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HDip Psychology
Graduate Taught (level 8 nfq, credits 120)
The Higher Diploma in Psychology is an intensive two-year postgraduate conversion course for graduates with an honours degree in a discipline other than psychology, who would like to take the first step towards a professional career in psychology.

Applicants to the Higher Diploma in Psychology programme must be graduates with an honours degree (typically a 2.1 or higher), or final year students on an honours degree programme in any disclpline. Offers to applicants who are not yet graduates will be contingent on degree results. The programme welcomes applications from mature students. The selection process for the Higher Diploma in Psychology will take account of: 1) undergraduate record and, where relevant, postgraduate record; (2) certified modules or courses in psychology; (3) experience of psychology through work or voluntary activities; (4) employment record; (5) references; (6) applicant's personal statement on the application form.

Course features:
-Psychology conversion course
-Equivalent to Honours BA degree in Psychology
-Two years fulltime or four years part time
-Accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
-Internationally recognised degree
-Enables further postgraduate training in clinical, counselling, health or other types of psychology

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Vision and Values Statement
The purpose of the Higher Diploma in Psychology in UCD is to foster an evidence-based appreciation of mind, brain, lived experiences, social context, and behaviour, and the nature and outcomes of their complex interactions. Students will learn the importance of psychological approaches to problems in modelling the full richness of mental life, as well as the role of empirical research in shaping and influencing theory. The programme stresses the importance of critical thinking, informed awareness of the multiplicity of levels of understanding psychological phenomena, the significance of building research skills, and of ethics in research and practice.

Knowledge is developed through teaching core areas at a number of stages; beginning at an introductory level, supported by tutorials and team-teaching, but becoming steadily more advanced, complemented with increased individual choice and selection of options. Learning is based on active participation, and culminates through demonstrating an ability to undertake an independent piece of research, from hunches and hypotheses, through to execution, data collection, analysis and write-up. Individualised tuition and supervision support the student in the completion of this project. A range of assessment methods is used including traditional, innovative and group-based, with detailed feedback to the student an essential components.

Programme Outcomes
Thinking Broad: An ability to think critically & reason scientifically. Specific: An ability to appreciate the multiplicity of psychological approaches, and have an awareness of their theoretical, practical, methodological and ethical implications.

Knowing Broad: Understanding the scientific process of building knowledge. Specific: A thorough knowledge of core domains of psychology incl. biological, cognitive, social and developmental psychology, individual differences and research methods.

Planning and Implementing Broad: An ability to generate hypotheses and research questions. Specific: An ability to generate a hypothesis around why humans or animals act the way they do, and design a research process to test this hypothesis.

Communicating Broad: An ability to communicate and present ideas in a clear and incisive way. Specific: An ability to communicate and present scientific psychological data in a professional and sophisticated manner, in both written and oral form.

Integrating Broad: Comprehend, organise and use data in an effective manner, and apply psychological knowledge to real-world issues. Specific: Use a wide range of psychological tools and equipment incl. computer software and psychological tests.

Managing Broad: Demonstrate effective planning, time-management and project-administration skills. Specific: Carry out an independent research project from formulation of a research question through ethical approval, data analysis and write-up.

Entry requirements

International Applicants
A number of places on the Higher Diploma in Psychology are offered each year to international applicants. Applications for this programme typically open in October and close in mid-March. International applicants may contact the programme administrator Ms. Mary Boyle ( in the first instance to indicate their interest in applying for the Higher Diploma in Psychology. International applicants may apply for the Higher Diploma in Psychology through the UCD Online Applications homepage.

Teaching in Irish Universities is normally through the medium of English. All applicants are therefore required to demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language. Applicants whose first language is not English, and who are not presenting the subject English in a school-leaving examination which is at least of pass Leaving Certificate standard (e.g. GCSE grade C) must meet the minimum English Language Requirements in relation to TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) specified at the following website: Admission English requirement


2 years full-time, 4 years part-time.

Number of credits


Further enquiries

Contact Name: Mary Boyle
Contact Number:+353 (0)1716 8369

Subjects taught

The curriculum for the Higher Diploma in Psychology is taught in conjunction with the Honours BA in Psychology. Core modules cover the key areas of psychology required for PSI accreditation, namely:

-biological bases of behaviour
-developmental and lifespan psychology
-social psychology
-personality and individual differences
-cognitive psychology
-research design and quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Additionally, you may select elective modules covering a wide range of topics that reflect the diversity of staff interests and expertise within the School of Psychology. You will gain experience with psychological research by completing a series of practical laboratory experiments in psychology in your first year. In second year, you will conduct an individual research project on a topic of your choice under the supervision of an academic staff member. Small group tutorials will provide further support for your learning.

Students may also choose to complete the programme part-time over four years. This will involve attending classes 2-3 days per week during normal business hours. Queries about the structure of the part-time programme may be addressed to Mary Boyle.


Professional Accreditation
The degree is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) as a first degree (equivalent to an Honours BA in Psychology), and confers eligibility for Graduate Membership of PSI. The Higher Diploma in Psychology is an internationally recognised degree that allows graduate membership of relevant psychological societies including the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
HDip Psychology FT (W014)
2 Years

Full Time


HDip Psychology PT (W202)

4 Years

Part Time


Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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