Counselling & Psychotherapy - Family Therapy
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 Counselling & Psychotherapy ( Family Therapy). It is especially suited to those who work with (or seek to work with) families 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 family therapy 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 which 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.
Structure of Course
On acceptance of their place on the course, learners would be required to attend for 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 (6pm to 10pm) and Saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm) over 3 semesters in the academic year from September to July. 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 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 Principles and Practices of a range of Psychotherapeutic approaches (5ECTS), Skills and Competency focused learning (5 ECTS), the application of a range of modalities of practice (5ECTS) and are assessed on this work within the same Semester. Learners will also commence their 'Knowing Self' Module in Semester 1 and complete it in Semester 4 (5ECTS).
In Semester 2, learners will take a total of 10 ECTS of material, which focuses on Group Work as applied within a range of Modalities (5 ECTS). In addition, learners take a shared module to focus on Understanding Psychopathology (5ECTS) and commence their Practicum (Work-Based Learning) module, in which they are required to engage in 200 Hours of Modality Specific direct client work. This is a linear Module (15ECTS) and assessment of this occurs on a continuous basis until the end of Semester 5. Learners engage in structured Individual Clinical Supervision across this period and are also supported through Internal Group Supervision. All learners are required to undertake and complete pre-requisite modules (10 ECTS) prior to commencing their Practicum Module.
The Dissertation Module commences in Semester 2 and is due for completion and submission in Semester 5 and learners continue to engage in Placements during Semester 3 under Clinical Supervision arrangements.
In Semester 4, learners are also taught a 10 ECTS Module on Research Methodologies and Design to support them with their Dissertation Module which is a Linear Module that commences in Semester 2. Likewise, all learners 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.
In Semester 5 learners will complete their practice-based learning (15 ECTS) and their Dissertation(30ECTS) – a total of 45 ECTS.
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 www.qqi.ie for further information.
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 ( Family Therapy)
Name of Module Semester Mandatory / Elective ECTS (Credits)
Theoretical Perspectives in Family Therapy 1 M 5
Research Methodologies & Design 4 M 10
Skills & Competencies in Family Therapy 1 M 5
Family Therapy & Therapeutic Couples Work 2 M 5
Understanding Psychopathology 2 M 5
Elective 4 M 5
Knowing Self 1-4 M 5
Applications of Family Therapy Approaches 1 M 5
Practicum 5 M 15
Dissertation 5 M 30
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 will normally require applicants to 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. If you wish to apply for this programme, please click on the 'Apply Now" tab. All applicants undertake a selection interview to support applicants to make an informed decision regarding their choice of programme and to ensure suitability
Applicants should be driven by a desire to be leaders and agents for change; recognising the special contribution that professional psychotherapists using an Integrative approach 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. Candidates will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme.
Successful applicants would be required to complete Garda Vetting at the College.
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 Counselling & Psychotherapy, learners will be qualified to access Level 10 Programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).