This M.A in Counselling and Psychotherapy is a specialist programme which enables learners to develop the skills, knowledge, attitude and approach necessary to work as a professional counsellor or psychotherapist in a range of settings. Graduates will be complex consumers of evidence based practice. Higher order practice in counselling and psychotherapy is largely dependent on the capacity of practitioners to integrate theory and practice in a reflective manner and the development of reflective competencies is central to this programme.
As part of this Masters programme, you will study the fundamental theories of counselling and psychotherapy as well as psychotherapeutic skills and engagement. There is also a module specifically supporting you to understand psychopathology. In addition you will study evidence based practice and research methods and design.
All of these modules are designed to support you to apply all these elements of learning during the 200 hours of client work you are required to engage with in a practicum module as well as in the completion of a dissertation. The programme combines both theory and practical skills in a way that supports the academic and professional development of the learner.
The course was revised in 2015 and is validated by Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI) who have overall responsibility for the quality of 3rd level academic programmes in Ireland.
The course commences each September and can be taken on a full time or part-time basis. Likewise, individual modules may also be taken on a stand alone basis. Taught Modules are taken across two twelve week terms through a combination of classroom based modules as well as some that are blended. Blended learning combines face to face and web based teaching and learning, which 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 mandatory attendance is a requirement.
How can I complete this Course?
Students can complete this course on either a full-time or part-time basis. Class participation for classroom based teaching normally requires attendance on 1 evening per week (6pm to 10pm) and Saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm) over 2 semesters in the academic year (September to December and January to April).
Full-time students commit to the programme for one year and complete their taught modules including the Practicum and Dissertation in that period of time.
Part-time students commit to the programme for two years and they normally complete their taught modules in the first year and spend their second year working on their Practicum and Dissertation. Please refer to timetables for exact times and dates.
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 will be a mandatory requirement.
What supports will I have?
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 students 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 student 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 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 MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy has many distinctive features that make it one of the leading programmes of this type. For Example;
•It meets the new QQI Award Standards for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland.
•This programme is part of a suite of programmes that have been recently re-validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), ensuring the quality of its teaching and assessment strategies, programme content and quality.
•It is delivered by lecturers who are experts in the fields of study within the Programme.
•Recognised nationally and internationally. On completion you will receive the Europass Diploma Supplement in addition to your degree parchment.
•It is professionally accredited by professional bodies within the Psychological Therapies Forum.
•It designed to be affordable. Fees associated with the programme are significantly lower than comparable programmes in publically funded Irish Colleges and Universities.
•It adopts a Flexible structure, meaning that students may study at a pace and duration that fits in with their lifestyle demands – students may study on a modular basis or spread the period of their studies over a timeframe that suits them.
•It teaches topics that have a proven evidence base of effectiveness.
•It combines a well balanced match of theory and practice.
•This course facilitates a progression route to PHD and professional doctorate level programmes.
•It provides higher level education to increase employment opportunities for graduates in a range of different areas including; working with young people, women at risk of domestic violence, the elderly and those with mental health issues etc.
•It utilises blended learning approaches offering a flexible approach for all students through face to face and on-line learning.
•It is an Irish based quality assured Masters level qualification.