UCC Postgraduate courses

Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

  • Code

    CKD02 Full-time; CKD08 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

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

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2018


  • Entry Requirements

    An undergraduate honours degree (Level 8), in which at least a 2H2 (or equivalent) was awarded. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under How to Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    15th June

  • Start Date

    9 September 2019

Course Outline

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.

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

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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

Non-EU Applications

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

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please 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. 

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

Why Choose This Course

This is the first course of its kind to be offered at MA level in the Republic of Ireland. The programme equips students with the advanced training in coaching skills that will prepare them for a career as a professional coach. This includes the principles of Evidence Based Coaching: specifically Positive Psychology and Coaching, Skills, Business, Ethics and Supervision in Coaching, Coaching Skills in Group/Team and Organisational Settings. Training is also provided in research skills, including reviewing literature, developing hypotheses, writing research proposals, designing and carrying out empirical studies, conducting advanced statistical analyses, and presenting results. Skills in research methodology are a prerequisite for all psychology professions, and they constitute a key set of skills that set psychologists apart in the wider workplace.  

Skills and Careers Information

Masters training is an integral part of any human services profession. We envisage our graduates will have three career routes opened to them by completing this course.

  1. Directly into the private sector, either as a consultant practitioner or through the development of a private practice.
  2. Further training in a psychology profession such as Clinical, Educational or Health.
  3. A Research/Academic career in Psychology or related area perhaps by moving into a PhD programme.


1. Academic Record 
a) An undergraduate honours degree (Level 8), in which at least a 2H2 (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.

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. 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 requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

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

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €7,950.

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for part time course is half the full time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,000.

Please note that the cost of coaching/ supervision is an additional cost that must be borne by the students.

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

    • Please note you will be required to answer 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
    • 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
    • Eligible candidates may be interviewed.   Applicants will be shortlisted after each round closing date and interviews will be arranged after each round closing date. 
    • 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 https://davidosullivan.youcanbook.me



    Deferrals are not permitted on this programme

    Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

    Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here

    The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

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    For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact