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

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

This course has been designed for individuals who wish to become competent professional practitioners in counselling related fields with a specific focus on Youth Studies. It focuses on the skills, knowledge and approach necessary to work within the youth context, with emphasis placed on the link between theory and practice.

The syllabus covers a diverse combination of theory and competence development. It focuses on areas such as understanding mental health and issues directly affecting young people such as education, health, inequality, racism, suicide and addiction. It is taught using a combination of classroom-based and skill-based learning that allows the learner to avail of blended learning 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. While much of the course can be accessed online, in certain modules, mainly Skills Based, attendance is a mandatory requirement.

Having a student-centred approach that offers mentoring and placement support is a cornerstone 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. Further information on Placements is available on our website.

  • Award Title: B.A. (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with Youth Studies
  • Duration: 4 Years
  • Tuition Fees: €3,975 per annum. (€7,975 per annum for Non EEA Students)
  • Start Date: Sept 2024

Why Choose This Programme?

  • An innovative course that develops industry-level academic and professional skills in Youth Studies
  • Excellent mix of theory, skills and personal development
  • Completion of work-based learning in the course
  • Validated by QQI  (Quality and Qualifications Ireland)
  • The programme is led and delivered by lecturers who have extensive skills and practical knowledge required to work in the area
  • Blended learning techniques allow the learner to access resources online

This 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 specifically in Youth based settings. Completion of the programme leads to an academic award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications awarded by QQI.

Where successful graduates wish to pursue professional accreditation for practice, they must seek such accreditation from the relevant body in accordance with the guidelines of that particular body. The programme will contribute to the requirements for professional accreditation with relevant professional accrediting bodies in the fields of Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland and  is recognised  for professional accreditation with  the Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy (APCP) and the National Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP). 

This programme has been benchmarked against QQI’s Award Standards for Counselling & Psychotherapy (2014) and the Professonal Training Standards set by the European Association for Counselling (EAC), set in 2015.

Structure of Course

This programme is available to be taken on a full-time or part-time basis over 4 years. Each academic year consists of two 12-week semester. Semester 1 runs from September to December and Semester 2 from January to April.

The programme is delivered by blended learning as well as work-based learning, working directly with clients in Stages 3 & 4 of the programme.

Full-time option:

The full-time programme is normally scheduled over 3 consecutive days per week (over 12 weeks of each Semester) at ICHAS College Limerick from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, or at our Dublin Campus in Griffith College, Dublin (Subject to viable cohort).

Part-time option:

The part-time programme is normally scheduled on 1 evening per week (6 pm to 9 pm) and Saturdays (9.30 am to 4.30 pm) over the 2 semesters September to December and January to April from ICHAS College Limerick, or at our off-campus centres at Griffith College Dublin, Galway Business School, Wharton House Waterford or Cavan Institute, (Subject to viable cohorts).

The Part-Time programme utilises a Blended Learning approach which facilitates students to access classes in person or using on-line facilities. In certain modules (mainly Skills Based) attendance is a mandatory requirement.

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 Youth Studies are set out in the tables below, a brief descriptor of modules can be found here.



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


Youth and Society    


Integrative Approaches in Adolescence


Personal Development & Self Caring Practices    




Research Approaches in Counselling & Psychotherapy


Creative Therapeutic Approaches


Mood, stress and Anxiety Related Disorders


Family Systems Theory & Psychotherapeutic Interventions


Theory/Practice Integration       


Crime Deviance and Youth Justice


Personal Psychotherapeutic Experiences 1           






Trauma Infromed Care for Youth at Risk


Contemporary Discourses in Counselling and Psychotherapy


Bereavement, Loss and Grief


Applied Practice


Final Year Project      


Personal Psychotherapeutic Experience 2


Leadership, Management and Empowerment in a Youth Context  


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 (CEFR) or equivalent International English Language Testing System IELTS score of 6.0 is required.

 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 the 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.

This course, with its emphasis on Youth Studies, gives a comprehensive overview of current thinking and practice in the area. The course would be of interest to practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines: Psychology, Counselling, Social Care, etc., who may wish to deepen their knowledge and build their skills and a comprehensive understanding of this area.

Graduates of this programme have found employment in the public and private sector in organisations such as the HSE, Tusla, and in a variety of local authority, charity & voluntary settings. Youth & Community roles can include youth workers, outreach workers, family support officers, youth advocacy works, and school completion project workers.

Examples of some such organisations include Foróige, Childline, Child and Youth Councils – Comhairle na nÓg, The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), SpunOut, Youth Work Ireland, Changing Futures and UBU – Your Place Your Space

  • Utilises “Blended Learning
  • Benchmarked against European Association of Counselling Training Standards (2015)
  • The awards associated with this programme are accepted for Professional Accreditation by The Addiction Counsellors of Ireland ACI;  Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapist’s APCP & The National Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy – 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.

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

The fees for the programme are €3,975 per annum , (€7,975 for Non EEA Students) (this includes a 2% PEL levy). In addition, students who opt for monthly instalments will incur an extra annual fee of €150 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

International Students

Click  here to view international fees

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.

Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy. 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 be aware that Personal Therapy and Clinical Supervision are a criteria for the course and costs are extra and not included in tuition fees. The successful completion of the BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy with Addiction Studies is dependent on the completion of 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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