Counselling. Practical Psychology

Counselling. Practical Psychology

Duration: 1 year (Full-time) or 2 years (Part-time)
Language of instruction: Russian
Format: On-campus
Special conditions: tuition fee waivers available
- Master of Arts in Counselling (University of Manchester, UK)
- Certificate of Professional Retraining "Practical Psychology" (MSSES, Russia)

The program trains psychological consultants who help individuals, families, or organizations cope with the complex challenges that arise in their life. Graduates learn the basics of general and experimental psychology, as well as one of the specializations: individual, family, or organizational counseling. Therefore, they can advise people on their personal life and work issues, and help organizations build business relationships within the team, taking into account the individual psychological characteristics of each employee.

Students choose research topics based on their interests. They can focus on a particular area of psychology or a specific issue that concerns them. For example, this year our undergraduates study such subject areas as the psychology of family and sexual relations, organization of work of psychological NGOs, problems in the self-determination of adolescents, difficulties in self-esteem and self-acceptance, methods of dealing with stress and professional burnout, etc.

The program is designed in accordance with British standards and validated by the University of Manchester. The British diploma allows our graduates to reach an international level and gives them an advantage over other Russian psychological consultants.

Who is this program for?

The program is suitable for both qualified psychologists and those who do not have a basic psychological education. Our students are people of different ages and experience, who are united by the desire to master practical psychology. Here they find a comfortable infrastructure for education, a friendly working environment and a community of like-minded people.

  • Psychologists-consultants will master modern methods of psychological counseling and various therapeutic approaches (including foreign and copyrighted ones).
  • Business coaches can strengthen their theoretical training and systematize their knowledge. This will set them apart from other trainers who may not be familiar with psychological concepts in all their diversity and do not know many modern psychological techniques.

  • HR managers will get psychological tools for more subtle and effective work with employees.
  • Project managers will learn how to manage a team, effectively organize work and create a comfortable atmosphere in the team.
  • Analysts will be able to get acquainted with the specifics of conducting research in psychology, better take into account the probabilistic picture of the data obtained and the ethical principles of conducting such research on behalf of organizations.

  • Graduates of a bachelor's degree in psychology will gain knowledge and practical skills to start a career as a consultant psychologist and plunge into real practice.
  • Graduates of non-psychological specialties who want to help other people will get a new profession and acquire ideas about various areas of psychology, learn how to resolve conflicts, suggest the right line of behavior, help effectively determine goals, and communicate professionally with people.

Program features

  • Students master the main psychological disciplines and one of the specializations: Individual and Family Psychological Counseling or Organizational Psychology and Personnel Management. This allows them to become universal specialists who help people both in the professional sphere and in personal life.
  • The program is focused on practice. When students receive theoretical knowledge, they can immediately apply and test it in their practical work and projects.
  • Each student chooses to study, write essays and dissertations on topics that are interesting to them and will be useful in their future work.
  • The training program includes training for personal growth and interpersonal communication, as well as the basics of conducting psychological training, master classes, interactive classes, seminars and practices.
  • Students find like-minded people among classmates, instructors, and the alumni community, which allows them to create common projects and receive support on their professional path.

  • The faculty involves as instructors practicing psychologists, well-known experts, doctors and candidates of psychological sciences, members of professional associations, business consultants and business coaches with extensive practical experience.
  • Students regularly attend lectures by foreign scientists and specialists.
  • Training in the evenings makes it possible to combine study with work.
  • Students can complete the British master's degree program in 1 or 2 years.
  • The library contains a rich collection of books and magazines and provides access to unique information resources on psychology.
  • Students study English for Practical Psychology and improve their academic writing in English. All our graduates speak English at a level sufficient for professional communication.
  • Training takes place in the city center (Okhotny Ryad metro station), which is convenient for most students.

If we take an approach to training, I would highlight two advantages. First, all the instructors were practitioners. For example, a course on organizational consulting was taught by people who actually did it themselves, so they talked about how they did it. In parallel with my studies, I continued to receive orders, and instructors could be approached and consulted about specific, practical things: whether to enter into a particular contract, etc. Secondly, in my opinion, Shaninka has a very good feedback system that allows students to influence the quality and content of courses taught.
Ekaterina Kukso, 2013 graduate, PhD in pedagogies

How is the training arranged?

Classes are held on weekday evenings from 19: 00 to 22: 00 and on Saturdays. Therefore, all master's students can combine their studies with work.

The program consists of interactive practical and academic courses:

Training: students gain professional experience in a psychologically safe environment and receive feedback from fellow students and professionals.
During the personal growth training, participants get to know each other and form a psychologically comfortable interaction.

At the training on individual and family counseling, the situation of counseling is simulated, each participant tries himself as a client, consultant and supervisor. The training participant presents their problem for discussion and has the opportunity to be in each of the three roles. Classes are held in a special room with a Gesell mirror, which allows students to organize a psychologically comfortable observation of the process of educational counseling.

At the group session management training, each student prepares the training and conducts it in a group, after which they receive feedback from the participants and the instructor. The result of this work is an essay in which the student describes the initial training plan, analyzes its success, based on the feedback received and suggests ways to improve it.
Academic courses: methodology of psychological research, statistics for psychologists, quantitative and qualitative research methods provide a scientific basis for the practical and analytical work of a psychologist. Research projects offered by the students themselves are analyzed in the classroom. This significantly helps them in planning the empirical part of the dissertation and in writing it.
In accordance with the British educational tradition, the program includes a course in ethical problems of psychological counseling. It examines ethical codes of conduct for psychologists, discusses cases and ethical dilemmas, and examines examples of conflicts of interest.

The course in the organizational and legal basis of the psychologist-consultant examines the normative documents and limits of the psychologist's actions from the point of view of the law: what procedures and requirements must be followed by a psychologist working in private practice or in organizations.

In the course Fundamentals of consulting work, students are introduced to different areas in individual and family counseling: systemic family counseling, humanistic psychology, solution-oriented short-term practice, psychotechnical approach, client-centered psychotherapy by Carl Rogers, psychodrama, transactional analysis, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and others.

Training program

The basic part of the courses

  • Actual problems of the theory and practice of modern psychology
  • Personal growth and interpersonal interaction training
  • Methodological problems and methods in psychology
  • Basics of consulting work
  • Ethical issues in counseling
  • Clinical psychology and pathopsychology
  • Psychological foundations of personnel management
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Academic writing for psychologists
  • Statistical methods in psychology

The variable part

  • Psychology of family relations
  • Basics of psychological training
  • Individual and family counseling services organizational and legal basis of the conselors's activity
  • Psychology of management
  • Organizational psychology

Optional Courses

  • Organizational consulting
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of programs and projects
  • Career guidance counseling
  • Psychology of decision-making


Human resources management and organizational psychology

Study of practical methods for improving the efficiency of organizations and businesses, as well as working with staff.
  • Documentation support of organizations ' activities
  • Diagnostics and reform of business organizations
  • Directions of modern management
  • Organizational psychology
  • Personnel management
  • Staff motivation and incentives

Individual and family psychological counseling

The program trains individual and family counseling psychologists who can work both in organizations and in private practice.
  • Mental health
  • Group work methods
  • Individual and family psychological counseling
  • Psychology of family relations
  • Solution-oriented short-term therapy

In Shaninka there is a kind of tasting of different methods and directions. There is organizational counseling, family counseling, solution-oriented short-term therapy. And during the course of the program, the student has the opportunity to practice in different directions, understand what interests them more, and decide where to go next: in counseling, therapy, and organizational management. This is what Shaninka is good for — it gives you the opportunity to try different areas of practical psychology.
Maria Sitnikova, a graduate of the faculty of psychology, PhD in psychology


For the past two years, students have been practicing in a project commissioned by the Moscow Department of social protection. They assist experienced leaders in groups for the prevention of psychological burnout in social workers and get real work experience. The second place of practice is the center for psychological assistance On Belorusskaya, where students are introduced to methods of psychological counseling that are outside the framework of the main curriculum.


Training in Shaninka for me is, in fact, my personal intellectual transformation. For me there is life before school and there is the current status after completion of training at school, which I call "I am from Shaninka". Teachers and colleagues in Shaninka gave me the opportunity to believe in my intellectual powers, thus opening the way for me to the philosophy of science. The school gave a systematic view of psychology as a theoretical science and as a practical activity. I have gained the ability to concentrate to achieve my goal of writing quality essays before the deadline. Not be afraid to take risks, accept challenges, and present my ideas to the world.
Nikolay Petyaev, 2016, business consultant, coach, author of training courses

Graduates' careers

Graduates work as HR specialists, psychologists in organizations, consulting psychologists, researchers, instructors, trainers, and coaches. Many graduates become consultants with private practice and help people and organizations successfully cope with problems. In this case, our graduates can create their own work and leisure schedule and maintain an optimal work-life balance.

Places of work: social policy departments, HR departments, psychological services, non-profit organizations, psychological services at large corporations, self-employment.

Graduates of the program

  • help private clients: establish personal relationships, set priority goals, cope with conflicts, determine their vocation, solve family problems, increase self-esteem, and motivate them to solve problems.
  • they help companies: resolve conflicts in teams, increase labor motivation, change the bonus system and the structure of the social package, select employees, diagnose the state and prospects of the client organization, work with the personnel reserve, evaluate employees, influence the climate and atmosphere in the team, develop talented employees, adapt new employees.

Alumni reviews

The Department of individual and family counseling practices a systematic approach - the most modern and promising psychotherapeutic approach to date (in my opinion). After graduation, this new style of seeing, evaluating, and analyzing situations (including my personal life) significantly expanded and strengthened my decision-making abilities. It should be noted that the realization of the real advantages of the system approach did not come immediately, at first it was an attempt to apply the methodology and follow the techniques, but gradually it became a new style of thinking, which for me personally is a huge advantage.
Lilia Balaban, a 2002 graduate
I discovered my strengths and weaknesses, got an answer to the question of whether I can work in the field of psychology, and made great friends for the next years of my life. I got acquainted with the world of psychology through excellent instructors. I learned to work with scientific literature.
Olga Zeitlin, 2001 graduate, HR Manager at the European company

Contact Us

8 (495) 150-80-92 

Other Programs:

  • MA in Counselling (University of Manchester, UK)