Studying Psychotherapy at IFT-Malta

This page provides an overview of the things to consider if you are thinking about applying to study and train in the psychotherapies and what you can expect during training and your next steps after training.

Psychotherapists are not to be confused with psychiatrists (who are doctors), people who specialise in the psychological therapies include:

  • Psychologists (working in clinical, counselling, forensic and health psychology)
  • Family Therapists (aslo known as Systemic Therapists)
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Psychotherapists
  • Counsellors

If you interested in using psychological techniques to help people with mental health problems, then a career in the psychological therapies could be for you.  One in four people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives and there are a range of roles that help and support people with different mental health problems from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder.

Many people working in the psychological therapies carry their own caseloads and work as autonomous professionals. You may also work with a team of professionals, such as art therapists,  psychiatrists, dramatherapists, music therapists, occupational therapists, teachers and social workers.

Acquiring the knowledge and skills to become a professional in psychological therapies involves training at either degree or post-graduate level. The knowledge that you are helping people overcome their problems and lead a normal life offers real job satisfaction.

The following information focuses on training and registration for psychotherapists, but a relevant humanities degree (psychology, Psychological Therapies, counselling, social work, etc) is often the starting point for training in careers in the psychological therapies. For instance, to train as a Family Therapist you need a degree in psychology or another relevant subject followed by further study at Masters level in family therapy or systemic psychotherapy

Applying for a degree in Psychological Therapies

The first step to becoming a professional psychotherapist or family therapist is to take an accredited degree in psychology or
Psychological Therapies. This will give you Graduate Basis for eventual registration. Registration with CPCM (Council for the Professions Complimentary to Medicine) to practice as a psychotherapist or family therapist.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological Therapies vary because each institution sets its own entry criteria, but you are likely to need at least two to three A-levels or equivalent qualifications at level 3, plus supporting GCSEs. At IFT-Malta, entry criteria for the Degree in Psychological Therapies include are standard to all degree level courses and are the following:

2 Advanced Level passes or Level 4 Equivalent to choose from Psychology, Biology, Social Sciences, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Sociology and Philosophy. Plus 3 Intermediate Level or Level 3 Equivalent passes in English and any 2 other subjects. The Institute of Family Therapy Malta may consider admitting persons if they will have reached the age of 23 by the beginning of the course even if they don’t have the indicated qualifications. Under these circumstances admission is based on age and an assessment through an interview and/or other form of assessment to ascertain that they have the adequate academic background and English language skills to be able to benefit maximally from the course. Because this course demands close contact with vulnerable people a clean police conduct is also required as a proof that the applicant has never been convicted for abuse of the vulnerable.

Entry is competitive, so aim for as high grades as possible.


Accreditation is a standard way of how we reach a view on whether courses are suitable to support students’ achievement of learning outcomes, and are supported by an appropriate resource base. It is how the local accrediting body, NCFHE (The National Commission for Further & Higher Education) engages in dialogue with us providers of psychotherapy education and training, and providing a detailed external review of the courses we run.

What are the benefits of Accreditation?

There are a lot of reasons why gaining accreditation can be beneficial both for students and educational providers:

  • it is a mark of quality that prospective students and employers understand and value;
  • it gives graduates the opportunity to gain Registration with CPCM for practice.
  • it keeps open the widest range of training, development and employment opportunities for graduates.
  • it is a high-quality benchmarking process that is defined and delivered in partnership with psychotherapists.
  • it is aimed at getting the best out of programmes, through promoting psychotherapy as a science, ensuring quality and providing solution-focused support;
  • it provides a direct opportunity for education providers and students to influence the Society, and its policies for the future.

Do I need to take a course that is accredited?

Our advice to students is always to choose NCFHE accredited courses to maximise your future options.

Taking an NCFHE accredited undergraduate course confers eligibility for future training across the European Union.

The vast majority of postgraduate programmes accredited by NCFHE or approved by CPCM for registration as a practitioner psychologist also require MQRIC approved degrees for entry.