UCC Postgraduate courses

Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Psychology - Applied Psychology (Positive and Coaching Psychology)

  • Code


  • 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 2021

    €8020; €3,945 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,945 (Year 2 Part-time)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    A minimum of an awarded Second Class Honours Grade II in an undergraduate honours degree (NFQ, Level 8). See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Closed for applications 4th May 2021

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Closed for Applications 2021

  • Start Date

    13 September 2021

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 to 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.
  • Managers 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.


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
  • Data Analysis for Coaching Psychology

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


  • 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.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

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 through a variety of methods including continuous 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 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 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 Ph.D. programme.


1. Academic Record 
i) A minimum of an awarded Second Class Honours Grade II in an undergraduate honours degree (NFQ, Level 8).
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 emailed 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.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

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

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €8020; €3,945 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,945 (Year 2 Part-time).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €18,080.


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 .

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

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two 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 online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €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.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal 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 items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

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

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

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 provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.  (Please read the Course Handbook).  It is important that your motivation is grounded within positive psychology

  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your dissertation.  It is important that your research idea is within the area of positive psychology and/or coaching psychology.
  • Eligible candidates may be interviewed. Applicants will be shortlisted after each round closing date and interviews will be arranged after each round closing date. 
  • All short-listed applicants must arrange for one Referee's Report form to be sent 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.  MAAPPP Reference Form.   After submitting the online application, the Reference form must be downloaded and emailed to your Referee.   The Referee will then complete and email to the School of Applied Psychology as per the instruction on the Reference form.
  • 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

The closing date for non-EU applications is Closed for Applications 2021

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact