MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy

Part-time | 2 Years | University Validated

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There is a growing awareness of the widespread harm caused by addiction to individuals, families and society at large and an evolving shift of reliance from a medically based model of treatment to engaging in Talking Therapies.


MSc Addiction Counselling & PsychotherapyIn an experiential and participative environment, this course offers students the opportunity to acquire key skills and theoretical knowledge to effectively engage with the addiction recovery process.


Who is this course for? 

The MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy is a comprehensive professional training course, focused on working therapeutically with people dealing with addiction. The course is validated by Middlesex University and designed to supplement trainees’ existing qualifications and is not a stand-alone counselling qualification. This course is intended for professionals currently or considering working within addiction services in professions including counsellors/psychotherapists, doctors, nurses, youth workers, social carers, social workers, psychologists etc. who wish to solidify and enhance their qualifications and to gain contemporary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work therapeutically with those affected by addiction.


What are the benefits of doing this course? 

On completion of the course, students will have developed an advanced competency and proficiency working with clients presenting with addiction problems. They will more fully understand the complex and challenging nature of addiction and recovery. They will be well placed to influence attitudes and affect policy in the workplace, community and society.


What will you learn?

The course is designed to give learners a working understanding of the theories, process and dynamics of addiction in an ever-changing biopsychosocial context with a strong focus on effective, evidence-based approaches to treatment and counselling. It addresses the ever-pervasive influence of the internet and how it exacerbates the deleterious effects of behavioural addictions such as compulsive gambling, sexual addiction and gaming. Consideration is also given to broader mental health and dual diagnosis issues.  


VENUES THAT RUN THIS COURSE: Dublin West (Clondalkin).


Learn more about this course?

If you want to know further details about this course, don't miss our lecturer and student videos here:

Course Details

DURATION: Two years, part-time    START DATE: TBC

Please note that Inductions will be held the week before the start date. You will receive full details with your timetable following your acceptance.


AWARD: Middlesex University MSc Addiction Counselling and Psychotherapy

This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion.


LEVEL: Level 7 FHEQ (Comparable to Level 9 NFQ)

FHEQ (Framework for Higher Education Qualification) is the UK National Framework of Qualifications.


TIMETABLE: Weekends  - Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5.30 pm (approx. 1 weekend per month from October to June)  


covid-10-addendumRecruitment will take place as normal, however, please be aware that if it is needed classes will be delivered online in compliance with further updates from the government.  The classes will be delivered as live online lessons via Microsoft Teams, which is a platform built on Office 365. It is a secure platform and follows the compliance capabilities.


You can book this course online, using the booking form above, or you can download the application form in the Download section, and send it to us by email.



YEAR 1: Postgraduate Certificate - 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits) 

  • Theories of Addictive Behaviour: History and Current Situation
  • Generic and Specific Therapy Skills for Addiction
  • Drugs of Abuse: Biological, Psychological and Social Aspects
  • The Motivational Interviewing Approach


YEAR 2: Postgraduate Diploma - 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)  

  • Behavioural Addictions: Gambling, Sex etc.
  • The CBT Approach to Working with Addiction
  • The Family Dimension in Addiction
  • Dual Diagnosis: Common Mental Health Problems in Addiction


YEAR 2: MSc Component - 60 credits (equivalent to 30 ECTS credits)

  •  Case Study and Dissertation



  • 100 hours of clinical placement/client work (25 hours must be completed before the end of Year 1)
  • 20 sessions with a qualified supervisor to review client work
  • 20 hours of personal therapy - 10 of these hours must be completed before commencing client work.


ASSESSMENT: Assignments

There are no formal examinations, giving students more opportunities to concentrate on their assignments and their own self-exploration throughout their journey.

Entry Requirements



Applicants are required to hold a relevant degree (Level 8 NFQ or equivalent; Final grade 2.2 or above).


Applicants who do not meet these criteria may be eligible to enter the course on the basis of prior learning and experience in the area.  Students applying on the basis of prior learning must provide evidence of their knowledge, skill and ability to pursue this programme of study.  This should be in the form of a career portfolio outlining and demonstrating your career path as is relevant to this course (including transcripts of any relevant results, statements of prior learning based on systematic reflection) and be must be submitted with your application.


Applicants should ideally have access to opportunities for client work in their current role and be able to apply theoretical principles and practice in their current workplace.



  • Send in Complete Application Form and Deposit (Online / Hard Copy)
  • Copies of Transcripts (Confirming 2.2 on relevant Level 8 Degree or higher) or Copy of Career Portfolio
  • and 500-word written statement on why you believe they are suitable for the course.


All suitable candidates will be invited to interview 



All candidates are required to satisfy the English language requirement. Candidates whose first language is not English and who are presenting qualifications other than the Leaving Certificate may satisfy the requirement through the completion of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) on the basis that they obtain a minimum band score of 6 at the undergraduate level and 6.5 at postgraduate level or an equivalent score of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or Cambridge, which denotes a very good skill level of English. It should be noted that these are the minimum requirements in English and PCI College may set higher requirements in each case.



Students will be requested to participate in Garda Vetting procedures in relation to programme and accreditation requirements.

IT SKILLS: students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course


Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.

Career Path


There is an ever-increasing demand for addiction services and the demand, in the public sector in particular, far outstrips the available resources. There are many current and future job opportunities within the public sector – particularly in the area of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction for suitably qualified addiction professionals. Up-to-date training in evidenced-based therapeutic approaches is also becoming essential for those working in this field, as funders are increasingly concerned about outcomes and value for taxpayers’ money.


Moreover, students who graduate from the MSc Addiction Counselling & Psychotherapy will have gained the skills and knowledge to work with clients dealing with issues in a wide range of addictions including behavioural addictions.  With an increasingly wide range of addiction in society, career opportunities may also include private practice, work with voluntary organisations and mental health organisations. With addiction, it is crucial to have timely interventions that are able to meet people where they are at. The provision of increased specialist addiction services, with suitably qualified personnel, will assist in dealing with this demand.


Please note that this course is a supplementary qualification. On its own, the course won't enable you to work as a counsellor. If you seek a professional qualification as a counsellor and/or accreditation, we would advise you to first complete our BSc (Honours) Degree Counselling & Psychotherapy. After completing the degree course, you could then specialise in an area of interest with this MSc course. The course is not accredited by a professional body. Individuals seeking professional accreditation should consult the relevant bodies' website.



Our university validated programmes are developed, delivered and assessed by PCI College and awarded by and quality assured by Middlesex University.  A qualification from Middlesex University London is internationally recognised both within the EU and outside the EU. Brexit negotiations will have no impact on these facts. 

Course Fees



Year 1: €5,040* (included Middlesex University Registration Fee)

Year 1 PCI graduate discount: €4,740 (included Middlesex University Registration Fee)

Year 2: €4,400

Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma Prices available upon request.

*Please note that there is an additional charge of €20 for Garda vetting process which is required prior to course entry and it is not included in the above fees.



Pay in 18 monthly instalments, through the monthly payment plan.  Please note that this plan will operate by direct debit only and is inclusive of €100.00 administration fee.  Each student must pass the progression board to enable them to move into the next year of study and the payment schedule outlined below. 


Course fees do not cover costs associated with additional course requirements (personal therapy and supervision). Fees for supervision and personal therapy are decided by negotiation between you and your supervisor and therapist. The average cost of supervision is approximately €60. Personal therapy may also average about €60 per session.

Applicants are invited to complete and return the online application form. Applications must be accompanied by an initial deposit of €250, which is deductible from course fees if the application is successful. Applicants are entitled to a full refund of the initial deposit if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their application. Should an application be unsuccessful or cancelled by the applicant following this 14 day period, an administration fee of €60 is charged and the balance of €190 refunded. Please note that the name used on your application needs to be the same name that you have on your passport.

The balance of fees is payable in full before the course commences. Fees are non-refundable in all personal circumstances. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort. A full refund will be given to all applicants in the event that the class does not proceed.


Intake interviews will be arranged for suitable applicants. Applicants who are offered a place will be required to confirm acceptance in writing accompanied by a Booking Deposit of €1,020. When an Applicant has accepted a place all tuition fees, including deposits, shall be fully non-refundable in all personal circumstances.


For more information, please visit our Terms & Conditions page.



What does ‘validation’ mean for this course?

It means that upon graduation, you will have achieved an internationally recognised FHEQ Level 7 (Comparable to NFQ Level 9) University Qualification that is continuously examined externally and academically quality assured by Middlesex University. You can join the 1000s of successful Middlesex University Graduates in London for their impressive Graduation Ceremony where your great achievement will be deservedly honoured!


Is this course accredited?
Currently, the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (the IACP) do not accredit specialist training courses. However, we work closely with the IACP and keep abreast of all developments with them and other relevant bodies and design our courses accordingly.  As we stated, our BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy is accredited by the IACP. 


What level is this course?

Currently, the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (the IACP) do not accredit specialist training courses.  However, we work closely with the IACP and keep abreast of all developments with them. As we stated, our BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy is accredited by the IACP. The course is not accredited by a professional body. Individuals seeking professional accreditation should consult the relevant bodies website.


I am a Professional Counsellor, am I entitled to any exemptions?
No, there are no exemptions for Year 1 entry to this course. As we said, this is comparable to NFQ Level 9 course so it is a step up academically from your degree. 


What is the duration of the course?
Two years (24 months) part-time.  


How often do I attend?
The course will take place at weekends (Saturday and Sunday, approx. 1 weekend per month from October to June) and the full provisional timetable will be available shortly.


Are my lecturers also therapists?
Yes – all our lecturers are practising therapists and bring a wealth of real-world knowledge into the classroom.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment is a combination of written and in-class practical assignments. There are no exams.


What happens if I miss classes?
As much of the work is done within the classroom, we encourage you to make every effort not to miss class. However, we understand that there are certain circumstances that cannot be avoided. If possible, notify the lecturer in advance if you are going to miss class.  85% attendance is required to complete a module. If you fall below this (but above 70%), you will be allocated some written catch-up work by the lecturer to complete the module. However, if your attendance is below 70%, you must repeat the module.

Validated by

"Overall it was an enjoyable day and well presented, I took what I could from the workshop and I am trying to apply it to my everyday living.”
Positive Psychology Attendee

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