UCC Postgraduate courses

Psychology - Applied Psychology

International Students Application Info Sign up for Updates
Course Fact File
Duration1 Year Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date1 March 2024
Non-EU Closing Date1 March 2024
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

Our MA in Applied Psychology gives you an advanced understanding of the discipline of psychology in applied settings. The course is designed to help you appreciate the potential and values of applied psychology, think critically about psychological theory and practice, and give you the opportunity to explore your own particular interests.

Applied psychologists use research and theory to analyse real-world situations, develop appropriate interventions, and evaluate outcomes. The course has strong links with community-based partners working with children, families, and communities. The course will enable you to pursue postgraduate professional training opportunities and to pursue a variety of career paths where psychological expertise is needed.

Modules (90 credits)

Part I

Core Modules (30 credits)

  • AP6016 Research Methods and Data Analysis (10 credits)
  • AP6023 Psychological Assessment (5 credits)
  • AP6177 Critical Community Psychology (5 credits)
  • AP6173 Service Design and Evaluation (10 credits)

Elective Modules* (choose 30 credits)

  • AN4009 Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (5 credits)
  • AP3119 Psychological Therapies (5 credits)
  • AP6128 Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Skills (5 credits)
  • AP6129 Health Psychology (5 credits) 
  • AP6153 Applying Psychology in Community-Based Settings Placement (15 credits)
  • AP6174 Clinical Presentations (Child, Adolescent, Adult, and ID) (10 credits)
  • AP6178 Psychological Principles and Skills in Working with Children and Families (5 credits)

*Elective modules may be subject to minor changes. The Applying Psychology in Community-Based Settings Placement module (AP6153) is offered each year.

Part II

  • AP6137 Dissertation in Applied Psychology (30 credits)

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (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 do not wish to proceed to Part II may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This is a one-year full-time course.  Lectures take place on Monday-Fridays. 

A placement, which is a non-compulsory module (AP6153), is considered a unique learning experience that will give you workplace experience over a six-month period. Please note that placements are not guaranteed for every student. There may be travel costs associated with the placement module (AP6153).


A variety of assessment methods are incorporated into the MA. These include essays, research funding applications, portfolios, reports, class tests, research proposals, journal of learning, class presentations, research thesis, and taped practice work with transcript and analysis.

Who teaches this course

The MA in Applied Psychology is delivered by staff from the School of Applied Psychology. Contributions are also made from other professional/voluntary bodies where appropriate.

Why Choose This Course

Being taught how to directly apply psychological concepts to different environments is a vital skill focused on in this course...

Skylee Blair Glass, Choctaw Ireland Scholarship Recipient

Find Out More

The MA in Applied Psychology will appeal to psychology graduates who want to pursue a professional career or take further professional postgraduate training in psychology.

The particular strength of this course lies in its applied ethos. Our MA graduates have found their placement and research experiences to be particularly beneficial in supporting their successful application to specific professional education courses in psychology.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Our MA students have the opportunity to gain relevant work experience through the six-month non-compulsory placement module (AP6153).

A core feature of the MA in Applied Psychology is critical community psychology. This lens is applied across a number of modules including placement. Therefore placements generally occur in community-based settings, the focus is not clinical. 

Students have the opportunity to secure their own placements but this must be discussed with the programme directors to ensure that learning outcomes can be achieved. Existing placement providers interview interested students but note that placement is not guaranteed.

Skills and Careers Information

On completion of this MA you will have acquired many skills including:

  • The ability to critically appraise psychological research and practice in a range of settings;
  • Advanced knowledge of the professional and ethical issues that may arise in the application of psychology;
  • Competence in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with colleagues;
  • Skills in planning and implementing an effective research course.

Further competencies developed through this course include interview, assessment, communication, and presentation skills.


Applicants must:

1. Hold a Second Class Honours Grade 1 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Psychology.

2. Satisfy the eligibility requirements for graduate membership of either the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). This must be demonstrated by the applicant by providing evidence that your undergraduate degree/qualification(s) is accredited by the PSI or by the BPS. Applicants whose undergraduate degree/qualification(s) is not listed as an accredited qualification by either the PSI or the BPS are required to provide evidence from the PSI or the BPS that they (the PSI or the BPS) consider your undergraduate degree/qualification(s) to be equivalent to the PSI/BPS degree, in terms of granting you eligibility for graduate membership of the society. This evidence must be sought by the applicant by applying directly to either the PSI or BPS for graduate membership as appropriate.

3. Provide an academic reference. Once you have submitted your online application you will be requested to provide the name and email address of 1 academic referee. A communication will issue immediately from UCC to your referee requesting the that they submit a reference directly to UCC.

4. Supply statements detailing:

A research proposal must include details that would ordinarily be contained within an abstract. Your research proposal is very important for your application as it demonstrates your potential to undertake and successfully complete a research dissertation. The research proposal requires significant detail and must include: a research topic and demonstrate your ability to identify a research problem and design a study to address it; an average word count of ~500 is expected.

Motivation and readiness, which should include information on:

  • Your understanding of what applied psychology entails
  • Reasons for applying to the course and how your reasons fit with your experience and career objectives.

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements as stated above but who present with a Second Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Psychology and have significant and directly relevant work experience or has performed impressively in a relevant Master's degree acceptable to the School selection committee. In such cases, the applicant must clearly set out the grounds upon which they wish to be considered in the motivation and readiness statement.

Applicants may be interviewed and will be selected based on the following:

  • academic performance,
  • evidence of research capacity,
  • academic reference,
  • commitment to the area of applied psychology

 Please note that:

If you are in the process of completing your undergraduate degree in Psychology or a conversion/Masters degree you must be in receipt of your final results (whether undergraduate or postgraduate) before 31st July.

International Applicants

To be considered for an offer, you must provide all the required documents at the time of application. Follow these steps before applying:

  1. Check the entry requirements: You must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
  2. Prepare supporting documents as outlined in the Requirements Section of this course page. Pay close attention to the guidance on the information that should be included in the motivation statement.
  3. Accreditation: You must satisfy the eligibility requirements for graduate membership of either the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). Accreditation applications are reviewed every 6-8 weeks.
  4. Only then start the application by clicking on the Apply Now button.

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 who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Vsit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To 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.

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.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.  

The closing date for non-EU applications is 1 March 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact