Course Overview

This part-time programme aims to provide a good, basic grounding in the psychology of lifespan development and major psychological theories of personality and their application to counselling. The practical aspects of the course include basic counselling skills and group facilitation of personal development. Students who successfully complete the first year of the programme are awarded a Certificate and have the option of proceeding to the second year of the programme to obtain a Diploma.


Who is the course for?

It is designed for individuals who are involved in a helping or advice giving role. In particular, it caters for members of self-help groups, volunteers in befriending and support organizations, individuals engaged in personnel work and staff of educational, youth and health services. The course enables participants to gain a better understanding of the processes in which they are involved and to develop their counselling skills. The course is also suitable for persons who would like subsequently to pursue a professional counselling course as the programme is a foundation in the theory and basic skills of counselling.

Applications and Selections

Application Open Date: Thursday, 2nd April, 2015: Apply here. Applications are now closed for 2015.


A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following:

-          Job-seekers Benefit

-          Job-seekers Allowance

-          One-parent family allowance

-          Disability allowance

-          Community Employment Scheme

-          or signing for social insurance contribution credits

2015-2016 Fee Scholarship Application Form 

Please contact the Programme Administrator for further information. Supporting documentation relating to the above eligibility categories will be required as part of your scholarship application (e.g. a letter from the Dept. of Social Protection).

Who Teaches this Course

Course Director/Co-ordinator

Tammie (Tamar) Scott

M.A. Counselling Psychology, M.B.A.


Associate Member APA


Requirements and Assessment

Programme lectures take place one evening per week.   In addition, there are three weekend workshops (Saturdays, 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.) throughout the year.   Reading and writing assignments will be in addition to the above time requirements.



Submission of written work, participation in skills training sessions, group work and discussion work form the basis of assessment.

On successful completion of Year 1, participants will be eligible for the award of Certificate or may progress to the Diploma cycle of the course.   On successful completion of Year 2, participants will be awarded a Diploma in Psychology of Counselling.

The Diploma is not a professional qualification in counselling. The Certificate / Diploma programme is recognised and approved under the accreditation scheme of the National University of Ireland. The programme merits 15 ECTS credits in each academic year under this scheme.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

No special educational qualifications are required. Successful applicants should have acceptable standards in written and oral aspects of the course. Involvement, either voluntary or professional for which the contents of this programme have relevance, will be taken into consideration. The programme selection panel reserves the right to select candidates. Students must complete a personal statement as part of the application process for this course.

Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2015

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed up to mid-August 2015.

Next start date

September 2015

NFQ level


Mode of study

Classroom - based

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

The programme includes lectures and workshops. Participants are introduced to diverse counselling theories and to the practices derived from them in a variety of settings. The two-year course integrates three dimensions of counselling psychology:


  • Personality theory and theories of counselling
  • Lifespan development and theories of counselling
  • Counselling skills and practice, including ethical and professional issues

In the second year of the course students will have an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of:


  • Diverse approaches to counselling - Gestalt Counselling; Person-centred Counselling; Behavioural / Cognitive-Behavioural Counselling; Reality Therapy; Family / Couples Counselling; Applied Behavioural Analysis
  • Working with groups including various groups such as adolescents, children as wellas addiction groups etc.
  • Self Awareness and Personal Development

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This foundation programme in the psychology of counselling is a stepping stone towards the further education that is required to become a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist. The programme provides an opportunity for students to assess their ability to perform in a third level education setting, to work on personal development issues and obtain knowledge of what a career in mental health work might be.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€970 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1,470 p.a. 2015/16

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment - see section titled "Applications and selections" below for further details.


Find out More

Maria McHugh
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development 
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island
T: 091 492144


What Our Students Say 


Fiona Collins |   Past Student

I am only sorry I didn’t have the courage to undertake a course years earlier. It has given me a new lease of life and whilst I do eventually wish to work in the field of counselling I understand in today’s climate this will not be an easy task to achieve, but NUI Galway has taught me there is a big world out there. Like much in life you only get out of it what you put in.

Mary Whelan |   Past Student

I was delighted with the course & found it to be of great benefit to me in lots of ways. One of my reasons for doing the course was for personal development & it certainly helped in many ways. The challenge of doing the essays was new to me & while I found it tough going at the time it was very rewarding when the task was done. The teachers were very committed to the course & put a lot of work into it. While we were only a one night a week course I felt we were part of college life & the conferring was the icing on the cake. As a group, I think we got on very well so, for me, it was a very positive experience.