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Professional Doctorate Programme Head
Watch an interview with the Programme Head, David Hewison about the Professional Doctorate
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Student Testimonial - Professional Doctorate in Couple Psychotherapy
Find out what a former student thought of the Professional Doctorate in Couple Psychotherapy

Key Information

Date: September 2017
Fee 2017-18: UK & EU Students: £3600 per year, Non-EU/EAA Students: £4,500
Venue: Tavistock Relationships, 70 Warren Street, London, W1T 5PB
Course code: AT2

Applications still being accepted for 2017




This Professional Doctorate in Couple Psychotherapy aims to develop practitioners in the field of psychoanalytically-oriented couple psychotherapy in advanced research skills and understanding so that they can make an original contribution to professional knowledge and problem-solving through an extended piece of Doctorate research and writing.

It is an opportunity for couple psychotherapists to do qualitative or quantitative research in the field of adult relationships and can be based on clinical, conceptual, or applied work (for example work with parents).

Tavistock Relationships has a long history of researching and writing about couple relationships, and is staffed by experts in the field. It is unique because our level of expertise adds depth of thinking and reflective capacity to psychotherapeutic practise and research with the added dimension of a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic frame.

Why study a Professional Doctorate at Tavistock Relationships?

  • Highest academic award in the field of Couple Psychotherapy
  • Teaching is given by leading experts in the field with international reputations in the field of couple relationships
  • An opportunity to be part of an Institution with nearly 70 years training and research experience
  • Benefit from Tavistock Relationships' long history of researching and writing about couple relationships
  • You will be part of Tavistock Relationships learning and research community, and will be able to participate in professional development events and activities
  • Students will have access to face-to-face and online Research Skills and Research Methods teaching in line with Vitae's Researcher Development Framework. You will have good library and online database support from UEL and you will have access to PEPweb – the world's premier psychoanalytic literature database.
  • Become a student member of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology – the original parent body of the Tavistock Clinic
  • Get a free subscription to the international journal, Couple and Family Psychoanalysis
  • The Graduate School of UEL will provide support to your postgraduate research.


Successful completion of programme Professional Doctorate in Couple Psychotherapy at Tavistock Relationships leads to the award of Professional Doctorate by the University of East London.







What can it lead to

  • Our Professional Doctorate is the highest academic award in the field of Couple Psychotherapy. It is a unique programme of study, the only one of its kind in the UK that specifically centres on couple relationship research and located within an Institution.
  • Holders of the Doctorate can expect to take up senior positions in the health, psychotherapy, social care sectors and become the future leaders in couple therapy settings, including potentially working for Tavistock Relationships.
  • This programme will open up specialist professional leadership roles. Holders of the Doctorate will be able to show employers and others that they have outstanding knowledge and skills.

Qualification after successful completion of the course

You will gain a Professional Doctorate in Couple Psychotherapy (D.Cpl.Psych) from the University of East London (UEL).


Professional Doctorate 2017-18 Fees:

UK & EU Students: £3600

Non-EU/EAA Students: £4,500 

Course dates & time

Start date: September 2017

4 years part-time (with provision for early submission or more time if necessary).

Part 1 of the Doctorate is taught within years 1& 2, seminars mainly take place on Tuesday or Wednesday late afternoon and evenings (tbc), as well as some Saturday workshops. Students don’t have to attend all the seminars if they can claim Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) of elements previously undertaken as part of Tavistock Relationships' Masters Awards in Couple Psychodynamic, Psychoanalytic, or Psychosexual Psychotherapy, or other demonstrated equivalence

Part 2 is the research part of the Doctorate and extends over the next two years or so

Programme structure and components

Part 1 is made up of 5 modules:

Clinical Research Methods, Clinical Theory and Practise, Advanced Clinical Research Methods, Developing Research Methodology for Professional Doctorates, Advanced Clinical Theory and Practice (July Summer School in year 2)

These are taught through a mix of seminars, workshops, tutorials and research supervision.

Part 2 is the research part of the Doctorate and is an extended opportunity over 2 years+ to develop and apply the skills learned in Part 1 to a professional area or problem. It culminates in the submission of a 40,000- 60,000 word thesis and its defence in an oral examination.

Entry requirements

Students will usually have the following:

  1. A first degree or equivalent.
  2. A recognised M-Level couple therapy qualification that included a substantial psychodynamic component.
  3. A year or more’s experience of personal psychotherapy that is psychoanalytically/psychodynamically informed (for example, Integrative therapy, Jungian therapy, psychoanalytic therapy).
  4. An interest in psychoanalytic/psychodynamic theory and practice (eg through other courses or supervision)
  5. The time and capacity to work for some years, increasingly independently, at a high academic level.

Examples of recognised qualifications are:

  • Tavistock Relationships' professionally-accredited qualifications in Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic, or Psychosexual  clinical work with couples and relationships
  • LMG’s Diploma in Psychodynamic Marital and Couple Therapy
  • Relate’s MSc in Relationship Therapy
  • Relate’s MA in Relationship Therapy
  • Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Couples (D59C)
  • Graduate Membership of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology
  • Previous Full Membership of the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors gained through professional peer recognition of competency in the psychoanalytic treatment of adult couples

Holders of:

  • Relate’s Postgraduate Diplomas in Relationship Counselling or Psychosexual Therapy
  • London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship therapy

may also be eligible to apply depending on evidence that their overall experience gives them the equivalent of the above.

If in doubt, please contact the Programme Leader, David Hewison: dhewison@tavistockrelationships.ac.uk

Further information

Further information about this programme is available from:

If you are interested in any of these programmes please phone the Programme Leader, David Hewison: 020 7380 1955 - direct line and voicemail. Email: dhewison@tavistockrelationships.ac.uk to arrange an informal discussion. This is a chance to gather information and clarify details.

How to apply

Apply using the application form below:

 docDownload application form here 

Applications should be sent to:

Course Admissions
Tavistock Relationships
70 Warren Street
London W1T 5PB

Contact T: 020 7380 8288 E: training@tavistockrelationships.ac.uk

Closing dates for applications

Applications still being accepted for 2017

Applicants complete an application form and short listed applicants are invited for 2 interviews: a work interview with a senior Tavistock Relationships staff member couple specialist and an interview with research expert. Offers of places on the programme are made following a Selection Meeting.