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.

Why Choose This Course
The MAAP (Mental Health) programme offers successful applicants a strong grounding in the theory and practice of applied psychology in the field of mental health. A key feature of this programme is a six-month placement (2 days a week (Thursdays and Fridays) for 6 months (approx. 340 hours in a mental health setting supervised by a clinical or counselling psychologist. Through the combination of research, theory and practice, this programme offers a solid foundation for professional education programmes based on psychotherapeutic practices.

Placement or Study Abroad Information
Students on the MAAP (Mental Health) will have the opportunity to gain work experience in a mental health service under the supervision of a clinical or counselling psychologist. Upon successful completion of this placement (AP6153), which lasts for six months (2 days a week usually Thursdays and Fridays for 6 months approx. 340 hours), students will be able to:

Demonstrate their ability to take part in the mental health work of the placement provider;

Demonstrate evidence of learning activities and experiences by keeping a journal of learning and completing a reflective portfolio;

Apply theory from programme course work to complete work placement tasks/activities;

Utilise the principles of applied psychological practice in mental health placement settings;

Reflect on learning and demonstrate personal development throughout the process;

Demonstrate an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues;

Subjects taught

The MA Applied Psychology (Mental Health) is a one-year full-time programme. It is structured in two parts:

Part I (Taught modules)
Psychological therapies
Research Methods and Data Analysis
Psychological Assessment
Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Skills
Clinical Presentations (Child, Adolescent, Adult and ID)
Critical Perspectives on Mental Health Law
Mental Health and Disability Placement*

*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 which 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).

Part II
Dissertation in Applied Psychology.

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 1 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.

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 a primary honours undergraduate 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.

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. A Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) is required. Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be given to Second Class Honours Grade II 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.

4. All applicants must add the name and email address of 1 referee. A Written Reference will be requested from your designated Referee by the School of Applied Psychology.

5. Supply a personal statement conveying:
A proposed topic for research dissertation

Reasons for applying to the programme;

How your experience to date has prepared you for a mental health-related placement

How you will prepare for placement

How the MAAP-MH programme fits with your career plan

6. Satisfy the interview board.
Applicants will be shortlisted for interview for this programme based on their academic performance, referee report, evidence of research capacity, commitment to the area of applied psychology and awareness of professional issues in placement settings. Applicants cannot be short-listed for interview if a completed referee report form has not been submitted to the School or if ALL the supporting documentation for application to MAAP-MH has not been submitted by the time of shortlisting.

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. Click here to view UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.

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.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

Closing Date: 11 March 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.

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.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
The MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) online application must be completed by the application closing date: 11 March 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. Please include your reasons for applying to the programme, how the programme fits into your career plan and how your experience to date has prepared you for a mental health related placement.

Briefly describe a research proposal to include pertinent details as would be contained in an abstract.

Please add the name and email address of 1 referee. A Written Reference will be requested from your designated Referee by the School of Applied Psychology.

Applicants whose undergraduate degree/qualification(s) are not evidence as accredited qualifications by the Psychology Society of Ireland or the British Psychological Society, evidence is required from the PSI or BPS that they consider your undergraduate degree to be equivalent to the PSI/BPS degree, in terms of granting you eligibility for graduate memership 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 providing official documentary evidence that the society deems them eligible for graduate membership) by 3rd April 2020

If you are in the process of completing your undergraduate programme in psychology or a conversion course, please note that all formal documentation evidencing your final degree result would need to be submitted prior to the commencement of the programme. Please be aware that such documentation for many MA programmes will not be available until mid-late September which is after the commencement of the MAAP(MH) therefore you may not be eligible to take up a place on this programme until the year post completion of your MA conversion course.

Deferrals are not permitted on this programme

The closing date for non-EU applications is 11 March 2022.

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: 7 September 2020

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 on professional education programmes in clinical and counselling psychology is particularly competitive. Completing the MAAP (Mental Health), 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 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