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.

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.


All learners are expected to attend in person in class.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy are:

● Applications are welcome from those with Leaving Certificate or Level 5 FETAC full award and those with or without a primary degree. However, those under the age of 23 may not have the necessary life experience to satisfactorily participate in this programme, so it is likely to suit mature students.
● For applicants whose first language is not English and who have not previously undertaken a degree taught through English, evidence must be provided of proficiency in English language equivalent to B2+ or above on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). This must be evidenced through a recognised English Language test such as IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, PTE or DBS English Assessment. Test certificates should be dated within the last two years to be considered valid.
● It is a requirement that all applicants are interviewed to assess professional suitability.


Garda Vetting

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016 make it mandatory for people working unsupervised with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Siochana National Vetting Bureau.  Under the Acts, anyone whose work or activity involves unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must be vetted.  Workers include staff, volunteers and those on student placements working for a relevant organisation where they have access to children and/or vulnerable adults. 

DBS offers a number of educational Programmes that require students to undertake placements with external agencies, which will bring them into contact with the public and in which they will assume positions of trust.  It is for this reason that students on these type of programmes are required to undergo vetting prior to commencing placements (or visits).

New entrants on to these programmes will receive the relevant form and information in their orientation packs and will need to complete the process before their final registration on the course can be completed.   At the time of application, students will be required to declare as to any previous convictions.   Students can start on the course before their Garda clearance is completed but may be withdrawn if the vetting does not produce a satisfactory finding.

Where a vetting process identifies a previous conviction the case will be referred to an internal College Vetting Committee.   This committee will consider all relevant information in relation to a disclosure from the vetting process and make a determination on the case on behalf of the College.

If a student has started on the course and is withdrawn because of a conviction that was not declared at the time of application, any fees paid will not be refunded.

DBS will charge a fee of €25 to each student for the administration and costs of obtaining Garda clearance. This fee is payable at the commencement of the programme and is non refundable.

Student Testimonial

“I chose DBS because it has a good reputation for the counselling and psychotherapy course and for the location. The lecturers and supervisors were fantastic - engaging, knowledgeable and open to questions. The staff did a fantastic job of overcoming the challenges presented by COVID19, the online classes worked really well.”

“By completing this course, it provided me with a new option in my career path. My studies allowed me to practice as a therapist outside of work. The course improved my overall confidence and way of being, it’s fantastic.”

David Cosgrove
BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy

David Cosgrove

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 - 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 Theory

The Body in Psychotherapy


Group Psychotherapy

Supervised Practice II

Research Project

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 place in training groups with 15 students. The process Group is an integral component of the personal development aspect of the BA and 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.

Awarding Body and NFQ Level

As part of our ongoing obligation to quality assurance for QQI and IACP, DBS will carry out reviews and submit the programme for re-approval as required.This means that there may be changes to programme content or delivery during your programme of study. If this does occur, DBS will carefully consider all transition arrangements to ensure consistency for learners.

At all times, delivery of the programme must be in compliance with the approved programme and to achieve the recognised aware learners must fulfil all assessment criteria, as well as hours for experiential elements of the programme including personal and group therapy and clinical practice. IACP also sets out specific requirements for how elements are undertaken in terms of in-person activities versus online.

CORU Recognition

CORU is Ireland's multi-profession health regulator whose role is to protect the public through regulating the health and social care professions listed in the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended). It includes the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the Registration Boards established under the Act 2005 (as amended).

CORU confirmed the establishment of and appointment of members to the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board in 2019, under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (amended) to separately regulate the professions of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Currently there is no date for the opening of the CORU registers for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Please refer to the CORU website here for more information.

DBS will make an application for programme approval to the Registration Board when CORU opens the process. There is no guarantee the programme will be approved.

Programme Specific Regulations

The BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy is recognised by the Irish Association of Counsellors and psychotherapists (IACP) as meeting the requirements for the initial training of counsellors and psychotherapists. While the programme meets these requirements, there are additional client hours you must complete after you have finished the degree should you wish to apply for full membership. Please refer to all special regulations here.


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.

All learners are expected to attend in person in class.

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.

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.

EU Applicants

Applicants should complete the appropriate application form and return it to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the following documentation:

  • Academic Transcripts (Original & Official English Translation where issued in another language). Applicants who have previously attended DBS need not provide this documentation. 

  • Proof of Identification (Birth Certificate, Drivers Licence or Passport) 

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae

  • Proof of English (i.e. IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent) where full time study has been conducted in a language other than English or applicants whose first language is not English 

  • Personal statement of approximately 400 words outlining why you wish to pursue this particular course.

Please see programme content for any course-specific additional application procedures. In addition to the above, in the instance of Non-EU applicants who have residency in Ireland:

  • A copy of your GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) Card, Work permit (if applicable) & Passport 

  • The letter that was issued to you by the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform stating why you were provided with the above documentation.

Please note that copies of all documentation must be submitted, and that it must be translated into English where issued in another language. Please do not send original documents as these will not be returned.

Dublin Business School has a number of overseas offices and representatives worldwide. Please contact us if you wish to receive further details on your closest DBS representative.

  • 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
Duration: Part-time: 4 Years (1-2 evenings per week and 9 weekends)
Next Intake: September 2024

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2024. Contact our admissions team for more information

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5:15pm