Blended Learning Programme

Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Studies

QQI 20 credit certificate providing an excellent introduction to the field of counselling & psychotherapy.

  • Award: QQI Special Purpose Award in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Studies (validated at level 6 on the NFQ)

    The Certificate equates to modules 1-2 of our BSc. Learners who complete this programme are exempt from the first 20 credits of our Degree.

  • Attendance options:

    • Starting June 2024 – Blended Learning
  • Structure: See Course Structure tab below for breakdown of dates

  • Cost: €1,300 (inclusive of QQI registration fee of €50.)

  • Language requirement: If English is your second language you are required to submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) cert at Level 5.5, or equivalent. For more information please click HERE


Our Certificate Programme is the perfect entry point for those considering a career in counselling and psychotherapy as it contains an excellent mix of theory, skills and personal development. All IICP teaching staff are therapy practitioners, which means they put their teaching into a real-world context. This programme is delivered using Blended Learning, including both on campus and online inputs.

Programme Aims

Upon completion, learners should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate broad elementary knowledge of two main therapy approaches; Person Centred Therapy and Choice Theory/Reality Therapy;
  2. Describe the evolution of counselling and psychotherapy from historical to contemporary perspectives;
  3. Discuss mental illness and its treatment, including modern therapeutic approaches;
  4. Identify the scope and limitations of counselling and psychotherapy;
  5. Appreciate basic ethical considerations for working with others;
  6. Describe the essential components of a therapeutic relationship;
  7. Engage in simulated practice of basic counselling practice;
  8. Apply core counselling and psychotherapeutic skills in simulated practice;
  9. Participate in reflective exercises in one-to-one and group settings;
  10. Consider the role of the self in the therapeutic relationship;
  11. Recognise the limitations of one’s own knowledge, skills and competencies; and
  12. Communicate effectively in academic and practice settings.

Entry Requirements

This programme is suitable for those either working in the helping professions, or interested in seeking to develop their awareness of what is involved in training as a counsellor/psychotherapist.

  • A qualification recognised at level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) such as the Leaving Certificate is required for entry onto this programme.
  • Those with substantial life experience can also apply under our recognition of prior learning and experience policy.
  • If English is your second language you are required to submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) cert at Level 5.5, or equivalent. For more information please click HERE

Minimum Technological Requirements

For both the fully online and for the blended learning programme, you will need to have:

  • Appropriate broadband to be able to upload and download;
  • A desktop computer or laptop that is capable of using zoom;
  • A webcam and microphone;
  • A web browser; and
  • Word processing package


The programme consists of two introductory modules in the subjects of Counselling Theory, Counselling Skills and Personal Development. It is a highly interactive programme, delivered through a variety of teaching approaches such as lectures, group discussion, experiential work, individual exercises, and self-directed learning.

Each module carries its own assessment, which is based on a continuous assessment strategy.


Date Time Location
Friday 21st June 6:00pm-10:00pm Online
Saturday 22nd June 9:00am-5:00pm Classroom
Sunday 23rd June 9:00am-5:00pm Classroom
Friday 19th July 6:00pm-10:00pm Online
Saturday 20th July 9:00am-5:00pm Online
Sunday 21st July 9:00am-5:00pm Online
Friday 9th August 6:00pm-10:00pm Online
Saturday 10th August 9:00am-5:00pm Classroom
Sunday 11th August 9:00am-5:00pm Classroom

Blended Delivery*

Unless specifically indicated, the programme is delivered via blended learning.

The onsite components will be delivered in our Tallaght Campus.

Our online learning classes are run as tutorials, that involve students and their lecturer logging into our online learning platform Moodle and use the online portal Zoom™ simultaneously.

Zoom™ provides and integrative online environment for students and Lecturers to interact and engage in the learning. This platform facilitates discussion polls, sharing of slides, videos resources and much, much more.

To foster more intimate learning environments the use of breakout rooms is also implemented, allowing for the safe and experiential triadic learning practice that we have found so successful.

All of our sessions are accessible through computer and mobile devices and we have a structured and robust technology department to support all faculty and students through their online learning journey. To encourage flexibility, and ss best practice, we also record all our sessions, these are made accessible only to the students in that class to review content whenever is convenient to them!

Student Benefits & Support

As our certificate is conferred at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), it evidences the rigour required for a quality programme of learning. The dynamic mix of theory, skills, group work, practice and personal development ensures learners grow academically, professionally, personally and interpersonally within frameworks that are on the cutting edge of best practice.

Validation of Award

This Certificate is a Special Purpose Award validated by QQI at level 6 on the NFQ. 20 ECTS Credits

Protection for Enrolled Learners

This programme is covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of IICP College ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded. Current PEL arrangements consist of a 2% levy on course fees. IICP do not pass the cost of this on to learners.

Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Studies & Reflexive Practice

This module gives students a broad introduction to the field of counselling and psychotherapy with particular emphasis on five main approaches. It also enhances student learning through a discipline-based approach to supporting learners to engage with, contribute to and benefit from the programme. It does this through focusing on generic skills and competencies required of higher education students, including information literacy and digital capacity, but it does so in a discipline-based environment.

Introduction to Counselling Skills

This module introduces students to a range of core counselling skills and facilitates them to begin to develop these skills. It grounds skills within the theoretical and conceptual frameworks presented in the programme. In particular, it explores the value of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard as core conditions of Integrative counselling and psychotherapy. This module introduces students to key considerations when establishing a counselling/therapeutic relationship:

  • Opening and closing a session;
  • Asking questions to enhance the client’s self-awareness and reflection on their feelings, behaviours and experiences.Students are provided with opportunities to develop a working knowledge of personal and interpersonal skills through experiential learning activities, such as role play, and interpersonal activities, such as triads, discussion and feedback. Core counselling/psychotherapeutic skills, explored include:
    • Empathy
    • Listening
    • Reflecting
    • Reframing
    • Summarising
    • Clarifying
    • Challenging / contesting
    • Awareness of key listening blocks
    • Attending to body language, minimal encouragers, intonation, words and cultural considerations.

Learners who complete these modules on the Certificate are exempt from them if they return to do the BSc. Please note, that learners completing the Autumn Certificate will do the modules alongside the BSc students who are not exempt from them. Such learners often request to progress in the BSc with the group they start. Please be mindful that it is only possible to progress in the September intake of the BSc if a place is available, which is rare. If you complete the Certificate from September – January, and then wish to progress, you may have to wait for a subsequent intake of the BSc the following September.

IICP understand that while partaking in further education is an incredibly rewarding experience it can also be a financial challenge for some students. In order to minimise the financial impact caused to students, IICP strive to keep our course fees as competitive as possible. We also provide payment plan options to facilitate learners paying the balance of their fees throughout the duration of their course.

Year One: Payment Options

(1) Pay in Full before Start of Course


390On Application

Balance of Fees

910Before Start of Course


*1,300 (includes €50 QQI Fee)

(2)  Payment Plan Options Available (administration fee incurred*)

  • Flexible Payment Options Available. Please Contact the IICP office to find out more!

Please Note:

Bookings operate on a first paid, first secured basis so please book and pay promptly to avoid disappointment

All programmes are run subject to sufficient demand and the formation of a viable class cohort (which shall be determined in the sole discretion of IICP College). A refund of any fees paid will be given to applicants in the event that the programme does not proceed. Fees are not refundable in any other circumstances. Receipts will be made available to you/your organisation on receipt of payment. Please note all fees are due in advance of programme commencement unless you have signed up to a payment plan.

Getting Started

Should you have any questions in relation to making your online application please contact Triona on 086-0499154.

Simply click the below button to be brought to our online application process. When prompted, please select ‘Validated & Accredited Courses’, then select ‘Certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Studies – Summer 2024’ option and complete the form.

Online Application Form

If you have any trouble at any stage of the application please click here to get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Why choose this Programme?

  • Perfect entry point for those with an interest in counselling and psychotherapy
  • Excellent mix of theory, skills and personal development.
  • Competitively priced course fees with payment plans available.
  • QQI validated, which guarantees high quality content and delivery
  • Incredibly high levels of student support, ensuring that learners are continually guided and supported.

What former students say about this Programme

Learned a lot – very useful in my own life. Putting the theory into practice was most helpful.

Cynthia Cope, Certificate Student

I can’t say enough about the facilitation skills of Rose & Suzi. The method & amount of facilitation in which all aspects of the Certificate were presented was a Joy. Not just learning the skills, but learning them in such a positive and inclusive manner. A wonderful experience!

Joe O' Rourke , Certificate Student

Can’t be improved upon. I found the pace perfect and structure very clear to understand. Loved working in groups for the first assessment.

Jennifer Webb , Certificate Student

I would highly recommend this course to anyone. Really enjoyed it. Pam was a fantastic lecturer and very easy to understand. Learning of counselling theory and then adapting this learning to everyday life was most helpful.

Michelle Keogh, Certificate Student

Extremely insightful and valuable course. Showed the potential career so clearly in a safe way. Wonderfully communicated and very patiently explained. Excellent opportunity to explore the understanding of counselling & psychotherapy theory with your peers.

Sultan Mahmoud, Certificate Student

About the Programme Facilitator

Ailbhe O’NeillModule Lecturer
Ailbhe is a qualified counsellor and holds a BA (Hons) Level 8 in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. She also holds a BA Level 7 in Applied Social Studies in Social Care from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and is a fully accredited Member of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). As an Associate Lecturer with IICP college, Ailbhe teaches across a range of modules including an Introduction to Counselling Skills, and an Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Studies & Reflexive Practice, as well as assisting on the delivery of modules such as Sexuality and Practice Development.

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