BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP recognised) – Part-time

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps


DBS part-time courses 

Counselling and Psychotherapy provide the opportunity to speak in one's own terms in order to articulate the difficulties and the questions in one's life.  They offer the opportunity of clarifying the direction, or its lack, in one's life. In recent decades counselling and psychotherapy have had a major contribution to the alleviation of distress and suffering in the everyday human experience of loss, bereavement, trauma, depression, choice and relationships. Skills adapted from the fields of counselling and psychotherapy are now an essential part of many work roles and an expertise in this area can be the basis of professional development, Counselling and Psychotherapy have enjoyed significant growth in an Ireland that has seen great social change in recent years. They have become accepted as ways to greater understanding of oneself and the basis for change in human lives.

Please note that completion of a Foundation course in Counselling & Psychotherapy is not a pre-requisite for entry on to this programme. 

Key Features of this Programme 

  • Recognised by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)

  • The orientation is primarily humanistic / integrative / psychodynamic but it also introduces students to the principles of psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, existential psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • Central to the course are personal development through personal therapy and process group work, supervised clinical practice (years 3 & 4) and theoretical study

  • Teaching is primarily interactive and focused on the students' engagement with the material on the programme

  • Learning is skills-based and experiential, in small group formats (maximum of 15 per training group, 12 per process group and 7 per clinical supervision group in years 3 & 4)

  • We have a dedicated placement officer to assist students in finding work placements to complete their necessary client work 

  • Of interest to those who would like to learn counselling skills and understand their basis in psychotherapeutic practice 

  • Enhances students current work practices e.g. health and social care professionals, teachers, Gardai, community workers, voluntary sector workers and many more

  • To inform about the potential contribution of the approaches studies as well as their limitations 

  •  To provide experiential learning of counselling and psychotherapy skills in a classroom setting in years 1 and 2 and in clinical settings in years 3 and 4

  •  To gain experience of the process of counselling/psychotherapy in both individual and group settings

  • To gain knowledge of the main categories of psychopathology

  • To acquire significant research and writing skills through essay writing and by carrying out primary research in the area of counselling and psychotherapy

  • To prepare students to undertake the further training and education necessary to meet the relevant criteria for eventual accreditation by the appropriate professional bodies

  • To have acquired a broad undergraduate education and the practical and intellectual skills required for postgraduate education and a variety of career paths.

The BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy programme has been designed to meet the criteria of a core training course. It includes the required counselling skills, personal development and theoretical components which are the basis for it to be recognised by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) and awarded  by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The orientation of the course is integrative/humanistic with a psychodynamic perspective. Students only being supervised client work following the completion of all modules and requirements at Level 1 and 2 of the programme and a decision regarding suitability to practice.

Course Content

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Core Modules

Counselling Skills I - Introduction

The Stress Response I

Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy

Contemporary Issues I

Developmental Psychology

Process Group

Introduction to Psychology

Core Modules

Counselling Skills II - The Therapeutic Relationship

The Stress Response II

Contemporary Issues II

The Family System

Human Sexuality

Process Group

Introduction to the Work of Freud

Core Modules

Psychotherapy Skills I - Psychodynamic

Clinical Supervision I

Existentialism and Psychotherapy

Freud's Case Histories


Approaches to Addiction

Research Methodology

Supervised Practice I

Core Modules

Psychotherapy Skills II - Integrative

Clinical Supervision II

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

The Body in Psychotherapy


Group Psychotherapy

Supervised Practice II

Research Project

DBS Employability Pillar

In line with the DBS philosophy of ensuring its graduates have a suite of knowledge, skills and competence that make them readily employable, the programme contains an Employability Pillar of modules that complement the programme specific modules. This pillar of modules ensures students are aware of employer expectations on graduating, enhances their communication skills and time management while positioning the student for academic development during the course of their degree studies. 

Teaching and Assessment

The BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy combines experiential learning, academic lecturing and personal development. The Theory and Practice modules in each year of the programme as well as the Stress Response modules consist of experiential learning classes taking paklce in training groups with 15 students. The process Group is an integral component of the personal development aspect of the BA nad a fundamental element of training in humanistic / integrative counselling and psychotherapy. The other modules on the programme are delivered in lecture format. Assessment is approached creatively with a range of assessment strategies including essay writing, in-class presentation, group discussion, self-reflective writing and examination. Instructions and guidelines for all assessment are clearly communicated to students.


The BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy is a part-time programme of at least four years duration. During Level 1 and 2 of the programme students attend:

  • Lectures 1-2 evenings per week

  • 9 weekends from September to May

  • Process Group one evening per week for 30 weeks from September to May

  • Weekly Personal Therapy (mandatory from level 2).

Over the course of the first two years all students undergo feedback sessions and interviews to assess academic and personal eligibility to proceed to years 3 and 4. A decision is made at the end of year 2 on the basis of the material from the previous two years concerning suitability for client work. Students who successfully complete year 2 receive a Higher Certificate award. 

During Level 3 and 4 of the programme students attend:

  • Lectures one evening per week from September to May

  • 9 weekends from September to May

  • Weekly Personal Therapy

  • Individual and group supervision

  • Supervised client work

Additional hours are required for client work, personal therapy and individual clinical supervision. Please note personal therapy and individual clinical supervision are an additional cost to be incurred by students.

Years 3 and 4 continue to include feedback sessions and interview and upon completion of these two final years, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree is awarded.

Whilst applications are welcome from any suitably qualified learners, applicants under the age of 25 may not have the necessary life experience to satisfactorily participate in this programme.

Career Opportunities

The BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy is recognised by the Irish association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). Graduates can apply to become full members of IACP and work towards accreditation by this major professional body (see Upon successful completion of the programme, graduates may progress to the MA in Psychotherapy at DBS. 


The Course Fees for the BA (Hons) in ​Counselling and Psychotherapy are €​4,950 per annum.

For a full list of part-time undergraduate arts degree fees click here.

You can also contact our admissions team who will also be able to advise on the payment options available to our students.

All undergraduate programmes of 2 years or more have been approved for tax relief purposes. Tax relief is granted to Irish resident taxpayers at the standard rate of income tax in respect of tuition fees paid exceeding €1,375 and up to €7,000 for part-time programmes only.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS ( and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

Next Steps

Visit Us

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about your course of interest. The open day will give you the opportunity to receive one on one advice and direction from leading academics in your chosen subject area, meet current students and also have your questions answered on entry requirements, student support and the admissions process. Find out when our next open event is taking place. The Admissions Office is located in our Aungier Street campus and you are welcome to visit the college to speak with a member of our admissions team from Monday to Fridays, 8:45am – 5:15pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

Standard Applicants - Evening Arts Degrees

Standard Applicants for the Evening Arts Degree programmes must meet the minimum entry requirements of the College. For Evening Arts Degree programmes the minimum entry requirements are 2 honours in higher level subjects and 4 passes in ordinary level subjects (to include English or another language) in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent.  The BA (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy programme also requires a minimum D3 in ordinary level Maths. Please forward the relevant documentation or any other second or third level qualifications (original & official English translation where issued in another language) to the Admissions Office. Proof of age such as a copy of driver’s licence or passport must also be submitted.

Mature Applicants - Evening Arts Degrees

If you are over 23 years of age and do not meet minimum entry requirements, you may apply as a mature student. Mature students are assessed on the basis of age, work experience, general education standard, motivation and commitment to the programme for which they are applying. Please forward documentation such as relevant transcripts, a CV and other related documentation to the Admissions Office.  Proof of age such as a copy of driver’s licence or passport must also be submitted. While applications are welcome from any suitably qualified learners, applicants under the age of 25 may not have the necessary life experience to satisfactorily participate in this programme. On receipt of application for the BA (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy at DBS and as part of the professional requirements for this programme, applicants are required to complete a 400 word personal statement (approx.) outlining their rationale and interest for applying in the programme.

FETAC Applicants

Minimum admission requirements for graduates of FETAC awards (former NCVA Level 2 or 3) are a full FETAC award in a course in a cognate area with a distinction grade in at least three modules. A full FETAC award normally consists of 8 modules. A full award may be accumulated over more than one academic year. Further details can be obtained from the Admissions Office.

  • Part-Time
  • Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Psychology & Social Science
  • Arts
  • 8
  • Evening Degrees

Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Honours Degree
NFQ Level: 
Level 8
Award Title: 
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Award Type: Major
Part-time: 4 ​Years (1-2 evenings per week and 9 weekends)

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2017. Contact our admissions team for more information

Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm