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UCC Undergraduate courses

Psychology & Computing

Course Fact File
Duration3 or 4 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesEU State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.
CAO Points2023: 488
CAO Points Range2023: 488-613

Course Outline

The BA in Psychology and Computing is a degree in which psychological research, theory, and knowledge is applied to a context of increasing importance to the modern world – the design, development, evaluation, and critical engagement with the technology and systems that increasingly surround us. It is a degree that...

  • provides high-level technical skills training that will be of benefit to psychologists of the future, who will find themselves working with data science, AI, physiological sensing, online behaviour, neuroscience and experimental psychophysics;
  • will enable students to develop a skill set that will be attractive to employers in information technology companies, increasingly bringing psychology research, values, and methods to the forefront in professions of user experience design, user interface design, ergonomics, data science and user research;
  • provides an advanced understanding of how the quality of people's interaction with technology affects how we access, understand and make use of modern systems and services, such as healthcare, financial services, civic participation, and education;
  • provides an advanced understanding of online social behaviour – its impact on health, well-being, discourse and decision-making;
  • encourages critical reflection on digitally-mediated experience, a common aspect of everyday lived experience in many parts of the world;
  • and develops understanding and sensibilities to create evidence- and skills-based routes in this world for themselves and others.

The programme draws on core computing and psychology modules and contains a strand of shared modules that explore the intersection between these disciplines and its application to improving lives socially, culturally, and economically. The combination of core Psychology and Computing modules, along with several design-related modules, makes for a unique undergraduate experience. Students are exposed to an interdisciplinary way of thinking and working from day 1 of the degree programme.

The course has recently gained accreditation by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). Accreditation means that graduates from this programme will now be able to join the PSI as a graduate member, as long as they achieve a second class honours or above in their final degree classification. Graduates of CK121 will be eligible for entry to any Psychology MA programmes across Ireland that stipulate “graduate membership of PSI” as a requirement, without the need for taking any graduate conversion programme first. Essentially, the course facilitates a similar education and career path for graduates as a standard Psychology or Applied Psychology degree. Accreditation also ensures improved recognition of the qualification internationally.

What do the Experts say? 

"Logitech is a design driven company, as a result UX and UI design is of critical importance. Courses that cover the theory and practice of topics such as user research, usability, visual and interaction design are an important foundation for people aiming to work in this field." ~ Aidan Kehoe, Principal UX Designer, Logitech Ireland

"Psychology and Computing is the synthesis of design and development combining to bring innovative product concepts to life in an effort to push the boundaries of user interface design, software development and human understanding. Enriching computing and user experience design with a deep understanding of complex human states and interactions is the future of both computing and user experience development and research." ~ Jay Brewer, Vice President - Experience Design & User Experience, Rapid7

Year 1 Modules
  • CS1023 Introduction to Human-Centred Computing (5 credits)
  • AP1107 User Experience (UX) Design (5 credits)
  • AP1035 Introduction to Neuroscience, Perception and Attention (5 credits)
  • AP1022 Social Psychology (5 credits)
  • AP1039 Research Methods in Psychology I (5 credits)
  • AP1040 Research Design and Statistical Analyses I (5 credits)
  • CS1111 Systems Organisation (5 credits)
  • CS1021 Relational Databases (5 credits)
  • CS1022 Introduction to Programming & Problem-Solving (15 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course and the modules for Years 2, 3, and 4. In Year 3 you can choose to undertake a twelve-month work placement or continue directly into the final year.

Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This is a full-time course demanding a full-time commitment. The annual 60-credits workload equates to 12 hours of lectures per week with additional laboratory work and tutorials.

Year 1

You will benefit from a high level of contact with lecturers, tutors and demonstrators. Classes are timetabled over the week, and many of the practical sessions have a compulsory attendance requirement.

Year 2

There is a shift towards more self-directed learning, although this is augmented by 12-14 hours of scheduled lectures and practical sessions.

Final year (year 3 or 4)

You will attend 8-10 hours of lectures on average and focus your time more heavily on your team research project. As with all undergraduate degrees, there is an expectation that you will devote time before and after lectures and practicals to reading, research and developing your knowledge across all courses in the degree.

You will have the opportunity of undertaking an optional work placement in year three in industry and other organisations. The objective is to provide you with learning opportunities in relevant work settings in which you are expected to develop skills as well as demonstrate integration of theory and practice from the course. Students choosing this option would then complete their degree in the fourth year.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment such as examination-based assessment, essays and practical laboratory reports that describe the research that you complete.

Other modules incorporate reflective journals, case studies and class presentations into the assessment strategy.

The degree also uses some online learning technologies and some modules have assessments that involve participation in online discussion forums and other online assessments.

Why Choose This Course

If you're a creative with an interest in people and technology this course is perfect...

Lucy Edmunds, Graduate & UX Designer

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As a graduate of psychology and computing at UCC, I was set up quite nicely for the role I am in now...

Ed Barrett, Graduate & Product Manager, Media HQ

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I had an amazing time on work experience and would encourage everyone that has the chance to do it!

Jillian Brunner, Graduate

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I found placement was a super valuable experience that allowed me to find out a lot about myself, especially regarding the direction in which I want to go...

Christopher Wijnstekers, Graduate

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Technology is becoming increasingly involved in every aspect of our lives, from driving to sleeping, from education to our relationships. In order to ensure that these developments have positive impacts on our lives, we need people with expertise in both human behaviour and technology design. People with skills in Psychology and Computing have a unique insight into the needs and abilities of technology users, and the skills to design, develop and evaluate technology in areas such as education, e-health, mental health, interaction with A.I., and supports for people with disabilities. People with qualified in both Psychology and Computing are well placed to answer questions such as:

  • How can we give precise directions to Automated Cars?
  • How do we design video games that teach useful skills?
  • How do we ensure that healthcare systems support and respect the individual needs of patients?
  • How do we measure whether our social media usage supports or hinders our social relationships?
  • How do we know if a mental health app is useful?
  • How do we ensure that AI systems reflect the values of their users?

Most advances in the design of technology interfaces in the past 50 years – from car dashboards, to airplane cockpits, from computer operating systems, to games controllers, are brought about through the collaboration of psychologists, designers and computer scientists. All of the worlds’ biggest technology companies have large departments staffed with people who are expert in research methods, in perception and cognition, and who carry out studies in order to understand whether their designs are usable and useful. Every day, as you use your smartphones and your social media accounts, you are benefitting from the work of people researching the meeting points of psychology and computing.

  • First degree programme of its kind in Ireland and amongst the first internationally
  • Fully accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland for graduate membership of the PSI (necessary for entry in the Psychology MA programmes and professions)
  • Skills and experience attained will result in high graduate demand
  • Opportunity to undertake work placement in 3rd year
  • Option for graduates to specialise in Psychology or Computer Science via a conversion course
  • Final year project will involve technology prototype design and evaluation, will be people focused, and will be led by staff from both Applied Psychology and Computer Science.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

On our Psychology and Computing programme you will have the opportunity of undertaking an optional work placement in Year 3 in industry and other organisations. The objective is to provide you with learning opportunities in relevant work settings in which you are expected to develop skills as well as demonstrate the integration of theory and practice from the course.

I found placement was a super valuable experience that allowed me to find out a lot about myself, especially regarding the direction in which I want to go with my career in the future. It also gave me important experience in how the corporate and business world functions in a learning environment. ~ Christopher Wijnstekers, Graduate

Skills and Careers Information

Graduates of this programme will offer employers a unique combination of technical software related skills, research skills, and psychological training. As a graduate of this degree, you will demonstrate:

  • Excellent research methods and statistics training
  • Ability to plan and run valid user studies
  • Knowledge of core topics in psychology; developmental, social, behavioural, cognitive, and biological
  • Expertise in ergonomics and human factors
  • Software development and Programming skills
  • Software engineering practices
  • Ability to design, develop and evaluate prototypes
  • Good understanding of data structures and algorithms
  • Ability to design, implement, and administer databases
  • Understanding of how software can best support and transform essential infrastructure such as health, education and finance.

Our Psychology and Computing graduates have clear pathways to further study and employment in three distinct areas:

  1. Graduates who wish to pursue a career in the psychology profession can do so via further study in professionally accredited Master's programmes. Since the BA Psychology and Computing is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland as a psychology degree, graduates achieving a 2.1 or higher will be eligible to enter MA programmes on clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, work and organisational psychology, applied psychology, or any of the other psychology-related professions.
  2. Graduates who wish to pursue a career in Software Development, IT, Software Engineering, Web Development, or any of the computing professions will be well placed to do so, through further study or direct routes to employment.
  3. Graduates will be particularly well placed to pursue a career in Human-centered software design and evaluation; in areas that are in great demand such as User Experience design (UX), User Interface (UI) design and testing, Usability testing, Human-computer interaction, Game design, Social media, service design, and research aimed at developing the next generation of systems and services.


Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

At least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish.

Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishMathsOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O2/H6 O6/H7
EU/EFTA/UK Qualifications

EU/EFTA/UK applicants presenting an equivalent school-leaving qualification should review the EU/EFTA/UK Applicants page for information on equivalent grades and how to prove their level of English.

Mature Students

To compete through the mature entry route, applicants must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the application year and apply online via the CAO by 1 February. The application should include a statement of interest, and prospective students must also apply for and sit the Mature Student Evaluation (MSE) test. Applicants may also be called for interview.

Candidates are expected to show concrete evidence of commitment to psychology as a discipline and ability to cope with the scientific content of the programme. Leaving Certificate Maths (or equivalent) and/or a background in Information Technology is recommended. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to undertake an access course with a significant psychology component. The School of Applied Psychology does not endorse any particular course.

Further information on applying as a mature student is available on the Mature Applicants and Mature Student Entry support pages. 


Applicants who meet the required level of distinctions in required subjects can apply for entry to this course using specific QQI FET qualifications. Please review the Programme Requirements on our Information for QQI FET Applicants page for information on related QQI courses, and visit Access UCC’s QQI/FET Entry section for further support. 

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact