Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice

Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences

Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice

Working in complex health and social care environments in a professional capacity requires people of the highest integrity and capacity, and leaders in fields of health and social care practice must provide positive leadership and management as well as acting as role models for their clients, guardians, carers and professional colleagues across a wide array of disciplines, operating within an environment with competing interests, professional demands and focus. An important aspect of practice in professional areas involving therapeutic engagement involves students identifying the role of self-awareness within the process of supervision especially in relation to the dynamics of the supervisory relationship. Thus, the need for a strong emphasis on reflective learning is an inherent element of this programme.

The professionalisation agenda demands, in practice orientated disciplines, that there are adequate supports available to support work based learning within programmes and the professional staff who engage in practice in these areas. That is one of the key drivers for the introduction of formal clinical supervision structures in Irish mental health services.

This programme will facilitate learners to evolve to a level of expert practice in the context of inter, intra and trans- disciplinary clinical supervision models and driven by principles of holism. The programme is based on a philosophy which emphasises the perspective that the techniques and approaches to clinical supervision in Professional Practice should be always considered within a methodical approach which involves the coherent integration of theory and practice into a fuller evolving model of engagement and professional support. In that context, this clearly suggests that practitioners of clinical supervision should have appropriate knowledge of the important influences and models of clinical supervision as well as opportunities to develop competence within differing paradigms and approaches.

It is assumed that development in professional competence and expertise is an evolving process throughout students' theory and practice integration and synthesis – which is influenced by factors such as competence, experience, context and personal choice.

The programme is also based on the following premises and beliefs:

The relationship within the clinical supervisory engagement is of fundamental importance as a medium for change.

The belief that clinical supervision can be discipline specific or interdisciplinary in nature.

Open and supportive professional dialogue and exploration is essential in clinical supervision.

The fact that respect for difference and an ability to work with diversity are inherent aspects of positive clinical supervision.

A belief in the transpersonal dimension to an individual's life and professional practice as well as the individual's sovereignty and autonomous responsibility for self and professional
judgements and actions.

A belief in the significance of social relationships in setting the framework in which individuals operate in professional practice.

An appreciation of the importance of socio-political awareness and an understanding of the practitioner's experience, personal beliefs and values in professional practice settings.

The programme is aimed at learners who wish to develop their professional competence in clinical supervision of professional practitioners, most, if not all of who will be members of graduate professions and through the professional placements within the programme as well as the emphasis on evidence-based practice, will develop personal capacity and collaborative problem solving, underpinned by reflective practice.

Structure of Course

On acceptance of their place on the course, learners would be 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.

Learners can complete this course on a full-time basis over 1 year and 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 (6pm to 9pm) and Saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm) in the academic year. 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 and it is taught using a combination of classroom-based and blended learning techniques via Zoom. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using online facilities. In certain skill-based modules, attendance will be a mandatory requirement.

Each learner on the full-time route would study and submit for assessment 3 Modules in Semester 1 (30 ECTS), while those on the Part-time Route would submit 2 Modules (20 ECTS) in Semester 1. The focus of these modules are designed to provide learners with a fundamental understanding of the Principles and Practices of Clinical Supervision approaches In Semester 1, learners are also taught a 10 ECTS Module on Research Methodologies and Design to support them with their Dissertation Module. On the Part-time route, this Research Module is taken in Semester 4. The Dissertation Module commences in Semester 1 and is due for completion and submission in Semester 3 for Full-time Students and Semester 5 for Part-time Students. In Semester 2, learners on both the Full and Part-time options will complete a total of 20 ECTS of Topic focussed learning as well as completing their Practicum module (10ECTS) and are assessed on this body of work by the end of the same Semester. In the Practicum (Work Based Learning) module, learners are required to engage in 100 hours of clinically supervised supervision work. This linear module (10 ECTS) and assessment of this occurs on a continuous basis until the end of Semester 3 on the full-time programme and Semester 5 on the Part-time programme. Learners engage in structured individual clinical supervision for their practice as trainee Clinical Supervisors across this period and are also supported through internal group supervision. In semesters 4 and 5 on the Part-time route, students will continue their Practicum learning, where it is expected students will integrate both theoretical and competency based learning. Those students who exit the programme without completion of their Dissertation will be eligible for an Exit Award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice, while the Embedded Minor Award of Certificate in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice will be completed in the first 2 Semesters on the full-time option. The structure of both the Full and Part-time options are presented below as well as the Exit Award of PG Diploma in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice and the Embedded Minor Award of Certificate in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice.

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 body 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 for further information.

Subjects taught

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 Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice

Name of Programme Mandatory/ Elective ECTS/ Credits
Principles of Clinical Supervision In Professional Practice M 10
Research Methodologies & Design M 10
The Practice & Process of Clinical Supervision M 10
Integrative Models of Clinical Supervision M 5
Developmental Models Of Clinical Supervision M 5
Psychotherapeutic Models of Clinical Supervision M 5
Clinical Governance & Clinical Supervision M 5
Clinical Supervision Practicum M 10
Dissertation M 30
Total ECTS/ Credits 90

Entry requirements

The knowledge, skills and competence required to successfully participate in and complete this Level 9 programme will normally require applicants to have successfully achieved a Level 2:2 award in a relevant Level 8 degree.

Those who have completed other relevant educational 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.

Applicants will normally have a minimum of two years of experience in areas of relevant practice such as a helping or caring role, or related leadership or teamwork role. This could include experience gained in helping roles within undergraduate studies.

All applicants are required to be over 23 years of age and will be required to complete the Garda vetting procedure 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. These arrangements are in accordance with the National Vetting Bureau Acts 2012-2016 which species a statutory requirement for all learners on programmes that include placements.

All applicants will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme.

International Students will be free to apply, but such applicants will have to provide certification of competency in English, so as to reasonably demonstrate that they will be able to participate in a Masters programme delivered through English. In the case applicants who are living in Ireland – evidence of Irish Leaving Certificate English at Ordinary Level Grade D or above. In the case of overseas applications, whose first language is not English, applicants will have to provide either certification of completion of a primary degree through the medium of English or submit the official results of English Language competency demonstrated through the completion of English language proficiency tests indicating a minimum score of to B2+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Certification may be evidenced through production of a certificate of IELTS Level 6.5 or equivalent) or equivalent competency tests, if applicable .

All international applicants must meet the Visa Requirements for study on Ireland and it the case of International students, they will be asked to submit an original Police Clearance Certificate/Criminal History Check from every country in which they have lived for more than six months since over the age of 16 years.


1 Year (Full time) & 2 Years (Part Time)

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

Post Course Info

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

On successful completion of the MA in Clinical Supervsion in Professional Practice, learners will be qualified to access Level 10 Programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider