Masters in Psychotherapy DC715
The MSc in Psychotherapy is a four-year part-time professional training programme at Level 9 NFQ (120 credits). Students may exit after two years with a Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (60 credits; although please note that the Graduate Diploma is not a qualification to practice psychotherapy). The MSc programme is an integrative psychotherapy training programme, focused on working with adult clients (individuals and couples), and comprising taught modules in the theory and practice of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic and systemic approaches. The MSc programme fosters an inquiry-based attitude in psychotherapy theory, practice and research. This integrative psychotherapy programme provides students with an opportunity to work psychotherapeutically with a diversity of clients with complex and multifaceted needs.
Students will also be able to develop specialist expertise in particular fields of psychotherapy - including couples therapy, psychosexual therapeutic practice and working with trauma. It also includes supervision of research and clinical work to facilitate completion of a research thesis and a professional practice portfolio. The MSc programme is designed to equip students to undertake therapeutic practice with individuals and couples. The course is delivered in Dublin City University via block teaching (approximately three days per month) over the academic year September to May.
In year two of the programme students complete either NS587 or NS5078 based on evidence of previous research study.
This course will:
- provide students with the opportunity to gain a breadth of knowledge and experience in different therapeutic modalities.
- develop an in-depth knowledge of an Integrative approach to Psychotherapy.
- stimulate students to become reflective practitioners who are sensitive to and led by the needs of the client.
- equip students with the knowledge, common factor skills and core competencies to enable them to establish a good working alliance and practise safely and effectively as psychotherapists.
- provide a stimulating inquiry based learning environment for conducting a practice based research study that forms the basis of their final thesis.
- develop and enhance the capacity for a constructive critical awareness and analytical thinking informed by as well as applied to theory, practice and research.
- stimulate students in disciplined experiential practice and personal inquiry to enhance the capacity to respond to clients at an implicit emotional and relational level.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the course accredited? The MSc in Psychotherapy is accredited by Dublin City University and therefore provides graduating students with an internationally recognised Level 9 qualification. While psychotherapy is a designated health service profession that is in the process of being regulated by Coru (the Irish regulatory body for health and social care professions), as statutory registration is not in place in Ireland as yet, DCU has course accreditation from two professional organisations, the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy https://www.irish-counselling.ie/ and the National Association for Professional Counselling and Psychotherapy http://www.napcp.ie/. Psychotherapists registered with professional organisations such as the IACP or the NAPCP are recognised by many state and private employers in Ireland.
- How and when are lectures scheduled? The DCU academic calendar runs over two semesters, each semester normally running over a 12-week period (from September in semester 1 and from January in semester 2). Typically, there are 10 3-day blocks of face-to-face teaching for the first two and a half years of the programme, five in semester 1 and five in Semester 2 – these blocks normally occur about every 2-3 weeks during the academic year, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (however, this schedule is open to revision from year to year, and students will be given advance notice of an upcoming revision to the typical schedule). There are a reduced number of teaching days in the second semester of year three and in year four (1-2 days’ teaching per block over the 10 blocks), however students also attend individual research supervision meetings during this part of the programme (approximately once-monthly). Face-to-face lectures, workshops, skills practice and tutorials are delivered in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health in DCU https://www.dcu.ie/snpch (Glasnevin campus). All teaching is supported by Loop (Moodle) as its online learning platform. A sample timetable for year one is provided below as an example of how class times are normally configured. As this is a clinical training programme, students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of all module classes each semester.
- What are the entry requirements and how do I apply? The primary entry requirements are:
- A relevant level 8 undergraduate degree (on the NFQ: National Framework of Qualifications; or its equivalent outside of Ireland; for example, in social care/work, psychology, nursing, education, healthcare, sociology, etc.)
- A minimum of one year's recent relevant professional experience in a caring or helping role, which has included some training and supervision (for example, voluntary counsellor/helpline work, social care, nursing, special needs teaching or guidance counselling, psychology assistant or pastoral care experience). The majority of this experience needs to have been working with adults and be based on verbal communication (not text or email communication)
- Demonstrate personal readiness and suitability for psychotherapy training
- Successfully undertake a selection interview
Further details and direction to the online application portal is available below. The application portal is normally open from November of the previous year, with a closing date in late February and shortlisted, eligible applicants are invited for interview during April and May. It is a competitive process as the number of places available on the programme is restricted to meet student/lecturer ratios (currently we have an intake of 20 students per year).
- Can I still apply if I do not meet the exact entry criteria? It is not possible to compensate for not having the required professional experience but if you do not have a relevant level 8 degree, it is possible to apply for consideration of other relevant qualifications, learning and experience through completing an additional Recognition of prior experience and learning criteria (RPEL) application. The RPEL application is submitted only after successful online application and interview for the MSc. However, it is important to closely review what is required in the RPEL application form before submitting your online application to the MSc and to include in your personal statement your intention to apply through RPEL, and on what grounds. The RPEL form is available from either the MSc programme administrator, Lilija Prialgauskiene (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Can I apply if I am already accredited as a counsellor or psychotherapist but want to upgrade my qualification? Applicants who are already accredited as a psychotherapist or counsellor with a recognised professional organisation and who have relevant educational achievements may apply to enter the programme at year two or year three, through submitting an additional Recognition of prior experience and learning (RPEL) application. The RPEL application is submitted only after successful online application and interview for the MSc. However, it is important to closely review what is required in the RPEL application form before submitting your online application to the MSc and to include in your personal statement your intention to apply to join the MSc in a later year through RPEL, and on what grounds. The RPEL form is available from either the MSc programme administrator, Lilija Prialgauskiene (email@example.com).
- What are the fees and are there any additional costs? The programme fees are outlined below (fees are set by the university and may be open to revision). There are some additional costs for personal therapy and clinical supervision, as noted below.
- Do I have to attend personal therapy? All students are required to attend 80 hours of individual personal therapy over the course of the four year MSc programme (approximately 20 hours per year), which is an additional cost and time commitment to attendance at classes in DCU. Personal therapists need to be professionally accredited and meet requirements as set by DCU and the accrediting bodies (IACP and NAPCP).
- Do I have to attend clinical supervision? Students attend group supervision within each of the 10 academic blocks in DCU during years 2, 3 and 4 of the MSc programme. Students are also required to attend one hour of individual clinical supervision for every four client practice hours (75 hours in total) during years 2-4, which is an additional cost and time commitment to attendance at classes in DCU. The programme team provide guidance on sourcing a clinical supervisor and supervisors need to be professionally accredited and meet requirements as set by DCU and the accrediting bodies (IACP and NAPCP).
- Do I get help with sourcing placements? Students commence clinical placement following successful completion of the first year of the programme. All students are required to engage in an average of 100 hours of clinical practice during each of years two, three and four of the programme (total 300 hours). The programme team provide guidance on sourcing a clinical placement from the current list of approved placements or in gaining approval of a new placement.
- Can I undertake the programme if I am a non-EU student or if I’m not a native English speaker? DCU welcomes international students. Students applying from outside the EU are advised to contact the international office https://www.dcu.ie/international to have their qualifications verified by the university and to get information on living and studying in Ireland prior to application. Non-EU fees apply to international students (see link to fees above). International students applying to take the programme should always check their national requirements for practising as a psychotherapist as standards vary from state to state. Guidance regarding English language competency requirements and testing/certification are available at this link: https://www.dcu.ie/registry/english-language-requirements-non-native-speakers-english-registry
View the current course structure
The MSc in Psychotherapy is integrative in orientation, and is delivered by a team of academics and practising therapists with applied expertise and experience in the field of psychotherapy. Students come from a broad range of relevant professional backgrounds which enhances the learning environment.
The programme facilitates professional practice competence and personal development through various learning channels including in-class theory and research-based modules, skills based work, group supervision and personal awareness groups.
Additionally, students are supported to engage in personal therapy, clinical practice placements and individual clinical supervision between in-class teaching blocks.
There are career prospects for counsellors and psychotherapists within the Statutory, Education, Voluntary and Private sectors. Due to the programme's specialism, you will find specialist psychotherapeutic practice with individuals and couples. Alternatively, researchers in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research projects are always in demand.
For admission to the M.Sc. in Psychotherapy, entrants will normally:
Have a relevant level 8 undergraduate degree (on the NFQ: National Framework of Qualifications; or its equivalent outside of Ireland; for example, in social care/work, psychology, nursing, education, etc.)
Have a minimum of one year's recent relevant professional experience in a caring or helping role, which has included some training and supervision (for example, voluntary counsellor/helpline work, social care, nursing, special needs teaching or guidance counselling, psychology assistant or pastoral care experience)
If an applicant does not have a relevant level 8 degree, it is possible to apply for consideration of other relevant qualifications, learning and experience through completing an additional Recognition of Prior Experience and Learning criteria (RPEL) application click here (it is not possible to compensate for not having the required professional experience). The RPEL application is submitted only after successful online application and interview for the MSc (contact the programme administrator for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Be able to demonstrate personal readiness and suitability for psychotherapy training
Successfully undertake a selection interview
Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above.