Psychology (PCS1)

Academic Year 2019/2020

In your first year (called Stage 1) you take 12 modules over two semesters. You must study core modules in Psychology and typically two further Arts subjects.

Stage 2 students progress with a major in Psychology, students also get the chance to take a small number of elective modules from any School across the University during their degree programme

See below for the full list of subjects. Further details per stage will be displayed when browsing through subject. Please note that some subject combinations may not be possible, for timetable or other reasons.

Curricular information is subject to change

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

The purpose of a degree in Psychology in UCD is to foster an evidence-based appreciation and scientific understanding 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, influencing and sculpting 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. A range of assessment methods is used including traditional, innovative and group-based, with detailed feedback to the student an essential component.


  • Thinking Broad: An ability to think critically and reason scientifically. Specific: An ability to appreciate the multiplicity of psychological approaches, and be aware of their theoretical, practical, methodological and ethical implications.
  • Knowing Broad: An understanding of the scientific process of building knowledge. Specific: A thorough knowledge of core domains of psychology - biological, cognitive, social and developmental psychology, individual differences & 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 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, equipment, computer software and psychological tests.
  • Managing Broad: Demonstrate effective planning, time-management and project-administration skills. Specific: Carry out an independent research project, from the formulation of a research question, ethical approval, data analysis and write-up.
Psychology is a very broad discipline and the undergraduate degree in Psychology in UCD will introduce you to its major theories and research methods.

The degree is recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland and as such provides the foundation for further postgraduate training in any field of psychology.

However, Psychology graduates also go into a variety of other career paths including education, business and health. If you have a questioning attitude and good reasoning skills you will really enjoy the world opened up by Psychology.

In your first year (called Stage 1) you take 12 modules over 2 semesters. You must study core modules in Psychology and typically two or three other subjects including up to two modules from outside the BA Programme area.

Stage 2 students progress with a major in Psychology. Students also take four elective modules from within or outside their main subject area at Stages 2 of their degree programme.
In Stage 1 you will be introduced to four key areas within Psychology: Human Development; Brain and Behaviour; Perception; and Cognition (thinking and reasoning). You also have the option to take modules on general and applied psychology.

In Stage 2 you will continue with the key areas introduced at Stage 1 but you will also begin to learn about doing psychological research by taking two modules of laboratory practicals as well as modules on research methods and statistics.

You will have the opportunity to make many more specialist choices from a very wide range of modules (for example, on behavioural neuroscience, the visual arts and sport psychology) and will undertake a research dissertation on a topic that you have chosen.

The School of Psychology has Erasmus exchange agreements with Universite Catholique de l'Ouest (Angers), Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid and Free University, Berlin.

The year abroad takes place when you have accumulated at least 110 credits and satisfied any subject prerequisites, adding a fourth year to the BA programme and turning it into a BA International.

The degree is recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland and, as such, provides the foundation for further graduate training in any field of psychology as well as for a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Organisational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Counselling psychology
  • Health psychology.

    There are also career opportunities in research projects alongside other human scientists, such as economists and sociologists.
  • Stage 2

    Students take 35 core credits and a further 15 credits from the list of option modules. 10 further credits may be chosen from the list of elective modules offered by the School of Psychology or any other School. Although Stage 2 students may choose Level 3 options, they should reflect on the difficulty level of the module content and its assessment.

    Stage 3

    Students take 45 core credits and a further 5 credits from the list of option modules. Ten further credits may be chosen from the list of elective modules offered by the School of Psychology or any other School.

    Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    PSY10060 Brain and Behaviour Autumn

    5

    PSY10080 Introduction to Social Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY10040 Introduction to the Psychology of Perception and Cognition Spring

    5

    PSY10100 Research Methods & Stats I Spring

    5

    Stage 1 Core Modules
         
    Stage 1 Options - Subject / Streams
         
    Archaeology

    Economics

    Spanish Beginners

    Spanish Non-Beginners

    English

    Greek & Roman Civilization

    Greek (Mode B)

    German Beginners

    German Non-Beginners

    Art History

    History

    Information & Social Computing

    Irish Folklore

    Irish Studies

    Italian Studies Beginners

    Italian Studies Non-Beginners

    Linguistics

    Latin (Mode A)

    Latin (Mode B)

    Music (Stage 1)

    Modern Irish

    Mathematical Studies

    Philosophy

    Politics

    Statistics

    Sociology

    Stage 1 Options - Subject / Streams
         
    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    PSY20020 Child & Adolescent Development Autumn

    5

    PSY20050 Laboratory Practicals in Psychology I Autumn

    5

    PSY20150 Foundations of Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20160 Research Methods & Stats II Autumn

    5

    PSY20060 Psychology of Language and Language Acquisition Spring

    5

    PSY20080 Visual and Social Cognition Spring

    5

    PSY30110 Laboratory Practicals in Psychology II Spring

    5

    Stage 2 Core Modules
         
    Stage 2 Options - A)MIN3OF:
    Select a minimum of three of the following option modules. Although stage 2 students may take level 3 modules, they should reflect on the difficulty level of module content and assessment.
         
    PSY20100 Introduction to Disability Studies Autumn

    5

    PSY20110 Introduction to Health Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20130 Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20170 Clinical Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20220 Psychology of Ageing Autumn

    5

    PSY30400 Cross-Cultural Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY30410 Advanced Cognitive Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20200 Psychology for Everyday Life Autumn and Spring (separate)

    5

    PHIL30030 Philosophy of Mind Spring

    5

    PSY20180 Counselling Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30080 Psychology and Crime Spring

    5

    PSY30260 Practising organisational psychology: Diagnosing and solving workplace problems Spring

    5

    PSY30290 Applied Health Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30310 Sport and Exercise Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30320 Career development in psych Spring

    5

    PSY30440 How to Change Behaviour Spring

    5

    Stage 2 Options - A)MIN3OF:
    Select a minimum of three of the following option modules. Although stage 2 students may take level 3 modules, they should reflect on the difficulty level of module content and assessment.
         
    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    PSY30450 Research Project and Skills 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr)

    20

    PSY30050 Behavioural Neuroscience Autumn

    5

    PSY30340 Human Intelligence and Personality Autumn

    5

    PSY30350 Research Methods & Stats III Autumn

    5

    PSY30040 Lifespan Developmental Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30140 Advanced Social Psychology Spring

    5

    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    Stage 3 Options - A)MIN1OF:
    Select a minimum of one of the following option modules
         
    PSY20100 Introduction to Disability Studies Autumn

    5

    PSY20110 Introduction to Health Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20130 Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20170 Clinical Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20220 Psychology of Ageing Autumn

    5

    PSY30380 Youth Mental Health Autumn

    5

    PSY30400 Cross-Cultural Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY30410 Advanced Cognitive Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20200 Psychology for Everyday Life Autumn and Spring (separate)

    5

    PHIL30030 Philosophy of Mind Spring

    5

    PSY20180 Counselling Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30080 Psychology and Crime Spring

    5

    PSY30260 Practising organisational psychology: Diagnosing and solving workplace problems Spring

    5

    PSY30290 Applied Health Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30310 Sport and Exercise Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30320 Career development in psych Spring

    5

    PSY30440 How to Change Behaviour Spring

    5

    PSY30460 Data Visualization - creating graphs in R - an introduction to programming Spring

    5

    Stage 3 Options - A)MIN1OF:
    Select a minimum of one of the following option modules
         
    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    PSY30450 Research Project and Skills 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr)

    20

    PSY30050 Behavioural Neuroscience Autumn

    5

    PSY30340 Human Intelligence and Personality Autumn

    5

    PSY30350 Research Methods & Stats III Autumn

    5

    PSY30040 Lifespan Developmental Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30140 Advanced Social Psychology Spring

    5

    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Options - A)MIN1OF:
    Select a minimum of one of the following option modules
         
    PSY20100 Introduction to Disability Studies Autumn

    5

    PSY20110 Introduction to Health Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20130 Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20170 Clinical Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20220 Psychology of Ageing Autumn

    5

    PSY30380 Youth Mental Health Autumn

    5

    PSY30400 Cross-Cultural Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY30410 Advanced Cognitive Psychology Autumn

    5

    PSY20200 Psychology for Everyday Life Autumn and Spring (separate)

    5

    PHIL30030 Philosophy of Mind Spring

    5

    PSY20180 Counselling Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30080 Psychology and Crime Spring

    5

    PSY30260 Practising organisational psychology: Diagnosing and solving workplace problems Spring

    5

    PSY30290 Applied Health Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30310 Sport and Exercise Psychology Spring

    5

    PSY30320 Career development in psych Spring

    5

    PSY30440 How to Change Behaviour Spring

    5

    PSY30460 Data Visualization - creating graphs in R - an introduction to programming Spring

    5