Psychology - Applied Psychology

University College Cork

Psychology - Applied Psychology

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.

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).

Subjects taught

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.

See the College Calendar (MA Applied Psychology) for more information.


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

Applicants for this MA programme must:

Hold a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in Psychology
A Second Class Honours Grade I degree is required.

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.

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

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 a research dissertation that demonstrates your ability to identify a research problem and design a study to address it.

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

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

Academic performance
Research capacity
Commitment to the area of applied psychology

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

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.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

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.

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

Additional Requirements

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 applicant's experience and objectives.

Briefly describe a research proposal that may form the basis of your dissertation. The research proposal should include a proposed topic for the 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 the 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).

A list of accredited qualification lists can be found on the PSI and BPS websites:

Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
British Psychological Society (BPS)
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 via your application 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) or BPS (see BPS- Non-UK courses) and uploading official documentary evidence via your application showing that the society deems you eligible for graduate membership.

The name and contact details (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.

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 MA programme 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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider