Why Choose PCI College for Your Counselling Courses?

Why Choose PCI College for your counselling course


Choosing a professional counselling & psychotherapy training course is a big decision!


We know it takes a lot of consideration before you commit to undertaking professional training - a counselling degree will be a big investment, both financially and personally and you need to make sure you choose the right course for you and your future career. If you are looking for a course to enhance your current role or for personal development too, it is important to consider how the course is taught, and the experience and ethos of the College and lecturers.


You can also call Giselle or Lynn at 01-464 2268 to talk to us about your queries or email enquiries@pcicollege.ie and we'll be in touch to answer your questions.

Course Details

We offer a range of courses from Certificate to Postgraduate Level:


Interested in finding out more? Call Giselle or Lynn now at 01-464 2268 or add your details to the purple Questions Box above and we'll get back to you shortly. 


Here are 7 important things that PCI College offers when you choose to study with us...and 7 reasons why these are important when you are choosing your course:


1. Accredited Courses
PCI College provide professional accredited counselling & psychotherapy courses. The PCI College Diploma (awarded on completion of Year 3 of the BSc degree) is accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP).

The IACP is Ireland's largest, and most well recognised accreditation body for counsellors & psychotherapists.  GP's, state-bodies, HSE professionals and others usually specifically request IACP accreditation when referring clients to counsellors. Make sure you do not choose a professional body that has little standing in the field.

2. Academic Standards
PCI College provides an honours BSc degree programme, validated by Middlesex University which is nationally and internationally recognised. Our academic standards are set in partnership with Middlesex and monitored by them on an ongoing basis.  It is Level 6 on the FHEQ (comparable to Level 8 NFQ).

Recognised academic validation is an increasing requirement within the counselling profession. As the Government moves towards statutory regulation in the coming years, a Level 8 honours degree, from a University or QQI is expected to be the minimum standard.  Already the IACP has stated they will move to Level 8 only for accredited courses from 2018 and our honours BSc already fits into that category.

3. Experiential Learning
PCI College offers an approach which combines experiential, classroom-based learning with up-to-date theory and approaches.  Our degree programme is only taught in a face-to-face, classroom environment and we support students in their 100 hours of client work practice.

As a professional therapist, you need to be fully comfortable with both theory and practice when you counsel clients. Our unique teaching approach ensures students gain skills and knowledge which they have practiced, tried and tested throughout their training.

4. Experienced Lecturers
Our tutors are experienced, qualified lecturers with expertise and training in a wide range of psychological and psychotherapeutic areas. Most importantly, all of our tutors are practicing counsellors.

Our lecturers bring their own valuable experience which students can learn from.  This is combined with thorough training in the skills and personal development that are essential for therapists to be effective professionals.

5. Student Focused Training
PCI College has a person-centred, student focused approach. This is at the heart of our teaching ethos and means that we work hard to ensure every student receives a high standard of education and training, in a supportive and empowering environment.

Training as a counsellor & psychotherapist is a rewarding and life-changing journey but it can be challenging at times. We understand the commitments and sometimes sacrifices, that students make along this journey and we do our upmost to support them every step of the way.

6. Accessible, Nationwide Classes
PCI College gives you the opportunity to study at venues around the country, with part-time class timetables and online resources to facilitate students busy lives.

We aim to make our courses as accessible as possible, with seven regional locations for degree classes.  While we passionately believe in classroom learning for our profession, we support that learning with online library access, e-submission of assignments and a web-based Student Portal to join up our student body and faculty around the country.

7. An Unrivalled Reputation
PCI College has been providing counselling & psychotherapy training since 1991.  We have trained thousands of counsellors & psychotherapists and have an unrivalled reputation for high academic quality, experiential courses that teach practical skills for professional practice. 

Choosing your counselling training course is a big decision and a significant investment in yourself and your future. It’s vital to choose a college with a track record of high quality qualifications and satisfied graduates.  Don’t just take our word for it – read some student and graduate testimonials here!

Comparing Courses?

When you are deciding which college to choose for your professional training, you may want to compare counselling courses.  Here are 6 important questions you should ask when researching the options available:

6 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Counselling Training Programme:

1. Is the course accredited by an established, well-recognised professional body (such as the IACP)?


2. Is the course academically validated at Level 8 honours, by a recognised university or validating body?


3. Will I learn both theory and practical skills with face-to-face, experiential learning and support to put them into practice through classroom role play and with supervised client work?


4. Will I learn from experienced, qualified lecturers, who are practicing counsellors, with current client exertise?


5. Will the course and the College support my personal development, as I prepare myself for the work of helping others in their own life journey?


6. Is the College well-established with a solid reputation amongst qualified, experienced counsellors & psychotherapists?


There is a lot of confusion surrounding counselling qualifications, accreditation and Government Regulation in counselling & psychotherapy at the moment and is it very important to compare courses thoroughly and do your own research on current professional requirements.  Beware course comparison websites which purport to independently compare courses and which are in fact linked to a specific college!


We advise students that the best approach in choosing a course is to research courses which are accredited by recognised and long-standing professional bodies like the IACP; to speak to qualified, established counsellors & psychotherapists; to ask GP's and other healthcare professionals who refer clients; and finally, talk to people in the Colleges and training institutes you are considering and ask them all the questions you have about their particular course. You are making a big investment in your future and you need to ensure the course you choose will lead you to a recognised qualification and professional accreditation.



Want more insights and information to help choose your counselling course? Read some comments from recent students and graduates below:


"...The training experience at PCI is challenging, but worthwhile, and like any investment in education, both the demands on your own personal involvement and your finances need the commitment to achieve the rewards.The learning does not finish at the end of class, it is an ongoing process of personal discovery."  Read Donal's full story here

Donal O'Driscoll

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Student Year 2, 2016), Cork


"I have had the most amazing personal experience during my time in PCI and since. It has given me great confidence and has allowed me to shine in my own right. In tandem, I have grown academically and have expanded my interests in unexpected ways. Overall my PCI experience has given me the ability and the tools to embrace life in whatever form it presents itself to me."
Sorcha McQuaid

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Diploma Graduate 2015), Dublin West

"The support I received from the college and my classmates made my learning experience thoroughly enjoyable. As a result my achievements went beyond what I had hoped for… The personal and professional development I experienced as a result of undertaking the diploma have been invaluable. It was an investment in myself and money well spent."
Elaine Sharkey

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Diploma Graduate 2015), Dublin City Centre

"Most importantly the academic experience was excellent, the tutors were well prepared, communicated the information well and were very approachable. All this plus sharing the journey with a wonderful group of classmates made for a memorable, positive and rewarding experience."
Phillip Moore

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Diploma Graduate 2015), Dublin West

"I enjoyed every moment of my time in class with my colleagues and lecturers. It was a wonderful, life changing experience full of exploration and learning about myself and others. The lecturers were top class - they shared so much of themselves as professionals and nothing was too much bother for them. My colleagues are a phenomenal group of people who I regard as friends. I benefited personally and professionally from my time with PCI."
Sharon Deering

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Diploma Graduate), Athlone

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time with PCI and believe it has provided me with the necessary tools to begin my professional career as a counsellor. Going back to college as a mature student was costly and at times demanding, but it has been worth it. I am very happy with my performance and at the level of support I received whilst a student with PCI. Having come from a different college to PCI in second year, I saw a vast difference in the quality of service an education that PCI offers its students."
Kaylene Petersen

BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Diploma Graduate), Kilkenny


See more testimonials here


If you have more questions, or want to talk to us about queries regarding any aspect of our counselling & psychotherapy training, call Sinéad or Lynn today at 01-464 2268 or email enquiries@pcicollege.ie and we will call or email you back. 


We hope to meet you soon as a student of PCI College. 


Career Path

Career Path:

Counselling is a fulfilling career and can change your life as well as others. People who become counsellors are genuinely interested in human behaviour and have a strong desire to help others improve their mental well-being. They are also skilled at interacting with people on a personal level, while maintaining a professional relationship.

Upon completion of the Certificate Course, students studying part-time will be invited to apply to our Middlesex University BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy (Level 6 FHEQ - comparable to Level 8 NFQ), in which the PCI College Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy (awarded on completion of Year 3) is fully accredited by the Irish Association for Couselling & Psychotherapy (IACP).


For full information on becoming accredited with the IACP, please click here. Established in 1981, the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) is an independent national organisation which sets, maintains and develops standards in the practice of counselling and psychotherapy. IACP is a registered Charity (CHY 6615) representing over 3,250 members. 

Today more than ever there is a massive need for trained counsellors and psychotherapists in Ireland. Indeed there is increased acknowledgement of the growing need for Counsellors within the HSE, Community Primary Care Groups, Schools and the Private Sector. Our BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy ensures that you have equipped yourself with the necessary qualification and training to be recognised and effective. Once you have completed your professional training, there are many routes open to you; You may wish to set up a Private Practice, join an agency or work for an organisation such as the HSE, a School, a Charity or a State-Body.



The Irish Association for Counsellors & Psychotherapists (IACP) provides standards of practice, professional identification, education/training and regulation for the counselling and psychotherapy profession in Ireland. The PCI College professional counsellor/psychotherapist training programme, the BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy is fully accredited by the IACP in all PCI College venues.

Full details on IACP Accreditation can be found here.

Currently, you need to study to Honours degree level to become a Professional Counsellor. In a recent statement, the IACP announced that all course seeking accreditation from 2018 onwards will be required to be a Level 8 Degree on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). You can read more here about their announcement.  PCI College have been providing their Level 8 BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy since 1997. It is validated by Middlesex University and  recognised both nationally and internationally.

Professional accreditation is an important requirement for those wishing to practice as professional therapists in Ireland. In the absence of Government regulation of the profession, accreditation bodies such as the IACP provide standards of practice which give reassurance on training quality and ethical conduct to individuals and organisations seeking professional counselling services. While government regulation is planned and the process to structure regulation has begun, it may yet take some time before this is completed and implemented.  In the meantime, the IACP and other recognised accreditation bodies will continue to set and monitor the standards of best practice and professional training for therapists in Ireland.



Govt Regulation

There is a lot of confusion surrounding counselling qualifications, accreditation and Government Regulation at the moment and is it very important to compare courses thoroughly and do your own research on current professional requirements.


Beware websites and insitutes that try to tell you what is planned for Government Regulation as the fact is, no final standards or requirements have yet been fixed by Government at this time.  While QQI has set the national standards for educational qualifications in Counselling & Psychotherapy at the request of the Government, no statutory decisions have been made on the level of qualifications, Code of Practice, Professional Accreditation etc. that will be required.


Corú will be the body charged with the regulation of the counselling & psychotherapy profession and considerable consultations have taken place with training providers, professional bodies, the HSE, Department of Health and other interested agencies.  It is expected that counsellors and pscyhotherapists will require a minimum of Level 8 Honours Degree to be considered a qualified counsellor, but again, this has not been finalised in law.  In anticipation of this expected standard, the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP) recently announced that they will require all training courses to be a Level 8 (NFQ) Honours degree, from 2018 onwards to meet their accreditation criteria.  The IACP is Ireland's largest and best-recognised accreditation body for counsellors and GP's, healthcare professionals and organisations like the HSE will usually specifically request IACP accrediation when referring clients to counsellors.


In our case, the PCI College BSc Degree is already a Level 8 (NFQ) Honours degree course, academically validated by Middlesex University and the PCI College Diploma, awarded on completion of Year 3, is already fully accredited by the IACP in all venues.


When Government Regulation finally does come to our profession (and we continue to lobby for this to happen as soon as possible), PCI College will continue to provide the highest quality educational and training experience and qualifications for our students in line with Government regulations and training standards.”

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