Higher Diploma in Relationship Mentoring (HDip) - Part Time

This course has the status of a continuing education course, NFQ Level 8, offered through the Department of Applied Psychology and Centre for Adult Continuing Education University College Cork in association with the Lifelong Learning Department at Portarlington Further Education and Training Centre.

Course Outline

Adult relationship with self and others lies at the heart of effective family, social, educational and work systems. The core psycho-social unit in society is the family and research consistently shows that the emotions and social maturity of each parent is the main determinant of family well being. The course recognises parenting as a profession and the need for parents to be prepared for this complex and multi-task profession. This two year programme is also designed to enhance other adults’ professional effectiveness and organisational effectiveness by increasing the personal and interpersonal maturity of employees and those in leadership roles. Furthermore the programme is designed to train participants in one-to-one relationship mentoring and in the provision of courses on enhancing relationship for community groups and work organisations. Skills to qualitatively and quantitatively analyse individual and organisational interventions will be developed.

The course is substantially rooted in the theories and practices of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, sociological theories and experimental psychology.


All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score.

Course Modules*

Year 1 Modules*

AP5800: Development Theories and Early Relationships (5 credits)

Jean Piaget’s Stage Theory; Erik Erikson’s model of Psychosocial Development; John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory; Daniel Stern’s work on psychological development in infancy; Frank Lake’s ‘womb as world experience’; D.W. Winnicott’s ‘good enough parenting’

AP5821: Young People's Challenging Behaviours (5 credits)

The theories and practices on the origins, creative intentions of and maintenance factors of Children’s Challenging Behaviours. Also the development of methods of assessment, intervention and evaluation of intervention strategies.

AP5822: Adults' Challenging Behaviours (5 credits)

The theories and practices on the types, origins and endurance of parents’ challenging behaviours; The influence of the unconscious and sub-conscious on parents’ challenging responses; The creative intentions of parents’ defensive reactions; The impact of labelling and medication on the defensive behaviours; the effects of parents’ challenging behaviours on their own and on their children’s wellbeing; Examination of approaches to parents’ challenging responses and the development of problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.

AP5823: The Importance of Play (5 credits)

Psychoanalytic, psychotherapeutic and behavioural understandings of play, types of play, Partan’s stages of play and playful parenting.

AP5824: The Teenage Years (5 credits)

The nature of adolescent development; Peer pressure; Communication and adolescence; ‘Persistent’ versus ‘new’ problems in living; Adolescent depression and anxiety; Understanding the nature of adolescent inner turmoil; What it takes to guide adolescents towards self-reliance; Key issues in adolescence.

AP5825: Parent Mentoring and Facilitation of Parenting Courses (5 credits)

All mentoring/training starts with self; All parenting starts with how a parent parents self; Mentoring skills; The art of public speaking; Group dynamics; Evaluation methods; The importance of supervision.

*Subject to change*

Year 2 Modules*

AP5801: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to Adult Relationships (5 credits)

The Oedipal Relationship (Freud); Projection and Introjection (Klein); The Process of Individuation (Carl Jung); The Holding Environment (Winnicott); Current Thinking (Adam Phillips, Neville Symington).

AP5803: Personal and Interpersonal Relationships - The Knowledge Base (5 credits)

Relevant books from reading list for course and the published works of Tony Humphreys along with material prepared by him specifically for this course. Students will be encouraged to source relevant materials for the provision of courses in relationships.

AP5808: Relationships within Work Organisations (5 credits)

Types of organisations; organisational cultures; power within organisations; change theories; the process of change; resistance to change; organisational conflict; methods of conflict resolution; the art of negotiation; types of management; staff relationships.

AP5809: Personal and Interpersonal Relationships - Professional training in Presentation and Facilitation Skills (5 credits)

Group dynamics, conflict assessment and resolution, active listening; listening to inner experience and using it to communicate and facilitate communication; facilitation and presentation practice and feedback.

AP5810: Evaluation of Relationships with different Social Contexts, Observational and Research Skills (5 credits)

Assessment interviews and tools; Observation – objectivity and intersubjectivity, Methodology in the Human Sciences; Staying up to date with current thinking, accessing information.

AP5820: Professional Development Workshops (5 credits)

Case studies, theoretical input and practice of relationship mentoring interventions in different work/social settings.

*Subject to change*

Course Practicalities


Course assessment is by continuous assessment and three written examinations.

Who teaches this course?

  • Dr. Tony Humphreys
  • Ms. Margaret McCarthy
  • Mr. JJ O’ Riordan
  • Ms. Mary Briody
  • Ms. Bernadette Carroll
  • Ms. Loretta Noone (Dublin only)
  • Mr. Colman Noctor.

Course Delivery:

Classes are delivered part-time over one academic year every Thursday from 4pm to 8:30pm. Beginning 29th of September 2022.

Fees and Costs

€3,750 per academic year

Students who are registered on this programme are eligible to apply for the Financial Aid Fund for Part Time Students. Eligibility criteria applies. For more information see: https://www.ucc.ie/en/finaidpt

Want to know more?

Contact Programe Coordinator Dr. Tony Humphreys:
Email: tonyhumphreys1@eircom.net or Phone: (021) 4642394

*Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board reserves the right to refuse course admission and/or completion.

Qualification Award

NFQ Level 8 (Major Award)


Laois Education Centre

Block Road



County Laois


  • Study Room
  • Free Parking
  • Disabled Parking

Centre Opening Times

Monday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

* Bank Holidays and Public Holidays – Closed



Margaret Morrin, Centre Director




(057) 8623161

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