UCC Adult courses

Trauma Studies - PG Cert

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Trauma Studies

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    12 Months

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    PG Cert

  • NFQ Level

    Level 9

  • Fees

    €1,950 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Candidates must hold an honours (NFQ level 8) primary degree with a minimum 2H2 in a relevant discipline. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    13th September 2021

  • Next Intake

    September 2021

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Venue


  • Start Date

    13th September 2021

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Certificate in Trauma Studies is delivered by Criminology at UCC in conjunction with WAVE Trauma Centre Belfast. The overall aim of the WAVE Trauma Centre as a cross-community, voluntary, regional organisation is to offer care and support to anyone bereaved, injured or traumatised through the 'Troubles' of Northern Ireland. Since its establishment in 1991, WAVE has offered direct support to over 5,000 individuals. WAVE service delivery includes Advocacy & Casework Services; Complementary Therapies; Counselling & Psychotherapy; Outreach Support and Welfare Advice. Other services include Trauma Training; Transgenerational / Youth services and Truth, Justice & Acknowledgement. By bringing the expertise of the WAVE team together with the programme staff in UCC, we aim to deliver a course that will allow students to develop their knowledge and understanding of trauma, both in a theoretical but also in an applied manner.

This course focuses on both the individual and societal implications of trauma and draws on examples and experiences from individuals who survived, and societies emerging from, violent political conflict; however, this is only one aspect of the curriculum that informs our approach. The course deals with trauma as a universal process and the experience of the WAVE team, both in Northern Ireland, in the Balkans and in the UK informs the content and the delivery of this programme.

Students will complete 30 credits as follows
CR6801 Trauma and Victimology: Key issues, methods and structures (5 credits)
CR6802 Research Methods (5 credits)
CR6803 Trauma and Addiction: Key issues, methods and structures (10 credits )
CR6804 Trauma and Post-traumatic Growth (10 credits)

Course Practicalities

The course will begin with an orientation week. This involves engaging with tutors online, completing a library tutorial online, and familiarising yourself with the online learning platform. Throughout the duration of the course, students will have access to both academic and pastoral support via both ACE and their module tutors.

As a guide, five credit modules will involve students engaging with:

  • Self - Directed Study (self-directed learning with online programme materials)
  • Online moderated activities - personal online tutoring and online group discussion
  • Written assignments
  • Reading and reflective practice

Usually we recommend that students set aside approximately 10 - 15 hours a week over the course of a 12 week semester (depending on if the module is 5 or 10 credits).This course is not a practise based course, but does address issues that some participants may find upsetting and triggering. Given this, it must be noted that the course is not delivered in a therapeutic environment and students should be mindful of the impact engaging in some topics may have for their own well-being.


All modules on this course are based on a continuous assessment model. Assessments will include essays, reflective work, case studies and research projects.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Orla Lynch (UCC Programme Academic Director)
  • Ms Yasmine Ahmed (UCC)

Why Choose This Course

This course is designed and delivered by University College Cork and WAVE Trauma Centre Northern Ireland. WAVE is a grassroots, cross-community, voluntary organisation formed in 1991 to support people bereaved of a spouse as a result of violence in Northern Ireland. It was expanded later to incorporate the needs of children and young people and anyone injured or traumatised through ‘the Troubles’. WAVE have also worked in international conflict contexts. This course is academically grounded in trauma theory, however it draws heavily on the research and experiences of its teaching team who have worked extensively with conflict-related trauma.  Although there is primarily a focus on conflict trauma, this is set in the context of wider trauma theories within the field of trauma studies. The course focuses on a psycho-social framework for understanding trauma which captures the breadth of responses to trauma in situations of complex, repeated and/or enduring traumatic experience.

Trauma is so often assumed to be an individualised experience. The true cost of trauma is however much higher as the relatives of those suffering with trauma also experience the impact of the phenomenon. Trauma provokes ill health, it disrupts family relationships, it impairs functioning, it leads to substance abuse and in some cases when grief becomes intolerable, leads to suicide. This course brings together an experienced team of academics and practitioners in order to address the complexity of trauma and investigate the means through which both the individual and society can be relieved of its impact.   


  • Candidates must hold an honours (NFQ level 8) primary degree with a minimum 2H2 in a relevant discipline.  Relevant disciplines include, but are not restricted to: psychology, sociology, criminology, social work, counselling, conflict studies, womens studies, epidemiology, medicine and nursing.
  • Candidates without an NFQ level 8 award are eligible to apply, subject to the approval of the programme Academic Director, if s/he can demonstrate at least three years’ professional experience in a related field – examples include (but are not restricted to) therapeutic practice, community work/engagement experience, government/policy experience and medical/para-medical experience
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6.5 or the equivalent TOEFL score with no individual section lower than 6.0.
  • Technical Requirements: To access and interact with the course content, assignments and assessments etc. students will require access to at least a PC/ Laptop running Windows 7 or later and Mac OSX 10.7.4. Common plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight, Java and Flash will also be required. Students must have access to MS Office or an equivalent suite of applications such as Libre Office. They must also have access to a modern standards compliant web browser. UCC recommends either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  • To engage productively and successfully with the content, basic technical computer skills such as familiarity with word processing, web browsing, and email -recommended.

Fees and Costs


NOTE: Partial payment will be collected after you have been accepted to the course. 

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here.

How Do I Apply

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Application Statement
  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photo
  • Curricululm Vitae
  • Fee Declaration Document
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • Transcripts [if applicable]

NOTE: Once you have selected your course your application saves automatically.  If you don't complete your application in one session you can access your draft application in the "My Applications" section of the UCC360 application portal. The My Applications section will also keep you updated on the status of your application.

Contact details for this course

Similar Courses

Trauma Studies PG Dip

Year 1 Modules

  • CR6801: Trauma and Victimology: Key Issues, Methods and Structures (5 credits)
    a. Introduction to the history and overview of victimology.
    b. The social reaction to victims of crime; victim labelling, gender expectations, social norms.
    c. Victims and the Court System.
    d. In the aftermath of victimisation.
    e. Victims in recent cultural/sociological theories.
    f. Disasters and Victimisation.
    g. Victims of political violence.
    h. Victimisation of vulnerable groups, minorities, children, gender issues.
    i. The victim perpetrator complex.
    j. The intergenerational transmission of trauma.
    k. Culture, memory and trauma.
    l. Collectives victimhood and hierarchies of victimhood.
  • CR6802: Research Methods (5 credits)
    1. How to think critically.
    2. What is evidence?
    3. What is analysis?
    4. How to evaluate research.
    5. Academic writing skills.
    6. Social approaches to research.
    7. Real world research.
    8. Interviewing.
    9. Data analysis.
    10. Ethical issues in social research.
  • CR6803: Trauma and Addiction: Key Issues, Methods and Structures (10 credits)
    1. Introduction to history and overview of trauma and addiction.
    2. Trauma, symptomology and the long-term effects of traumatisation from a biological, individual and social perspective.
    3. Trauma and ways in which to overcome and ameliorate trauma symptoms.
    4. Neurological risks of addiction.
    5. The addicted brain: The disease of addiction.
    6. Addiction and co-occurring disorders.
    7. Addiction-induced trauma and trauma-induced addiction.
    8. Mental illness and substance misuse: Application of disorders and addiction.
    9. Severe mental illness and substance misuse: Dual Diagnosis.
    10. Treatment considerations in ttrauma and addiction: trauma-informed practice.
    11. Treatment processes for working with individuals, groups, families and communities.
    12. Practice implications in trauma and addiction.
    13. Application of key theoretical concepts and treatment approaches for case-study assessment.
  • CR6804: Trauma and Post-Traumatic Growth (10 credits)
    1. Introduction to the development of the concept of post-traumatic growth; definitions, theory and practice.
    2. Exploration of the literature and empirical evidence informing the concept of post-traumatic growth.
    3. Exploration and critique of models of post-traumatic growth (Tedeschi and Calhoun).
    4. Environmental and social factors that promote post-traumatic growth.
    5. Measurement of growth including the PTGI.
    6. Post-traumatic growth and PTSD - a comparative analysis.
    7. Post-traumatic growth; meaning-making.
    8. The role of faith, spirituality and religion as inhibitors and promoters of PTG.
    9. Post-traumatic growth and resilience.
    10. Differing contexts - post-traumatic growth case studies.
    11. Developing fields including vicarious PTG and collective PTG.
    12. The current state of the field and counter theories and interventions.

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact