Course Details

BA (Hons) in Counselling

(Duration: 3 years)

(Level 8 on the QQI National Framework of Qualifications validated by SETU)

South East Technological University (SETU)

Commencing October 2025 (Weekend based)

**Please note: the next available Dublin course is 2025. Closing date for applications 30th July, 2025

The aim of the course is to provide a recognised counselling qualification with a strong practical, as well as theoretical basis.

The course embraces Person-Centred, Gestalt, Psychosynthesis, and other styles. Particular emphasis is placed on skills and theoretical models concerned with the development of a therapeutic relationship. It is understood that the counsellor’s personal development and personal awareness are central.

  • Weekend based

  • Honours degree level 8

  • Intensive and comprehensive programme

  • Advanced training methods

  • Career and practice focussed

  • Experienced trainers with 25 years experience

  • Programme includes training in couples counselling and addiction counselling

  • Mature applicants encouraged

  • Clinically- based practical programme

  • In-house client-work placement at Tivoli Institute

  • Placements nationwide for client work

  • Strong student support structures

  • Fully validated

Entry Requirements

The minimum educational requirement is Leaving certificate with honours in 3 subjects. A lower age limit of 23 years applies.

Candidates are likely to have undertaken personal development courses/workshops and be able to show evidence of most or all of the following:

  • Experience in personal development

  • Self-awareness, maturity and stability

  • Ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience

  • Capacity to cope with the emotional and intellectual demands of the course

  • Potential to form a therapeutic relationship.

Structure and Content

There are seven main elements: (See module details here)

  • Theory

  • Personal Therapy

  • Skills

  • Peer Group

  • Practice with clients

  • Experiential group work

  • Supervision (in relation to client practice).

Peer/Practice Group

Students meet bi-monthly (or more frequently if possible) in small groups mainly for skills practice which is monitored by trainers.

Experiential Group Work

Experiential group work affords an opportunity to explore personal and interpersonal issues within a group context.

Personal Therapy

Trainees are expected to have at least 100 hours of personal therapy on an individual basis during the course. Arrangements are in place to help students access reduced cost personal therapy where practicable.

Practice with Clients

Students undertake to work with clients which are provided directly by the Institute or in placement situations. The student is responsible for the completion of client work.

Supervision of client-work

Trainees will be supervised on their client work in two ways. Supervision will take place in small groups as part of the training weekends. Some external supervision may also be required


Assessment is continuous. Emphasis is placed on the facilitation of the student's self-assessment. Guidelines and criteria are made available in advance. The Institute reserves all rights in relation to a student's participation on the course. In addition to assessment which relates to the quality of practice, assessment is by written work/essay. There are no examinations. Quantitative criteria also apply, including hours of client practice.

Course Duration

The course duration is 3 years

Course Recognition

The BA(Hons) in Counselling is designed to fully meet the criteria and guidelines currently available.

The area of Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland will shortly be governed by a new Statutory Registration regime. Under these new arrangements there will be separate registers for counselling and for psychotherapy. The professional titles ‘Counsellor’ and ‘Psychotherapist’ will be protected by law. Only those who are members of the new registers will be entitled to use these titles.

We anticipate that the requirements for statutory registration for entrance to the counselling register from about 2020 onwards will be a BA degree level 8, validated by QQI or equivalent (ie an Irish University or IT). It’s important to note that the existing professional bodies eg IACP, ICP, IAHIP etc will not have any accrediting powers whatsoever under the new arrangements and they will therefore become voluntary membership organisations only.


BA(Hons) in Counselling This is a level 8 qualification on the NFQ and is fully validated.


11 weekends October to May. Dates will be notified to participants.

Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5.30pm


At the Tivoli Institute's Dublin premises 24 Clarinda Park East, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Ample parking nearby.


€5540 per annum. There is no interview fee. A strictly non-refundable deposit of €2000 will be payable only upon acceptance of a place. Fees are tax deductible.

Application Form and Selection Procedure

You can apply directly online here



Year 1

1. Counselling Skills

2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

3. Psychosynthesis

4. Humanistic Counselling

5. Process Group 1

6. Personal Development

Year 2

1. Supervision and Client Work

2. Psychodynamic Theory

3. Addiction Counselling

4. External Supervision

5. Personal Development

6. Process Group 2

Year 3

1. Process Group 3

2. Systems Theory and Couples Counselling

3. Ethics and Professional Issues

4. External Supervision

5. Personal Development

6. Dissertation

7. Supervision and Client Work