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M.Sc. Psychology (Applied Behaviour Analysis)

Course Director:

Asst. Prof. Olive Healy (Year 1), Asst. Prof. Maeve Bracken (Year 2).

Olive.healy@tcd.ie, mbracken@tcd.ie

Course Office Contact Details: Yvonne Graham
Telephone +353-1-896 3907
Email: aba.course@tcd.ie
Course Duration: 2 year (full-time)
Closing Date for Applications:

Closing Date for Applications: 30th April annually. Late applications may be considered if places remain available after the closing date.

ECTS Credits: 120 ECTS

Course Details


This is an intensive full time course which aims to ensure that students become efficient in the practical application of the principles of applied behaviour analysis, with particular regard to persons with autism and other developmental disabilities and/or children and adolescents in care or special programmes, and/or those clients presenting learning and/or behavioural challenges in school.  The content of this course focuses on behavioural theory and application. This course provides professional training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for a yearly intake of up to 15 students.

Formal classes run from late September to late May and are normally held one day every week and on occasional weekends. Additionally, students meet with a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) for 1-2 hours every other week from October to September. Dissertation research is initiated during the academic year of Year 2 and continued and finalised during the summer months. Classes are normally arranged to take place on one weekday with additional classes taking place on occasional weekends as required. Placement practice in behaviour analysis must be facilitated by an external BCBA. Students receive continuous assessment and feedback through their regular supervision sessions and participation in class activities. Placement practice in ABA is also reported at intermediate and end points during the year. Students must maintain a portfolio of their work throughout the course.

Course Content

Graduates of this course are skilled to engage in the ethical practice and research of ABA, to conduct functional behavioural assessments, implement and design behaviour support plans or learning/skill acquisition programmes, and analyse and display data to make informed decisions around intervention and learning needs.

Modules include:
ABA Definitions, Characteristics & Basic Principles
Ethics in ABA
Selecting, Defining & Measuring Behaviour
Behavioural Assessment
Behavioural Intervention, Measurement & Evaluation                     

Advanced Research & Data Analysis in BA
Professional & Ethical Practice in ABA
Research Dissertation
Positive Behaviour Support
Theoretical Approaches in Behaviour Analysis
Applications of Recent Theoretical Advances in Behaviour Analysis

Admission Requirements
Applicants will normally be required to hold at least an upper second class honours degree in Psychology or a related field from a recognised 3rd level institution.

Applicants may qualify to apply directly to Year 2 if they are:
                         Cohort 1: Graduates of Trinity’s own Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis (SITS course code PDPS-ABAN-1F) who have collected their P.Grad.Dip. award and now wish to apply to enter directly Year 2 of the Masters degree in Trinity. Following completion of the Masters requirements in Year 2 of the new course, such students will inform the Registrar of their intention to rescind Trinity’s own P.Grad.Dip. award. They will be required to submit the original P.Grad.Dip. award and/or any duplicates that have been issued before they can graduate with a Masters degree. Students who do not achieve a pass mark in Year 2 may apply to repeat the Year or exit the course with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in ABA from Trinity.

                         Cohort 2: Students who entered Year 1 of the new Masters course and temporaily intermitted it or exited from it with a postgraduate diploma award after passing Year 1. The time limit for applying to complete the Year 2 for the Masters degree will normally be up to three years following completion of Year 1 whether or not the P.Grad.Dip. award has been collected in the meantime. This is in line with the timeframe for those wishing to complete the BCBA© examination which must be achieved within a time period of five years, inclusive of their P.Grad.Dip. year. Therefore students need to enter the MSc in ABA within a maximum of 2 years post P.Grad. Dip. in order to finish on time.  Students who do not achieve a pass mark in Year 2 may apply to repeat the year or exit the course with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in ABA from Trinity.

                         Cohort 3: Graduates of postgraduate diplomas in Applied Behaviour Analysis in institutions other than Trinity in Ireland. Also gradutes from other postgraduate courses in related disciplines for example, Behavioural Sciences, who have passed the BCaBA© examination, or are considered eligible to sit for the BCaBA© examination. Students who enter with a Postgraduate Diploma from other institutions and who do not achieve a pass mark in Year 2, may apply to repeat the year or must exit the course without the exit award of Postgraduate Diploma in ABA from Trinity.

Applicants in all instances will apply through SITS and must supply two references, a CV and relevant transcripts.

Applications for admission must be submitted online through the Courses section of the TCD website.  The closing date for applications is 30th April annually.  Late applications will be reviewed on a space available basis.

Course Fees

Course fees for 2016/2017:
EU applicants: €8,125 per year
Non-EU applicants: €13,375 per year+
Individual and group supervision costs are separate and in addition to the course fee.

Please consult information about eligibility for admission as an EU or Non-EU student (Graduate Studies) and note that EU applicants must satisfy specific requirements to be deemed eligible for EU fee status.

Local Access


Last updated 11 March 2016 School of Psychology (Email).