Level 8 (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (RPL Application)

IICP operate a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy whereby, under certain conditions, learners can gain access
to the Level 8 Honours Degree programme at an advanced stage.

  • Award: Level 8 (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (QQI Validated & IACP Accredited, provided that all IACP requirements are achieved.)

  • Starting: 

    • September 2021
  • Duration: Usually 1 year but can depend on an individuals RPL status

  • Annual Fees: €3,875
  • Language requirement: If English is your second language you are required to submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) cert at Level 6, or equivalent. For more information please click HERE


IICP operates a recognition of prior learning (RPL) policy whereby previous qualifications and/or experience may allow applicants to avail of exemptions and enter the Level 8 (Hons) Degree programme at an advanced stage. RPL is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. With an emphasis on academic and clinical excellence, we offer a quality education to those wishing to develop their career and extend their qualifications.

IICP prides itself on an ethos of student support. While undertaking this dynamic and exciting programme of study, learners are guided and nurtured as they acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and competence to become effective practitioners. Learners are fully supported in terms of obtaining a relevant clinical placement, where they can complete the required client hours.

Who Should Apply

This programme is particularly suitable for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, or those who have completed previous counselling and psychotherapy and who now wish to build upon existing qualifications. RPL is always assessed on a case-by- case basis. Please contact the college for further information.

Entry Requirements

RPL may be possible for learners who have:

  • Completed a Level 7 Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Completed a Level 6 Higher Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Completed a Level 6 Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
  • Completed relevant modules on another related programme of study.
  • Completed an undergraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy that meets with IACP/IAHIP/BACP (or equivalent) standards.
  • RPL is always assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants must complete IICP’s course comparison form as part of their application. This is available on request.
  • Learners will be invited to an interview with faculty as part of the application process.
  • 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

Learners can apply for exemptions under RPL; however such exemptions must be applied for in advance of commencing the programme.


The programme is delivered on a part-time basis. There are a number of options available:

  • Wednesday Option
  • Saturday Option
  • Block Option

There is a 90% attendance requirement. There is one additional Professional Knowledge Seminar per year.

Online Classroom Delivery

Our online classes are run as tutorials, that involve students and their lecturer logging into our 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

With a high level of student support, learners can enhance their existing therapeutic skills, knowledge and competencies. Learners are afforded the space, time and support to further develop an integrative model of practice for work with clients.


Learners are assessed through a continuous assessment strategy, which includes a variety of mediums such as individual and group projects, skills training assessments, case studies and process recordings, written assignments, essays and a dissertation.

Validation & Accreditation of Award

  • This Level 8 (Hons) is a major award validated by QQI at Level 8 on the NFQ.
  • IICP’s Level 8 (Hons)  is professionally accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) provided that all IACP requirements are achieved.


The Level 8 (Hons) is 240 ECTS credits in its entirety. The number of credits achieved by learners under RPL varies, depending on their individual needs following an academic RPL audit.

Programme Lecturers

We have a large faculty team, including:

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.

Programme Structure

Please find below the programme content for the entire four-year BA (Hons). RPL is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. Depending on previous training and qualifications, and following the outcome of an academic RPL audit, learners may be exempt from relevant modules and/or stages of the programme.

Year 1 Semester 1

Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy

  • This module aims to give the learner a broad introduction to the field of counselling and psychotherapy and the main approaches therein. Learners will explore the historical development of the profession, including an examination of societal factors influencing its growth. An overview of the main therapeutic orientations will be provided, with a particular focus on Carl Rogers’ Person Centred Therapy and William Glasser’s Choice Theory/Reality Therapy. This informative module will aide learners in developing knowledge related to human behaviour, emotions, motivation, suffering and meaning making.

Introduction to Counselling Skills

  • This module aims to introduce the learner to the basic and intermediate skills of counselling. Learners will be coached in a range of key skills that will facilitate effective listening within the helping relationship. Learners will explore the characteristics of an effective listener and examine the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard within the helping relationship. Through lectures, practice and participation, learners will become increasingly aware of listening blocks. With an experiential and practice-based focus, those who complete this module will have gained knowledge, skills and competencies in creating a helping relationship through the application of counselling skills.

Introduction to Personal Development

  • The aim of this module is to enable learners to increase their levels of self-awareness of their own personal development within the context of becoming a helper. Accurate and sensitive self-awareness underpins any type of helping relationship, as the main instrument for becoming a helper/therapist is the person themselves. This module sets out to create the necessary learning environment for this reflective work.

The Dynamics of Addiction

  • The aim of this module is to provide participants with a basis on which to develop their therapeutic understanding of the theoretical and clinical considerations of substance use.. Module content will include understanding the theories of causation, as well as practical skills and models of intervention specific to substance use treatment, such as Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural approaches.

Year 1 Semester 2

Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy 1

  • The aim of this module is to enable learners to develop in-depth knowledge and application of the three core theoretical models. This is to facilitate learners to begin to develop a personal integrative framework for case conceptualisation and clinical application. Learners will be introduced to Person Centred Therapy and Reality Therapy as they apply to clinical practice.

Advanced Microskills of Counselling and Psychotherapy 1

  • This module is designed to provide learners with a set of basic intervention skills which will be fundamental to the therapeutic relationship by building on learners’ interpersonal skills whether formally or informally acquired; focusing on the necessary micro skills, defining them, and practicing them until the trainee is comfortable with them and can use them efficiently. Learners will be coached in a range of key skills that will facilitate effective listening within the helping relationship. Learners will be taught each of the Advanced Microskills of listening in a sequential manner. This process enables the learner to become competent in each of the individual Microskills to facilitate a way of intervening that will facilitate the therapeutic alliance.

Bereavement, Loss and Grief

  • This module aims to deepen the learner’s knowledge, understanding and analysis of bereavement, loss and grief as dimensions of the human experience and how they may affect the counselling process from both intrapersonal and interpersonal standpoints. Learners will be encouraged and equipped to develop those skills and attitudes that will enable them to undertake further critical study in the areas of bereavement, loss and grief within the field of counselling and psychotherapy

Ethics and Values

  • The aim of this module is to enable learners to see ethics as much more than abiding by coded regulations. They are encouraged to understand the underpinnings of ethical choices and their context within the client’s distinct biographical background and culture. They are taught how to conceptualise and reflect upon ethical dilemmas, values conflicts and legal issues so that they can ground their decisions in multiple points of view.

Year 2 Semester 1

Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy 2

  • The aim of this module will focus on consolidating the core models of CT/RT, PCC and MCT, and introducing learners to other approaches to counselling psychotherapy. Learners will also be expected to focus on one psychological issue that a client may present with and to demonstrate how a therapist word work with a client presenting with this issue using the core models in an integrated framework.

Advanced Microskills of Counselling & Psychotherapy 2

  • This module aims to increase learners’ competence and confidence in using a range of intervention skills within the therapeutic environment. Building on the advanced Microskills in stage two, this module is designed to enable learners to develop further competence in the use of Microskills. This module will enable learners to increase their repertoire of skills and interventions.

Personal Development

  • This module aims to increase the learner’s awareness and ability to attend to their own needs in such a way as to increase their ability to be with clients in a manner that is not only safe for both parties but which incrementally improves their effectiveness. Learners focus on developing awareness of soft/blind spots and resistances so that they can better accompany clients on their painful or challenging journeys rather than risk blocking them because they seek to enter areas which are frightening or painful for them. It also aims to provide opportunities for further development of self awareness, specifically in the areas of values/prejudices, sexuality and boundaries and to examine the ethical implications of same for the therapeutic relationship.

Developmental Psychology

  • This module aims to provide a theoretical framework within which self-development can be examined, including a theoretical and experiential study of the developmental periods of infancy, childhood, adolescence and early/mid/late adulthood. Additionally, the module explores the value and significance of the developmental stages of the client in the context of the therapeutic relationship.

Year 2 Semester 2

Group Process and Facilitation

  • This module aims to increase the learner’s awareness and ability to attend to their own needs in such a way as to increase their ability to be with clients that is not only safe for both parties but which incrementally improves their effectiveness. Learners will also be taught about the knowledge, skills and attributes required for group facilitation.

Couples Counselling

  • The module aims to introduce learners to an integrative approach to working with couples. The integrative approach focuses on elements integrated from PCC, RT/CT and MCT approaches. The module will focus on learning about therapeutic skills relevant to couples’ work including initial assessment, goal setting, conflict resolution, gender related issues, exploring background influences through the mapping of individual past influences, values and cultural heritage and parenting issues. Learners will also be introduced to psycho-educational tools designed specifically for use with couples in the therapeutic relationship including Glasser’s Staying Together Programme and Structured Reality Therapy Couple Counselling.

Professional Skills

  • The aim of this module is to encourage learners to develop professional skills required for client work. This module will include exploration of the key clinical skills that will be required in advance of commencing client contact work including assessment, the use of feedback and the principles of evidence based practice.

Skills Practice & Tutorials

  • Ongoing practice is essential in a therapist’s development, therefore, during this class, learners will engage in additional skills training and practice. Faculty will support learners in honing the necessary counselling and psychotherapeutic skills. This will consist of lecturer demonstrations, round robins, skills triads and additional tutorials on skills related topics.

Year 3 Semester 1

Clinical Placement and Professional Development 1

  • This module aims to enable and support learners in their commencement of therapeutic work in suitable generic/specialised clinical placements. Clinical placement includes the development of a supervised client caseload within the ethical guidelines as set out by the IACP.


  • The aim of the module is to encourage thought and discussion on the subject of sexuality from a practical point of view as it pertains to the work and the practice of counselling and psychotherapy, the development of the therapeutic relationship and current perspectives on the subject. Learners will engage in theoretical and practical training related to issues of sexual identity, sexual functioning and dysfunction and appropriate therapy methods for exploring sexual issues.


  • The purpose of this module is to allow learners to experience a group supervision setting in which they engage in both group and one-to-one supervision. This process quality assures the client contact work the learners are undertaking, supports them in their development and provides an opportunity for reflexivity and critical thinking related to clinical work

Year 3 Semester 2

Research Methods and Statistics

  • This module is designed to provide a practical introduction to some of the methods, strategies and structures used in counselling and psychotherapy research. Research approaches appropriate to the therapeutic field will be explored and examined.

Clinical Placement and Professional Development 2

  • The aim of this module is to continue to enable and support learners in their client contact work with clients within an appropriate generic and therapeutic setting. As part of this module, learners will also engage in supervised clinical practice.

Practice Development

  • This module aims to support learners to enhance their advanced professional practice in an appropriate therapeutic setting and to consider the development of their professional practice.

Year 4 Semester 1

Working with Children & Adolescents

  • The purpose of this module is to facilitate learners in expanding into work with more complex clinical presentation and unfamiliar clients. In particular, this module will aim to support learners in gaining knowledge, skills and competencies in work with children and adolescents.

Advanced Professional Practice

  • This module aims to enable learners to advance their level of professional practice through evaluation and review of progressive integration of theory and skills. Learners will review their core theoretical models and skills base and be introduced to psychodynamic models.

Applied Research Methods

  • This module aims to afford learners an opportunity to conduct a piece of independent, self-directed research under supervision. The dissertation will enable learners to integrate the academic and professional training and learning over the duration of the programme.

Abnormal Psychology

  • The aim of the module is to introduce learners to Abnormal Psychology, with particular emphasis on mental health issues which clients may present with in therapy.

Year 4 Semester 2

Pluralistic Counselling & Psychotherapy

  • A pluralistic framework for counselling and psychotherapy recognises that psychological distress may have multiple causes and it is improbable that one specific therapeutic approach will be effective in all circumstances. At its core, therefore, is a philosophical and ethical commitment to valuing multiple perspectives.

Family Dynamics and Clinical Implications

  • The purpose of this module to facilitate learners in expanding into work with more complex clinical presentation and unfamiliar clients. In particular, this module aims to explore clinical considerations for integrating systemic work into the therapeutic space.

Group Therapy

  • This module aims to assist the learner in gaining a deeper background of understanding regarding the objectives, strategies, skills and climate formation in group counselling through experiential group therapy.

Supervision Groups & Research Supervision

  • On a rotating basis, this class will consist of clinical and research supervision. The purpose of this is to ensure learners are adequately supported in their clinical work and in their chosen research topic.

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.

  • Application Fees: €75
  • Annual Fees: €3,875

Year One: Payment Options

(1) Pay in Full before Start of Course


1,155On acceptance of course offer

Balance of Fees

2,720On or before 01 September 2021



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

  • Flexible Payment Options Available.
      • 11 Month Payment Plan – Starting in 1st June 2021, Splits your deposit up into 3 monthly installments, then your remaining course fees into 8 monthly installments.
      • 8 Month Payment Plan – Starting 1st September, Deposit must be paid before commencement of course then the payment plan splits your remaining course fees into 8 monthly installments.

    Please Contact the IICP office to find out more!

Additional Course Requirements and Costs

  • Group Therapy – Learners complete 10 sessions of group therapy in the final stages of the programme. Average cost: €20 per session.
  • Personal Therapy and Clinical Supervision – RPL applicants entering year 1, 2, 3 or 4 may also be required to complete personal therapy and clinical supervision as well as obtaining IACP membership and Garda vetting, all of which incur additional costs

Personal therapy and clinical supervision can cost from €30 per session upwards. Fees are negotiable between learners and individual therapists/supervisors.

Learners understand that the costs of these activities are not covered by programme fees and that successful completion of the BA (Hons) is dependent on submitting the necessary evidence that these criteria are fulfilled.

Getting Started

Please note due to the current Covid -19 restrictions, our office team are working remotely. Therefore we would encourage you to apply online for speedy process of your application. 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 the RPL option that best suits you 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?

  • Ideal course for anyone looking to upgrade their diploma in counsellng & psychotherapy to a BA (Hons) Degree.

  • Competitively priced course fees with payment plans available.

  • QQI validated 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 tutors were excellent; always available, always encouraging. Their feedback was constructive and supportive.

Mark Mahony, BA (Hons) Degree

Having experienced other colleges, I find that IICP are excellent at managing to offer a high level academic course whilst not in any way compromising on the culture of caring for and listening to what students want and need.

Blathnaid Cox, BA (Hons) Degree

Studying at IICP in such a supportive and encouraging environment was great. The warmth and care I got from all the tutors and staff at IICP was fantastic. The course content and information for the students ensured that expectations were met.

Geraldine Hallahan, BA (Hons) Degree