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Applied Psychology – BSc (Hons)

  • CAO Points: 431

  • Campus: Athlone

  • years: 4

Course Overview

Your PSI-accredited Applied Psychology course in the Midlands:

Our BSc in Applied Psychology is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). The Psychological Society of Ireland is the national professional body for psychology and psychologists in the Republic of Ireland. Please see the list here of all PSI accredited undergraduate courses.

On successful completion of your 4-year degree here on the Athlone campus, students can apply for entry into postgraduate programmes in Psychology. Only PSI accredited undergraduate degrees allow you to progress to postgraduate training in Psychology (e.g., Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology and Educational Psychology). This degree confers eligibility forgraduate membership of both the PSI and the British Psychological Society. Therefore, students who complete our degree are also eligble for any postgrad courses that require BPS accreditation.

Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. It examines how we think, feel, act and interact with other people. You will develop skills in research, problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis, communication and professional development. If you are interested in similar types of questions, then this course is likely to be relevant to you.

Our course is an Applied Psychology course meaning we ensure that we have embedded practical elements into our course. We have a semester long work placement in 3rd year as well as a focus on small group workshops (e.g., counselling skills workshops, Applied Psychology Experimental labs, inferential statistics labs and many more). We also have practical assessment throughout the course with a mix of applied continuous assessment and final exams.

The course will be relevant to anyone wishing to pursue a longer-term career in psychology. It is also an ideal stepping stone to post-graduate study either within psychology or in other areas of social science.

Work placement

One of the unique features of this new programme is its applied nature. TUS’s Department of Social Science has longstanding relationships with service providers across a range of health and social services. It includes areas such as Early Years Care & Education, Social Care, Mental Health Services, Intellectual Disability, Youth Work, Older People and Community Development.

In 3rd year students will embark on a semester long work placement. Here you will undertake working in a psychology-informed environment under supervision where you will gain experience in a work-based setting. Work placement gives our students the chance to apply all of the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they have developed since 1st year. We have a dedicated Work Placement coordinator who sources high quality placements for each student covering a wide variety of areas and interests from mental health to research. Examples of our placements include Regari Recovery College, Brothers of Charity, Juniper Tree Autism Services, TUS research placements, TUS student counselling, Ability West among many others.

As an alternative to Work Placement we also offer a small number of students to study abroad for the semester in the University of Valencia in Spain. In Valencia, you can continue your Applied Psychology studies taught through English while enjoying a new city and culture. You will have the opportunity to learn Spanish in 2nd and 3rd year as additional classes in Athlone to prepare you for your semester abroad before you travel. With the support of our dedicated Applied Psychology Erasmus coordinator and the TUS International Office you are in safe hands to enjoy this once in a lifetime study experience.

Contact Details

Dr. Noelin Fox


What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate Entry Pathway

Grade H5 at higher level in two subjects, plus grade O6/H7 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate. Two of these subjects mathematics and a language (English or Irish).

QQI Entry Pathway

Each year we accept up to 3 QQI applicants into 1st year on our Applied Psychology programme.
To qualify you must present with ONE of the following awards:
• 5M2181 Applied Social Studies
• 5M3114 General Studies
• 5M4468 Community Health Services
• 6M3674 Community Development
• 6M2218 Social And Vocational Integration

You are required to have Leaving Certificate Mathematics at minimum O6/H7, or alternatively have a QQI Mathematics module 5N1833 included in the award.
Please visit our Admissions page here or contact to ensure you have the most up-to-date entry criteria.

Mature Student Entry Pathway

Mature applicants are not required to meet these minimum entry requirements. However, there are a limited number of places for mature applicants (usually up to three per year)– an interview may form part of the selection process.

For further information visit our Admissions page here or contact to ensure you have the most up-to-date entry criteria.

International Applicants

International applicants should apply directly to the International Office at TUS, allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by 1st June at the latest to ensure visas are processed in time. You should familiarise yourself with visa processing times for your country of origin to ensure you make a timely application. Find out more here.

Course Modules

  • History of Psychology

    Credits: 5

    This module will introduce the history of psychology chronologically and thematically. The History of Psychology module is designed to introduce students to major historical figures within the academic discipline of psychology. It traces the continuities and shifts of psychological thought through history, and endeavours to engage the student in exploring the antecedents and development of psychology as a science.

  • Introduction to Psychology

    Credits: 5

    This module will introduce the field of Applied Psychology through the exploration of current specialisations in the field. In particular, this module is designed to encourage students to examine how these current specialisations are applied in real world settings and how Applied Psychology contributes to some of the over-arching questions within the discipline.

  • Research 1: An Introduction

    Credits: 5

    In this module students are introduced to the scientific approach within social science and psychology and to the major theoretical approaches and research methods within psychology.

  • Biological Basis of Behaviour 1: Exploring the Brain

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces students to the structure and function of the brain and to an examination of the biological underpinnings of behaviour.

  • Enhancing Academic Practice: Writing Skills

    Credits: 10

    The aim of this initial professional practice module, Enhancing Academic Practice, is to enable students to:

    • reinforce and develop academic writing knowledge, skills and practice required at third level;
    • understand the principles and processes of working with others in a peer learning environment;
    • develop techniques to juggle priorities and manage time effectively;
    • establish and reinforce standards of practice for engagement between students and key stakeholders including other students, lecturers, administrative staff and other stakeholders.
  • Research 2: Descriptive Statistics and Computing

    Credits: 5

    This module introduces students to descriptive statistics. The aim of this module is to equip students with the skills and knowledge to describe the basic features of psychological data using relevant statistical techniques.

  • Lifespan Development 1: Childhood & Adolescence

    Credits: 10

    This module will introduce students to the concept of development across the lifespan. The module will provide an in-depth understanding of the psychological development taking place in infancy, early and middle childhood through to adolescence. Various theories and perspectives on child and adolescent developmental psychology relating to an individual’s physical, social, cultural, emotional and cognitive development will be explored. The module will afford students the opportunity to examine empirical research on current debates and real-world issues within the field of developmental psychology.

  • Research 3: Experimental Design

    Credits: 5

    This module provides an introduction to the experimental research method within psychology. A crucial aspect of the module is the practical aspect of carrying out a small-scale experimental project, analysing and interpreting the data and writing the report.

  • Applied Social Psychology

    Credits: 10

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of social psychology by exploring some of the key themes in social psychology. It equips students with an understanding of how social psychological theories, principles, research findings, and experimental methods can be used to understand everyday life and to offer real-world solutions for a variety of social problems.

  • Lifespan Development 2: Adulthood

    Credits: 10

    This module will explore adult development from early and middle adulthood through late adulthood examining multiple levels of behaviour including the physical, social, emotional, psychological and cognitive levels. A broad range of contemporary issues and related research findings will be addressed reflecting the important life stages and transitions and the variety of contexts in which development occurs. The module will enhance students’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities in adulthood and ageing.

  • Research 4: Inferential Statistics and Computing 1

    Credits: 5

    This module is intended to develop and extend computing knowledge and skills. It provides a thorough grounding in the basics of probability and statistical data analysis for students. Importantly, the course focuses on statistical methods as a tool for answering research questions.

  • Cognitive Psychology 1: Perception, Memory & Attention

    Credits: 5

    This module provides an in-depth examination of the cognitive processes which affect human behaviour. Topics include attention and perception, memory and cognition.

  • Biological Basis of Behaviour 2: Brain, Body & Behaviour

    Credits: 5

    This module explores the explanation of psychological processes at the level of the brain and biology with a particular emphasis on automatic behaviours such as the experience of pain, emotions, stress.

  • Organisational Behaviour (Elective)

    Credits: 5

    This module focuses on the interrelationship between the individual, the group dynamic and the internal environment within an organisation. Topics covered will include group dynamics and team performance, leadership and organisational culture. The module will facilitate and engender an ability to assess the impact of organisational environments in a critical and analytical fashion.

  • Biological Basis of Behaviour 2: Brain, Body & Behaviour (Elective)

    Credits: 5

    This module will introduce students to health psychology as a field of inquiry. The module provides a critical evaluation of the biological, social and psychological determinants of health and illness. Core psychological theories and models will be examined to demonstrate how health behaviours are learned, established and modified. The module aims to equip students with knowledge, understanding, and skills to recognise the role that Health Psychology can play for individuals’ wellbeing. The importance of experiential learning and reflection is recognised, with critical thinking skills enhanced through the assessment process.

  • Personality & Individual Differences

    Credits: 10

    This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of the major schools of thought within the field of personality and individual differences psychology. Topics explored include multiple approaches to understanding personality and individual differences such as the trait, psychoanalytic, humanistic, social-cognitive, behavioural approaches. Students will be introduced to the concept of and practical issues involved in the assessment and measurement of personality and individual differences. Students will gain an appreciation of the application of these diverse perspectives to real-world contexts.

  • Biological Bases of Behaviour 3: Applications and Current Issues

    Credits: 5

    In this module, specialist issues within biological psychology are examined and knowledge of the brain and biological psychology is applied to an understanding of real-life experiences, behaviours and problems.

  • Research 5: Qualitative Research

    Credits: 5

    This research module explores the use of qualitative research in psychology. A crucial aspect of the module is the practical aspect of carrying out a qualitative research practical, analysing and interpreting the data and writing the research report

  • Cognitive Psychology 2: Cognition in Action

    Credits: 5

    This module provides an examination of the role of cognition in producing action, as well as how higher order processes like reasoning, problem-solving, and decision are performed.

  • Research 4: Inferential Statistics & Computing 2

    Credits: 5

    This module is intended to progress knowledge gained from Research 4: Inferential Statistics 1 by expanding statistical competencies to complex statistical analysis.

  • Psychology of Mental Health

    Credits: 10

    This module will focus on a range of common psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and personality disorders.The diagnostic approach to psychological problems will be considered. The module will provide students with an opportunity to explore clinical examples, clinical features, etiology and treatments.

  • Exploring Neurodiversity and Developmental Differences

    Credits: 10

    The module will provide an advanced study of topics in developmental psychology with a specific focus on patterns of atypical development and childhood development disorders such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and genetic disorders. The module will equip students with an analytical appreciation and understanding of the varied and complex causal/risk factors of atypical development. The module will enable students to appraise psychological interventions and educational supports used in working with children with additional needs.

  • Future Career and Work in Psychology

    Credits: 5

    The aim of this module is to prepare students for both their work placement experience and for their future professional careers. Students will engage in experiential learning and learn to apply the principles embodied within the ‘PSI Code of Professional Ethics’ and the ‘Applied Psychology Work Placement Handbook’ to an authentic work experience environment. The module will instil in students the importance of adopting and adhering to standards of professional practice and conduct in the interests of the health and safety of service users and the public.

  • Research 6: Applying Research Methods

    Credits: 5

    This research module explores the application of research methods in Psychology. An important aspect of this module is identifying and applying the most appropriate type of analysis to different research questions. This module contains the practical application of quantitative and qualitative research building on previous research modules.

  • Work Placement

    Credits: 30

    The aim of this module is to provide students with a semester long placement or internship opportunity in Ireland or overseas to acquire work experience or alternatively to participate in the Erasmus Exchange programme.
    • Option 1 is supervised practice placement in Ireland or overseas, designed to provide students with opportunities to acquire and develop knowledge, skills, experience and values to prepare them for entry into the professional world of work.
    • Option 2 is a semester long Erasmus Exchange programme, designed to provide students with both additional educational and cultural experiences in an international setting

  • Applied Research 1: Research Proposal

    Credits: 5

    In this module, students will develop an ethics application and give an oral presentation based on their final year research project.

  • Cognitive Psychology 2: Advanced Cognitive Psychology

    Credits: 5

    This module explores issues pertaining to our understanding and measurement of cognitive processes, progressing knowledge from previous Cognitive Psychology modules. Topics covered will include consciousness, cognition, memory, emotion, intelligence, perception, expertise, meta-cognition, social cognition, language, and measurement of cognitive processes.

  • Counselling Psychology

    Credits: 10

    Major theories and professional issues linked with psychotherapeutic intervention will be considered. The module will provide students with an opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of the major approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. In addition, the module will provide an opportunity to develop core counselling skills and reflect on practice.

  • Learning and Educational Psychology

    Credits: 10

    This module examines the psychological contribution to our understanding of learning and education and the extent to which developments in psychology have succeeded in impacting educational policy and practice.

  • Applied Research 2: Project

    Credits: 15

    In this module, the student will undertake an empirical study and will write a research report (8,000-10,000 words) based on this study.

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology

    Credits: 5

    This module requires students to critically examine topics that are currently relevant in the field of psychology. The module builds on developmental, biological, cognitive and social psychology modules in years 2 and 3. Topics will vary from year to year but may include, for example, new issues in psychological science, emerging technologies and their psychological impact and how open science practices can strengthen our confidence in psychological findings.

  • Advanced Personality and Social Psychology

    Credits: 10

    This module is designed to further the knowledge acquired in previously dedicated modules on Personality and Individual Differences and Social Psychology by considering more advanced theoretical and empirical work in the areas of individual, interpersonal and group processes. The module is intended to deepen and challenge students’ knowledge in relation to both social and personality psychology, with emphasis on comparison and synthesis, both within and across these two main thematic areas.

What can you do after this programme?

Graduates who decide not to continue further training in psychology will find that a primary degree in psychology is a valuable qualification. It combines high levels of literacy and numeracy, experience in working both individually and within teams, as well as analysing data and carrying out research.

Successful graduates of this programme are eligible for Level 9 and 10 postgraduate programmes within TUS or elsewhere. An undergraduate degree in Psychology provides a fantastic foundation for further postgraduate study in a variety of related areas. It is important to note that, graduates wishing to undertake a professional career in psychology ( clinical psychology, educational psychology, occupational psychology, counselling psychology or other specialised areas) must pursue further postgraduate study in psychology. To enrol on a postgraduate course in a specialised field of psychology, often beginning with a Masters in a relevant area followed by work experience and/or a professional doctorate.
To enrol on a postgraduate course in a specialised field of psychology, graduates must hold an undergraduate Psychology degree approved by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) such as our course here in Athlone. This course is an important first step in your professional Psychology career.
We now offer a Level 10 PhD in Psychology (Applied) within our programme subject to funding availability. This is an excellent career step for student interested in pursuing a career in academia (i.e., research and lecturing).

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