Psychology - Applied Psychology - Mental Health

Course Outline
The MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) is currently open for applications for 2020. All applications must be submitted by the online closing date for this programme: 20 March 2020.

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.

Who teaches this course
The MA in Applied Psychology (Mental Health) is delivered by staff from the School of Applied Psychology in the main. Contributions are also made by other professional/voluntary bodies where appropriate (e.g. clinical psychologists in HSE).

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;

Entry requirements

A candidate for this MA programme must:
1.Hold an honours undergraduate degree 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
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 one degree is required. Consideration 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.

4.All applicants must arrange for one Referee's Report form to be posted directly to the School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. The reference must be a professional reference from someone who has experience of the applicant in a professional capacity, whether paid or voluntary work.

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 available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

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.

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

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.


1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

This is a one-year full-time course. Lectures take place on Mondays to Wednesdays with placements being held usually on Thursdays and Fridays. However, students may agree other times with their placement providers to avail of good learning opportunities. Placement is central to the programme, providing a unique learning experience that will give you supervised workplace experience over a six-month period (approx. 340 hours in total).

While all students will be offered a placement, specific placements will be secured through a competitive placement interview process in semester 1. Placements can be located throughout Ireland. 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 MAAP (Mental Health).

Students failing the Placement may, with the approval of the programme team, be permitted to either extend or repeat the Placement. Students may repeat the placement only once in a repeat year. Students failing or not completing the placement because of a serious ethical breach will not be permitted to repeat the placement.

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
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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