Director of the MSc programme: Kleftaras George, Professor
Postgraduate Studies Secretariat “Counselling Psychology & Counselling in Special - General Education & Health”
University of Thessaly, 1st floor, Office 12
Argonafton & Filellinon St.
38221- Volos - Greece
Days and Hours of Operation
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: 14:00-17:00
Note: You may contact the secretary (physically or electronically) during the hours listed above
A total of one hundred and fifty (150) ECTS credits correspond to MSc: thirty (30) ECTS in each semester and fifteen (15) ECTS in each summer period. Their distribution has as follows:
First Summer Period
Second Summer Period
* This is a series of intensive specialized "Counselling Seminars" on specific topics and specific populations. They have an applied - laboratory character, they are compulsory and students are evaluated. More information on the seminars can be found in the "Courses - Seminars" section.
** Students are required to accomplish compulsory practicum and choose, if they wish, to complete a thesis during the 4th Semester and the 2nd Summer Period of their studies. Depending on their choice, ECTS are as follows:
1st Option: Practicum + Thesis = 35 ECTS (Practicum) + 12 ECTS (Thesis) = 47 ECTS
2nd Option: Practicum Only = 47 ECTS
The process of personal development is an essential and integral part of a whole approach training of a professional (psychology) counsellor/psychotherapist. Through this process, students are given the opportunity to improve their self-awareness and to become aware of both the strengths and the positive elements of their personality as well as their weaknesses and vulnerabilities (blind spots). This awareness is a necessary condition for self-improvement and personal development and makes the counsellor more substantial and effective in approaching others and developing a positive and warm relationship with them. During the process of personal development, students are required to:
a) Participate in 40 hours (approximately one year: 1 hour per week) of individual counselling and research, in order to elaborate on their own issues, but also to have an auxiliary counselling experience from the perspective of an already professional and experienced counsellor/psychotherapist (external partner of the MSc’s program, selected on the basis of specific scientific-professional criteria). Individual counselling takes place, if possible, in the area of the student's residence or in the nearest town. At the beginning of the first semester, students are informed about the available counsellors/psychotherapists to whom they can address to. Personal development is an ongoing procedure, regularly taken place on a basis of one session per week, and must be completed before the beginning of the third semester.
b) Participate in 60 hours (approximately one year: 1.5 hours per week) of group counselling with the aim of becoming aware and understand the team/group dynamics, as well as realizing the effective help and support that groups can offer in processing and resolving personal issues. The students are divided into four or five groups and each group has its own counsellor/psychotherapist. Group counselling begins after the completion of the individual personal development sessions, in the third semester, with a frequency of one session per week, each one lasting 90-120 minutes. It takes place in the University facilities, during week and, if possible, in the nearest town to the student's place of residence, provided that this city serves a significant number of students.
In order to obtain the MSc, the preparation and submission of an individual or group original master thesis is offered, as an optional assignment, during the 4th semester, on subjects relevant to the content of the master program. The thesis is supervised by a three-member committee comprised of the principal supervisor and two other members of the Department's or MSc's instructors (faculty members, scientific members, instructors according to PD 407/1980, or lecturers/professors from University of Thessaly or other Universities, or researchers of A, B, C degree who hold a PhD) defined by the Department's Assembly, following a proposal of the Coordination Committee.
The topic of the thesis is determined upon agreement among the student and the supervisor. Students should express their intention in preparing a master thesis and contact their academic teachers/supervisors at the beginning of the 3rd semester in order to have the appropriate preparation time.
The extension of the thesis should range between 17,000 and 20,000 words in cases of quantitative methodologies and it may be extended up to 25,000 words in qualitative methodology approaches (literature and annexes not included).
Upon completion of the thesis writing and with the consent of the supervisor, the candidate submits a copy to the other two members of the three-member supervisors’ committee. When the three-member evaluate and decide that the thesis is fully complied with the standards of an academic scientific work, it follows the procedure of a open to public thesis defense (after a relevant announcement by the Program Secretariat), under the prerequisite that all other requirements of the Master Program (courses, practicum, personal development process, financial obligations etc.) have been successfully completed.
COURSES – SEMINARS
The acquisition of the MSc, as described above, requires attendance and successful examination in 15 postgraduate courses, 12 of theoretical and 3 of laboratory content. Each postgraduate course corresponds to a minimum of 30 teaching hours. Teaching and exams take place in Greek, while bibliography and teaching material cover Greek and international sources.
In addition, a series of intensive specialized "Counselling Seminars" by Greek or foreign scientists and researchers on special topics and specific populations of particular interest from a consulting perspective, are offered within the framework of the Master Program. These mainly laboratory-applied seminars are compulsory and students are evaluated.
Attendance at courses and seminars is mandatory. The upper limit of permitted absences is set at 15% of the teaching hours of each course/seminar and only in exceptional cases, after substantiated justification (medical opinions, certificates, supporting documents, etc). This percentage can only be exceeded with the assent of the Department's Assembly. More absences result in the student not being admitted to the course/seminar exams, so he/she has to attend it from the beginning.
Evaluation and grading of courses/seminars is to the exclusive responsibility of the professors/instructors and is a derivative of the objective assessment of student performance in each course. The final grade of each course/seminar is derived from the overall performance of the student in specific areas (eg assignments, exams) according to the instructions given by each teacher at the beginning of the semester. The minimum acceptable grade is 5 on a 10-point scale.
If a student fails a course, he/she may be re-examined in the September re-examination period. In case of failure in the exams, the case is referred to the Coordination Committee, which recommends to the Department's Assembly either to permanently delete the student from the Master's Degree or the attendance of the same or another course. If the Department's Assembly decides the attendance of the same or another course and there is a second failure in that course, then the student fails permanently to successful completion of the Master's Degree Program.
PRACTICUM - SUPERVISION
Practicum is compulsory and lasts one thousand and one hundred (1100) hours, with a "Personal and Group Supervision" of one hundred and ten (110) hours, or - in case of no thesis - one thousand five hundred (1500) hours with one hundred and twenty (120) "Individual and Group Supervision" hours. Its purpose is to assist students as prospective counselors to fully acquire, understand and practice the theoretical knowledge and practical skills learned. Practicum is carried out gradually on two levels: a) Level I - Preparatory Practicum and b) Level II - Practicum in real environment.
Level I: Preparatory Practicum
The first level prepares the students for the implementation of the second level and includes observation, study and mainly simulations of counselling sessions by the students themselves. They are practicing counselling/psychotherapeutic techniques and skills through their trial application either to individuals in the student's home environment or among the students themselves. Simulation exercises are the first bridge between theoretical training and the application of acquired knowledge to practice. They are gradually implemented with supervision and in parallel with theoretical teaching. These are exercises that students practice safely, as their improper application does not have any possible harmful implications for the prospective counsellor and counsellee. In this way, students are adequately prepared and gain the necessary experience in order to apply successfully, at a later stage, the counselling/psychotherapy procedures in real situations.
The preparatory practicum (simulation exercises) takes a total of one hundred (100) hours, during the second and third semesters of study, and implies individual supervision of twenty (20) hours total.
Level II: Practicum in Real Environment
It takes place in public or private areas where counselling is practiced or should be practiced, such as educational institutions of all levels, hospitals, clinics or other therapeutic settings and rehabilitation centers, counselling services for special populations or not (people with disabilities, elderly, women, economic immigrants, people of national minorities, unemployed, homosexuals...) etc. In addition, it can be implemented in special education school units and/or schools of general education, where students with disabilities or special educational needs study. In this case, curriculum also includes observation, courses or interventions planning, participation in teaching and necessarily supervised autonomous teaching or educational intervention, as defined by applicable legislation. The choice of the framework where practicum will take place, takes into account the wishes of the students and their professional and scientific identity and can also be done on their own recommendation, if this is possible and necessary conditions are met.
If appropriate, practicum may begin before the start of the fourth semester, immediately after the exams of the second semester, and for its integration, the summer months of both the first and second year of study may be used. Practicum in real-life environment implies one thousand (1000) hours or -in case of no thesis- one thousand four hundred (1400) hours of attendance for each student in the context placed and is structured as follows:
Supervision is compulsory and is an integral part of practicum in real environment. Through the supervision, and thus guidance, encouragement and feedback of the supervisor, the student can safely, both for himself/herself and for the counsellee, experience and practice the theoretical knowledge he/she has acquired and develop the basic skills of a professional counsellor. Supervision takes place in two ways:
Upon completion of practicum, students should submit the following at the University:
DURATION - PLACE - COURSE DAYS
The minimum period for the award of the MSc diploma is set at two (2) calendar years. Studies are structured in four (4) academic semesters and two (2) summer periods. The eight (8) academic semesters are defined as the maximum duration of the postgraduate program (in case that there is a delay in the fulfillment on student’s behalf, of the MSc program’s prerequisites).
In special occasions (e.g. pregnancy, military service) and upon reasoned request, the Assembly of the Department may, if possible, grant a suspension of attendance for up to one year only. The period of suspension is not counted for the completion of the upper study time limit. In any other case where a student requests an extension of study time, the matter is considered by the Assembly.
The classes are held every week at the University of Thessaly, at the coastal building complex of "Papastratou" in Volos. For the convenience of the working students, the courses are concentrated on consecutive days at the end of the week, specifically Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.