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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 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.

Course Structure

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.

Why Coventry University?


Independent experts at Times Higher Education (THE) rank Coventry University as one of the international elite – one of the ‘Top 200’ young universities across the world. This follows from last year where THE named Coventry as one of the world’s Top 200 ‘most international’ universities. The Complete University Guide put Coventry University “Top New University” in the UK – of all new universities.

How to Apply

  • Applicants are invited to submit a completed Application Form for Oct 2019 along with:
    • A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae,
    • A 2000-word personal statement on their personal and professional development as a counsellor and how this relates to their application,
    • A passport sized photograph,
    • Non-refundable application fee of €100, and
    • 2 References – please post  Degree Reference Request Form to two referees having filled out the blue section.

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.

Fees, Assessment & Award

The tuition fee is €4,200. For students on the part-time programme this cost is payable pro rata (See Application Form for details). Please note that this training fee includes the University Registration Fee, Learner Protection, but does not cover supervision or personal counselling costs. Assessment is continuous and based on submitted assignments, attendance, and feedback on personal development from self, peers and trainers. A BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy is awarded to students on successful completion of their studies.

Course Content

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. Youlearn 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.