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
  • Exams
  • Assignments
  • 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 anne.conlon@ichas.ie 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

Learn From the Best

Our range of professional degrees and short courses are some of the most modern and inovative available today. Whether you are training to be a professional, seeking to upgrade your skills and knowledge, or just want learn for your own personal development; we have the course for you.



M.A. Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy – Graduate 2011

Joining ICHAS at diploma level, my aspiration was to discover what counselling was about. After the diploma and through the Level 8 and Level 9 programmes, it became more about discovering who I was and then becoming a reflective counsellor. Understanding my self was most important if I was to help others with their journey. An additional benefit from this course was meeting so many different people from different backgrounds and with different views which taught me more about working with people, as a client or otherwise.

The college, course, staff and peers enabled this journey for me, where I have become a more holistic person. Now that I have ended up with a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy through the various challenges along the way is a great achievement for me.


Sinead MCGuinness
(Graduate of the MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; BA (Hons) in Counselling and PsychotherapyBA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I began my voyage with ICHAS in Studying for the BA degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy studies was the beginning of my voyage with ICHAS. I never imaged what an amazing voyage this would be and all the amazing people I would meet along my way.  I am still on my voyage and still meeting amazing people and still learning every day. My studies with ICHAS went further than I could ever have believed with finding myself growing both on a personal and professional level. The college at all times (more…)


Patrick Fitzgerald
(BA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I came into ICHAS knowing that I wanted to help and work with people. Currently in my third year and all I can say is that I am amazed by how much I have grown both as a person and as a student. I was out of education for two years before starting and had fears and reservations about my ability as an academic and still not fully sure what I wanted to do with my life. The environment here compared to University’s or Institutes is not focused on just delivering the content and getting you through your degree or masters. Here they are looking at the individual behind the books and making sure that each student receives the same quality engagement that I have not seen anywhere else. ICHAS has allowed me over the last three years to see my true potential and ability through the stimulating learning environment here. I recommend this college to anyone looking into the areas of Counselling and Psychotherapy due to the high level of engagement with peers and lecturers.

Phone: 061 216 288
Walton House, Lonsdale Rd., National Technology Park,
Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland