UCC Undergraduate courses

Psychology and Computing

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Psychology and Computing

  • Code

    CK121

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    3 or 4 years

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time

  • Qualifications

    BA (Hons)

  • Fees

    EU State Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in another language and O2/H6 in Maths. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2021: 499

  • CAO Points Range

    2021: 499-600

Course Outline

The BA 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 peoples 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, wellbeing, discourse and decision making
  • Encourages critical reflection on digitally-mediated experience, a common aspect of everyday lived experience in many parts of the world
  • 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 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 and User Experience, Rapid7

Modules

All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 modules

  • AP1046 People and Technology 
  • CS1023 Introduction to Human-Centred Computing
  • AP1107 User Experience (UX) Design 
  • AP1035 Introduction to Neuroscience, Perception and Attention 
  • AP1022 Social Psychology  
  • AP1104 Research Methods in Psychology I 
  • AP1040 Research Design and Statistical Analyses I 
  • CS1111 Systems Organisation 
  • CS1021 Relational Databases
  • CS1022 Introduction to Programming & Problem-Solving (15 credits)

Year 2 modules

  • AP2044 Applied Cognition 
  • AP1036 Learning and Behaviour 
  • AP2114 Research Methods in Psychology 2 
  • AP2116 Social Computing
  • AP2045 Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence 
  • AP2046 Experimental Design and Statistical Applications 2 
  • CS2011 Intermediate Programming and Problem Solving 1 
  • CS2012 Web Development 
  • CS2013 Intermediate Programming and Problem Solving II 
  • CS2014 Design for Human-Centred Computing
  • CS2512 Authoring 

Work placement – Year 3 (optional)

Student can choose to undertake a twelve-month work placement in year 3 or continue directly into final year. 

Final year modules (year 3 or 4)

  • AP1033 Individual Differences 
  • AP2049 The Psychology of Aging 
  • AP3126 Health Psychology: Models and Applications  
  • AP3134 Team Project (20 credits).
  • CS3031 Interaction Design 
  • CS3032 Mobile Multimedia 
  • CS3033 Data Mining
  • CS3062 Computing in Society 
  • CS3500 Software Engineering 

The 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.

See the Book of Modules for further details on modules.

See the Book of Modules for further details on 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.

Assessment

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

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

Students will have the opportunity of undertaking an optional work placement in year three in industry and other organisations. The objective is to provide students with learning opportunities in relevant work settings in which they are expected to develop skills as well as demonstrate integration of theory and practice from the course.

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

 

Graduates of this programme have clear pathways to further study and employment in three distinct areas.

1. Graduates who wish to pursue a career in the psychology professions can do so via further study in professionally accredited Masters 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.

Requirements

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:

English

Irish

Maths

Other Language

O6/H7

O6/H7

O2/H6

O6/H7

FETAC applicants

FETAC requirements can be found here.

 

Mature entry applicants

 

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

 

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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 for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. 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. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU applicants

Application to the first year of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply on-line at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Mature applicants

Application is made through the CAO and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

 

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact

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