Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Academic Awarding Body for ICHAS Programmes?
All awards for programmes undertaken at the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Science are Validated and made by Quality and Qualifications Ireland. QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is an independent statutory agency established by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012 with key functions relating to the Quality Assurance of Higher and Further Education in Ireland. Additionally QQI is an academic awarding body for private Higher and Further Education providers in Ireland. QQI is governed by a board of ten members including the Chief Executive. Board members are appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills. The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board with the consent of the Minister. QQI is responsible for maintaining the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications). As an Academic Awarding body it is the only awarding body in Ireland which makes awards at all levels of the NFQ. It is responsible for standard setting for educational awards at the ten levels of the NFQ.
Who Professionally Accredits ICHAS Programmes?
The undergraduate counselling related programmes at ICHAS are recognised by the Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors (IAAAC), the National Association for Pastoral Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) and the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (APCP)
When do courses commence?
Degree Courses usually commence in September and the courses are divided into two semesters both of which are 12 weeks in duration. Short Courses are also presented at alternative dates throughout the year and these are notified in our news section.
How much do the degree programmes cost?
ICHAS has developed a policy on affordable education and fees at undergraduate level for 2016 for first years are €3,000. Fees can only rise by €250 in any one year for a programme of study. For example if you register for the B.A in Counselling and Psychotherapy Level 7 in 2016 then following would the maximum of your tuition fees;
2016 – €3000 Maximum
2017 – €3250 Maximum
2018- €3500 Maximum
How much do the Masters programmes cost?
ICHAS has also developed a policy on affordable education and fees at postgraduate level for 2016 and the following are the fees for the programmes:
Can I Pay Fees in Instalments?
YES you can pay your fees in up to 6 equal instalments at no extra cost.
How Are Your Programmes Assessed?
Our programmes are assessed using a variety of methods including;
- Project work
- Continuous Assessment
- Groups Work
Can I talk to current of former students about a programme?
Absolutely, the college can arrange for you to discuss your questions and queries with current students or former graduates. This will give you a better understanding of what is involved in a programme of study to help you to make up you mind.
Is it possible to visit the college?
Yes, you are more than welcome to visit the college and to see our facilities, meet staff and have your questions answered. To arrange a visit to the college please contact Anne Conlon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 061 216288
What is Blended Learning?
Blended learning is one of the most important advances in 3rd level education in Ireland. At its core is the marriage of e-learning with face to face learning. Blended learning at ICAHS allows a student to learn through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. As a student it lets you decide how you want to learn. For many students who have to work, this offers the ideal option for their busy lives.
Does the college provide scholarships?
The college has an affordable for all policy in place and we strive to keep fees to a minimum. Therefore we do not provide scholarships as a rule. We do however provide a number of places at a reduced cost to organisations who support our student placement programme on an annual basis.
What is Statutory Regulation?
Simply put statutory regulation means that those wishing to practice as Counsellors or Psychotherapists will in the future be regulated by Government. Speaking in Dail Eireann the Minister of Health Leo Varadkar has once again affirmed that the Government is going to regulate both the Professions of Counselling and Psychotherapy under CORU. The Minister has said that regulation would take place and that the Department of Health had recently received a detailed report from CORU the Health and Social Care Council which was being examined by his department.
The next stage of the process will see a public consultation phase which will look at what precisely needs to be regulated and how it will be structured. According to the Minister Varadkar this is the section the Government must get right. Mr. Varadkar said that former Minister of Health Dr James Reilly had consulted the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, as he was obliged to do. The announcement by the Minister has been warmly welcomed by all those involved in Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland.
The former Minister of Health James Reilly had asked QQI to develop the award standards that will benchmark the professions and those award standards were published in August 2014. Without doubt the introduction of Statutory Regulation by the Minister is to be commended. It will mean that the use of the professional titles of Counsellors and Psychotherapists will be protected under legislation. In future it will not be possible to refer to oneself as either a Counsellor or Psychotherapist unless registered under CORU, which is the State Agency which will be responsible for registration. It is worth noting that within the Minister’s speech, the minimum educational qualifications that will be necessary for future registration were highlighted as those of QQI. The road map to statutory regulation for both Counsellors and Psychotherapists has once again been clearly reaffirmed and it is worth highlighting some of the salient points and some of the key organisations involved
Qualifications to be Registered as a Counsellor or Psychotherapist
QQI have completed their award standards for Counselling and Psychotherapy qualifications. The Minister has stated that setting such standards was a prerequisite for setting minimum entry standards by CORU for registration as either a Counsellor or Psychotherapist. Significantly he advised that “QQI qualifications will be the minimum qualifications required of Counsellors and Psychotherapists to register under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005″.
CORU and Its Role in Counselling and Psychotherapy
CORU is the agency with responsibility for Statutory Regulation of a wide range of professions in Ireland (please see their website for detailed information on their work at www.coru.ie to review its structure and it existing role with other professions). With regard to the timeline for future regulation of counselling and psychotherapy, the Minister stated that the “Department will work with CORU to have all the other necessary arrangements in place so that there will be no delay in establishing the Counsellors and Psychotherapists registration board”
Psychological Therapies Forum
All the professional bodies that are part of the Psychological Therapies Forum accept that the appropriate entry point for professional practice in Counselling should require practitioners to hold a level 8 (Honours) Degree in Counselling as the minimum entry qualification. They are also recommending that practitioners wishing to practice Psychotherapy should hold a minimum qualification at Level 9 (Masters level) on the National Framework of Qualifications. For further information on the Psychological Therapies Forum see (www.ptf.ie)
ICHAS warmly welcomes the Minister’s proposals as timely and warranted. All programmes in Counselling and Psychotherapy at Degree and Masters level within the college are QQI accredited. The college will continue to meet the standards required for professional regulation by our graduates.
Where do exams take place?
Exams are usually held at the end of each term where examination is required as part of the process of assessment.
Do you have supports for students with special needs?
Yes the college has supports in place for people with special need. If you have queries in relation to this you should contact the college on 061 – 216288
What is QQI?
QQI stands for Quality and Qualifications Ireland. It is an independent state agency established by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012 with key functions relating to the Quality Assurance of Higher and Further Education in Ireland, with the validation of programmes and the making of awards primarily. QQI is governed by a board of ten members including the Chief Executive. Board members are appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills. The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board with the consent of the Minister. QQI is responsible for maintaining the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications). As an Academic Awarding body it is the only awarding body in Ireland which makes awards at all levels of the NFQ. It is responsible for standard setting for educational awards at the ten levels of the NFQ which they make.
In the area of quality assurance, QQI are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of quality assurance in further and higher education providers in Ireland, including the universities, institutes of technology, Education and Training Boards and providers in the private further and higher education and training sectors (availing of QQI awards).
A QQI award is a quality assured award with national and international recognition and is your guarantee that the programme you are considering doing or have completed is of the highest standard and has been independently validated by QQI.
To find our more visit www.qqi.ie
Are your programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications?
Yes all our programmes are on the National Framework of Qualifications from certificate level 6 to Masters level 9
At what locations do you provide your programmes?
Our full-time courses are based in Limerick and our part-time course can be accessed nationwide through blended learning. We have campuses in Dublin and Limerick where students can attend the face to face elements of the programmes
Do your courses have work placement as an overall part of their content?
Yes all our degree and masters programmes have work placement as part of their overall syllabus. We also have a dedicated work placement officer in place for our programmes.
Do you provide counselling supports for those who require them?
The college provides access to appropriate support services for our college community.
If I take a break from my course of studies will I be penalised and can I return?
For many and varying reasons some students will encounter difficulties that will require them to suspend their studies for a short period of time. The college supports each individual student according to their need. If a period of deferral is required the college will work with you to ensure that this is put in place.
Do you have disability access?
The college has disability access and if you are thinking of coming to ICHAS and have a requirement around a disability please contact us in advance to see how we can best meet your Individual needs
Are your courses on the CAO?
Yes all our undergraduate courses are on the CAO and can be found on page 73 of the CAO manual or at http://www.cao.ie/courses.php