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MSc Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Part-time | 2 Years | University Validated

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This master’s programme is for practitioners who wish to gain specialist training in psychotherapy for children, teenagers and young people under the age of 25.


The programme sets out to build upon the knowledge and skills that you have developed through your undergraduate education and practical experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist. The programme acknowledges the requirement for all psychotherapists working with children and young people to complete a specialised academic and professional qualification to ensure the highest standards are met. Our programme is intended to align itself with European and international standards and promote continuous development and support for the therapist. The course meets the minimum competency standards for working with Under 18’s as developed by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP).


Who is this course for?

The MSc. Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy programme is a comprehensive professional training course, focused on working therapeutically with young people. The course is validated by Middlesex University* and is designed to supplement trainees’ existing qualifications. It is not a stand-alone counselling qualification. Applicants include counsellors and psychotherapists who are accredited or are eligible for accreditation, with the IACP/IAHIP/BACP or equivalent, all of whom seek to deepen or extend their current skills to facilitate therapeutic work with young people up to the age of 25 years.


What are the benefits of doing this course?

The philosophy underpinning the Master of Science in Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy is a belief that the practice of working with children and adolescents requires a specific type of skill set. You will gain the knowledge and skills to create fundamental changes for children and adolescents, and our diverse faculty brings together rigorous classroom learning with individualised mentorship and hands-on professional learning.
The programme centres around theoretical knowledge, skills and experiential growth which will instil a sense of competence, confidence and clarity for the developing child and adolescent psychotherapist. You will gain a number of practical skills such as assessments, creative skills and report writing.
We integrate professional development through self-reflection, emphasising personal capabilities such as self-awareness, integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, imagination, and personal presence. You will also cultivate an enhanced sensitivity to the experience of childhood, and the many developmental strengths and difficulties with which young people are constantly engaging.


What will you learn?

As a student on the MSc Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy programme you will be immersed in the therapeutic skills required to work with children and adolescents, developing a mastery in the practical application of both skills and theory in class and through clinical placement. You will be equipped with tools and skills for assessment and intervention when working with children and adolescents coupled with experiential practice where you can experience first-hand what it is like to use creative therapies to enhance the therapeutic relationship and process. You are encouraged to think critically, explore diverse perspectives, and develop your communication skills as you proceed through the coursework. You will examine critical current legal and ethical obligations around Child Protection, statutory reporting, contracting with parents and clients, case notes, confidentiality and consent. You will be provided with opportunities to evaluate and critically assess appropriate interventions for the client group and develop proficiency in assessment and report writing skills. You will be introduced to a trauma informed approached to working with children and adolescents in addition to an in depth understanding of the role of the family and child psychology.


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 video here:



Course Details


DURATION: Two years, part-time    START DATE: 5th October 2024 (Orientation), Lectures Commence 12th October 2024


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 Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy

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


LEVELLevel 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)  



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

  • Child and Adolescent Assessment and Case Formulation through Play
  • Applied Therapeutic Skills and Interventions for Children and Adolescents
  • Competencies in creative practice with Children and Adolescents
  • Theories of Child Psychology and Mental Health (Assessment and Formulation)

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

  • Family Systems – An Integrative Approach
  • Theories of Child Psychology & Mental Health (Contemporary approaches)
  • Introducing Trauma in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Competencies in creative practice with Children and Adolescents (Trauma Specialism)

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

  • Research Methods (by Dissertation)



  • 100 hours of clinical placement/client work (25 hours must be completed before the end of Year 1)
  • Students are required to attend an accredited external supervisor for a minimum of 20 hours of one-to-one supervision
  • 20 hours of Personal Therapy is a requirement for all students


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



Students entering the MSc course must hold a degree (Level 8 NFQ or equivalent; Final grade 2.2 or above) in Counselling & Psychotherapy.


Applicants who do not meet this criterion 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.



  • 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 you are suitable for the course.

All suitable candidates will be invited to interview



Students who hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling & Psychotherapy (PCI College or equivalent) may apply for entry to Year 2 of the course. 


Students who do not meet these criteria may be eligible to enter Year 2 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.



External Applicants - Graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling & Psychotherapy:

  • Send complete year 2 application form and deposit (online/hard copy)
  • All suitable candidates will be invited to interview
  • Places are limited. Selection is based on application and interview.


External Applicants:

  • Send complete year 2 application form & deposit (online/hard copy)
  • Complete course comparison form including:

         o Copy of current/previous course prospectus/course outline
         o Transcript of results of all assessments/examinations
         o Copy of all relevant qualifications
         o Completed course comparison form
         o Letter from counsellor to verify previous hours of personal therapy (if applicable)
         o Letter from supervisor to verify hours of client work with varying presenting issues (must have completed at least 15% of the overall course requirement in the last 12 months)

  • Statement on why you feel you have met the Learning Outcomes for Year 1. (approximately 1000 words)

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

On successful completion of this programme, graduates can decide on the course of action most appropriate to their needs and ambitions. The following avenues are open to them:

Avenue 1

Graduates may choose to continue working in employment settings where a child and adolescent psychotherapy skills are essential if they are to serve their clients in a more truly comprehensive way.

Avenue 2

Graduates may choose to specialise in an area of helping that appeals to them for their own particular reasons, for example working specifically with adolescents, working in the area of creative practice, etc.

Avenue 3

Graduates may increase their existing private practice services as psychotherapists who specialise in the area of children and adolescents.

Avenue 4

Graduates may provide services to court proceedings by way of experts in assessment and report writing.

Avenue 5

Graduates may take employment within child and family government agencies, such as TUSLA.

Avenue 6

Graduates may take employment within school settings where counsellor positions are available.


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. On the other hand, you could enrol in this course, if eligible, and incorporate what you have learnt into your daily working life.


If it is your intention to become a professional counsellor/psychotherapist, accredited by the IACP, please see our BSc (Honours) Degree Counselling & Psychotherapy course for more details.



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: €4,990* (Includes all academic and administration costs and charges)

***PCI College BSc Counselling & Psychotherapy Graduates Student Discount*** €350 Off Year 1 Fees

Year 2: €4,450


Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma Prices available upon request.

*Please note that there is an additional charge of €20 for the 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 a €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 should complete the online application form including the Initial Deposit of €80, 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.  Applications should be completed in full and returned with the appropriate deposit for the programme of choice. Any deposit paid is deductible from the programme fees if the applicant is successful in securing a place on the programme. Applicants are entitled to a full refund of the initial deposit if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their application, and haven't attended the interview. If the cancellation is before the programme commences, any monies held will be left on account for use for the next course intake. Any monies left on the account exceeding this timeframe will be forfeited. 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 an Acceptance Deposit of €1270. 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.



Does this course qualify me as a professional counsellor?

This is the most common question as the field of counselling and psychotherapy is not government regulated yet and so it can be difficult to navigate. Our MSc Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy does not qualify you as a professional accredited counsellor. It is an additional qualification to your original degree which allows you to work with children and adolescents in a therapeutic setting.


If your intention is to become a professional accredited counsellor, please see our BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy which is accredited by the IACP for more details.


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 thousands 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.


I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy from PCI College (or a similar qualification from another institution). Can I apply to enter Year 2 of the course?

Yes, we welcome applicants from other similar NFQ Level 9 courses to apply to Year 2. Decisions will be made on the basis of your Approved Prior Learning.

Graduates of the PCI College Postgraduate Certificate in Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy will be eligible to apply for Year 2 entry to the course and can achieve a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy (presuming entry criteria have been met).  Students will need to complete a Year 2 application form and will be required to attend an interview. Contact us at (01) 464 2268 or for Year 2 entry application form.

Applicants who have completed courses in Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy in other institutions may also be granted entry into Year 2 on the basis of Applied Prior Learning (APL). Applicants will be required to complete an application form and a Course Comparison Form (outlining in detail previous course modules) and will be required to attend an interview. Students may be granted entry to Year 2 based on exemptions from Year 1 modules. Any modules not exempted from Year 1 must be taken as Catch Up.  Course Comparison Form is available from


What level is this course?

The MSc Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy is awarded by Middlesex University and is therefore on the UK National Framework. It is Level 7 FHEQ (Framework for Higher Education Qualification) - comparable to Level 9 on the NFQ. For comparability on various awards, please see here


Does this course include play therapy?
Of course – play therapy is an essential component of working with children therapeutically. However, it is just one component. The unique nature of this course is that it is a broad-based with counselling and psychotherapy at its core, incorporating a wide range of creative therapeutic approaches including art, sand play, puppets, drama, music, clay and storytelling. It also draws on established and current theory in counselling and psychotherapy, up to date approaches in child and adolescent mental health, lifespan development, family systems and trauma.


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 on weekends (Saturday and Sunday, approx. 1 weekend per month from October to June). 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.


Do I need to buy any materials?

No. All class materials will be provided. Students are required to purchase/gain access to core and supplementary reading texts


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 class time?
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.  In order to complete the module, 85% attendance is required. If you fall below this (but above 70%), you will be allocated 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

The lecturer had a lovely, gentle manner and was genuinely interested in what students had to say. He was very clear in laying out expectations and was very well organised.
MSc Child & Adolescent Counselling Psychotherapy Student 2021

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