Masters Degree – QQI Level 9

//Masters Degree – QQI Level 9
Masters Degree – QQI Level 9 2017-10-26T17:21:22+00:00

Masters Level 9 Degree in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Facilitated by world-renowned Professor John McLeod, this innovative Masters provides a comprehensive understanding of both Pluralism & Research

Professor John McLeod
(MA Programme Facilitator)

  • Award: QQI Master’s Degree in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Entry Requirements: Minimum of a 2.2 in a Level 8 BA/BSc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy or a minimum of a 2.2 BA/BSc (Hons) Degree in an alternative field plus a professionally recognised Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Starting: September 2018

  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Cost:

    • Year 1: TBC
    • Year 2: TBC


A pluralistic perspective is an integrative approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy that embraces and considers multiple causes and responses to psychological distress. The aim of the programme is to equip practitioners with an up-to-date, cutting edge training to meet the needs of  contemporary society. It also aims to identify and develop leadership and collaborative qualities in those involved in therapeutic practice. With a strong research focus, graduates from this programme will have the necessary knowledge, skills and competence to act as research-practitioners. The programme aims to enable graduates to analyse their own practice and the profession as a whole. We strive to facilitate learners in the creation of evidence-based solutions to the current problems they face as individual practitioners and dilemmas that exist within the profession. As pluralism is the unifying theme in the programme, the programme will foster a spirit of enquiry where learners will engage in the pursuit of multiple truths, drawing from diverse disciples, approaches and orientations.

Aimed Towards

This programme is for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists. Candidates are required to have a minimum of a 2.2 in a Level 8 BA/BSc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy or a minimum of a 2.2 BA/BSc (Hons) Degree plus a professionally recognised Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Candidates will have completed at least 100 supervised client hours as part of their core counselling and psychotherapy training and will have undergone a minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy while training as a therapist. Evidence of same must be submitted with the application form.

Programme Aims

  • To offer learners the opportunity to gain a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills in the pluralistic integrative approach to counselling and psychotherapy
  • To equip learners with the necessary knowledge, competencies and skills to engage in debate and discussion with a multitude of relevant stakeholders
  • To foster a spirit of enquiry in professional clinical practice and with regard to the profession as a whole
  • To equip learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to respond to clients using a pluralistic collaborative approach
  • To prepare learners to contribute to the advancement of the profession through research and publication
  • To hone the ability logical, critical, analytical and reflective thinking skills that will be applied to both practice and research


The programme will be delivered in block format, with learners attending Friday-Sunday once a month. There will also be additional tutorial days and professional knowledge seminars built into the programme. To complete the P.G. Diploma in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, learners will complete seven modules in Year One and one module in Year Two. Two additional modules, along with the research portfolio are completed in Year Two to obtain the M.A. in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy.


IICP utilise Continuous Assessment (CA), as this mode enables learners to achieve positive learning outcomes throughout the full programme of study. The assessment strategy for the programme focuses on enabling learners to retain the knowledge, skills and competence gained from each module in a meaningful and purposeful way and allow them to reflect on how they can incorporate the learning as part of their overall growth. Assessments will include practical work, individual and group projects and written assignments.

Module Assessment

Modules are assessed through a Continuous Assessment (CA) strategy, which includes a variety of mediums such as individual and group projects, skills training assessment, case studies and process recordings, written assignments, essay topics and the research portfolio.

The programme contains ten mandatory modules over the duration of two academic years.

Year One – Module Descriptors

  • Advanced Research Methods and Statistics 1:
    • This module is designed to provide the learner with a solid theoretical foundation in Research Methods. Learners will become familiar with reading and critiquing research papers.
  • Philosophical Underpinnings in Counselling and Psychotherapy:
    • This module will encourage learners to explore, in depth, the conceptual and philosophical foundations of counselling and psychotherapy. Learners will be encouraged to develop a questioning mind, reflecting on a number of key theories from a philosophical perspective.
  • A Pluralistic Framework:
    • This module aims to explore the assumptions underlying a pluralistic approach to therapy. Learners will gain proficiency in this approach and practice it in a coherent and meaningful way. A detailed examination of three therapeutic domains –goals, tasks and methods – will take place. Furthermore, practical skills such as assessment and case formulation will form part of the learning in this class.
  • Professional Knowledge:
    • The purpose of the module is to encourage learners to engage in engage in discussion based learning which highlights elements of dialogue, critical discovery and community based scholarly activity to probe specialist areas of psychotherapy theory, research and practice.
  • Contemporary Perspectives:
    • This module explores current research findings on contemporary issues and approaches in the field of Counselling and Psychotherapy, including the role of trauma, neuroscience and the therapeutic use of mindfulness. Adhering to a pluralistic stance, the module will offer learners knowledge, skills and competence drawn from a range of novel areas of theory and practice.
  • The Sociological Context of Mental Health:
    • This module aims to enable learners to evaluate and reflect on the value of therapeutic interventions within a social context. This module will include the key contemporary debates within the sociology of mental health and mental illness. The sociological study of mental health is unique in that it seeks to document and describe the social conditions that influence psychological functioning, as well as the psychosocial process that link social experiences to psychological health.
  • Advanced Research Methods and Statistics 2:
    • This Module is designed to provide the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to enable them to carry out basic research investigations. Learners will begin the process of applying advanced research skills.

Year Two Module Descriptors

  • Practice Based Issues:
    • The aim of this module is to facilitate learners in addressing the real issues that present in pluralistic client work. Upon completion of this module, learners will have begun the process of applying evidence-based strategies to practice-based problems such as poor outcomes, non-attendance, therapy drop-out etc. Leadership skills and management strategies also form part of the curriculum of this module.
  • Clinical Practice and Development Module:
    • The module will take place in IICP Education and Training Ltd and will focus on the application of pluralism to clinical work. Case study work and supervision will form an integral part of this module. A number of lecture halls will be made available for this module. Learners will also engage in self-directed and peer-supported learning as part of this module.
  • Research Portfolio Module:
    • The Research Portfolio module at IICP takes a different format that the standard dissertation. The ethos of the Master’s programme is evidenced in this module by the inclusion of 4 separate assignments that form the Final Capstone Module. Learners will undertake a literature review paper, a research paper, a reflexive paper and will disseminate their research in presentation format at an internal conference.

IICP understand that while partaking in further education is an incredibly rewarding experience it can also be a large financial commitment 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 offer students the option of signing up to a payment plan in order to spread the cost of their fees throughout the duration of their course.

Note: There is a non-refundable application fee of €60 for all M.A. applications.

Please complete the below Registration of Interest form. You will then be contacted when applications for this programme are open.

Why choose this Programme?

  • Ideal course for anyone looking to pursue a career in counselling and psychotherapy.
  • Facilitated by internationally renowned expert, Professor John McLeod.

  • Competitively priced course fees with payment plans available.
  • QQI validated the ensuring highest 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

The huge support offered by Professor John Mcleod and all at IICP was so invaluable as I progressed through this programme.
Josie Gough, MA Student 2014 – 2016
Doing the MA has been a fabulous experience. The level of support offered has been so helpful. I have learned so much in a wonderful environment. While it has been challenging, the facilitators and my peers have been a constant source of support, encouragement, information and fun. Thank you!
Ann Marie Bourke, MA Student 2014 - 2016
I found the flexibility shown in relation to the workload very useful. The academic support given throughout the course was excellent
Shay Hogan, MA Student 2014 – 2016
I really enjoyed this course and learning. The journey provided valuable new learning and insights both on a personal and professional level. Thank you – it has been a fantastic journey
Siobhan Quinn, MA Student 2014 – 2016
Immense learning, every module taught in a clear and open manner. Thanks to the lectures and college staff I kept going. There was so much support, care and guidance. Amazing experience. Thank you!
Anne Fitzgerald, MA Student 2014 – 2016
The whole programme was fascinating. Support could not be improved upon. There was always a sense that support was readily available with no sense of judgement or pressure. John is an incredibly inspirational teacher!
Caroline Burke, MA Student 2014 – 2016
This course has challenged me on a personal and professional front. I’m left with more options for further work but also left me feeling confident to pursue these goals. Words don’t do this justice and I imagine as time moves on I’ll have an even deeper appreciation for it down the road
Allen Gilhooly, MA Student 2014 – 2016

Masters Level 9 Degree in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy

Facilitated by world-renowned Professor John McLeod, this innovative Masters provides a comprehensive understanding of both Pluralism & Research