Educational Psychology

MA Educational Psychology
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)
Professional training in Educational Psychology is generally available at two levels, Master's level and Professional Doctorate level, and both options are available at UCD School of Education. The MA in Educational Psychology is the standard professional qualification in many jurisdictions. However, within the Irish context, the professional placement experience available within the MA in Educational Psychology programme is unlikely to enable graduates to avail of the full range of available career options post-qualification, such as in Irish healthcare settings. The MA in Educational Psychology programme is, therefore, more likely to be applicable to international applicants rather than Irish applicants. For information on the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology, see here.

The MA in Educational Psychology involves taught components, extensive professional placement experience and the conducting of a research project. The programme encourages students to become autonomous learners and critical thinkers who will progress, change and develop the profession nationally and internationally.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Graduates who, prior to application, hold a first or second class honours degree in Psychology or a qualification in Psychology that is deemed to be equivalent, and who meet the requirements for Graduate Basis for Registration with the Psychological Society of Ireland or equivalent.

Course Description
Learning Outcomes
Students on the MA in Educational Psychology Course will:

Critically examine the discipline of Educational Psychology and the varying roles and responsibilities of educational psychologists.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main theories of Child Development, including: neuropsychological, cognitive, motor, perceptual, social and emotional, linguistic and numerical development in the context of explaining human functioning and dysfunctioning in a variety of contexts.

Examine a range of disabilities/special educational needs in relation to aetiology, assessment and diagnosis, as well as the main educational and therapeutic interventions used to support persons with disabilities/special educational needs.

Become familiar with models of curriculum development, with particular emphasis on curriculum modification for students with special educational needs.

Examine the discourse, assumptions, policy and legislation underpinning educational provision for students with disabilities/special educational needs, with particular emphasis on inclusive education.

Critically examine perceived models of best practice in relation to the organisation of provision for students with disabilities and special educational needs with a particular emphasis on an inclusive whole-school approach to such organisation.

Explore a range of issues in the Sociology of Education, such as intelligence, disability, ethnicity, gender and social disadvantage.

Gain an understanding of schools as systems, of school cultures and of systems theory in the context of organisational psychology.

Become familiar with the main approaches to counselling and develop basic counselling and communication skills.

Acquire the skills to formulate and evaluate holistic individualised education programmes, relating to care, education and behaviour.

Become thoroughly proficient in the administration of key tests of cognitive ability, school attainment and social, emotional and behavioural functioning and become aware of the issues involved in administering such tests to persons of various ages, presenting with a variety of disabilities/special educational needs and from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

Become fully aware of the main issues involved in the conducting of psychological assessments and the production of reports of such assessments, including; informed consent, information gathering and the communication of results.

Become competent in interpreting psychological profiles, in writing clear, coherent and relevant reports and in formulating appropriate recommendations.

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the ethical and professional issues involved in the practice of Educational Psychology.

Demonstrate a competent ability to critically evaluate and compare theories, conceptual models and research, with particular relevance to the application of such theories, models and research to the professional practice of Educational Psychology.

Be able to design and conduct a piece of original that can inform the practice of Educational Psychology and be able to report the findings of their research in an accessible format that is of a standard suitable for publication in national and international refereed journals.

Complete a research project that makes an original contribution to knowledge and that is relevant to the practice of Educational Psychology.

Entry requirements

The MA in Educational Psychology Course is open to graduates who, prior to application, hold a first or second class honours degree in Psychology or a qualification in Psychology that is deemed to be equivalent, and who meet the requirements for Graduate Basis for Registration with the Psychological Society of Ireland or equivalent. An applicant cannot be considered for entry to the course unless the results of his or her Psychology degree/diploma are confirmed and available. Applicants must also have at least two years professional experience, excluding placement experience gained as part of acquiring professional qualifications. Periods of continuous professional experience of less than three months full-time employment will not be considered as counting towards this two years minimum requirement.

Short-listing of applicants for interview normally occurs. In judging applicants' suitability, account will be taken of academic qualifications, professional experience, research ability and interpersonal skills, as well as communication and presentation skills. Consideration of overall personal suitability for the role of educational psychologist and the quality of references are also integral elements of the selection process.

Successful applicants will have to go through a Garda clearance procedure prior to final acceptance on to the course. Professional conduct on the course is governed at all times by the Code of Ethics of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).

Assessment Info

There is a variety of assessment procedures employed on the course including; essay-based assignments, research assignments, completion of professional placement portfolios, individual and group presentations, observed administration of test instruments, supervised professional practice in psychological services and the completion of a research project, consisting of a literature review of 10,000 words and a research paper of 6,000 words.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Option
Inclusion and Equality in Education

Professional Practice I

Foundation Disciplines in Educational Psychology

Professional Practice II

Professional Practice III

Professional Practice IV

Child Development

Research Project MA in Ed Psychology

Research Methods 2

Child Assessment & Interventions




2 years full-time.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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