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The Department of Psychology at Mary Immaculate College is committed to providing outstanding education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and conducting excellent research. Our dedicated members of staff are all qualified to the highest level in their subject and are research active. Moreover, they are vastly experienced at teaching and place great emphasis on the needs and experience of students.

Psychology at Mary Immaculate College is studied at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The Department of Psychology offers the following three undergraduate programmes:

    - BSc Psychology programme 

    - Psychology in the Bachelor of Arts programme

    - Bachelor of Education and Psychology programme

Each of the programmes provides a different pathway into psychology and all three programmes are accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). These programmes also include work placement/s to gain real world employability skills alongside core psychology content. 

This blend of scientific theory and real-world application gives students a chance to develop incredibly valuable critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

Psychology can also be studied at postgraduate level. We regularly advertise funded positions for those seeking to study for a research master’s degree or a doctoral level qualification.

Head of Department
Prof. Niamh Stack
+353 61 204311

Subject Overview


Undergraduate psychology at Mary Immaculate College is studied alongside another subject; either as part of the BA Liberal Arts with Psychology or the B Ed in Education and Psychology. The psychology content of both of these programmes is identical.

Below is a list of undergraduate Psychology modules currently on offer at MIC. 

Core Modules

PS4001: Introduction to Psychology

PS4002: Social Psychology 1 
PS4003: Research Design and Methodology 1
PS4013: Cognitive Psychology 1 
IT4733: Introduction to Information Technology
PS4004: Lifespan Development
PS4014: Personality and Individual Differences
PS4024: Information Technology in Psychology
PS4025: Biological Basis of Behaviour
PS4005: Research Design and Methodology 2 
EPS360: Design and Ethical Evaluation of Psychological Research
PS4017: Cognitive Psychology 2
PS4007: Social Psychology 2
PS4718: Undergraduate Dissertation in Psychology
PS4088: Controversies in Psychology
Elective Modules
PS4016: Advanced Issues in Educational Psychology
EPS450: The Psychology of Motivation
PS4015: Abnormal Psychology
PS4178: Health Psychology
PS4018: Forensic Psychology
PS4048: Organisational Psychology
PS4058: Developmental Psychology


Postgraduate research qualifications include a Master’s degree by Research and PhDs. Those wishing to study these should read individual staff research profiles and make an initial informal enquiry.

Funded opportunities are available through the MIC Doctoral Award, MIC Doctoral Studentship Award, MIC Postgraduate Studentship Award, and Departmental Assistantships. All of these opportunities carry a stipend and full fee waiver. For more information, contact a member of staff with whom your proposed research aligns.

We are currently seeking applications for Departmental Assistantships.

The MIC Departmental Assistantship Award is offered to postgraduate students who are prepared to participate in departmental and  college activities (tutorial/seminar/laboratory/field work/course work marking etc.) for a maximum of 108 hours in the academic year. An assistantship entitles the student to a fee waiver and a subsistence bursary of €6,900. For informal enquiries, please contact


Professor Niamh Stack

Head of Department - Psychology
  • Phone: 061 2043111
  • Email:
  • Location: MIC Limerick Campus G66

Dr Lorcan Cronin

Lecturer in Psychology
  • Phone: +353 (061) 774973
  • Email:
  • Location: G61

Dr Suzanne Egan

BA (UCD); MA (UCD); PG Dip (TCD) and PhD (TCD)
  • Phone: +353 61 204333
  • Email:
  • Location: G63

Michelle Glasheen

BA (MIC) and MA (MIC)
Psychology Technician
  • Phone: +353 61 204939
  • Email:
  • Location: R201b

Dr Niamh Higgins

BA (University of Galway); HDipPsych (University of Galway); PhD (University of Galway); Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Limerick)
  • Phone: +353 61 774344
  • Email:
  • Location: R122

Dr Marek McGann

BA (UCD); M Litt (UCD); MA (UCD) & D Phil (Sussex)
  • Phone: +353 61 204326
  • Email:
  • Location: G62


Planting the Seeds of Reading

National and international events such as World Book Day help encourage a love of reading and support literacy. Studies have found consistent relationships between early shared reading in the home and later literacy and language skills. Early childhood is an important time to lay down…

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The Social and Emotional Impact of School and ECEC Closures on Young Children

Over a billion children globally have missed out on school and early childhood education and care (ECEC) due to closures during the COVID-19 crisis. In Ireland, these settings closed abruptly in March 2020 causing major disruption for children and parents. During the first lockdown…

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The Role of Smartphones in Parent-Child Interactions: Capturing Parents’ Perspectives

Technology has become an integral part of everyday life, with most households having access to multiple devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures and lockdowns, devices have been used to work, entertain,…

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Travel Restrictions & Transnationalism

Researchers at MIC Investigate the Impact of Travel Restrictions on the Irish in Britain & British in Ireland A new research project from Mary Immaculate College (MIC) aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those who lead transnational lives between…

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The last Ryanair generation?: Transnationalism in the time of Covid

For various reasons, I spent much of 2017 commuting on a weekly basis between Cork and the English Midlands. This involved numerous early morning and late evening flights between Cork and Birmingham: over time I came to recognise fellow travellers who were clearly in similar…

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Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions on Young Children’s Play, Learning and Development: Preliminary Findings from the PLEY Survey

Children’s lives have changed considerably over the last few months with the closure of schools and creches in mid-March, and the subsequent restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Play and Learning in the Early Years (PLEY) Survey was launched in May…

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Thinking differently about the future can mitigate some socioeconomic disadvantage in school

An unfortunate but well-established fact is that academic attainment is significantly predicted by socio-economic status. Put simply, if someone is from a deprived background, they are less likely to do well in education (and beyond). Clearly, the most welcome solutions to this problem…

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DIY haircuts and dodgy psychometrics

Like many, I tried to give myself a DIY haircut when the COVID-19 restrictions were announced. My hair was a bit longer than I liked. I could rub a load of hair wax into it to make it look presentable, but it seemed a lot of effort, especially when I wasn’t bothering to change into “…

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Staff in the Department of Psychology at Mary Immaculate College are engaged in many research projects aimed at developing knowledge and having a real-world impact on a national and international scale. Staff regularly publish their work in peer-reviewed journals, present at international conferences, and inform practice in applied areas. Generally, our research expertise falls under the areas of personality, stress, and health, education, community and social psychology, and the work of the Cognition, Development, and Learning Lab.

Cardiovascular responses to stress is the focus of two of our researchers. Dr Niamh Higgins examines attention towards or away from threat with an emphasis on physiological response.

This also includes personality influences. Similarly, Dr Paul Mulcahy is interested in the reactivity to stress in different individuals and the impact on sleep deprivation. Dr Higgins is also currently active in research regarding youth mental health and individuals working with musculoskeletal pain.

Dr Marc Scully leads research on individual’s identification with a place, particularly related to migration. Dr Scully is highly active in discourse surrounding Irish diaspora issues.

Dr Marek McGann aids in the management of a national forum project, the Teaching Research Expertise Exchange (T-REX), which aims to build a digital bridge between academic and professional practice. This fits with Dr McGann’s ongoing interest in the practice of science and implementation.

Prof Niamh Stack research is predominantly in the areas of gifted education, ecopsychology and community psychology.

Researchers in the Cognition, Development and Learning Lab in the Department of Psychology, led by Dr Suzanne Egan, study the factors that impact on how we think, reason, learn, solve problems and interact with others, with a special focus on early experiences. Examining data from children, parents, preschool educators, and teachers, we aim to understand the interactions and interdependencies between people's physical and social environments and their cognitive and socioemotional development. For current information about research from the lab please check the Department of Psychology blog or Dr Egan’s profile page.

These are some of the research questions and topics we focus on:

  • What level of outdoor play are Irish children engaged in?
  • How much of an impact does reading to infants have for later cognitive development?
  • What sorts of different activities and games in the home learning environment influence socio-emotional development?
  • What effect does screen use have on development during early childhood?

Postgraduate Opportunities

Departmental Assistantships 2023

General Information 

The Department of Psychology, Mary Immaculate College, is now accepting applications for one further funded Departmental Assistantships in Psychology beginning in September 2023.  

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of a member of staff in the Department of Psychology. They will be provided with a fee waiver (two years for a research M.A. student; four years for a Ph.D. student) and an annual stipend of €6,900 (two years for a research M.A. student; three years for a Ph.D. student). The applicant will undertake tutorial or other departmental work, to a maximum of 120 hours per year.  

General information on the Departmental Assistantship funding scheme is available here:… 

Application Process - Part One

To be considered for a Departmental Assistantship, applicants should identify a research topic and supervisor, and complete a research postgraduate application. Information on this process is available here 

It is essential that potential applicants allow sufficient time to prepare an application in conjunction with a potential supervisor. Further information on the research interests of faculty in the Department of Psychology is available here: 

We are particularly welcoming applications this year to work with the supervisors below in the following areas:  

Prof Niamh Stack: Ecopsychology, outdoor learning, gifted development, developmental impact of growing up with congenital heart disease, community psychology  – the focus within these topics will preferably be on qualitative methodologies  

Dr Lorcan Cronin: life skills development in youth sport, PE, dance, or higher education; life skills as a way of combatting depression, anxiety and stress; sport and exercise psychology. 

Dr Marc Scully: Social psychological approaches to migration, transnationalism and diaspora. Discourses of local and national identity. Identities and pro-environmental behaviour – the focus within these topics will preferably be on qualitative methodologies  


Application Process - Part Two

The applicant should complete a Departmental Assistantship (Psychology) application.  

Selection Criteria 

  • Academic record at undergraduate level; 

  • Academic record at postgraduate level (if appropriate); 

  • Research M.A. or Ph.D. project; 

  • Aptitude for teaching undergraduate students in tutorials. 


Application Process - Part Three

Applicants should submit the following documents in hard copy or by email to the Head of Department, Prof Niamh Stack ( 

  • Academic transcript(s). 

  • A copy of the research M.A. or Ph.D. application. 

  • A short statement indicating aptitude for teaching undergraduate psychology students in tutorials (maximum 200 words). 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 25th September. 

Selection Process

The department will convene a Selection Committee consisting of the Head of Department (chair) and at least two other members of staff. The committee will assess applications on the basis of the selection criteria and make recommendation(s) for approval via the Research and Graduate School to the Executive Team. The Head of Department will notify applicants of the outcome of the selection process as soon as possible. 


Late Applications 

Late applications will be welcomed if Department Assistantships in the Department of Psychology remain unfilled after the deadline. Please contact Prof Niamh Stack (


Contact Information

Please direct general queries to: 

Prof Niamh Stack, Head of Department (  

Department website


Staff and students in the Department of Psychology have access to a range of excellent facilities, equipment and technical support.

We have a Psychological Test Library, which includes intelligence and personality tests, and a dedicated Psychology Computer Laboratory, which features high performance networked PCs, specialist software, response pads and more.

We also have a suite of individual and small group observation and testing rooms. These include a Cognition and Perception Laboratory equipped with two SMI Eye Trackers (an iView X HED for mobile eye-tracking and a RED 250 for remote eye tracking) and a Psychophysiology Laboratory equipped with blood pressure monitors and PowerLab systems (which can be used to measure EEG, EOG, ECG and GSR).

Our Cardiovascular Psychophysiology Laboratory has a Finometer PRO which allows for accurate non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring.

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