B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies

Would you like to work in the area of Counselling and Psychotherapy? The B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies is a 3-year programme, recently revised and validated by Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI) in 2015. The course is highly interactive and it has been designed primarily for those who want to study towards becoming competent professional practitioners in counselling related areas. It is also aimed at those wishing to develop counselling skills that may be useful in their current position for their own personal and professional development.

Delivered over 3 years, it combines a range of comprehensive theory and practical skills development. Each year consists of two 12-week terms. The course will commence in September and can be taken on a full time or part-time basis. The programme is taught using a combination of classroom based and blended learning techniques. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities. In certain modules attendance may be a requirement.

Can I study this programme on a full or part-time basis?

Students considering the B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies can take this course on either a full-time or part-time basis. The course will commence in September . The course is delivered over 3 years and each year has two twelve week semesters, September to December and January to April.

Full-time option:

The full-time programme runs 3 days per week at the ICHAS College Limerick from 9.30am to 4.30pm (Subject to viable cohort).

Part-time option:

The part-time programme runs 1 evening per week (6pm to 10pm) and Saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm) over the 2 semesters September to December and January to April from ICHAS College Limerick, Griffith College Dublin and Cavan Institute, (Subject to viable cohort).

The B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies is a 3 year programme.

The programme 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 as per the table below:

B.A in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies (QQI)
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Ethics & Professional Issues Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills & Practices 2 Elective
Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills & Practices 1 Group Facilitation Bereavement, Loss & Grief
Theoretical Perspectives in Counselling & Psychotherapy Cultural Issues in Professional Practice Application of Psychological and Psychometric Assessment
Human Development Theory of Psychological & Psychometric Assessment Integrative Approaches in Interpersonal Practice
Research and Inquiry for Counselling & Psychotherapy Simulated Experiential Learning Family & Systems Theory
Theoretical Perspectives in Therapeutic Engagement in Practice Psychodynamic Approaches in Interpersonal Practice Cognitive Behavioural Approaches in Interpersonal Practice
The Mental Health Continuum Humanistic Approaches in Interpersonal Practice Theory/Practice Integration
Introduction to Personal Development Personal Development & Self Caring Practices Facilitating Personal Development

How will I be assessed?

The modules above will be assessed using a range of assessment approaches including continuous assessment, project work, practical exercises and terminal assessments.

ICHAS has always, and will continue to work closely with students to employ a range of assessment activities, and support students to achieve their best in each type of assessment activity. We recognise that many students may not have studied in a long time and we have developed systems and individual approaches to support students as they adapt to higher education.

What supports will I have?

ICHAS is a college with a proven track record in delivering high quality education. At ICHAS, every faculty member is committed to this ideal and to its implementation. We work on an individual basis with our students to bring this about, ensuring we meet your specific needs. We pride ourselves on  working with our students to overcome any barriers to progression during their studies.

If you are a CAO student or returning to third level study as a mature student we understand you may have concerns about going or returning to college and all that’s involved. However, at ICHAS we have a long tradition of working with similar students. Your educational journey is extremely important to us and we will support you in every way.

Who Awards My Qualification and how well recognised is it?

On successful completion of your course,  your qualification is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and this will appear on your parchment. QQI is one of the principal Irish awarding bodies  for the higher education sector in Ireland and sets the standards for awards on the NFQ.

This course is recognised in Ireland and all over Europe. See www.qqi.ie for further information.

The programme is also recognised towards professional accreditation by the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (APCP) and the National Association of Pastoral Counselling and Psychotherapy (NAPCP).

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

Upon successful completion of the B.A. in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies, students will be eligible to progress to the BA (Hons) inCounselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies, which can be completed in 1 year.

What are the entry requirements for this course?

To join the B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies, applicants must meet the following requirements;

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Complete and submit the completed application form <download here>and provide all requested information.
  • For  non- CAO , complete an interview process, which is designed to explore your reasons for taking the programme and to ensure that it is suitable for your needs. ICHAS is committed to ensuring that the programme you are on is right for you.
  • Complete the Garda vetting procedure.
  • English language proficiency certificates (e.g. IELTS of 6 or equivalent) if applicable. Please see http://ichas.ie/prospective-students/international-applicants/

If you are under 23 years of age and applying for the fulltime programme you have to  apply through the CAO website on www.cao.ie.  Normally this requires applicants to have successfully completed the Leaving Certificate programme and to have obtained a minimum of 250 points.  A minimum grade of D1 in English is stipulated.


If you have any difficulty in applying for this course, then please contact the college on 061 216288 where we will be only too pleased to assist you.

Graduates of the B.A. in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy Studies can be found working in a wide variety of organisations areas such as private and public residential and non-residential addiction treatment centres, schools, colleges, youth services, prison services, hospitals and of course, in private practice.

Opportunities also exist working with many disparate groups, including but not limited to young people, women at risk of domestic violence, the elderly and those with mental health issues.

The Government has committed to increased funding of mental health initiatives as part of the national counselling service.For many the opportunity to work in private practice as a professional Counsellor is hugely important. With the forthcoming statutory regulation of counselling and psychotherapy, the fact that this programme has been validated by QQI should not be underestimated.

The B.A in Counselling Skills & Psychotherapy  Studies has many  features that make it one of the leading programmes of this type in Ireland, these include

  • It is the first programme of its type to meet the new QQI awards Standards for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland (view standards here).
  • This programme is part of a suite of programmes that have been recently revalidated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), ensuring up to date teaching methods, programme content and quality has been validated.
  • It is delivered by lecturers who work in this field, who are passionate about your education and dedicated to sharing their experience and expertise.
  • The programme is recognised throughout Europe. On completion you will receive the Europass Diploma Supplement in addition to your degree parchment.
  • It is part of the affordable and flexible access system within ICHAS, meaning students pay the same fees as the public college system.
  • It covers topic areas that are relevant to society.
  • It mixes theory and practice together to provide a complete understanding of the area of counselling and addiction.
  • This course has a progression route to Level 8 and postgraduate level.
  • The qualification is recognised widely by employers allowing  opportunities for  graduates in a range of different careers.
  • The course uses both classroom based and blended learning techniques. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities to allow for a better work/life/study balance. In certain modules attendance may be a requirement.

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. The fees for the programme are €3,450 p/a along with a 2% PEL levy of €69 and the academic administration fee of €300 per annum. Total fee payable is €3,819. Students who opt for 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 €4,819

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.

Click to apply for this programme

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

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