UCC Postgraduate courses

Psychology - Applied Psychology (Mental Health)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Psychology - Applied Psychology (Mental Health)

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 Year Full-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees


  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    10 March 2023

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    10 March 2023

  • Start Date

    11 September 2023

Course Outline

The MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) gives you an advanced understanding of the discipline of psychology in mental health settings. The course is designed to help you to appreciate both the potential and values of applied psychology, to think critically about psychological theory and practice, and to give you the opportunity to explore your own particular interests. It offers you an opportunity to develop a clear understanding of the practice of a professional psychologist, to advance understanding of mental health services, and to connect theory to practice under the supervision of either a clinical or counselling psychologist.

Applied psychologists use research and theory to analyse real-world situations, develop appropriate interventions, and evaluate outcomes. The course will enable you to pursue postgraduate professional training opportunities and to pursue a variety of career paths where psychological expertise in mental health is needed.

The MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) is a one-year full-time programme and is structured in two parts.

Modules (90 credits)

Part I (60 credits)

  • AP3119 Psychological Therapies (5 credits)
  • AP6016 Research Methods and Data Analysis (10 credits)
  • AP6023 Psychological Assessment (5 credits)
  • AP6128 Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Skills (5 credits)
  • AP6174 Clinical presentations (Child, Adolescent, Adult, and ID (10 credits)
  • AP6180 Mental Health and Disability Placement* (20 credits)
  • LW6616 Critical Perspectives on Mental Health Law (5 credits)

Part II

  • AP6137 Dissertation in Applied Psychology (30 credits)

*Placements: While sufficient placements will be secured for all students on the programme, if a student chooses not to accept the placement offered by the School of Applied Psychology, it will then become their responsibility to secure an alternative placement for themselves that meets with the School of Applied Psychology placement criteria for MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health). Placements may be located throughout the Republic of Ireland. 

All placements will be supervised in a work setting relevant to the programme of study. Placements will run two days a week (usually Thursdays and Fridays) for at least six months (340 hours minimum).

See the College Calendar (MA Applied Psychology - Mental Health) for more course information.

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)

Students who have completed and passed modules to the value of at least 60 credits in Part I and who fail or do not wish to proceed to Part II may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (Mental Health).

Transfer to MA (Applied Psychology)

Students who pass the taught modules Part I but fail the Placement (and repeat placement if taken) or are deemed unsuitable to undertake a placement may be permitted to transfer to the MA (Applied Psychology) to complete the remaining 20 credits of taught modules and 30 credit dissertation on the MA (Applied Psychology) or complete 20 credits of taught modules and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology.


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 one-year full-time course. Lectures take place on Mondays to Wednesdays with placements being held usually on Thursdays and Fridays. However, students may agree other times with their placement providers to avail of good learning opportunities. Placement is central to the programme, providing a unique learning experience that will give you supervised workplace experience over a six-month period (approx. 340 hours in total).

While all students will be offered a placement, specific placements will be secured through a competitive placement interview process in semester 1. Placements can be located throughout Ireland. If a student chooses not to accept the placement offered by the School of Applied Psychology, it will then become their responsibility to secure an alternative placement for themselves that meets the School of Applied Psychology placement criteria for the MA.

Students failing the Placement may, with the approval of the programme team, be permitted to either extend or repeat the Placement. Students may repeat the placement only once in a repeat year. Students failing or not completing the placement because of a serious ethical breach will not be permitted to repeat the placement.


A variety of assessment methods are incorporated into the MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health). These include essays, portfolios, reports, class tests, research proposals, journal of learning, class presentations, research thesis, taped practice work with transcript and analysis

Who teaches this course

The programme is delivered by staff from the School of Applied Psychology in the main. Contributions are also made by other professional/voluntary bodies where appropriate (e.g. clinical psychologists in HSE).

Why Choose This Course

Our MA programme offers successful applicants a strong grounding in the theory and practice of applied psychology in the field of mental health. A key feature of this programme is a six-month placement of two days a week on Thursdays and Fridays for six months (approx. 340 hours) in a mental health setting supervised by a clinical or counselling psychologist.

Through the combination of research, theory, and practice, this programme offers a solid foundation for professional education programmes based on psychotherapeutic practices.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Our MA students will have the opportunity to gain work experience in a mental health service under the supervision of a clinical or counselling psychologist. Upon successful completion of this placement (AP6153), which lasts for six months (two days a week usually Thursdays and Fridays for 6 months approx. 340 hours), students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their ability to take part in the mental health work of the placement provider;
  • Demonstrate evidence of learning activities and experiences by keeping a journal of learning and completing a reflective portfolio;
  • Apply theory from programme coursework to complete work placement tasks/activities;
  • Utilise the principles of applied psychological practice in  mental health placement settings;
  • Reflect on learning and demonstrate personal development throughout the process;
  • And demonstrate an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues.

Skills and Careers Information

This programme will support students in securing places on professional education programmes (level 10) in psychology.

Securing a place in a professional education programme in clinical and counselling psychology is particularly competitive. Completing this MA, which includes modules and placements (endorsed by clinical and counselling psychologists practicing in the HSE and related agencies) similar to professional education courses in clinical and counselling psychology, will further enhance the attractiveness of graduates from this programme for level 10 programmes.


An applicant for this MA programme must:

  1. Hold a primary honours undergraduate degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Psychology.
  2. A Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) is required.
  3. Satisfy the eligibility requirements for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). This can be demonstrated by:
    • Evidence that your undergraduate degree is accredited by the PSI or BPS or
    • Evidence from the BPS that they consider your undergraduate degree to be equivalent to a PSI/BPS accredited degree, in terms of granting you eligibility for graduate membership of the society.

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be given to Second Class Honours Grade II applicants where, for example, an applicant has significant and directly relevant work experience or has performed impressively in another Master's degree acceptable to the School selection committee. In such cases, the applicant should set out the grounds upon which they wish to be considered in the supplementary statement.

  1. All applicants must add the name and email address of one referee. A written reference will be requested from your designated Referee by the School of Applied Psychology.
  2. Supply personal statements conveying:
    - A proposed topic for a research dissertation describing a research proposal to include pertinent details as would be contained in an abstract.
    - Reasons for applying to the programme.
    - How your experience to date has prepared you for a mental health-related placement.
    - How you will prepare for placement.
    - How this MA programme fits with your career plan.
  3. Satisfy the interview board.

Applicants will be shortlisted for interview for this programme based on their academic performance, referee report, evidence of research capacity, commitment to the area of applied psychology and awareness of professional issues in placement settings. Applicants cannot be short-listed for an interview if a completed referee report form has not been submitted to the School or if all the supporting documentation for application to MAAP-MH has not been submitted by the time of shortlisting.

Garda Vetting
Please note that as part of this programme students will require Garda Vetting as they will take part in a placement or UCC related activity where they will be working in an unsupervised capacity with children and/or vulnerable adults. For more information on this process please read the UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €7,130.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €18,800.


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 is at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment 

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


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

How Do I Apply

1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

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:

  • 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.

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

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme. Please include your reasons for applying to the programme, how the programme fits into your career plan and how your experience to date has prepared you for a mental health-related placement. 

  • Briefly describe a research proposal to include pertinent details as would be contained in an abstract.

  • Please add the name and email address of one referee. A Written Reference will be requested from your designated Referee by the School of Applied Psychology.

  • For applicants whose undergraduate degree/qualification(s) are not evidence as accredited qualifications by the Psychology Society of Ireland or the British Psychological Society, evidence is required from the PSI or BPS that they consider your undergraduate degree to be equivalent to the PSI/BPS degree, in terms of granting you eligibility for graduate membership of the society.  This can be evidenced by applying either to PSI (see PSI non-Irish courses), or BPS (see BPS Non-UK courses) and providing official documentary evidence that the society deems them eligible for graduate membership).

  • All supporting documentation (non-UCC results, evidence of PSI/BPS degree accreditation) must be submitted prior to 6th April 2023.

If you are in the process of completing your undergraduate programme in psychology or a conversion course, please note that all formal documentation evidencing your final degree result would need to be submitted prior to the commencement of the programme. Please be aware that such documentation for many MA programmes will not be available until mid-late September which is after the commencement of this programme therefore you may not be eligible to take up a place on this programme until the year post-completion of your MA conversion course. 


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 10 March 2023

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact