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MA/MSc in Psychological Coaching

MA in Psychological Coaching/MSc in Coaching Psychology

This course is not running in 2017.


Joint Programme Leaders: Simon Cavicchia and Dr Josie Gregory

This course will equip you with the knowledge, confidence and skills to coach a wide range of clients in a variety of settings.


What is psychological coaching?

A psychological approach to coaching seeks to enable clients to make desirable and beneficial changes in their personal and professional lives, develop and grow. It focuses on unlocking and unfolding human potential underpinned by a solid understanding of human experience, adult learning and change, originally developed in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. At Metanoia we seek to promote dialogue between psychological understanding and coaching theory and practice, and to counter a tendency in some quarters to split the discipline of coaching off from the psychological.

A collaborative-relational orientation to coaching

We believe that a collaborative, negotiated relationship between coach and coachee stands to significantly impact the flow and outcomes of the work. We draw on psychotherapy outcome research that demonstrates the centrality of the relationship between client and practitioner for facilitating change, and are committed to researching how these principles can inform the practice of coaching. We pay attention to the often subtle, yet extremely potent, forces at work in human relationships that influence the ways in which coach and client think, reflect and make meaning together.

Theoretical Rigour

Whilst coaching is not therapy, it draws heavily on principles and practices developed first in the area of counselling and psychological therapies, as well as adult learning theory. We believe in honouring these roots and making explicit theory and principle in order that coaches and their practice can be supported by a strong theoretical underpinning. Increasingly it is being recognised that psychological understanding can enhance coaching practice.

One of our students recently commented that this is like learning the fundamentals of grammar when learning a language, as opposed to a repertoire of phrases. In this way our students are supported to construct and develop a range of appropriate and timely interventions rooted in an understanding of theory and principle and the context in which they are working.

Practice Orientation

In addition to our concern with enabling students to develop a strong theoretical basis for their work, we focus on equipping our coaches with the necessary skills for practicing effectively, creatively and ethically in a variety of contexts. Our core skills curriculum runs alongside theoretical exploration and provides a solid foundation for practice.

Emphasis on developing critical reflection

We are committed to enabling our students to develop the ability to reflect deeply on their experience and practice. The most important tool coaches have available to them is themselves. As such we need to be able to reflect on our own experience and on the dynamics of interaction between ourselves and our clients. Reflection, be it in the moment of working with a client or in supervision represents the raw material out of which successful interventions can be designed and executed.

Concern with the person of the coach

From our experience of teaching psychotherapy, we believe that the person you are is the practitioner you are. Training can provide a theoretical framework along with tools, however, how these are executed, and the impact they have, depends in large part on the person who is the coach. Throughout our programme, our experienced tutors and supervisors provide supportive and challenging feedback to enable students to know themselves better and become increasingly aware of their resources, their limitations and areas for ongoing development.

Our students are required to experience coaching with psychologically minded practitioners in order to experience first hand the transformative potential of working in this way. Our teaching modules include facilitated sessions in group process to enable students to experience directly their own patterns of being and interaction, and understand experientially the nature of human systems and system dynamics. This is invaluable for any individual wishing to practice in organisation contexts. Individual and group supervision provide further contexts for deepening understanding of who we are and the implications of this for our practice.

Supporting the development of unique individual coaching models and identities.

Our integrative approach supports students to explore and experience a range of theories and practices for coaching and to develop their own coherent approach. We encourage students to fully own and embody their chosen models as we believe this further supports practice efficacy and impact.

Proven track record for teaching psychological approaches to change.

For the last 25 years the Metanoia Institute has been training individuals in psychological therapies and change. Many of our psychotherapy graduates have been working also as coaches. Our faculty members are all trained in psychology or psychotherapy as well as having extensive experience in working as coaches and/or consultants in organisations.


Training programme design.

The Postgraduate Certificate year will gain 60 credits at level M and candidates can, at the completion of this first year, take an exit award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching. The second year is the Master’s year and will gain 120 credits at level M. Both groups of Masters students will be taught in the same cohort. The course will be comprised of taught components (two-day units), written assessments, coaching practice, supervision, a research project and presentations.


The Postgraduate Certificate year entitled ‘Key issues in coaching’ will cover areas such as:

  • The process of coaching from an integrative relational perspective;
  • Developing an integrative relational model of coaching practice;
  • Coaching in organisations;
  • Ethical practice in coaching and
  • an Introduction to practitioner research.


The MA/MSc year in coaching entitled ‘Developing an integrative framework for coaching practice’ will cover areas such as:

  • Structures and processes of assessment
  • Advanced practitioner research and the contribution of concepts from Systemic,
  • Psychoanalytic,
  • Humanistic/Existential,
  • Cognitive Behavioural and
  • Positive Psychology to the development of an integrative relational model of coaching.


Applicants will be asked to attend an assessment session.