Masters in Counselling Psychology


In 1999 the Department of Psychology developed the Bachelor of Psychology (Counselling) degree programme in response to a growing need and demand for counselling psychologists. However, there has been a growing demand from our graduates to further their studies and sharpen their skills in counselling. In response to this need, the Department has developed a Master of Counselling Psychology degree program. The Master of Counselling Psychology provides students with advanced knowledge in counselling. It is intended for students who desire to advance knowledge, skills and competencies in counselling and who desire to competently serve individuals, couples, families, and groups in the community.

1.2. Programme Philosophy

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental processes. The goals of psychology are to describe, explain, control and predict behaviour. While other branches of psychology describe, explain and predict behaviour, counselling psychology is one of the branches of psychology that helps to control behaviour. Behaviour is controlled through guidance where professional information is offered by a counsellor to prevent the occurrence of a problem, or through counselling which is a face to face relationship through which the counsellor uses his or her professional skills to help a client to solve his or her problem. In a world full of diverse challenges, counselling psychology helps clients who are facing diverse challenges not to give up on life but to face and solve the problem.

1.3. Rationale

The Kenyan society is experiencing social, economic, political and cultural transformations. This is posing a serious challenge on individual and communal coping strategies to the extent that they require professional help in understanding, predicting and possibly controlling challenges in their lives. The program focuses on Counselling and applied Psychotherapy strategies to enhance outcomes for clients struggling with a wide range of challenges which may vary from intra-personal to inter-personal issues and systemic problems. A wide variety of theoretical models are taught with an emphasis on eclectic approaches offering integrative themes including neurobiological understandings relevant to counselling.

1.4. Programme Objectives

1. Explain the therapeutic approaches in counselling.

2. Apply the theories and techniques of counselling in various contexts.

3. Demonstrate practical counselling skills and techniques in real-life situations.

4. Acquire ethical principles and values of counselling.

5. Conduct research in counselling psychology

1.5. Programme Learning Outcomes

1. Understand counselling theories and techniques.

2. Utilise therapeutic approaches in counselling.

3. Evaluate various theoretical practices in various contexts.

4. Undertake a clinical assessment of clients.

5. Conduct counselling in a professionally and ethically.

6. Develop therapeutic models to address various clients’ counselling needs.

5.1. The Masters of Counselling Psychology shall be by coursework, seminars, continuous assessments, examinations, practicum and project.

5.2. Each candidate shall be required to take a minimum of 16 course units to graduate in a given specialization offered as follows:

5.3. Each candidate shall be required to successfully take a minimum of 16 course units comprising six (6) core units; four (4) elective course units; two (2) Practicum units and a Project which is equivalent to four (4) course units of 45 hours each.

5.4. There shall be Practicum in which a candidate shall be placed in a relevant field station to work under supervision by qualified practitioners and departmental academic member of staff. The practicum course shall be equivalent to two (2) taught course units of 45 hours each. Each taught lecture hour will be equivalent to 3-client-contact hours of practice. The candidate will, therefore, be expected to cover a minimum of 270 hours of practice making it equivalent to 90 taught lecture hours.

5.5. The candidate will be required to conduct and write a research project report equivalent to four (4) taught courses.

5.6. The candidate shall be allowed to take a minimum of two (2) course units and a maximum of six (6) course units per semester.

5.7. Each course unit shall cover forty-five (45) contact hours.

5.8. The candidate shall be required to submit their project proposal for approval by the department by the end of the first semester of the second year.



First year, semester 1

Core courses

Code Course title Hours

CPY 501* Research Methods in Psychology 45

CPY 502* Advanced Statistics in Psychology 45

CPY 550 Theories and Techniques of Counselling 45 First year, semester 1 Elective courses Code Course title Hours

CPY 551 School Counselling 45

CPY 552 Rehabilitation Counselling 45

CPY 553 Marriage and Family Counselling 45 First year, semester 2 5 Core courses Code Course title Hours

CPY 503 Psychological Assessment 45

CPY 505 Psychopathology 45

CPY 561 Counselling Process, Skills and Professional Ethics 45 First year, semester 2 Elective courses Code Course title Hours

CPY 554 Community Counselling 45

CPY 555 Substance and Addiction Counselling 45

CPY 556 Career Counselling 45 Second year, semester 1 Core courses Code Course title Hours

CPY 548* Practicum 90

CPY 559 Neuro-Psychopharmacological Interventions 45 Second year, semester 1 Elective courses Code Course title Hours

CPY 517* Cross-Cultural Psychology 45

CPY 520* Psychotraumatic Stress Pathology 45

CPY 549* Illness and Coping Mechanisms 45

CPY 557 Trauma Crisis and Grief Counselling 45

CPY 558 CPY 560 Child and Adolescence Counselling Life Span Development 45 45 Second year, semester 2 Core course Code Course title Hours

CPY 598* Project 180

1 The common regulations for the Masters’ degrees of the University of Nairobi and the Faculty of Arts shall apply.

2. The following shall be eligible for admission into the Master of Counselling Psychology:

3. A holder of Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with an Upper Second Class Honours in psychology, counselling, sociology or related field from the University of Nairobi or from any other University recognized by the Senate.

4. A holder of a degree with at least Lower Second Class Honours in any field from the University of Nairobi or any other University recognized by the Senate with two years of relevant working experience.

5. A holder of a Pass degree from the University of Nairobi or any other university recognized by the Senate may be considered for admission if he/she has at least five years relevant experience or has a postgraduate diploma in a relevant field from a University recognized by the Senate.


A candidate on the recommendation of the Board of Postgraduate Studies and approved by the Senate may be allowed to transfer up to a maximum of one-third of the course units offered in the program that a candidate will have passed in the prior institution.

Applicants seeking transfer of credits shall:

3.1 Send a formal application to the Director, Board of Postgraduate Studies, through the Dean, Faculty of Arts, seeking transfer of credits; justification of the request and evidence of credentials which would support such request shall be attached to the application.

3.2 Pay the prescribed fees for the transfer of credits before the application is processed.

3.3 Be allowed to transfer units which are equivalent to the same level offered at the University of Nairobi.