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.

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 that satisfies the eligibility requirements of the Psychological Society of Ireland (or the national psychology body in the country where the applicant completed their degree); a 2H1 degree is required. Only in special circumstances will consideration be given to 2H2 candidates where, for example, an applicant has 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

2.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 the applicant in a professional capacity, whether paid or voluntary work.

3.Supply a personal statement conveying:
i) An understanding of what applied psychology in mental health entails;
ii) Reasons for applying to the programme;
iii) A proposed topic for research dissertation

4.Satisfy the interview board.
Applicants will be shortlisted for interview for this programme based on their academic performance, referee report, evidence of research capacity and commitment to the area of applied psychology. Applicants cannot be short-listed for interview if a completed referee report form has not been submitted to the School.

5.UCC requires all students on the MA in Applied Psychology (Applied Mental Health Psychology) to undergo garda vetting.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates
Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.


1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

This is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. Lectures take place 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.

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Anne Fitzpatrick
+353 21 4904552

Dr. Robert King
00 353 21 4904515

Subjects taught

The MA Applied Psychology (Mental Health) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-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


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 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.

Part time students

Year 1 students take taught modules
Year 2 students take the Placement and dissertation

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.

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year.

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.

Assessment method

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

Application date

Applications for 2019 start dates will open on November 1st 2018.

EU Applicants: Closing Date 22 March 2019

Non-EU Closing Date 22 March 2019

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date 9 September 2019

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