Psychology - Applied Psychology - Mental Health

University College Cork

Psychology - Applied Psychology - Mental Health

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.

Subjects taught

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).

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.

Entry requirements

Applicants must:

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

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 as appropriate.

Provide the name and email address of 1 referee. A written report will be requested from this referee by the School of Applied Psychology, UCC and must be submitted by the Referee (by 5th April 2024).

Supply statements detailing:
A research proposal which 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.

Motivation and readiness which should include information on:
Reasons for applying to the programme;
How your experience to date has prepared you for a mental health-related placement; include details of any professional or voluntary positions held;
How the MA Applied Psychology (Mental Health) programme fits with your career plan.
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.

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.

Please Note: The application closing date for this programme is 11th March 2024. This means that the statements mentioned above (research proposal and motivation and readiness) must be fully completed by 11th March, 2024.
Supporting documentation, including non-UCC academic transcripts, evidence of eligibility requirements for graduate membership of either the PSI or BPS must be uploaded to the submitted application by 5th April 2024.

Applicants will not be shortlisted for interview:
If final results are not available before 31st July.
If a fully completed referee report has not been submitted to the School, from the referee whose name and email address you supplied as part of your application, by the time of shortlisting.
If your application is missing information or supporting documentation (including: academic transcripts, evidence of eligibility requirements for graduate membership of either the PSI or BPS, research proposal, detail on motivation and readiness) by the time of shortlisting.

Applicants will be shortlisted for interview based on:
academic performance,
referee report,
evidence of research capacity,
commitment to the area of applied psychology,
awareness of professional issues in placement settings,
preparedness for a mental-health related placement.

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.

Application dates

Closing Date 11 March 2024

Assessment Info


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


1 year full-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date 9 September 2024

Post Course Info

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.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider