Entry is through submission of an application form, evidence of qualifications, 2 suitable references, a satisfactory criminal records check and a personal interview. The following requirements comply with both QAA and UKCP’s standards for training in psychotherapy:
- An undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline (for example, sociology, education, theology, philosophy), or
- A non-relevant undergraduate degree with appropriate training or experience, or
- A qualification or professional training/work-based portfolio in the helping professions evidencing study level equivalent to level 6 (for example, social work, psychiatric nursing, general nursing, teaching)
- A counselling diploma or equivalent qualification plus evidence of ability to study at level 6
- Relevant work and/or life experience plus evidence of ability to study at level 6
Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements for entry, but satisfy criteria relating to ‘relevant work and/or life experience’, may be asked to complete a short essay in order to demonstrate their capacity to study at postgraduate level.
Where English is not your first language, you must demonstrate a pass in either:
- IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.5 in any element)
- TOEFL iBT 87 (no less than 21 in listening and writing, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking), or
- CELE pre-sessional course
SPTI can only consider applications from applicants who satisfy HOME fee residential status criteria e.g. UK/EU/EEA including Switzerland. SPTI is not a UK Home Office registered sponsor and we are unable to admit international students.
If you are already a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist wishing to further your career by undertaking additional study/research, you may be eligible to join either year 2 or 3 of the MSc programme via an Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) application process. In this instance, the length of training will be determined by the point of entry.
The nature of psychotherapy training is primarily relational and as such it is important for applicants to disclose any pre-existing relationships with SPTI staff and/or members (and other applicants where known) at the point of application. This provides the opportunity to address potential implications for this at the interview stage thereby ensuring professional standards when attending to dual relationships, which Professional Bodies (for example, BACP and UKCP) recommend be avoided to prevent detrimental effects and promote professional accountability at all stages of training and practice. We aim to ensure that this does not provide an unnecessary barrier to recruitment. Therefore, in cases of pre-existing relationships with current students and/or training staff, adjustments may be suggested; this could include an alternative entry point or in some cases an alternative programme of study.
Interviews are conducted with the Programme Leader or an experienced team member who is a professional counsellor/psychotherapist and likely to be for a minimum of 30 minutes duration. At interview, you will need to demonstrate that you have, or have the potential to develop, the following attributes and skills:
- Self-awareness, maturity and stability
- Ability to reflect on life experiences and utilise constructive feedback
- Capacity to cope with the emotional and intellectual demands of the programme
- Ability to form a helping relationship
- Awareness of issues of diversity and equality, prejudice and oppression
- Ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support
- The generic professional skills of literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self-management skills, communication and interpersonal skills