B.A. (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with Addiction Studies

This course has been designed for individuals who wish to become competent professional practitioners in counselling related fields with a specific focus on addiction studies. The syllabus covers a diverse combination of theory and competence development. If centers on areas such as understanding mental health, the theoretical evolution of addiction, substance and non-substance addictions, addiction intervention and recovery approaches. It is taught using a combination of classroom based and skill-based learning that allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities to allow for a better work/life/study balance while equipping the learner with the confidence, skills and competencies to work in the addiction area of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Having a student-centered approach that offers mentoring and placement support is a corner stone of this course. Therefore, during work based learning each student will be required to undertake 200 hours of Direct client work under strict Clinical Supervision arrangements. All students are supported with Personal Development Modules in the early stages of the Programme and are required to engage in a minimum of 50 Hours of Personal Psychotherapeutic Experience (or equivalent) across the programme. PPE may commence from the Second Semester of Stage 2 of the programme and will continue until Programme Completion. In certain modules (mainly Skills Based) attendance is a mandatory requirement.

  • Award Title: B.A. (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with Addiction Studies
  • Duration: 4 Years
  • Tuition Fees: €3,825
  • Start Date: Sept 2021

Why Choose this Programme?

  • Innovative course for anyone looking to pursue a career in counselling and psychotherapy in addiction contexts.
  • Excellent mix of theory, skills and personal development.
  • Completion of work based learning in the course.
  • Validated by QQI  (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)

This new Honours BA programme is an exciting and innovative programme, designed to support students wishing to study towards becoming professional practitioners in Counselling related areas of practice and specificially in addiction based settings. The award are QQI Awards and the programme will lead to professional accreditation with either Addiction Counsellors Ireland; the Association of Professional Counsellors & Psychotherapists and the National Association of Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Structure of Course

The course covers a range of subjects which when taken together provide a syllabus designed to develop competent professional practitioners. The subjects covered are designed to be both practical and theoretical.

The Modules leading to the award of BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with Addiction Studies are set out as follows:



Study Skills for Higher Education


Theoretical Perspectives in Counselling & Psychotherapy


Essential Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills


Group Facilitation


Human Development across the Lifespan


Ethics & Professional Issue


Understanding Mental Health 


Introduction to Personal Development  




Core Competencies in Counselling & Psychotherapy


Cultural Issues in Professional Practice   


Case Formulation


Psychosocial Assessment


Group Process


Theoretical Aspects of Addiction  


Substance related Addictions


Personal Development & Self Caring Practices    




Research Approaches in Counselling & Psychotherapy


Psychosocial Intervention Modalities In Addiction


Mood, stress and Emotional Disorders


Family Systems Theory & Psychotherapeutic Interventions


Theory/Practice Integration       


Non-substance Related Addictions  


Personal Psychotherapeutic Experiences 1           






Trauma Informed Care in Addiction


Contemporary Discourses in Counselling and Psychotherapy


Bio-physiological Aspects of Addiction


Applied Practice


Final Year Project      


Personal Psychotherapeutic Experience 2


Bereavement, Loss and Grief    


Elective (Choose One from List  of Electives)


The knowledge, skills and competence required to successfully participate in and complete the Level 8 Programme are outlined below:

  • All applicants must be over 18 years of age and are required to undergo Garda Vetting
  • Applicants will be required to have basic IT literacy, skills and competence,
  • For non-native speakers of English, a C score in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) or equivalent IELTS score of 6.0 is required.

CAO Applicants

A minimum of 2 H5 & 4 O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including English or Irish. Mathematics is not a subject requirement for this programme. Leaving Certificate candidates are required to apply for participation in the programme through the CAO system. Once an offer of a place is made, all applicants will be required to undergo Garda vetting procedures (this criterion will be communicated to all applicants in advance of final CAO offers) and make a self-declaration of Fitness for the Programme.

 Mature Applicants (Over 23 Years of Age)

Mature Applicants will undergo the following selection process:

  • Attend for an interview

All applicants who are assessed at interview, will be assessed based on qualifications (max 40 marks), experience and achievements (max 30 marks), and plans and objectives (max 30 marks). Applicants will be required to achieve a minimum of 60 marks in total to be accepted on the programme and with a pro rata score in each of the areas indicated above.

  • Provide any information requested by the Institute e.g. provision of personal references
  • Undergo Garda vetting procedures

All applicants will be required to complete the Garda vetting procedure for working with children and vulnerable adults and all applicants will be subject to the College’s ‘Fitness to Practice’ policy, which is set out in detail in the Programme Handbook and on the website

An overall points score will be allocated to each applicant on the basis of the three stages of the process above.  Offers of places will be contingent on compliance with the selection procedures and the College satisfying itself that, at the time of application, applicants have the capacity to engage fully with the programme

Candidates who hold a relevant QQI Level 5 qualification with a Distinction in at least three modules will qualify for entry to the programme. Examples of such modules would include:

5M2009 Early Childhood Care and Education
DCHCC Community Care
5M2786 Community Care
5M3050 Community Development
5M4468 Community Health Services
5M3635 Education and Training
5M4349  Nursing Studies
5M4732 Youth Work
EYXXX Youthwork
5M3635 Education and Training
5M1761 Intellectual Disability Practice

The College is committed to the recognition of prior learning attained both formally and informally. It may be recognised either to facilitate access to a higher education programme or to allow an award of credit as in the case of allowing exemption from a module. It is the responsibility of the learner, to make a formal written application to the College requesting an exemption and supplying all appropriate supporting evidence i.e. transcript of results and module descriptor/syllabus including intended learning outcomes. Recognised prior learning is assessed on a case by case basis with emphasis on academic and clinical experience.

The programme is highly interactive and is designed for learners who wish to begin their educational and learning journey in the fields of Counselling and Psychotherapy specificially to work in adddiction settings. It is especially designed for those who aspire to develop professional’s competence to work with diverse and marginalised groups people or individuals with complex needs. The primary focus will be working with individuals and groups but also to prepare learners to contribute at community and policy levels as practitioners in their field. This programme is for those who wish to break down barriers of access to evidence-based intervention and create opportunities for high quality treatment experiences for all who need them.

Graduates of this programme can be found working in the private and public statutory sector in organisations such as Tusla, HSE , Merchants Quay Project, Peter McVerry Trust , Irish Prison Service, Aiseiri  and  other  areas of addiction practice. Graduates have also found employment in community based organisations, working with individuals, families and communities affected by addiction as members of multi-disciplinary teams in  health, settings within the private, community and voluntary sectors.

  • Utilises “Blended Learning”
  • Benchmarked against European Association of Counselling Training Standards (2015)
  • The awards associated with this programme are accepted for Professional Accreditation by ACI; APCP & NAPCP
  • Support Students to develop Personally & Professionally to enable them to achieve a Level 8 Degree
  • Develop students knowledge, skills & competence to an appropriate level of ‘Higher Order Practice’

Modules within the course are designed to build personal capacity, collaborative problem-solving skills and an understanding of the systems and context within which individuals may be best supported.

The Programme prepares graduates to work towards the professional accreditation requirements of Addiction Counsellors Ireland, the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists as well as the National Association for Pastoral Counselling and Psychotherapy as well as taking into consideration the anticipated requirements from CORU.

Another important feature of the programme is that it provides progression opportunity to complete a range of Masters degrees at Level 9 on the NFQ available within the College or with other Higher Education Colleges

This course is offered on a full time or part basis and there are options  around the payment of course fees with payment plans made available to learners.

A central component of the ICHAS vision is the provision of flexible and affordable education for all. In line with this approach, the fees for the programme whether full or part time are in line with those of Universities and Institutes of Technology and we work with learners to work out suitable options around the payment of fees

Please be aware that tuition fees are payable to the college, and Personal Therapy and Clinical Supervision costs are extra and not included in tuition fees.

The fees for the programme are €3,825 (this includes 2% PEL levy of €75). In addition students who opt for monthly instalments will incur an extra annual fee of €100 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

International Students

Fees for International Students are currently under review

Please Note: Non EU/EEA students are required under the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) to pay fees in full upon acceptance of their place on a programme.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

Additional Requirements and Costs

Please note that additional fees and cost will be incurred for Personal Therapy and Clinical Supervision. This cost is not included in the tuition fee and the successful completion of the BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy is dependent on submitting the necessary evidence that these criteria are fulfilled.

Click to apply for this programme

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

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