Module details for Research to Practice


This module allows students to consolidate and extend their understanding of the role of research in counselling, and to develop a capacity to use research knowledge to enhance their practice.


The aims of this module are to provide the student with a critical appreciation of the nature and scope of contemporary research in counselling and psychotherapy; the ability to analyse the validity and practical utility of research findings and reviews; competence in using findings from to research to inform policy and practice in counselling.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of different research methodologies in relation to addressing questions of theory and practice in counselling

2.  Demonstrate an understanding of both the historical development and current structure of research in counselling and psychotherapy

3.  Select and critically evaluate research articles that are relevant to specific areas of their practice

4.  Exhibit professional skills and resourcefulness in using research knowledge to inform and enhance their practice.

Indicative Content

1 Philosophical perspectives.

Different ways of knowing used by therapists and clients. Philosophical positions that underpin research traditions. How knowledge is created: key principles from philosophy of science.

2 Key methodological traditions

Assumptions, methods, and distinctive contribution to knowledge of quantitative,qualitative and case study approaches to research in counselling and psychotherapy.

3 Research in counselling and psychotherapy: an overview.

Historical development; social and political influences on research; research themes, programmes and debates; how psychotherapy research is organised and supported. Meta-analysis and meta-synthesis.

4 Critical analysis of research

Strategies for conducting critical analysis of the practice implications of studies and reviews.

5 Using research to inform practice

How therapists engage with research. The debate around empirically-validated therapies. The scientist-practitioner model. The points of contact model.

6 Personal and professional development.

Dialogue and reflexive self-exploration around personal attitudes, beliefs and practices around making use of research.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 20
Practical Activity 8
Assessment 40
Independent 132
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.