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Counselling Studies

Is this course for me?
There are many teachers, particularly career guidance counsellors, HSE staff and allied healthcare staff who, as part of their job, require counselling skills. This course provides a pathway for such professionals who would like to pursue counselling as a secondary career choice.

The course has been developed as a level 8 programme with a minimum entry qualification of an honours degree or equivalent as many of the potential applicants would hold an honours degree. Also many of those interested in undertaking this proposed programme of study would already be in employment which would or could have a counselling component thus it is envisaged this counselling qualification would support them in their current roles. Others will undoubtedly seek this qualification as a means to pursuing a full qualification as a Counsellor thus the link to the Ulster University programme in Counselling.

The proposed programme would be suitable for those who are seeking to make a career change but have some experience (voluntary or otherwise) in a helping capacity e.g. in human resources, law, social services, nursing or education. For those who are not seeking a career change then the course will enhance their current professional practice by providing them with an insight into the theory and practice of counselling as well as the management of high intensity distress.

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
Standard applicants will present a qualification recognised by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications or equivalent. Applicants must also be currently employed in a counselling role or have recent experience (within last five years) of employment either professionally or voluntarily in a role involving the use of counselling skills. . Consideration will also be given to candidates who present with other suitable qualifications and experience in line with the colleges RPL procedures.


2 years, part-time
1 year, full-time

Careers or further progression

Follow-on Courses
- Postgraduate Counselling courses that may lead to a professional qualification in Counselling.

Career Pathways
The main employers are:
• Prison Services
• Palliative Care
• Private Industry
• Human Resource Management

Graduate Careers
Graduate careers typically include:
• Health and Social Care Services
• Crisis Centres
• Schools and Universities
• Youth and Community Organisations

Further enquiries

Department Administration:
Tel: +353 (0)74 918 6308 / +353 (0)74 918 6310 /
+353 (0)74 918 6306

Dr Louise McBride
Head of Department
Telephone: +353 (0)74 918 6303

Subjects taught

What will I study
Semester 1
• Counselling Skills & Theory (M)
• Body Centred Counselling (M)

Semester 2
• Cognitive Behavioural Approaches: Concepts & Skills (M)
• Humanistic Approaches in Counselling (M)

Semester 3
• Supporting Clients through Change (M)
• Interpersonal & Intrapersonal Relationships (M)

(M) = Mandatory


Professional Recognition
Higher Diploma, Level 8 (QQI)
- Do not provide counselling accreditation but graduates of this programme can continue to develop a career in counselling or psychotherapy

Key Information
• Part-time delivery (full-time if demand)
• Allows for progression to a professional counselling qualification
• Delivered by fully qualified counsellors
• Personal and professional development to enable students realise their full potential
• Counselling skills to the fore in programm

Course fee

EU Fees: €3,000.00
Non-EU Fees: €10,000.00

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