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Advice and Counselling Service

Placement scheme for counsellors

Thank you for your interest in our placement scheme.

We are delighted to announce that we are now accepting applications for our placement scheme for the 2023-24 academic year. 

The closing date for applications for our 2023-2024 scheme is April 30 2023 and we are aiming to conduct interviews in May 2023 for placements that will commence in October 2023. 

We are seeking trainee therapists from a range of modalities and training backgrounds. 

To find out more about our team and the opportunities available, take a look at the information below.

Background information

The Advice and Counselling Service at Queen Mary is located in London’s vibrant East End. The University has approximately 31,000 students and 4,500 staff. We are a large Russell Group University with a unique student body comprised of a high percentage of local students and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.  Diversity and Inclusion is an important University value. 

The Counselling Team is part of the Advice and Counselling Service (ACS), a multidisciplinary team comprising of Welfare Advisors, Mental Health Advisors, Student Wellbeing Advisors, and a Sexual Assault and Harassment Advisor. The placement is based within the Counselling Team but you will be expected to work closely with the other teams within ACS.

Our Counselling team is comprised of a counselling manager, 3 senior counsellors, 12 counsellors (including those from a diverse range of modalities), a group therapist and 2 consultant psychiatrists. We deliver approximately 3,200 individual appointments to around 800 students seeking counselling each year, for help with a wide range of issues. 

Counsellors offer mostly short-term counselling, with a very small proportion of our clients offered longer term counselling.  We also run therapy groups and offer workshops for students, as well as training and consultation to support staff in their pastoral role with students.  Trainees will have scope to see a range of presentations, work both short term and longer term, and will have a range of opportunities for learning.  Trainees attend bi-weekly clinical meetings and will have the opportunity to present clinical cases to the team. 

Queen Mary’s placement scheme is highly regarded in the sector and a high proportion of those completing a placement within our service are successful in gaining paid work in the sector. 

Trainee Counsellor

We offer training placements for those currently studying on a formal counselling/psychotherapy/CBT training course, who are seeking a placement as part of their course, and are keen to gain experience working with a student population within Higher Education. 

You will need: 

  • to have successfully completed a basic counselling skills training, and at least the first year of a Diploma or Masters level counselling/psychotherapy course;
  • to have experience of working 1:1 with people in a caring capacity;
  • to preferably be in the final year of study and/or with at least 1 year of prior placement experience;
  • to be able to demonstrate a good understanding of key therapeutic concepts;
  • to articulate what interests you about working specifically with students in a university context;
  • to be well organised, have good administrative and IT skills and able to work within systems and procedures of the service; 
  • to commit to one working day, offering a minimum of 3 clinical hours per week during term time, plus time for admin and weekly supervision; and 
  • to be able to attend at least a proportion of clinical meetings which are held bi-weekly on Wednesdays at 11.30am 

We will provide: 

  • mandatory induction training day on all aspects of the service; 
  • regular clinical supervision – usually 1:1 weekly face to face appointments for trainees; 
  • feedback to your training provider as required to assess progress; 
  • an opportunity to learn about all aspects of working within a specialist university-based service and how this differs from other settings or private practice; 
  • an opportunity to gain experience of brief and medium-term work, with the opportunity for one longer term client if this is a requirement of your course; 
  • an opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners from a variety of modalities through mentoring, supervision and clinical meetings; and 
  • a diverse range of clients who have been assessed by experienced counsellors, with the aim of providing you with 3-4 clinical hours per week 

We will make a commitment to the placement for an academic year and will expect that you are also able to make the same commitment. 

Application process

We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, faith, religion, disability and age. We particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups (particularly those who identify as part of an ethnic minority).

Download our Placement Application Form 2023-24 [DOC 37KB] and return to us at by the end of Sunday 30th April 2023. Interviews will take place in May 2023 and the placement will begin in October 2023.

If you have any questions, do email us at

- Counselling Manager: Dr Lindy Morrison, CPsychol

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