UCC Adult courses

Trauma Studies (Online) - PG Dip

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Trauma Studies (Online)

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    24 Months

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    PG Dip

  • NFQ Level

    Level 9

  • Fees

    €2,250 per annum 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

    TBC 2023

  • Next Intake

    September 2023

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Venue


  • Start Date

    September 2023

Course Outline

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Trauma Studies is delivered by the Department of Criminology at UCC in conjunction with WAVE Trauma Centre in 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.

Year 1 (30 credits)

  • 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)

Year 2 (choose 30 credits)

  • CR6805 Complex Loss: Grief, Trauma and Social Context (10 credits)
  • CR6806 Social Approaches to Trauma: Family, society and international (10 credits)
  • CR6807 Public Health Challenges in Post Conflict Societies (10 credits)
  • CR6808 Trauma and Frontline Workers (10 credits) 

Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinator Maria Keane at mariakeane@ucc.ie. 

For Online Application Support please click here. 

If you require further assistance with your online application please contact the Programme Administrator Louise Fleming at l.fleming@ucc.ie 

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This course is delivered online on Monday evenings with occasional lectures on Thursday evenings.

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, 5-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

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 on 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 the 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 has 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 from trauma also experience the impact of the phenomenon. Trauma provokes ill health, disrupts family relationships, impairs functioning, 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, women's 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 they 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 are required to sit either an IELTS test or a recognised equivalent test. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5, or the equivalent TOEFL score with no individual section lower than 6.0. In addition to IELTS and TOEFL a number of English language tests & examinations are applicable to the majority of our programmes. Further information on English language requirements can be found at PG English Language Entry Requirements | UCC | University College Cork | Ireland 
  • 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 are recommended.

Fees and Costs

€2,250 per annum

On application, students pay 50% of the fees. The remainder is due by January 31st.

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

How Do I Apply

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 
Select the following options:
Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

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

  • Application Statement
  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photo
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Fee Declaration Document
  • English Language Requirement
  • Transcripts [if applicable]

Apply Now

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

  • CR6805: Complex Loss: Grief, Trauma and Social Context (10 credits)
    1. Introduction to grief; societal responses and expectations.
    2. Transcending symptomology - social and cultural pathologies.
    3. Public traumatisation - grieving in the public sphere.
    4. Gendered assumptions of grieving.
    5. Grief - the sociology of emotions.
    6. Transgenerational trauma; grief and the family.
    7. Grief and young people in a conflict environment.
    8. Chronic and unresolved grief - addressing historical trauma.
    9. Examining Social Change; Social Pahologies in post-conflict societies.
    10. Grief and trauma in the context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
  • CR6806: Social Approaches to Trauma: Family, Society and International (10 credits)
    1. Introduction and overview of course, and definitions of key concepts of trauma as it applies to the family, communities and broader society.
    2. Theoretical approaches to the understanding of trauma, and complex trauma.
    3. Trauma, social attachment, and socio-ecological systems models.
    4. Introduction to Family Systems approaches to trauma.
    5. Family Transitions and the use of the genogram.
    6. Abuse in the family.
    7. Intergenerational and societal transmission of Trauma. Learning from the Holocaust.
    8. Historical and Institutional Abuse and its implications for the family and society. Irish and international examples.
    9. Trauma in Post Conflict Societies. The effect on the family.
    10. Summary of course and Reflection.
  • CR6807: Public Health Challenges in Post Conflict Societies (10 credits)
    1. Introduction and overview of trauma and its health implications.
    2. Beyond the individual - trauma and society.
    3. Vicarious victimisation - when trauma marks a population.
    4. Public health frameworks.
    5. Trauma and dealing with the past.
    6. Transgenerational trauma.
    7. Policy development post conflict.
    8. Case study.
    9. Case study.
    10. Community interventions for trauma.
    11. International best practice models.
  • CR6808: Trauma and Frontline Workers (10 credits)
    - Introduction and overview of the module, definition of key concepts as applied to key and frontline workers.
    - The Neurobiology of Trauma.
    - Neurobiological approaches to trauma including Hypothalmic-Pituitary Adrenal Axis and HPA axis and Polyvagal theory.
    - PTSD Development, Symptomology and Treatment pertaining to frontline workers.
    - Models of Psychological First Aid and Self Care.
    - Vicarious Trauma and Secondary Stress.
    - Vicarious Transformation and Post traumatic Growth.
    - Moral Injury and Distress, and Growth and Repair.
    - Grief and Loss in the workplace.
    - Building Resilience.
    - Reflective Practice.
    - Trauma Informed Practice.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact