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  Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology

The Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology (DECPsy) is a highly sought-after three-year, full-time professional training programme for candidates interested in pursuing a career as an educational psychologist. This programme will equip candidates with the necessary competencies to work in a range of autonomous and collaborative professional roles that are performed by educational psychologists (EPs) in a variety of contexts and with a range of client groups. The overall aim of the DECPSY programme is to enable trainee educational psychologists (TEPs) to effectively integrate theory and practice and become skilled and accountable professional practitioners. The doctorate programme will enable candidates to acquire an advanced knowledge and understanding of psychological theory, methods, evidence, research and practice. Moreover, it will provide candidates with the ability to apply psychological methods, insights and interventions in work with a wide array of clients, problems and contexts.

The DECPsy programme is fully accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) .

A full list of programme fees for 2018/19 can be found on the following link: www.mic.ul.ie/fees

Queries regarding fees can be directed to: studentfees@mic.ul.ie. Fees

For Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.

The professional doctorate has a nominal value of 270 ECTs. The programme includes a combination of taught modules, professional placements and research. Taught Components: The programme is sufficiently flexible in content and structure to adapt readily to current and future needs and to the emergence of new knowledge in educational psychology and related fields. Taught modules will be typically delivered by qualified educational psychologists (EPs) and EP practitioners, in four day blocks over the first two years. In addition to taught modules, a variety of workshops and seminars are organised for trainees and delivered by experienced practitioners e.g. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Video Interactive Guidance, Assistive Technology, Dynamic Assessment. One day per week is typically assigned to study.

The taught modules are as follows:

Year 1

  • · Philosophy, Epistemology and the Profession of Educational Psychology
  • · Psychology and Education for Exceptional Children and Young Adults
  • · Biological, Neuropsychological, Social, Emotional and Developmental Bases of Behaviour
  • · Cognition and Learning (1 and 2)
  • · Psychological and Psycho-Educational Assessment
  • · Professional Issues and Ethics in Educational Psychology
  • · Research Methods

Year 2

  • · Evidence Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • · Presentation Skills and the Psychology of Interpersonal Communication
  • · Interventions and Problem Solving within a Consultative Framework
  • · Systems and Organisational Psychology

Placement: Professional placements, totalling 300 days, are organised in a variety of settings. The professional placements provide extensive opportunities for the exercise of a wide range of professional roles and competencies. Detailed placement handbooks are provided to trainees in advance of each placement. Trainees typically attend placements for 3-4 days per week. Where possible, trainees will be placed close to their home base. In addition to professional placements, trainees also undertake a 20 day School Placement in Semester 1. This placement will provide opportunities for trainees to carry out shadowing and observation in varied educational contexts.

Research: For the award of Doctorate, the research thesis must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain material of a standard and form appropriate for peer-reviewed publication. Trainees will develop their knowledge and understanding of the nature of educational research, showing in depth understanding of the range of research orientations and methods used in educational and professional educational psychology research. Trainees will be supported in this process through regular supervision and the provision of advanced research methods workshops over the three years. It is envisaged that trainees will conduct a thorough literature review in their area of interest in Year 1. In Year 2, trainees will focus on obtaining ethical approval and data collection. In Year 3 the emphasis will be on data analysis and thesis write up.


The programme utilises approaches to learning that are problem-based and collaborative. Students are provided with opportunities to construct knowledge in an active, collaborative manner by working through real-life case studies and examples, thereby linking psychological theory and research to professional practice.

Those involved in the delivery of the programme recognise that they are engaging with adult professional learners and aim to employ methods that will afford adult learners a robust learning experience. Teaching and learning experiences provide broad and balanced coverage of the working contexts of educational psychologists

The programme has in place a personal tutor system, and students will have access, at all stages throughout the programme, to a designated tutor who will take lead responsibility for mentoring and supporting the professional development of each trainee.


On completion of the programme, students will be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of educational and child psychology theories, research and practice.
  • 2. Conduct high quality research which contributes to the practice and profession of educational and child psychology.
  • 3. Select and competently use a range of evidence based psychological skills, techniques, assessment and intervention strategies and approaches relevant to the field of education and child psychology.
  • 4. Utilise educational and child psychology theoretical models, frameworks and paradigms to underpin practice in a wide variety of roles with different client groups within the ethical, legal, national and local frameworks for educational psychology practice.
  • 5. Undertake a range of autonomous and collaborative professional roles that are, or could be, performed by educational psychologists in relation to a range of contexts and client groups.
  • 6. Effectively communicate psychological knowledge and insights.
  • 7. Identify, critically appraise and apply research evidence relevant to practice.
  • 8. Manage a personal learning agenda and self-care, and engage in monitoring of professional effectiveness and impact.
  • 9. Engage in partnerships and effective collaboration with the interacting systems of families, schools, communities and other agencies, to bring about positive change for children and young people.
  • 10. Develop insight into personal attitudes and beliefs and how these can impact on the provision of an equal and inclusive service to a diverse range of clients.

Essential Requirements

  • · By the closing date for applications, applicants must have:
  • · 1. A minimum upper second class honours (2.1) degree in psychology or an equivalent psychology qualification, recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland or equivalent, as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership.
  • · 2. An equivalent of two year's relevant full-time experience working in the field of education and/or psychology. Please note, periods of continuous professional experience of less than three months full-time employment will not count towards the two years minimum experiential requirement.

Additional Desirable Qualifications and Experience

  • · A majority of successful applicants to date had more than the minimum requirements. Additional desirable qualifications and experience include the following:
  • · Additional relevant academic qualifications in psychology and/or education.
  • · Additional and varied work experience; work with children, special groups, specialist teaching or care work
  • · Research expertise as demonstrated by the completion of higher degrees with research components or involvement in research activities.

Fees (EU and non-EU) A full list of programme fees can be found on the following link: www.mic.ul.ie/fees

Queries regarding fees can be directed to: studentfees@mic.ul.ie

How to Apply:

  • 1. Please download the application form for taught postgraduate programme - click here The Application form must include the names and contact details of two referees who may be contacted in the event that you are being considered for a place on the programme.
  • 2. Write a personal statement, not exceeding 500 words, on why you wish to train as an educational psychologist, what roles you envisage for an educational psychologist and why you are suited to the roles. There is no form/template for this personal statement.
  • 3. Pay a non-refundable application fee (€33). You must attach the PayPal confirmation receipt or number to your application, otherwise it will be invalid.
  • 4. Post or otherwise deliver:
    • (i) Completed application form, together with
    • (ii) Personal statement
    • (iii) Name and contact details for two referees and
    • (iv) Application fee PayPal receipt/number to the address below to arrive by close of business on Wednesday 31st January 2018.

Admissions Office,
Mary Immaculate College,
South Circular Road,
Tel: 061 204929 or 061 204348 E-mail: admissions@mic.ul.ie

Application Fee (non-refundable):

EU Students: €33 § Click here to pay by PayPal (EU)

For further information about the programme, please contact:

§ Dr. Therese Brophy (Programme Leader: Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology). Therese.Brophy@mic.ul.ie. Phone: + 353 61 774767

Closing date for applications: 31st January, 2018

Provisional interview dates: 28th February – 2nd March, 2018 (subject to change)

Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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