Psychology - Applied Psychology

University College Cork

Psychology - Applied Psychology

Course Outline
The 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.

Why Choose This Course
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. Graduates from the MA 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
Students on the MA in Applied Psychology have the opportunity to gain relevant work experience through the six-month placement module (AP6153).

A core feature of the MA 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, placement is not guaranteed

Subjects taught


Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I
Core Modules - Students take 30 credits as follows:
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 - Students take 30 credits from the following:
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)

(Electives may be subject to minor changes. AP6153 Placement 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.

Further details on the content and modules are available in the: Postgraduate College Calendar.

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.

Entry requirements

A candidate for this MA programme must:

1. Hold an a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Psychology.

2. Satisfy the eligibility requirements for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland or the British Psychological Society of Ireland or the British Psychological Society. This can be demonstrated by:

- Evidence that your undergraduate degree is accredited by the PSI or BPS (see 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.

3. The name and contact details of a Referee will be required and may be contacted. Written references will be required for placement interviews.

4. Supply a personal statement conveying:
- An understanding of what applied psychology entails;

- Reasons for applying to the programme and how this programme fits with the applicant's experience and career objectives;

- A proposed topic for research dissertation that demonstrates your ability to identify a research problem and design a study to address it.

5. A second-class honours grade one degree is required. Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be given to second-class honours grade two candidates, 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

Eligible candidates may be interviewed. Selection from amongst eligible candidates will be made according to the following criteria:

1. Academic performance
2. Research Capacity
3. Commitment to the area of applied psychology

Note: A minimum intake of 10 students will be required to run this programme.

Garda Vetting
Students, or applicants in receipt of an offer, on this programme will be subject to Garda Vetting as relevant. Students will be prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been cleared.

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

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements.

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.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Additional Requirements
ALL APPLICANTS: The MA in Applied Psychology online application must be completed by the application closing date: 8 April, 2022

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. Applicants should demonstrate in their motivation statement, an understanding of what applied psychology entails and their reasons for applying to the programme and how this fits with the applicants experience and objectives.

Briefly describe a research proposal which may form the basis of your dissertation. The research proposal should include a proposed topic for research dissertation and demonstrate your ability to identify a research problem and design a study to address it. Please ensure that you complete the form in its entirety, each section is considered important in the decision making process. Your research statement should be strong as it demonstrates your ability to complete a large research dissertation in a busy course of study- consider including situating your research question in a relevant literature, statement of a research question, proposed method and analytic approach and potential implications (i.e. a very short research proposal using the wordcount available to you - 500 words max).

All applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree/qualification which is evidenced as an accredited qualification by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) or the British Psychological Society (BPS).List of accredited qualification lists can be found by using the following links:
Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) website
British Psychological Society (BPS) website

If your undergraduate degree/qualification(s) ARE accredited by the PSI or BPS please locate them on the relevant PSI or BPS website, linked above, and upload a screenshot here of your degree as listed on that webpage, as evidence of accreditation. If your undergraduate degree/qualification(s) are NOT evidenced as accredited qualifications by the BPI or PSI, as mentioned above, evidence is required from the PSI or BPS that they consider your undergraduate degree to be equivalent to a 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 - application fee €260); or BPS ( see BPS- Non-UK courses - application fee €21) and uploading official documentary evidence here that the society deems you eligible for graduate membership.

The name and contact details (address and email) of two Referees (one academic and one professional/experience) will be required and may be contacted during selection (Written references will be required for placement interviews later).

Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 8 April 2022.

Application dates

Closing Date: 8 April 2022.

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.

Note: 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.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Assessment Info

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


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 7 September 2020

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
On completion of this course you have:
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

An adequate level of 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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider