Admissions Process

Karuna Institute aims for our admissions process to be fair, open and transparent.  We aim to admit students, who regardless of their background demonstrate the potential to successfully complete our training.

Our entry criteria, follows the UKCP’s Humanistic and Integrative College (HIPC) requirements.

Entry is at postgraduate level for the Post Graduate Diploma in Mindfulness Based Core Process Psychotherapy.  Applicants without recognised qualifications will be eligible with sufficient prior learning and/or life experience.

Applicants will normally demonstrate the capacity and commitment to develop the following qualities that will make them suitable for the profession of psychotherapy:

  • a lively and enquiring mind
  • a capacity for critical reflection and self-directed learning as is required at Level 7 training.
  • an ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect
  • awareness of prejudice and the ability to respond openly to issues of race, gender, age, sexual preference, class, disability, ethnic, spiritual / religious and cultural difference, and diversity.
  • awareness and sensitivity in relation to the political, socio-cultural and religious / spiritual contexts of people’s lives.  An understanding of the social context in which psychotherapy exists, and an open attitude to issues of race, class, age, ethnicity, culture and sexual orientation. An awareness of the dynamics of prejudice and oppression and a willingness to take action as appropriate to minimize the effects of this within Karuna Institute.
  • Capacity for self-reflection and experience of meditation or contemplative practice.
  • self-awareness and commitment to self-development.
  • A clear intention to train professionally as a psychotherapist, as far as it is possible to know at this stage, to proceed through the full Post Graduate Diploma in  Mindfulness Based Core Process Psychotherapy.
  • Applicants should have sufficient emotional competence and the internal resources necessary to engage with the demands of the training and the work of psychotherapy.
  • It is important that your life situation is stable and that you can approach the training with a level of internal maturity.   This includes having adequate time for study, social support, being able to pay course fees and having internal resources and stability to enable you to give reasonable attention to all course requirements.
  • Satisfactory completion of a one-day Introductory Workshop.
  • An ability to reflect on your own process.  This means having a good level of self-awareness, and a willingness to explore your own processes and defenses.

Requirements for Entry

As outlined in our website.  All potential applicants must attend an Introductory day. 

Applicants are required to complete the online application for the Foundation Year and must provide two references.  .

Invitation to Interview

Applicants who demonstrate they can meet the requirements above will be invited to attend an in-person interview.  Applicants are interviewed by a minimum of two staff members who are teaching on the course and at least one of these will be a Director of the Institute.

The interview is approached as a joint relational process to explore from both sides whether this is the right training for an applicant.  It is equally an opportunity for applicants to ask questions and assess if this is the right training for them.  We will also explore if applicants are ready in the current life circumstances to take on the significant commitment of a psychotherapy training.    

We interview at several points in the year and you must have completed an Introductory Workshop before you can apply and attend an interview.   Karuna Institute’s administrator will be in contact to set up interview times.

Karuna Institute is positively committed to opposing discrimination and all applicants who fulfill the published criteria will be invited to interview.

Acceptance is subject to references being in order and a Criminal Records self-declaration satisfactorily completed.

Deferred Applications

Where at interview it is felt that someone is not yet ready due to their life circumstances, their application would usually be deferred with some recommendations to prepare for readiness.  Applicants are invited to keep in touch with the Institute and would usually be reinvited to interview again the following year.

Successful Applications:

All applicants who have completed an Introductory day and been successful at interview, will be offered a place on the Foundation Year training, subject to places being available in the year they choose to apply.  Where applicants apply and there are no available places, they may be offered a deferred place on condition of a follow up interview in the following year. 

Foundation Year

As one of the only Buddhist, mindfulness based psychotherapy trainings available in the UK, leading to UKCP Accreditation, our training is unique.    The foundation year offers a grounding in Buddhist understanding and our Mindfulness Based approach to Core Process Psychotherapy.  For this reason completion of the Foundation Year is a mandatory requirement and acts as the first year of the full PG Diploma.  Therefore, it is not possible to join subsequent years of the PG Diploma without having completed our Foundation Year.  

APEL – Prior Experiential Learning

  • Where people do not have a formal undergraduate degree but have had relevant life experience then we would consider relevant experience in your application.
  • If you have completed a short course at Karuna Dartmoor with Maura Sills (e.g. Five Day Introduction to Core Process Psychotherapy or Relational Mindfulness Diploma) in the last few years, we would accept this instead of attending an Introductory Day.  However, we do encourage attendance at the Introductory Days so that you can meet the tutors and have an opportunity to learn about the foundation year.
  • The Foundation Year in MBCPP is the foundation of the PG Diploma training in our modality. For the reasons stated above due to the specific and unique Buddhist psychology of our training, it is not possible to APEL across from a foundation year in another training. 
  • For students who progress further into the PG Diploma, a HIPC requirement is to have undertaken a Mental Health Familiarisation Placement.  Students who have had relevant experience working in the Mental Health Sector may be eligible for an exemption from having to undertake a placement.  Students wishing exemption are required to write a report based on their experience which demonstrates how they have already met the criteria through their prior experiential learning.