M.A. in Counselling & Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Modalities)

M.A. in Counselling & Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Modalities)

This M.A. in Counselling & Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Modalities) is designed for graduates in health and human sciences and in particular graduates of Counselling and psychotherapy related programmes as well as disciplines such as, nursing, social care, social work, psychology and programmes in cognate areas who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of the human condition and the contribution of advanced level counselling and psychotherapy practices incorporating  CBT approaches.

This programme is for people who have a  desire to be leaders and agents for change; recognising the special contribution of professional counsellors and psychotherapists using a range of scientifically established paradigms and approaches can make to individuals, their families and communities in supporting individual recovery, wellbeing and also at policy and preventative levels in terms of public health models, thus enriching the lives of individuals and communities.

This programme enables learners to critically evaluate institutionalised practices and values, and act as agents for challenge and change in their professional contexts.  The programme addresses the needs of practitioners and graduates who wish to develop their professional competence in areas of Counselling & Psychotherapy through advanced study in person-centred modalities , and through the professional placement and research elements, develop personal and professional capacity and collaborative problem-solving skills, underpinned by evidence-based practice and reflection.

This programme facilitates graduates of programmes in cognate areas who wish to study towards and meet professional Counselling and Psychotherapy Accreditation requirements of the EAP in relation to Psychotherapy accreditation.

  • Award Title: M.A. in Counselling & Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Modalities)
  • Duration:  2 Years (Part-Time)
  • Tuition Fees: €7,800
  • Start Date: Sept 2024

This programme addresses the needs of practitioners and graduates who wish to develop their professional competence in the areas of Counselling & Psychotherapy through advanced study, and through the professional placement and research elements, develop personal and professional capacity and collaborative problem-solving skills, underpinned by evidence-based practice and reflection.

The programme is designed primarily for graduates in health and human sciences and in particular graduates of counselling and psychotherapy related programmes as well as graduates of disciplines such as, nursing, social care, social work, psychology and programmes in cognate areas who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of the human condition and the contribution of advanced level Counselling and Psychotherapy practice.

It is taught using a combination of classroom-based and skill-based learning in practice settings. The programme utilises Blended learning for theoretic elements of engagement and thus 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 area of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Successful completion of the programme provides learners with a QQI awarded Masters qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Modalities of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

It is especially suited to those who work with (or seek to work with) individuals, families and communities exposed to or experiencing psychological/psychosocial challenges in a range of health or social care environments and enable them to specialise, lead and work for better outcomes for individuals with complex needs.

The programme responds to the increasing and expanding demand for evidence-based practice using recognised modalities of Counselling & Psychotherapy.  More fundamentally it also equips leaders in the field of Counselling & Psychotherapy to respond to ever-changing social and cultural needs and to act autonomously in often unpredictable and ill-defined professional contexts.

Moreover, it enables students to employ counselling & psychotherapy competencies as tools for prevention and rehabilitation/recovery, based on cognitive behavioural philosophies by creating and modelling learning opportunities where all learners can participate successfully within the context of their own strengths and abilities.

This course will facilitate graduates of undergraduate counselling & psychotherapy related programmes as well as those from cognate areas or applicants with appropriate professional training (through RPL routes) who wish to study towards the completion of Level 9 studies on a programme that has been benchmarked against both the training standards set by the European Association of Counselling (EAC) and the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP).

Completion of the programme will assist graduates who wish to meet professional accreditation requirements for professional practice.

Further information is available in the Structure tab.

Structure of Course

On acceptance of their place on the course, learners are required to attend an induction day. This covers all aspects of the programme content, delivery, assessment, and requirements. Induction provides the learner with an opportunity to become familiar with the environment, peers, and faculty members.

All learners complete this course on a part-time basis over 2 years. Attendance would normally require attendance in person (either in class or on Zoom) on 1 evening per week (6 pm to 9 pm) and Saturdays (9.30 am to 4.30 pm) over 5 semesters. The timetable has been structured to optimise the utilisation of online learning via Zoom where this allows,  but skills-based components do require a certain amount of in-person attendance. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using online facilities.

The following are the modules that have to be completed on this course which means a total of 90 ECTS have to completed for the Award of MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioural Modalities)

Name of Module Semester Mandatory / Elective ECTS (Credits)
Theories of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 1 M 5
Research Methodologies & Design 2 M 10
Skills & competencies in Cognitive Behavioural Modalities 1 M 5
CBT Modalities & Therapeutic Group Work 2 M 5
Understanding Psychopathology 2 M 5
Elective 4 M 5
Knowing Self 1-4 M 5
Applications of Contemporary Cognitive Behavioural Approaches 1 M 5
Practicum 5 M 15
Dissertation 5 M 30

Semester 1

Each learner would study and submit for assessment 3 Modules in Semester 1 (15 ECTS). The focus of these modules are designed to provide learners with a fundamental understanding of the Theories of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy(5ECTS) The Skills & competencies in Cognitive Behavioural Modalities (5 ECTS) and the application of a range modalities of practice (5ECTS). Learners will also commence their ‘Knowing Self’ Module in Semester 1 and complete it in Semester 4 (5ECTS).

Semester 2

In Semester 2, learners will take a total of 20 ECTS of material, which focuses on Group Work as applied within CBT Modalities (5 ECTS), Students will also complete a module on Understanding Psychopathology (5ECTS).In this semester learners are also taught a module on Research Methodologies and Design (10ECTS) to support them with their Dissertation Module which is a Linear Module that commences in Semester 2 for completion at the end of the programme.

Students can also commence their Practicum (Work-Based Learning) module, in which they are required to engage in 200 Hours of clinically supervised (Modality Specific) direct client work. This is a linear Module (15ECTS) and assessment of this occur at the end of Semester 5.

Semester 3

Students  continue to engage in Placements (Work Based Learning) and Knowing Self during Semester 3 (summer semester).

Semester 4

Students take an additional 5 ECTS Elective Module in Semester 4, where they can choose a theoretic Module associated with the Other Streams or one 5 ECTS Module from a list of common Elective Modules and submit assessments for the Knowing Self module.

Semester 5

In Semester 5 learners will complete their Placement (work-based learning) (15 ECTS) and their Dissertation(30ECTS).

How are learners assessed on this course?

This course has been designed to enable learners to demonstrate their academic and reflective learning in appropriate ways. Through a range assessment tools and approaches to allow for assessment of differing learning outcomes as well  differing learning styles and situations.   The range of assessment tools/ tasks normally include:

  • Written Assignments (e.g. Essay, Written Report, Research Proposal)
  • Projects (Individual and Group)
  • Practical Assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Terminal Examinations
  • Learning Journals or Portfolios

At the start of each academic year, learners also receive a Programme Handbook, which supplements the Student Handbook.  The Programme Handbook contains the specific academic information relevant to the individual’s programme, module descriptors, learning outcomes, associated assessment strategies, book lists, and academic calendars are published on the LMS.

What supports are available to learners

At ICHAS, every lecturer and member of staff is committed to excellence in education and professional practice. Each Module has a Module Leader who works with learners to enhance their learning and will provide formative and summative feedback throughout every module. Each programme has a Programme Co-ordinator and in addition, you will have direct access to the Programme Leader and the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Dissertation and Practicum are central elements of the Masters programme. Each learner will undertake these modules under the direction of an Academic and Practicum supervisor respectively for these modules.

Who Awards My Qualification?

On successful completion of the programme, your qualification is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). QQI is one of the principal Irish awarding bodies for 3rd level education in Ireland and sets the standards for awards on the NFQ. Because this programme is both validated and awarded by QQI, the Award you receive is recognised in Ireland and internationally. See www.qqi.ie for further information.

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

On successful completion of the MA in Counselling & Psychotherapy, learners will be qualified to access  Level 10 Programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

What are the entry requirements for this course?

  • This programme is designed for graduates in health and human sciences and in particular graduates of Counselling related programmes as well as, nursing, social care, social work, psychology and programmes in cognate areas who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of the human condition.
  • The knowledge, skills and competence required to successfully participate in and complete this Level 9 Programme.
  • Applicants will normally have successfully achieved a Level 2:2 award in a relevant Human Science Level 8 degree.
  • Those who have completed other relevant education programmes or have relevant professional experience etc., where Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Acquired Prior Learning (APL) can be applied to the programme by submission of programme content, qualification and assignments equivalent to an appropriate Level 8 award at an Honours 2:2 standard can also be considered.
  • All applicants undertake a selection interview to support applicants to make an informed decision regarding their choice of programme and to ensure suitability.
  • Successful applicants would be required to complete Garda Vetting at the College.
  • If you have any queries in relation to this course then please contact the college on 061 216288 or email us on info@ichas.ie. A member of the Admissions team will be happy to assist you
  • This course has a curricular structure that provides a modularised and scaffolded developmental structure across the duration of study which is designed to contribute to the requirements of relevant Professional Associations for professional Accreditation.
  • This programnme meet the requirement of professional acreditation with the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (APCP) and the National Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy
  •  This programme has been mapped against the training standards for Psychotherapy issued by the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP).
  • This programme is congruent with the objective of providing accessible and flexible programmes to adult learners and has been designed with particular emphasis on the use of blended learning technologies to support traditional classroom learning
  • This programme supports learners to develop personally & professionally to enable them to achieve a Masters Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy focusing on Cognitive Behavioural Modalities.
  • Develop learners knowledge, skills & competence to an appropriate level of ‘Higher Order Practice’
  • Modules within the programme 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 provides a progression opportunity to complete a range of Programmes at Level 10 nationally and internationally.
  • This programme is offered on a part basis only and there are options around the payment of tuition fees with payment plans available to learners.
  • The tuition fees for the programme are €7,800 (this includes a 2% PEL levy ).
  • Students may opt for a flexible payment pay of  monthly instalments will incur an extra fee of €150 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

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 have to be completed as part of the programme and the costs associated with these are extra and not included in tuition fees.

Click to apply for this programme

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

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