Master of Arts in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy


Developed in conjunction with Visiting Professor John McLeod, this programme aims to enable existing professionals working within the field of counselling and psychotherapy to achieve a Master of Arts in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy. The programme consists of ten modules over two years. It is a taught Master’s with a strong research component. The programme utilises a Continuous Assessment Strategy and learners accumulate credits though a variety of assessments over the duration of the programme.  At the heart of the training provided in IICP lies the belief that people are experts in the story of their own lives.  The therapeutic process can encourage the client to make effective change in relation to life direction and the ensuing process of decision making.  IICP holds that it is not enough to simply teach the skills of counselling and psychotherapy.  Learners are given the space to learn, practice and be supported as they develop for themselves a style and model of counselling which is both personal and effective.


The history of counselling and psychotherapy has been influenced and is inevitably intertwined with the social, political, economic and cultural climates within which it is formed. It is of particular relevance in times of crises or transition and can also be of help in problem solving. The recent rapid socio-economic and technological changes have resulted in the erosion of traditional social structures such as family, work, and community. As a result, the sense of purpose, belonging and security associated with these structures, has been lost for many. It is in this context that the Institute of Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy operates its training programmes and counselling service, in collaboration with its sister organisation, The Village Counselling Service.


This two year Programme will be of interest to practising therapists who wish to extend their existing qualification in counselling and psychotherapy to Master’s level.


  • Evidence of successful completion of a Level 8 Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and evidence of completion of additional course requirements including 50 hours of personal therapy and 100 hours of supervised clinical practice.


  • An undergraduate degree (Level 8 on the NFQ) plus a professional diploma programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy that meets with IACP /IAHIP Course Recognition standards. The diploma must have counselling and psychotherapy at its core and have a minimum of 450 hours in tutor/ student contact over the duration of the programme. Additionally, as with route 1, learners will have completed a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice and a minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy while training.


Progression onto the M.A. in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy programme is by application and interview. Selection procedures will apply.


This programme is validated by QQI as a Level 9 Master’s Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.


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

First Year Modules:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 basis research skills.

 Second Year Modules:

  1. Practice Based Issues: The aim of this module is to facilitate learners in addressing the real issues that present in 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.
  2. Clinical Practice and Development Module: The module will take place in IICP Education and Training Ltd. 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.
  3. Research Portfolio Module: The Research Portfolio module at IICP takes a different format. 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.


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 dissertation.


IICP has an RPL policy in place. Learners who have completed equivalent modules, at the appropriate level on the National Framework of Qualifications, can apply for exemptions. Details of the IICP policy on recognising prior learning and experience are available on request.


  • Professor John McLeod
  • Professor Michael O’Rourke
  • Marcella Finnerty
  • Maria Quinlan
  • Padraig O’Morain
  • Dermot O’Neill

 COST: First Year Fees – €4,500.00

Second Year Fees – €3,900 (inclusive of QQI registration fee of €200)


The programme is facilitated through monthly three day blocks (Friday-Sunday), with an additional day per month designated for tutorials, practice, research supervision and self-directed learning.


IICP Education and Training, Killinarden Enterprise Park, Killinarden, Dublin 24


Starting September 2017. Exact dates will be released shortly.


IICP Education and Training Ltd, Tel: 086 0499154 / 086 2609989 or email

Classifieds | , , | Published: April 11, 2017