Master of Arts (MA) Psychotherapy

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

 Master of Arts (MA) Psychotherapy



The MA in Psychotherapy offers a postgraduate qualification which meets requirements for professional training for individuals interested in training as humanistic and psychodynamic psychotherapists in the integrative model. The course has been designed for graduates from a Level 8 Counselling and Psychotherapy programme who are suitable for supervised clinical training in humanistic and psychodynamic psychotherapy in accordance with the integrative model. A combination of the Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy (or equivalent) and the MA in Psychotherapy at Dublin Business School should fulfil the requirements of a four-year training course that is expected by the professional bodies in the field of Psychotherapy. The MA course is also research focused and therefore provides students with a range of research skills appropriate to the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Key Features of the MA in Psychotherapy

  • Designed for graduates from disciplines related to counselling and psychotherapy

  • Aims to meet the needs of individuals who wish to train as professional Psychotherapists

  • Designed with close attention paid to requirements of professional bodies and discussions regarding statutory and European regulation in the field

  • Delivered on a modular basis, typically students will attend classes on two evenings per weeks & attend weekend workshops once or twice a month

  • Comprises of Theoretical components, Personal Psychotherapy, Weekly Process Groups & Supervised Clinical Counselling/Psychotherapy Practice

  • The orientation is primarily humanistic/integrative

  • Includes master classes and workshops from experienced practitioners


All learners are expected to attend in person in class.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the Master of Arts in Psychotherapy are:
• A Level 8 undergraduate honours degree with a minimum Second-Class Second Division (2.2) from a recognised third level institution in Counselling and Psychotherapy or an equivalent qualification in a cognate area from a recognised third level institution, or
• A graduate of any non-cognate discipline and hold a qualification in a conversion-style programme such as the DBS Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy (wherein they have passed all requirements at honours level, including oral examination of professional suitability), or
• Hold an equivalent qualification in the field of Humanistic, Integrative and Psychodynamic study and training or have equivalent professional qualifications.
• Suitable candidates should be able to demonstrate significant life experience, self-awareness and maturity. Learners on the Master of Arts in Psychotherapy programme are required to have entered their own psychotherapy before commencement of the programme. This will have been a requirement of the required prior learning qualification indicated above. Prior learning qualifications should also have included a minimum of 60 hours process group work.
• Ideally candidates should also have experience either professionally or on a voluntary basis in a role which can be related to the work of counselling/psychotherapy. Candidates are expected to be able to show evidence of having the personal qualities necessary to undertake psychotherapy training. To this end there is an interview process as part of the admissions procedure in order to assess academic and personal suitability.
• It is a requirement that all applicants are interviewed to assess professional suitability.

Applicants who do not have a Level 8 qualification at a 2.2 award level and who have at least 3 years’ work experience may also be considered through the college’s normal RPL procedures.  Relevant professional experience may be taken into account and individuals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis through DBS RPL procedures.


The MA in Psychotherapy offers a postgraduate qualification which meets requirements for professional training for individuals interested in training as humanistic and psychodynamic psychotherapists in the integrative model.

For instance, the Masters in Psychotherapy combined with our Higher Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy is recognised as a 4 year training by IAHIP (Irish Association for Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapy). 

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.


Course Content

The Master of Arts (MA) in Psychotherapy programme has the following content:

Core Modules

Supervised Clinical Practice

Clinical Group Supervision

Process Group

Theory and Practice 1: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Theory and Practice 2: Integrative Psychotherapy

Theory and Practice 3: Object Relations

Theory and Practice 4: Integrative Psychotherapy

Gesalt Therapy

Existential Psychotherapy

Ethics and Contemporary Issues

The Body in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy and the Public Sphere


Self, Subject, Person

Research Project

Assessment Methods

Each year students are assessed not only on their skills and academic knowledge but they also participate in two feedback meetings per year to discuss their progress in training. Feedback and assessment are the basis of a decision regarding their suitability for professional practice as counsellors and psychotherapists, and ultimately their qualification with the MA.

Awarding Body and NFQ Level

The programme is also currently recognised by the Irish Association for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP) as part of an overall 4 year training programme in conjunction with the Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy, to allow learners to meet the accreditation criteria in IAHIP Bye-law 11.

As part of our ongoing obligation to quality assurance for QQI and IAHIP, 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.

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 for more information.

DBS will make an application for programme approval to the Registration Board when CORU opens the process.

Programme Specific Regulations

Given the responsibility involved in the practice of psychotherapy it is essential that only learners assessed to be suitable for clinical practice are recommended to the Master of Arts in Psychotherapy to engage in supervised client practice regardless of their academic achievement. For this reason, the Higher Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy as a Level 8 award at the end of the first two years of the four-year professional training, which is recognised by IAHIP, is part of the assessment of suitability. Aside from this, there is also a further interview on application to the MA programme. This is fundamental to the design of the Masters in combination with the Higher Diploma as together they constitute four-year professional training recognised by IAHIP and in terms of maintaining standards for training and protecting learners and the public from inappropriate situations.


The MA in Psychotherapy is delivered on a modular basis during evenings and weekends and will normally take students two years to complete. During each year, students will normally study 2 evenings a week for two 12 week semesters and attend weekend experiential workshops and seminars. In this time students will participate in experiential group learning and attend academic lectures, both of which direct their study and understanding of counselling and the theories and practices of counselling and psychotherapy.

In the second year of the programme there are two Master Class modules involving highly experienced practitioners bringing that experience to a teaching context. In order to best equip students research methodologies and the range of contemporary issues that face professional Psychotherapists will also be amongst the topics studied.

Fundamental to training in the field of counselling and psychotherapy is the undergoing of one’s own psychotherapy. This work of clarifying one’s actions and motivations is challenging, stimulating and ultimately rewarding at a personal level as well as grounding professional practice. Students should expect to be in their own personal therapy for the duration of the MA.

The MA programme involves students beginning supervised clinical counselling/psychotherapy practice. Supporting this, in addition to the personal psychotherapy mentioned above are two forms of clinical supervision - individual and group. The two supervision arrangements provide the opportunity for students to articulate their questions regarding their therapeutic interventions and position. Group supervision is incorporated into the MA timetable. Payment in relation to one's personal psychotherapy and individual supervision is not included in the course fee and is arrange individually with the therapist and supervisor.

All learners are expected to attend in person in class.


Career Opportunities

Holders of the MA in Psychotherapy will be qualified to work in the following areas:

  • The Voluntary Sector

  • Primary Care settings

  • Social Care settings

  • Educational settings

  • Private Practice following admission to a professional body

It is envisaged that the programme will appeal to those interested in further postgraduate study, such as at PhD level.


The course fees for the next academic year are €5,390 per annum. This covers the cost of tuition, registration and examinations.

Click here to view international fees. 

Click here to view EU fees.

You can also contact our admissions team who would be happy to discuss the options available for you.

Please note also that there is tax relief for Irish income tax payers at the standard rate of 20% on all fees exceeding €1,000 and up to €7,000. 

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.

Improve your employability

All of our postgraduate courses offer strong links with industry and the professional world and often carry accreditation from professional bodies. By choosing to study at postgraduate level, not only do you gain valuable skills and experience but you also demonstrate your determination to succeed in a chosen career.

Far from being a postponement to employment, postgraduate study can help you progress further and faster in your chosen career. And, if you're not certain what direction you would like your future to take, further study can provide a secure and structured space to help you find out through exploring your strengths and interests.

Get your foot on the career ladder

A large number of our postgraduate programmes include a work placement option, giving you the opportunity to gain vocational experience, make valuable contacts and gain transferable skills. It is also worth considering that some postgraduate qualifications are essential requirements to getting on the career ladder.

Gain skills for success

During your undergraduate degree you will have developed a strong foundation of transferable skills. Postgraduate study will build on this base, giving you the opportunity to put these highly valuable skills in to practice. You will also gain invaluable practical working examples that you can go on to use at interview to set you apart from other candidates.

Next Steps

Open days are a great way to help you make your decision about DBS and learn more about the Master of Arts (MA) in Psychotherapy. As well as experiencing our outstanding facilities, you'll have the opportunity to receive personalised advice from academics from your subject area, meet current postgraduate students and also have your questions answered on general subjects such as entry requirements, student support and the admissions process.

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 

  • Referee form and a 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.

  • Psychology & Social Science
  • Postgraduate Programmes
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  • Counselling & Psychotherapy
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Course overview

Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Masters Degree
NFQ Level: 
Level 9
Award Title: Masters of Arts in Psychotherapy
Award Type: Major
Duration: Part-time: 2 years
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