Bachelor of Arts Degree in Counselling (Couple Relationships)

In response to the demand for increased Couple Counselling services, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth is launching a new BA in Counselling (Couple Relationships).

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In response to the demand for increased Couple Counselling services, St Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth is launching a new BA in Counselling (Couple Relationships).


This 4 year level 8 Degree is delivered over weekends at our historic Maynooth campus, to accommodate existing life commitments of candidates.

On site campus accommodation is available for those who wish to maximise their study time , build their network and reduce any travel.

The programme is aimed at mature candidates aged 23 years and over. Candidates can be first time entrants or Existing Counsellors and Therapists may wish to upskill.

The Degree is structured around four key themes:

  1. Knowledge and understanding: Theories of counselling and associated aspects, spirituality, ethics.
  2. Skills: Development of therapeutic skills; ability to achieve and maintain a therapeutic relationship
  3. Personal development: Self-awareness, personal therapy, spirituality
  4. Ethics: Knowledge and understanding of ethics and ethical standards in counselling

These four themes will run consistently from Module One throughout all fifteen modules.

There will be placement in years 2,3 and 4.

* Please note that the contents of the course are in the last stage of the validation process and are awaiting final approval by either our internal Faculty Board or the relevant external degree-awarding body. Before a new programme of study is introduced, it needs to be finalised by both the university and external bodies. Should the course not proceed until 2023 the university will inform you and offer you further assistance.


For any other queries please contact our admissions team

E T +353 (0)1 708 4772


On-campus accommodation available.


EU: €4,500.

Career Outcomes

  • Couples Counsellor ,

Course Structure

Placement: Year 2: 25-30 hours placement, Year 3: 70-75 hours placement, Year 4: 100 hours placement

Introduction to communication and counselling skills

Assignments: Reflective journal, Skills assessment

Introduction to the therapeutic counselling relationship, face to face and online

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment

Person-centred counselling approaches, introduction to polyvagal theory

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment, Ethics examination

Christian faith in contemporary culture

Assignment: Reflective journal

Introduction to and understanding counselling the couple relationship.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment

Professional structure of couple counselling and supervision, needs assessment, identification, and handling of domestic abuse cases.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills Assessment (Readiness for placement),

Ethics examination

Supervised placement - part one

5 supervisions.

Consolidation and expansion of couple counselling approaches, working with diversity.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment (Start of placement in centres)

Christian understanding of marriage.

Assignment: Reflective journal

Supervised placement – Part Two

15 supervisions

Neurodiversity in couple relationships, neuroscience and polyvagal-informed therapy in couple counselling.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment

Spirituality, meaning and clinical practice.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal

Consolidation, expansion and synthesis of learning with a focus on attachment, grief and loss, polyvagal theory and online counselling in couple counselling.

Assignments: Essay, Reflective journal, Skills assessment and analysis, Ethics examination

Supervised placement - part two

20 supervisions

Research methods and approaches, research project, continued personal and professional development.

Assignments: Written examination, Research essay

Application Requirements

Admissions requirements

Entry requirements for the BA in Counselling (Couple Relationships) have been set in order to select potential students who have the proven academic ability to undertake a Level 8 Programme. The admissions policy aims to attract and recruit motivated applicants across the full range of possible access routes. Students may have a background in any academic discipline. The overriding principle upon which admission decisions are based is that applicants should be likely to benefit from and succeed on the course.

Minimum entry requirements for the course

Formal Education

Applicants should normally hold Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) from a recognised education institution with a minimum of a pass in five subjects.

English language requiremen

Applicants must have:

  • Had their secondary education taught and assessed in English; or
  • An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6 in the writing component or another English Language Test recognised by St Patrick’s Pontifical University.

Age requirements

Applicants should be at least 23 years of age at the commencement of the programme.


Applicants who have met the minimum entry requirements will be formally interviewed. The purpose of the interview is to determine the suitability of the candidate to undertake and complete the course. The panel will also consider any equivalent or non-standard admission qualifications. In so doing, the panel may require additional evidence from the candidate to support the candidate’s request for consideration for equivalency, such as the nature and level of the work experience.

Note: even if an applicant meets our minimum admission requirements, The University cannot guarantee a place on the course.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applicants with prior certificated or experiential learning at the same level of the qualification for which they wish to apply are advised to contact the admissions team.

If you live outside Ireland, check out our dedicated area for international students.

Let’s talk

For Undergraduate queries: email

For Postgraduate queries: email

For Professional & Continuing Education queries, email: