Top-Up Course


The Top-Up Course is designed in response to pending statutory registration of counsellors, offering you an opportunity to upgrade your existing qualification to Degree level. The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (Top-up Programme) is validated by Coventry University. The next course is starting in October 2023 and applications are now open. The closing date has been extended from May 31st 2023 to 30th June 2023, interviews are ongoing but places will be available to successful applicants up to the closing date.

Course Structure

The course will allow you to deepen your knowledge of theory, practice and research in Integrative Humanistic Counselling. You will gain a greater understanding of and ability to work with complex issues. You will develop an advanced understanding of current and cutting edge literature and research findings underpinning and supporting your clinical practice. You will also engage in personal therapy, a personal and professional development group, professional supervised practice, individual study and reading, and peer discussion groups. You will submit a number of written assignments.


Students may choose to complete the course either on a full-time basis over 12 months or on a part-time basis over 24 months. Seven workshops will take place between October and May. Six of these workshops will be weekend workshops, scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays. One workshop will be three days in duration taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All workshops are non-residential located in Cork Counselling Services Training Institute in Cork City. Cork Counselling Services Training Institute reserves the right to make changes to dates, times, course content and will make effort to advise participants of any such changes in good time.

Accreditation & Award

A BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (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

CCSTI, through its humanistic integrative psychotherapy base believes that effective training has to incorporate work in personal awareness, counselling theory and techniques, skills training, supervised clinical practice and research. CCSTI training provides all of the above.


1. Advanced Practice & Counselling Issues

You will learn a range of advanced counselling issues and complex relational dynamics. You get to understand these dynamics as they occur live in your counselling relationships. You will appreciate and tolerate ambiguity and complexity in your client work. You find out the ongoing importance of ethics and the limitations of your competence via your use of supervision, and other personal and professional development opportunities. This will improve your ability to initiate, develop and maintain long-term, in-depth counselling relationships with clients.


2. Relational Development


You will get to appreciate the concept of relational development and apply it to your live relationships. You get to understand and communicate how past and current issues affect your interactions with self and others. You can make accurate assessments about the relative contributions of self and other to the dynamics in your professional relationships. You learn about the influence of socio-cultural-political issues on human development. You continue to identify and critically describe the origins of your relational style and appreciate its effects in clinical practice, responding to complex relational dynamics with empathy, immediacy, spontaneity and creativity. You will gain a competence in the giving and receiving of feedback and in managing ambiguity, disapproval, conflict and ruptures.

3. Professional Collaboration


The aim of this module is to prepare you for employment as a professional counsellor collaborating with multidisciplinary teams and allied professionals. You will gain the ability to maintain long-term, in-depth counselling relationships with clients, appreciating and tolerating ambiguity and complexity in your client work and utilizing supervision to enhance your development. You learn to identify suitable paradigms for client assessment and to employ established assessment tools correctly. You get an appreciation of the role of allied professional and learn to communicate with them through written client reports.


4. Becoming a Practitioner-Researcher


You will understand the role of research in relation to the effectiveness of counselling. You develop your knowledge and skills in relation to research methodology. You will learn the importance of practice-based evidence and consider a range of appropriate tools to investigate the effects of counselling on specific client groups. You get to source, access, understand and evaluate published research. You will appreciate a range of different research designs and methodologies, with special emphasis being placed on the use of qualitative research methods. You learn the essential elements of a solid research proposal. You undertake your first research project with a self-defined question on an aspect of counselling practice.


5. Clinical Integration


You will learn to integrate your knowledge from a theoretical, experiential, and practical standpoint in preparation for an extended case study assignment with a long-term client. You will develop a critical awareness of how your development influenced your current understanding of human nature and your decision to become an integrative humanistic counsellor. You will learn to critically review up-to-date literature and research within the integrative humanistic paradigm. This will help you to initiate and maintain a long-term, in-depth therapeutic relationship with a client and manage the relationship in an appropriate, professional manner. You will enhance your capacity for self-reflection and critical awareness of how your own personal characteristics affect the therapeutic relationship. You will learn to identify and attend to your own personal and emotional needs. You will enhance your ability to initiate, utilize, manage, and assume responsibility for your own learning in supervision and the personal and professional development group.


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, a personal and professional development group, professional supervised practice, individual study and reading, and peer discussion groups.  They will submit a number of written assignments.

Applicant Criteria

We expect our applicants to have successfully completed an IACP-recognised Diploma in Counselling. Candidates who have completed other types of courses or modes of study must apply to have their learning accredited by our Training Team. Based on this application, suitable candidates will be invited to attend individual interview. Successful applicants will be offered a place on the course. Responsibility for final selection rests solely with the Training Team.


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, attendance, and feedback on personal development from self, peers and trainers.


The tuition fee is €4,700 for applicants post 11/1/2023.


For full-time students, the €4,700 is paid in two installments within one year. €2,500 is paid on accpetance of a training place and the remaining €2,200 is paid by the commencement of the course.


For part-time students, the €4,700 is paid in three installments within two years. €2,500 is paid on acceptance of a training place, €700 is paid by the commencement of the course and the remaining €1,500 is paid by 1st September the following year.


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 five steps for the intake process that have to be passed.


Step 1: 


  • Prepare the following documents:


(1) A photo ID

(2) CV

(3) Copy of your Diploma Course Brochure (or equivalent)

(4) Copy of your Diploma Transcript of Marks

(5) Copy of your Diploma Certificate

(6) Supplementary Application Form (Can be in PDF or Word format)

(7) Photograph of your signature


  • Fill in the Application Form here – please note this application will ask you to upload all of the above documents so please have them ready. You cannot exit and save this form so please put aside 20 minutes to complete it in one sitting.
  • By submitting an application form, you accept that you have read the terms and conditions outlined above.
  • If you have any difficulties with this process, please email;


Step 2:


  • Pay your non-refundable application fee of €150 online here


Step 3:


  • Get two referees to submit a reference for you online here
  • One reference should be from a primary trainer involved in your Diploma course.
  • The second should be from a supervisor of your clinical practice.


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


Step 4:


  • Applicants need to attend and pass an individual interview.


Step 5:


  • Applicants need 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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