Study Counselling, Psychotherapy & Occupational Therapy In UK

The fields of Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy are essential components of the broader mental health and well-being sector. Explore this guide to find more about studying these subjects in the best UK universities.

counselling subject guide

Table of Contents

What is Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy?

Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy are areas of study that focus on the assessment, treatment, and support of individuals experiencing various mental, emotional, and physical challenges. Each field has its unique focus and methodologies for helping individuals improve their overall well-being and quality of life.

  1. Counselling Study: The study of counselling involves exploring theories and techniques for providing guidance and support to individuals facing personal or psychological difficulties. 
  2. Psychotherapy Study: Psychotherapy study delves into the in-depth understanding of human behaviour, mental health disorders, and therapeutic interventions for promoting psychological well-being. 
  3. Occupational Therapy Study: Occupational therapy study focuses on understanding human occupation and its impact on health and well-being.

Why Study Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy?

  1. Helping Others: These disciplines provide the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing mental, emotional, or physical challenges. By studying these fields, you can acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to support and empower others to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
  2. Personal Fulfilment: Working in these areas often involves building strong, supportive relationships with clients and witnessing positive transformations. The ability to facilitate positive change in someone’s life can bring a deep sense of personal fulfilment and purpose.
  3. Diverse Career Opportunities: Studying these fields can open up diverse career opportunities in various settings, including hospitals, mental health clinics, rehabilitation centres, schools, and private practices. The versatility of these disciplines allows professionals to work with diverse populations and address a wide range of mental and physical health concerns.

Best Universities for Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy in the UK

Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest Complete University Guide:

RankingUniversity Name
1University of East Anglia UEA
2University of Southampton
3University of Liverpool
4Cardiff University
5Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
6Glasgow Caledonian University
7Northumbria University, Newcastle
8Bristol, University of the West of ...
9Ulster University
10University of Worcester
11University of Plymouth
12Robert Gordon University
13University of Bradford
14Oxford Brookes University
15University of Brighton
16University of Cumbria
17University of Derby
18University of Northampton
19Coventry University
20Staffordshire University
21Bournemouth University
22London South Bank University
23Teesside University, Middlesbrough
24Leeds Beckett University
25University of Sunderland
26Brunel University London
27Canterbury Christ Church University
28University of Salford
29University of Greenwich
30York St John University
31Sheffield Hallam University
32University of Huddersfield
33St George's, University of London
34Edge Hill University
35University of Essex
36Wrexham University
37University of Chester
38University of South Wales
39University of East London
40University of Roehampton
41Birmingham Newman University
42University of Wolverhampton
43Buckinghamshire New University
44Bishop Grosseteste University
45University of Central Lancashire

Entry Requirements for a Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy Degree

  1. Academic Qualifications: Most universities require a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as A-levels or their international equivalents.
  2. Subject Prerequisites: Some programmes may require prior study in psychology, social sciences, or related fields. A background in these subjects can provide a foundational understanding of human behaviour and mental health, which is beneficial for students pursuing degrees in counselling and psychotherapy.
  3. Relevant Experience: Some universities may consider relevant work experience or voluntary experience in the field of counselling or psychotherapy as part of the entry requirements. This experience can demonstrate a genuine interest in the field and an understanding of the demands of the profession.

Jobs for Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy Graduates

Here are the career prospects for graduates in this field:

  • Counsellor or Psychotherapist: Work with individuals or groups to address emotional, mental, and behavioural issues, providing therapeutic support and guidance.
  • Mental Health Counsellor: Assist individuals dealing with various mental health concerns, providing counselling, support, and crisis intervention services.
  • Occupational Therapist: Assist individuals with physical, developmental, or emotional challenges to improve their ability to perform daily activities and enhance their quality of life.
  • Rehabilitation Specialist: Work with individuals recovering from injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions to help them regain independence and improve their functional abilities.
  • Geriatric Care Specialist: Assist elderly individuals in maintaining independence and improving their quality of life through therapeutic interventions and adaptive strategies.

What do Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy Graduates do?

The vast majority (89%) of occupational therapy graduates are working as therapy professionals. Caring personal services, nursing professionals, welfare and housing associate professionals, managers and proprietors in health and care services, health associate professionals and other health professionals are all among the top ten jobs held by these graduates

Salary for Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 

Low skilled: £18,000

Medium-skilled: £19,000

High-skilled: £25,000

Topics for Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Occupational Therapy and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy in Treating Anxiety Disorders among Adolescents.
  2. Exploring the Role of Family Counselling in Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts and Enhancing Communication Patterns.
  3. Examining the Application of Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Managing Depression and Stress-Related Disorders.
  4. The Role of Occupational Therapy in Facilitating Independence and Functional Recovery among Stroke Survivors.
  5. Understanding the Application of Occupation-Centred Practice in Promoting Well-Being and Social Inclusion among Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options:

    • Public Health and Epidemiology: Investigate the patterns and determinants of diseases within specific populations, focusing on preventive measures and health promotion strategies.
    • Healthcare Management and Administration: Analyse the organisational and administrative aspects of healthcare systems, addressing topics such as healthcare policy, resource allocation, and quality improvement initiatives.
    • Social Work and Community Development: Explore the role of social workers in addressing social issues, community development, and the implementation of social welfare programmes.
    • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences: Investigate various aspects of human behaviour, cognition, and emotional well-being, focusing on topics such as cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, or social psychology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

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