Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology) MA

Fact File

Course Code: CKD02 Full-time; CKD08 Part-time

Course Title: Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

Duration: 1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time, Part-Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Qualifications: MA

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Full-time: €7,950.00 Part-time Year 1: €3,975.00; 2017/2018 Non-EU fee Full-time: €16,000. Please note that the cost of coaching/ supervision is an additional cost that must be borne by the students.

Entry Requirements: An undergraduate honours degree (Level 8), in which at least a second class honours (or equivalent) was awarded. (see detailed entry requirements below)

Closing Date: See details in Application Procedure below

Next Intake: 10 September 2018


Coaching Psychologists are specialists in behaviour change who utilise systematic methodologies drawn from the psychological evidence base to bring about positive change. People who want professional support, in order to maximise their performance and potential, work with coaching professions.
This course brings together the fields of Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. Setting goals is an important life skill and one of the key components of success in any chosen area. Most individuals are able to select goals appropriate to their needs with relative ease. What is much more difficult is adhering to the steps necessary for goal achievement, often due our fluctuating levels of will power, and difficulties in applying constant will-power. Evidence based coaching psychology is the science of forming appropriate goals in line with our values, increasing motivation towards goal attainment, and then bringing to bear methodologies to achieve these goals.
Positive Psychology is the science of well-being, strengths and the achievement of our potential, and all that is good in us. As a person’s level of well-being increases, their goal attainment also increases. Consequently, the synergies between Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology make for a very powerful approach in helping people realise their potential, and approach becoming their best possible selves.

The approach of this masters can be utilised across a wide range of areas:

• Those working in human services who have the desire to incorporate a coaching approach to behaviour change in their professional work. This could include teachers, social workers, social care workers, youth and community workers, probation officers, nurses, medical specialists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc.
• Graduates who have the ambition to work as freelance coaches, or internal coaches in business organisations
• Human resource professionals
• Mangers and leaders who wish to develop the ability to maximise the potential of their teams
• Those who want to maximise performance by adding a psychological approach to skill attainment. This could include sports and exercise professionals, those who work with singers, actors, and other talented individuals.
• Graduates of psychology who wish to acquire a set of professional skills as part of their route towards professional training in another area of psychology, or to undertake doctoral studies.


Course Details

In Part I students take 60 credits consisting of core and elective modules. In Part II students complete a Research Dissertation (30 Credits). Although students must complete Part I before progressing to Part II, work on the research dissertation commences at the start of your course under the supervision of a member of staff.

Part I: Core modules include: Positive Psychology and Coaching, Wellness Coaching, Ethics and Supervision, Positive Organisational Psychology, Private Practice, Coaching Skills, Evidence Based Coaching, Positive Psychology in Group Settings, Research Methods and Data Analysis for Coaching Psychology.

Students who successfully complete 60 credits in Part I, whom do not wish to progress to Part II may exit with a PG Diploma in Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

Part II: Research Dissertation (30 Credits).

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
Students who do not proceed to the full award may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma subject to their passing 60 Credits at the end of Year 1 (full-time) or Year 2 for the part-time option

Please click HERE for further details of the programme content

Detailed Entry Requirements

1. Academic Record 
a) An undergraduate honours degree (Level 8), in which at least a second class honours (or equivalent) was awarded.
2. Personal Statement:
Each candidate will supply a personal statement conveying:
i) An interest in the appropriate application of psychological theory and methods to coaching practice.
ii) Reasons for applying to the course, including a written statement about career objectives.
iii) All applicants must arrange for one Referee's Report form to be posted directly to the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. The reference must be a professional reference from someone who has experience of the applicant in a professional capacity, whether in paid or voluntary work.
Eligible candidates will be interviewed.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Applications must be made online at (Course code CKD02 Full-time and CKD08 Part-time). Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the online application procedure click How to Apply.

In addition it involves:

  • COMPLETING/ANSWERING specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these online supplementary/additional questions are available to view here: CKD02AdditionalQuestions (227kB) (227kB)
  • All applicants must arrange for one Referee's Report form to be posted directly to the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. The Reference must be a professional coach who has experience of the applicant in a professional capacity: CKD02RefereeReport (83kB) (83kB)
  • Eligible candidates may be interviewed.

    The Rounds closing dates for 2017 intake will be as follows:

    For all completed applications received by January 15th 2017:     Short-listing for interviews will be confirmed by January 29th 2016
    For all completed applications received by March 1st 2016:           Short-listing for interview will be confirmed by March 15th 2017
    For all completed applications received by May 3rd 2016:              Short-listing for interview will be confirmed by May 17th 2017
    For all completed applications received by July 1st 2016:              Short-listing for interview will be confirmed by July 15th 2017

  • (Applicants will be short-listed for interview after each round closing date and interviews will be arranged after each round closing date.  In the case of the fourth round July 1st closing date, interviews would be held in mid August)

  • Late applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis up to 8th September 2017
  • Prospective Applicants are advised to discuss the practicalities of the programme with Dr. David O'Sullivan, School of Applied Psychology ( Tel. + 353 21 490 4601).   Prospective applicants can book an appointed time to discuss the practicalities can be made at

    Please note that if your application is successful, deferrals are not permitted on this programme

Course Practicalities

This is a course running over one year full-time or two years part-time, and requires a commitment of 40-50 hours of total student effort throughout all the weeks of the semester. 


Modules are assessed though a variety of methods including continous assessment, coaching practice, essays, portfolios, and some end of year examinations (for some elective modules). Students are also required to complete a Research Dissertation which comprises a report to professional standards of 15,000 words (not including technical appendices, if any). A fully documented presentation to an audience of peers and experts lasting approximately 30 minutes will also take place. For a full description of the assessment for each module please refer to the Book of Modules.

Who Teaches This Course

This course will be taught by staff from the School of Applied Psychology in the main.

Profiles of the lecturers can be found on the School of Applied Psychology, UCC's Research Profile webpages

Further Contact Information

School of Applied Psychology Administration
Telephone: 021 490 4552
Email Address:

Address: School of Applied Psychology, Enterprise Centre, North Mall.

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