Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies


The Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies is delivered part-time over one academic year.


Students who pass all five modules and 90 credits will be eligible for a Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies. The Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies is not a professional qualification and will not permit the holder to practice. However, this programme offers students an opportunity to take a step by step approach to professional training as students may apply to proceed to Year 2 of the BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy following successful completion of the Certificate. 


Candidates also choose to enrol on this programme to gain CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credits making this programme attractive for professionals who work with people (nurses, teachers, HR professionals etc).


The one year part time Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies programme aims to: 

  • Introduce students to professional counselling training; 
  • Support students to begin to develop and enhance openness and commitment to personal awareness and encourage an appreciation of its central and essential role in the students’ future practice with clients; 
  • Foster the development of social awareness, encouraging students to develop the ability to identify and evaluate their impact on the social world and its concurrent influence on their beliefs and values; 
  • Support students in building a critical knowledge of developmental theory and its interpretation and application to the students’ own lives; 
  • Foster professional development, personal responsibility and personal power such that students begin to interpret, experience, and uphold the requirements of ethical practice and develop cultural and diversity awareness; 
  • Resource students in their development of knowledge of the theory of counselling. Specifically, to promote active learning and presentation of the historical context and philosophical concepts underpinning the main paradigms and to develop familiarity with their major proponents, to explore their application to practice and to identify their strengths and limitations; 
  • Develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the humanistic integrative paradigm and how it compares and contrast with other models; 
  • Emphasise the role of research in counselling and psychotherapy, resourcing students to identify different types of research data and understand the different research methodologies used to investigate them; 
  • Develop students’ knowledge and understanding of crisis intervention, crisis prevention and crisis resolution, and support students to design interventions and implement them appropriately; 
  • Introduce students to basic counselling skills and provide a forum to observe and practice these, both in the training group and in a variety of learning settings; 
  • Emphasise and foster an ability to assess personal development in themselves and others and the capacity to deliver constructive verbal and written feedback which is meaningful to the receiver.   


The next cohort will begin in October 2024.


We are currently accepting applications.


We are pleased to extend the deadline to 12am on Monday, 1st July, 2024.

Those who applied before the original deadline will be contacted about their ongoing application in due course. 



Course Structure

In keeping with the humanistic philosophy upon which the course is based, the primary mode of training is experiential learning. Throughout the training students engage in the very process of self-exploration they are learning to facilitate in others. Students will also engage in personal therapy, individual study and reading, and peer discussion groups. Upon successful completion of this course they will be eligible to apply for Year 2 of the BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy, should they so wish.

The course runs on a part-time basis, with the group meeting over nine weekend based workshops between October and June each year. The first year introduces students to the particular model of training and is both a stand-alone Certificate Course and a Degree Year 1 course.

The course consists of attendance at workshops, seminars and tutorials, professional presentations, assignments, and other projects.

Accreditation & Award

A Certificate in Introduction to Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies (validated by Coventry University) is awarded to students on successful completion of their studies. Coventry University, in Cork’s twin city, is a dynamic and outward-looking institution with a tradition of teaching excellence, impactful research and bold international partnerships. Through Coventry’s worldwide network of collaborators in academia and industry, the 50,000 learners studying its degrees in different countries enjoy access to global opportunities, which ensure their employment prospects are enhanced.

Coventry University was Shortlisted for University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 and also received 5 QS Stars Overall Rating in the QS Stars University Ratings. Coventry University’s significant international success has also seen the institution presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the UK’s most prestigious business award.

Course Content

1. Personal Development

This is about developing your self-awareness and a consciousness of your impact and influence on others and on the world. Its about the ability to reflect, the ability to be in constructive healthy relationship with yourself and the ability to interact with and relate to others effectively. You will learn about your own internal emotions and effective ways to express them.

2. Counselling Skills

This focuses on the acquisition of key primary counselling skills, with a strong emphasis on being relational rather than becoming a skilled technician. You will observe and practice listening, making contact, communicating information, creating safe environments, demonstrating empathy, identifying and holding boundaries, recognising crisis, designing and intervening appropriately in crisis, receiving and delivering assessment and feedback. Its also an opportunity to improve your empathy with the ability to paraphrase, reflect and summarise. You will increase your ability to identify, maintain and respect boundaries and learn the importance of appropriate endings. You have a chance to learn to assess personal development in others.

3. Counselling Theory & Ethics

This will help you develop a broad and solid theoretical understanding of the main paradigms of counselling and psychotherapy with particular emphasis on the humanistic integrative model, evaluating it in comparison with other paradigms, in terms of history, philosophy, theorists, principles, perspectives, applications and issues in modern practice. You will also discover the philosophy and common principles behind ethical codes and how these apply to counselling and psychotherapy. You get to understand the basic philosophical tenets underlying the code of ethics and show familiarity with the specific ethical codes of IACP & BACP. You learn to deliver written and oral presentations to professional standards, demonstrating creativity and audience participation as appropriate.

4. Professional Development & Cultural Awareness

You will learn to facilitate the initiation and completion of counselling contracts effectively and to uphold professional and ethical duties around confidentiality and its limits, continuity of care, safety, good boundaries, consent etc.

Ethical codes will not just be viewed as written guidelines; you will have experienced interpreting, applying, writing, debating and living them. You get to have a clear understanding about fitness to practice standards and know the importance and lifelong nature of supervision. You will gain a lived understanding and knowledge of the different expressions of power, powerlessness, consent and the absence of consent.

This will help you develop your cultural and diversity awareness.  In addition, you will have an appreciation of the impact of culture and diversity on your own life experience and be attentive to its influence on your values and on the counselling relationship.

5. Introduction to Research

This aims to develop an early understanding of research and its role in the wider world and in the arena of counselling. It will introduce you to research terminology and enable you to differentiate between types of methodology. It will develop not only your skills in appraising a broad range of literature and scientific papers, and inform you on basic statistical terms and analytic processes. At the end, you will be able to evaluate a research article and when required to interpret numerical information. You will be able to describe the process of research from question finding through to presentation in a journal article.

Applicant Criteria

Prospective applicants are expected to demonstrate that they

  • are self-aware
  • are able reflect on their life experience
  • can cope with the emotional and the academic demands of the course
  • are able to self-evaluate and give and to be open to constructive feedback
  • have previous experiences of personal development, i.e. group work, personal therapy, etc.
  • are able to be relational and have the potential to develop client therapeutic relationships later
  • have an awareness and interest in diversity and inequality

Assessment is continuous and based on submitted assignments, presentations, attendance, and feedback on personal development from self, peers and trainers.


The current tuition fee is €4,950. This is paid in two stages. €2,500 non-refundable deposit is paid on acceptance of a training place by a specific date notified in the letter of offer and the balance of €2,450 is due for payment before the first workshop commences.There is a non-refundable application fee of €150. Price includes Garda Vetting and Credit Card fees if applicable.


See here for Frequently Asked Questions and see here for Terms and Conditions. It is important that you read and consider these as you will later be asked to consent to your agreement of these terms as part of your application.

How to Apply

There are three steps for the intake process that have to be passed.

Step 1: Your Application

Fill out our application form (which will also request a CV) online here . You will also be asked to pay your non-refundable application fee of €150. Please note, payment of your application fee is a compulsory. Failure to pay your application fee will result in your application form not being submitted.

Step 2: Your References

Get two referees to submit a reference for you online here by simply emailing them the link.

Please note that after completing step one and two, you will get a confirmation of complete application by email from us. Only at that point are you eligible to progress to next steps (your interviews) which we will lead after the closing date.

Step 3: Your Interviews

Applicants need to attend and pass an individual interview and subsequently to attend and pass a group interview. Please note that both individual and group interviews generally happen on the same day.

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