Certificate in Interpersonal Communications

(Level 7, 30 credits)

1 Year - Part Time

Programme Overview

Communication is the life-blood of any social system (family, health, social, religious, legal, community).  Effective communication entails having an understanding of the dynamics of social systems and the types of communication that operate typically within them.  The agent of communication is the self and, indeed, most communication is determined by how the individual communicates with self.  The course will focus on both the personal and interpersonal aspects of communication within and across the particular social systems of which course participants are members.

Programme Aims and Objectives

  • To provide participants with a solid foundation in the theory and practice of personal and interpersonal communication.
  • To introduce participants to the influence of the different social systems – couple relationship, family, classroom, school, community, workplace, church, country on how individuals communicate.
  • To build effective ways of listening and communicating in the relationship with self and others.
  • To apply the mature communication developed to a variety of key social systems, particularly, the couple relationship, the family and the workplace.

Duration and Admission

The programme will be taken part-time over 1 year.  Applicants will be admitted to the course on the basis of:

  • being over 21 years of age at the time of application;
  • a detailed application form prior to the closing date which will request applicants to present a 500 word statement outlining their reasons for wishing to register on the programme.

Programme Content

Authentic Self Expression

The Nature of the Self; The Emergence of the Self; The Early Years; The Eclipse of the Self; The Concepts of Self-Image, Self-Esteem, Self-Concept; The Realisation of the Self.

Family Relationships

Defining the Family; Parents as the Family Architects; Types of Families; Family Relationships; Family Communication; Family Conflict; Conflict Resolution.

The Nature and Power of Emotions and Thoughts

Introduction to Beck’s Cognitive Theory; Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy and Fritz Perls’ Gestalt approach to thoughts and emotions; The Nature of emergency and welfare emotions; The Nature of the Freudian Defences; Understanding specific emotions; Distinction between emotional receptivity and emotional responsivity.

The Nature of Communication

Levels of communication; Non-verbal communication; Verbal communication; Meta-communication; Metaphorical and Mythical communication; Defensive communication; Open communication; Therapeutic communication.

Holistic Approaches to Stress and Illness

Stress and illness as creations; The causes and the inner terrain of stress and illness; Intentions of stress and illness; The nature of psycho physiological and psychosomatic conditions; Psycho-social approaches to stress and illness.

Sexual Maturation

Self and sexuality; Early experiences of sexuality; Current experience of sexuality; Exploration of meanings attached to sexuality; Defensive sexual expression; Open sexual expression; Common sexual difficulties; Therapeutic approaches; Safe holding of sexuality for children and adolescents.

Teachers on this course

Tony Humphreys, Helen Ruddle, Margaret Power, Clare Murphy, Anita Hegarty.

Contact Details

Caroline Coughlan at Dr. Tony Humphrey’s office

Tel: 021 – 4642394 (10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday)

E: tonyhumphreys1@eircom.net


The course will be offered on a part-time basis over one year.  Classes will be delivered once weekly: Cork - Wednesdays 5.15 – 9. 30 p.m., Dublin - Thursdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., (Glenview Hotel, Glen O’The Downs, Co. Wicklow) and over three 2-day workshops. Course runs from September to May.


1st week in September, 2016


Fee for academic year 2016-2017:

Cork:  €2,400

Dublin: €2,700

Further Information  

UCC Adult Continuing Education

Application Form