughout the programme, receiving help in areas such as finding a placement and having the right supervisors for your placement, as well as with your final research project.
  • You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop highly sought-after skills in practice, critical evaluation and reflection relating to counselling and positive psychology.

Key features:

  • An enthusiastic, dedicated and supportive teaching team delivers this pioneering programme.
  • The course curriculum gives you the opportunity to deliver counselling and psychotherapy to clients under supervision while you are in your placement.
  • Learning and teaching is student-centred, with small group sessions and one-to-one tutorials. This is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment.
  • You can enjoy contributions from expert guest speakers on a range of subjects covered in this exciting postgraduate programme.
  • The programme is designed to enhance your employability, particularly in the counselling and psychotherapy fields – or to help you progress to further studies in psychology or counselling.

Entry requirements

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MSc
  • Duration: 18 months

You should have an Upper Second Class (2.1) Honours degree (or higher) in Psychology or a relevant area. If you have a Lower Second Class (2:2) Honours degree in Psychology, then you may be accepted on to the programme.

All suitable applicants will be invited to attend an interview and provide proof of one-to-one basis work experience in a helping role.

You will also need to provide two satisfactory references (one for academic capacity and one for work/voluntary experience).

We may also ask you to provide a portfolio of your work, as part of the application process.

This course does not confer Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) – if you are seeking to achieve GBR please consider applying for our MSc Psychology (Conversion) programme.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.5 with normally no less than 6.0 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

Career opportunities

The MSc in Counselling and Positive Psychology focuses on the core counselling skills, counselling theories, and applications of positive psychology and psychotherapy in practice. It looks at the impact of counselling and psychotherapy on a person’s wellbeing and what makes people thrive.

The course is designed to develop your employability skills, including intellectual and thinking skills, problem solving, interpersonal awareness, communication skills, your ability to develop arguments supported by relevant evidence, and team work, IT and data handling skills.

What can I do with this qualification?

A Master’s in Counselling and Positive Psychology can be used in a wide variety of job roles within practice, education and training, business, healthcare, charities and government agencies. As a graduate, you could even use helping skills and positive psychology techniques to work in business organisations.

If you’re aiming to become an assistant psychologist, clinical psychologist, counsellor, counselling psychologist, life skills coach, wellbeing practitioner, or psychotherapist, the theory and transferable skills offered by this course should also benefit your clinical work. Teachers, youth workers and educators can also use counselling and positive psychology expertise in their work.

Some graduates may choose to continue their education to doctorate level. Continuing your education would give you the opportunity to develop your skills further and research your area of interest.

Alternative career options

  • Teaching and education
  • Prison service counsellor
  • Probation services
  • Family mediation and support
  • Child protection
  • Social work
  • Police
  • Youth work
  • Communications
  • Sport and recreation
  • Careers guidance
  • Human resources

Professional recognition

On successful completion of this course, you’ll be awarded an MSc in Counselling and Positive Psychology by the University of Bolton and gain the ABC level 4 Diploma in Counselling.

For the duration of the course, our expert team will also support you as you prepare to undertake the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Certificate of Proficiency exam required for registration with this well-respected professional body (fees apply).

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Therapeutic Counselling
  • Research Methods for Counselling and Coaching
  • Foundations of Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychology in Practice
  • Supervised Counselling Practice 1
  • Qualitative Inquiry
  • Positive Psychology Dissertation

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a diverse range of teaching methods, designed to complement each other and help you achieve the course’s intended learning outcomes. We offer lectures, seminars, workshops, group supervision and one-to-one sessions – but you’ll also be expected to undertake significant independent reading and investigation, as well as completing seminar-related work and preparing for workshops, presentations and group discussions. Some modules will require you to follow up taught sessions by using online resources and completing complementary tasks.

Assessment methods are also varied, allowing you to demonstrate your learning in a range of ways. For example, module assessments may require you to complete reports, essays, presentations, deliver counselling sessions, portfolio, literature reviews, or review journal articles, write up case interventions, treatment evaluations, complete short question and present reflective journals.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (70%), Placement/study abroad (12%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (18%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
  • Duration:
    18 months

Contact us

Chathurika Kannangara
Programme Leader and BACP Registered Counsellor
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903306

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903