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Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy

MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy

Validated by Middlesex University.

There is a growing awareness of the widespread harm caused by addiction to individuals, families and society at large and an evolving shift of reliance from a medically based model of treatment to engaging in Talking Therapies. In an experiential and participative environment, this course offers students the opportunity to acquire key skills and theoretical knowledge to effectively engage with the addiction recovery process.

Who Is This Course For?
The MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy is validated by Middlesex University and designed for professionals (counsellors/psychotherapists, doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers and psychologists) considering or currently working in the field of addiction. Members of Addiction Counsellors Ireland (ACI) may wish to hone their skills and knowledge base and/or enhance their qualifications to meet the academic requirements under the pending Statutory Registration and Regulation of Counsellors and Psychotherapists legislation.

What Are The Benefits Of Doing This Course?
On completion of the course, students will have developed an advanced competency and proficiency working with clients presenting with addiction problems. They will more fully understand the complex and challenging nature of addiction and recovery both for the client and the counsellor being more informed of the presently diverse and fragmented approach to working with addiction. They will be well placed to influence attitudes and affect policy in the workplace, community and society.

What Will You Learn?
The course is designed to give learners a working understanding of the theories, process and dynamics of addiction in an ever-changing biopsychosocial context with a strong focus on effective, evidence-based approaches to treatment and counselling. It addresses the ever-pervasive influence of the internet and how it exacerbates the deleterious effects of Behavioural Addictions such as compulsive gambling, sexual addiction and gaming. Consideration is also given to broader mental health and dual diagnosis issues.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a relevant honours degree (Level 8 NFQ or equivalent; Final grade 2.2 or above) in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Social Care or equivalent.

Applicants who do not meet these criteria may be eligible to enter the course on the basis of prior learning and experience in the area. Students applying on the basis of prior learning must provide evidence of their knowledge, skill and ability to pursue this programme of study. This should be in the form of a career portfolio outlining and demonstrating your career path as is relevant to this course (including transcripts of any relevant results, statements of prior learning based on systematic reflection) and be must be submitted with your application.

Applicants should ideally have access to opportunities for client work in their current role and be able to apply theoretical principles and practice in their current workplace.

Language Requirements
All candidates are required to satisfy the English language requirement. Candidates whose first language is not English and who are presenting qualifications other than the Leaving Certificate may satisfy the requirement through the completion of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or equivalent, on the basis that they obtain a minimum band score of 6, which denotes a very good skill level of English. It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements in English and PCI College may set higher requirements in each case.

Application Process
Send in Complete Application Form & Deposit (Online / Hard Copy)
Copies of Transcripts (Confirming 2.2 on relevant Level 7 Degree or higher) or Copy of Career Portfolio
and 500-word written statement on why you believe they are suitable to the course.

All suitable candidates will be invited to interview
Places are limited (18). Selection is based on application and interview.

Students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course.

Learning Difficulties
Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.

Garda Vetting:
Students will be requested to participate in Garda Vetting procedures in relation to programme and accreditation requirements

Students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course.
Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.

Additional Course Requirements:
100 hours Clinical placement / Client work
25 sessions with a qualified supervisor to review client work
20 hours Personal Therapy - 10 of these hours must be completed before commencing Client Work.


Venues: Dublin & *Belfast (click here for further details).
Duration: Two years, part-time.

Timetable: The course will take place at weekends (Saturday & Sunday, approx. 1 weekend per month from October to June) and the full provisional timetable will be available shortly.

Careers or further progression

There is an ever-increasing demand for addiction services and the demand in the public sector in particular far outstrips the available resources. There are many current and future job opportunities within the public sector – particularly in the area of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction for suitably qualified addiction professionals. Up-to-date training in evidenced-based therapeutic approaches is also becoming essential for those working in this field, as funders are increasingly concerned about outcomes and value for taxpayers' money.

Moreover, students who graduate from the MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy will have gained the skills and knowledge to work with clients dealing with issues in a wide range of addictions including behavioural addictions. With an increasingly wide range of addiction in society, career opportunities may also include private practice, work with voluntary organisations and mental health organisations. With addiction, it is crucial to have timely interventions that are able to meet people where they are at. The provision of increased specialist addiction capacity in private counselling & psychotherapy services and voluntary organisations will assist in dealing with the demand.

Our university validated programmes are developed, delivered and assessed by PCI College and awarded by and quality assured by Middlesex University. A qualification from Middlesex University London is internationally recognised both within the EU and outside the EU. Brexit negotiations will have no impact on these facts.

Further enquiries

Call David or Adam now at 01-464 2268

Subjects taught

Each module is 30 hours duration

Year 1 Modules: 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
Theories of Addictive Behaviour: History & Current Situation
Generic & Specific Therapy Skills for Addiction
Drugs of Abuse: Biological, Psychological & Social Aspects
The Motivational Interviewing Approach

Year 2 Modules: 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
Behavioural Addictions: Gambling, Sex etc.
The CBT Approach to Working with Addiction
The Family Dimension in Addiction
Dual Diagnosis: Common Mental Health Problems in Addiction

MSc Component: 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)
Case Study & Dissertation


Award: Middlesex University MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy

Level: Level 7 FHEQ (Comparable to Level 9 NFQ)

*This programme was developed and is delivered and assessed by PCI College; awarded by and quality assured by Middlesex University. FHEQ (Framework for Higher Education Qualification) is the UK National Framework of Qualifications.

Assessment method

Assessment: Written and practical assignments

Application date

Application Deadline: September 2020

Selection Process: There are a limited number of places available (18). Selection is based on application and interview.

Application Process
Applicants are invited to complete and return the online Application Form. Applications must be accompanied by an Initial Deposit of €250, which is deductible from course fees if the application is successful. Applicants are entitled to a full refund of the Initial Deposit if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their application. Should an application be unsuccessful or cancelled by the applicant following this 14 day period, an administration fee of €60 is charged and the balance of €190 refunded. Please note that the name used on your application needs to be the same name that you have on your passport.

The balance of fees is payable in full before the course commences. Fees are non-refundable in all personal circumstances. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort. A full refund will be given to all applicants in the event that the class does not proceed.

Course fee

Year 1: €3,670* + Middlesex University Registration Fee €1,200**
(€3,150 for PCI College Graduates + MU Registration Fee €1,200**)

Year 2: €4,250

*Please note that fees include a €20 charge for Garda vetting process which is required prior to course entry.

**Once off fee paid in the first year

Payment Plan:
Pay in 18 monthly instalments, through the Monthly Payment Plan. Please note that this plan will operate by Direct Debit only and is inclusive of €100.00 administration fee. Each student must pass the Progression Board to enable them to move into the next year of study and the payment schedule outlined below.

Additional Course Costs
Course fees do not cover costs associated with Additional Course Requirements (Personal Therapy & Supervision). Fees for Supervision and Personal Therapy are decided by negotiation between you and your Supervisor and Therapist. The average cost of supervision is approximately €60. Personal therapy may also average about €60 per session.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Start Date: October 2020

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