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P.Grad. Dip Applied Behaviour Analysis

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis

Course Director: Dr. Olive Healy (
Course Office Contact Details Ms. Lorna O'Driscoll
Telephone: +353-1-896 3907
Course Duration: 1 year, full-time
Closing date for Applications:

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

ECTS Credits: 60 ECTS

Course Overview

This course is for professionals working with or supervising individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, children or adolescents in care or behavioural challenges.  Individuals wanting to start a career in this profession are also appropriate for this course.  This is an intensive course that provides professional training in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for a yearly intake of up to 30 students. 
Graduates of this course are skilled (at least to minimum level) to enter and engage in the ethical practice of ABA, which includes conducting functional behavioural assessments, designing and implementing behaviour support plans and learning/skills acquisition programmes.  Graduates of the course may go on to work in ABA schools, national schools, the Health Service Executive, intellectual disabilities services or other care services.
The course has approved course sequence status from the Behaviour Analysis Certification Board, an international body that sets standards for training in Behaviour Analysis.  This course provides a route for securing “assistant” level certification status (see for certification information). 
Students who complete this course are then eligible to apply to the MSc in ABA (please see entry requirements for the MSc in ABA) and the MSc in Psychology (ABA) (please see entry requirements for the MSc in Psychology  (ABA)).

Course Content and Structure

Course Structure

Classes are conducted on a weekday every two weeks and one Saturday per month.  Taught modules run from the end of September to the end of June. 
The course is composed of the follow modules:  (1) Basic principles and characteristics of ABA, (2) Ethics, (3) Selecting and measuring behaviour, (4) Behavioural assessments, (5) Behavioural Intervention, measurement, & evaluation I, and (6) Behavioural Intervention, measurement, & evaluation II, (7) Supervised practice. Further information about the course is available here.

Supervised Practice/Placement

Students are required to work or volunteer in a placement that allows them to engage in behaviour analytic practice for at least 15 hours per week.  Acceptable placements include, but are not limited to, ABA schools, national schools, the HSE, or other human service settings (please click here for a list of possible ABA work placements). Fieldwork sites are not expected to be ABA specific, mainstream or special classes, group homes, intellectual disability services, and care services are all appropriate settings for ABA trainees.  Placement must be secured prior to applying to the course.
While on the course, all fieldwork must be supervised by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).  Students are required to contract privately with a BCAB supervisor and secure at least 15 hours of supervision during the course.  Supervision costs are not included with the tuition. 


Students are assessed through a variety of methods which include (a) in-class tests and a cumulative final exam, (b) a comprehensive case work project which includes practical and written work, (c) journal summaries and a literature review, (d) oral presentations, and (e) mid-term and end of the year supervised placement evaluation.  Students also receive continuous feedback through their regular supervision sessions and participation in class activities.

Entry Requirements

This course is designed to provide training in Behaviour Analysis to individuals with an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related human service field such as social work, education/teaching, speech and language, nursing, social care, etc. 
Applicants are evaluated based on their academic ability, their applied experience, and a secured placement.  Successful applicants typically hold a second class honours undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field, experience working in an applied setting, and employment or placement in a health, educational or human service setting where they can secure the required contact and supervision hours to complete course assignments.  Prior ABA experience is desired but not essential. Placement must be secured prior to applying to the course.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply online here.  The closing date for Applications is the 30th of June annually.

Applicants from Ireland as well as from other E.U. and non-E.U. countries who meet entry criteria and are employed (or volunteer) in Ireland in an educational or human service setting are welcome to apply.

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.

Course Fees 2014/2015

EU applicants: €7,500
Non-EU applicants: €9,250

Supervision Costs: Supervision costs are separate and are in addition to the course fee.

Students must secure and maintain membership in a relevant professional organisation, e.g., the Psychological Society of Ireland or Applied Behaviour Analysis International, and must carry student or professional liability insurance throughout the duration of the course.

Useful Links

Board Analysts Certification Board -

TCD Graduate Studies -

Local Access

Last updated 1 April 2014 School of Psychology (Email).