M.A. Psychology: Lifespan Counselling


In India, the dearth of mental health professionals is a known concern that ironically goes hand-in-hand with the increasing number of citizens with mental health issues. One factor that contributes to this state of affairs is the lack of opportunities to gain a high quality education in the field of mental health. To contribute to bridging this gap, the Department of Psychology, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous) is starting a new Master’s degree course – M.A. Psychology: Lifespan Counselling in June 2019. Applications are invited for admission to the two year, full-time course for the academic year 2019-2020.

Course Objectives

This course has been designed with the primary objective of creating mental health practitioners with-

  • Effective ​therapeutic skills​ that are developed over three semesters of fieldwork
  • A strong ​theoretical foundation ​from which to practice those therapeutic skills
  • An understanding of important issues of concern in ​all age groups​ across the lifespan
  • An exposure to diverse populations​ within every age group
  • Training in the use of ​assessments​ to improve therapeutic outcomes
  • A research orientation​, according to the scientist-practitioner model, allowing them to both keep up with and contribute to new insights in their field

Highlights of the Course

  • Each semester focuses on a different stage of the lifespan and diverse populations within that stage
  • Supervised fieldwork is relevant to the lifespan stage being covered in the semester
  • Mandatory group and individual therapy in Semester I focusing on the personal development of the student
  • A syllabus that is weighted heavily on courses related to counselling and therapeutic skills. These coursesare highly applied, being taught by practicing therapists who are experts in their field
  • Guided exposure to the research process culminating in the submission of a dissertation at the end of the year
  • As the college is affiliated to the University of Mumbai, the degree received at the end of the two years is recognised by the University of Mumbai
  • As such, receiving a recognised M.A. Psychology degree allows any student to work in the field as well as study further, for example to apply for an MPhil Clinical Psychology programme

Course Structure

  • The M.A. Psychology: Lifespan Counselling programme is a full-time degree programme consisting of four semesters over two years.
  • Lectures will be held on five days a week, from Monday to Friday. In Semesters II, III and IV, lectures will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with fieldwork on Thursday and Friday. Under special circumstances, some classes may be held on Saturdays as well.
  • Lecture timings will be from 2 pm to 8 pm. Lectures will be held on campus at St. Xavier’s College. Fieldwork timings will be from 9 am onwards. Students will attend fieldwork at relevant organisations across the city.
  • The course will teach the following papers across the four semesters. Field work in each semester will be linked to the population focused on in that semester.
Semester I
Behavioural Neuroscience
Cultural Context of Counselling
Counselling Process and Skills
Theoretical Approaches to Psychotherapy
Research Methodology and Statistics in Psychology
Group Process and Individual Therapy
Semester II
Normal and Abnormal Development in Childhood and Adolescence
Psychological Assessment in Childhood and Adolescence
Counselling Special Groups in Childhood and Adolescence
Psychotherapeutic Techniques I
Semester III
Normal and Abnormal Development in Young and Middle Adulthood
Psychological Assessment in Young and Middle Adulthood
Counselling Special Groups in Young and Middle Adulthood
Psychotherapeutic Techniques II
Semester IV
Normal and Abnormal Development in Late Adulthood
Psychological Assessment in Late Adulthood
Counselling Special Groups in Late Adulthood
Psychotherapeutic Techniques III

The course consists of 96 credits. Each credit equals 15 hours. The credit distribution across the course is as follows:

  1. Semester-wise:​ 21 credits (Sem I) + 25 credits (Sem II) + 25 credits (Sem III) + 25 credits (Sem IV)
  2. Theory to Fieldwork ratio​: 64 credits (Theory) + 28 credits (Fieldwork) + 4 credits (Research)


Fees for the course are Rs. 92,000/- per annum.

Number of seats

The intake is a maximum of 30 students per year.

Allocation of seats

St. Xavier’s College is a Catholic Minority College, administered under the Provisions of the Indian Constitution, to promote the welfare of the minority community and to extend its services to all other communities in India, so as to contribute to the harmony and integration of Indian society. 50% of seats are reserved for Catholic minority students.

As per the Judgement dated 12th October 2017 of the Honourable Bombay High Court vide Writ Petition No.1726 of 2001, Minority Colleges do not need to set aside seats for Backward Classes. This was reiterated by the University of Mumbai Circular (No.Aff. / Recog.I / Admission (2018-19) / 10 / of 2018) dated 30th May, 2018.

Accordingly, the allocation of seats is as follows:

CategoryPercentage of seats reservedNumber of seats out of 30
Management Quota15%5
Number of seats out of 25
Christian Minority50%12
Persons with disability5%1

** The Special category is for the wards of transferred State / Central Government and Private Sector employees, Defence Personnel, Ex-Servicemen, Freedom Fighters; for students who have met with an accident and also for award winners at the District / State / National Level in Sports or Cultural activities.

# Please note, admissions are as per University of Mumbai guidelines.


Students with a Bachelor’s degree in any faculty or discipline having studied at least one paper in Psychology during the three years of their course can fill out the online application.

Selection Process

Stage One: Online Application through Google form
From May 15, 2019, the link for online applications through the Google form will be available. Applicants are requested to fill the form with their preliminary information. They will be contacted when the official application portal goes live.

Stage Two: Online Application through the Official portal
Students must log on to the official application portal when notified and fill out the Online Application Form by following the instructions given in the form. The student will be required to fill in their sixth semester marks of their Bachelor’s degree as part of the information requested by the form.

Please note that in the absence of Sem VI marks, you are requested to fill in your marks for Sem V. Provisional admission will be given based on Sem V marks subject to the student passing Sem VI and handing in marks of Sem VI when released by the University.

Once the form is completed, the student will be directed to an online payment gateway for payment of the application fee. The application fee is Rs. 1500. After payment, the student will receive a confirmation email along with an examination Admit card for the next stage. This Admit card will include a form number as well as information regarding the time, date and venue of the entrance examination.

Stage Three: Entrance Examination
An entrance examination for all the students who have applied (irrespective of category) will be held on campus at St. Xavier’s College. This will be a written examination. The language of examination will be English. The duration of the examination is two hours. For students with a disability, 40 extra minutes will be given. In order to avail of this provision, students with a disability will have to email ​xav.mapsych@gmail.com with their details, stating their requirements and attaching a soft copy of their Disability Certificate (from a Government recognized authority) latest by June 1st, 2019.

All students are required to bring to the examination center:

  1. Their Admit cards that they received at the time of online application
  2. A proof of identity (Aadhar card/Driver’s license/Pan card/Passport)
  3. Attested copies of Statement of Marks of Semester V and Semester VI of their Bachelor’s degree (only Sem V if Sem VI not released yet)
  4. Any student applying in a specific Category is required to bring proof of belonging to that category (e.g. Baptism certificate for Christian minority).

The examination will include a multiple choice test and a subjective question. The multiple choice test is designed to elicit the student’s knowledge of content in the field of psychology, and will include 100 questions from the following thematic areas – Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Industrial Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Experimental Psychology and Psychological Testing and Statistics. The subjective question is designed to elicit information about the student’s thought process, their reasoning and analytical ability, and depth of comprehension regarding topics within and beyond the field of psychology.

Reporting time to the venue is one hour before the examination begins. No re-examination will be held for any candidate under any circumstances.

Stage Four: Payment of fees
The First Category-wise merit lists will be released approximately one week after the entrance examination. Students will be ranked based on their academic scores of Sem V and Sem VI (40% weightage) and their performance on the entrance examination (60% weightage). Students who are offered admission in the First merit list are required to pay their fees by the stipulated time and date in the Admission Notification. On failing to do so, the offer lapses and students in the Second merit list will subsequently be offered admission.

Tentative Schedule:

May 15, 2019 – Opening of the Online application Google form

June 4, 2019 – Entrance examination

June 10, 2019 – First Merit list

June 14, 2019 – Orientation

June 17, 2019 – Classes begin

For any queries or clarifications, please send an email to ​xav.mapsych@gmail.com.​