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Psychology Conversion Course

Course Director:  Prof. Jean Quigley (quigleyj@tcd.ie)
Course Office Contact Details: Telephone +353-1-896 2697
Email: quigleyj@tcd.ie
Course Duration: 2 years, full-time
Closing Date for Applications: 1st March annually
ECTS Credits: 60 credits per year

Course Overview

The Psychology Conversion Course is designed to provide a pre-professional qualification equivalent to a bachelor degree in psychology. The course is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and allows students proceed to postgraduate education, including higher degrees by research, and to specialize in an area of professional psychology.   It is a two year full-time course based on lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes and research projects. 

As graduates, you have most of the academic skills you need to succeed on the Psychology Conversion Course.  Our main objective is to facilitate your entry into the profession of psychology and to train you in the discourse of a new academic discipline.  We feel this transfer is best effected via active learning and discussion and to facilitate this much of your learning will take place in small groups where you are encouraged to be active and collaborative learners.  

While some of your classes will be taken with other psychology students, we are the only psychology course still providing very small group academic tutorials to our students.  Throughout your two years you will meet with an academic staff member every fortnight in groups of just 2/3 of your Psychology Conversion Course peers.  This module is intended to complement the core programme and to assist you in your introduction to the academic discipline of psychology as a whole.

Our aim is to train our students to be critical consumers and active producers of psychological knowledge.  To that end all teaching in the School of Psychology TCD is research-led and delivered by active researchers in the field.  You will be encouraged from the outset to get involved with the many research groupings in the School, whether you want to just sit in on research meetings and talks to experience the diversity of psychological research being conducted or to participate more actively as a research assistant. 

In short, we aim to provide a rigorous and comprehensive primary training which will inspire you to take the next step towards a career in or using psychology.   
The course aims to provide an understanding of the nature of psychology as a profession, the psychologist’s professional responsibilities, standards of performance and ethical issues; to enable students to acquire advanced knowledge in relevant areas within psychology, to extend skills in formulating research problems, gathering and analysing data, interpreting and communicating research findings; and to help students explore their own interests and capacities in the field and to prepare them for further training.
For professional work in psychology it is usually necessary to proceed to a higher degree by research or course work in the speciality of one’s choice. The School of Psychology at present offers postgraduate courses in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Clinical Supervision, Applied Psychology, Applied Behaviour Analysis, Psychoanalytic Studies and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees by research.  For further information about these courses, please select the appropriate menu option on the left.

Course Content and Structure

Students will cover the following areas of psychology, as required by the professional accreditation body, the Psychological Society of Ireland:  Biological basis of behaviour; Cognitive psychology; Research design, quantitative & qualitative methods; Developmental and lifespan psychology; Social psychology; Personality and individual differences. 
Students attend a range of foundation and advanced modules during the two years of the course.
Foundation Modules include:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Cognition
  • Fundamentals of Neuroscience and Behaviour
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Perception
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychological Disorder

A range of advanced modules is offered each year and over the two years of the course, students must take at least one module from each required area (biological, cognitive, social, development, personality and individual differences). *Advanced Modules for the academic year, 2014/2015 include:

  • Clinical Case Formulations in Adult Mental Health
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Development of Perception throughout the Lifespan
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology of Language
  • Human Sexuality
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Child Health and Wellbeing

*Please note that the optional modules listed above will not be available to students registered to the course in 2015/2016.
In addition, in both years 1 and 2, students are required to take modules in practicals, methodology and statistics and in academic skills tutorials.  Students in Year 2 are required to carry out an empirical investigation of a psychological topic or question under the supervision of a member of the academic staff in the School.
Modules are offered subject to timetabling restrictions and staff availability.  Additional modules may occasionally be provided for particular years of the course and credit for participation in these modules will be given in the assessment process. Details of such modules as become available and any requirements for attendance and participation are published in the course handbook.
Students are evaluated by course work assessment throughout the year, by written examination papers at the end of each year of the course, and by the research project in the second year.

Entry Requirements

Candidates for admission to the Psychology Conversion Course must hold a primary degree, in any discipline, normally with at least an upper second-class honors.   We will also accept applications from final year students of other honours degree programmes, where any offers made would be contingent on results obtained.  A strictly limited number of students will be accepted, based on the application form with two academic references and a curriculum vitae.  In addition to your primary qualification and references, the following will be taken into account in the selection process:  any relevant or cognate postgraduate qualifications; any courses or modules taken in psychology; any work experience, paid or voluntary, in a relevant setting.
Application for entry is not through the CAO – see below under, ‘How to Apply’ for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to view our Frequently Asked Questions Section

How to Apply

The closing date for applications for entry in September will normally be 1st March in the year in which admission is sought.  Applicants must apply online here.

Please note, applicants will be permitted 5 working days after the deadline of 1st March to upload all prescribed supporting documentation to the online application system via the TCD website. Applications that are incomplete or missing any supporting documents after 5 working days will not be rejected but it should be noted that precedence when allocating places on the course will be afforded to those applicants who submitted in entirety on time.

Course Fees 2014/2015

Course fees for 2014/2015:
Full-time EU students:            €8,250 (per year)
Full-time Non-EU students:     €16,500 (per year)

IMPORTANT:  Fees may be increased annually subject to inflation.
Please consult information about eligibility for admission as an EU/Non-EU student and note that EU applicants must satisfy specific requirements to be deemed eligible for EU fee status.

Useful Links

The Graduate Studies Office is responsible for all aspects of the application process.  Any queries with regard to the status of applications should be directed there.  Further information may be found at: www.tcd.ie/Graduate_Studies/
For further information regarding accreditation and a career in psychology please visit the Psychological Society of Ireland website at: www.psihq.ie

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Last updated 24 July 2014 School of Psychology (Email).