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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. Our undergraduates study psychology either with Liberal Arts or with Education. Both four-year programmes include a placement in the third year to gain real world employability skills alongside core psychology content. 

Our commitment to furthering knowledge provides many opportunities to study as a postgraduate research student. Further, we regularly advertise funded positions for those seeking to study for a research master’s degree or a doctoral level qualification.

Head of Department
Dr John Perry
+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


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 Yemaya Halbrook

BA, MSc, PhD
Lecturer in Psychology
  • Email:

Dr Niamh Higgins

BA (NUIG); HDipPsych (NUIG) & PhD (NUIG)
  • 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

Dr Paul Mulcahy

  • Phone: +353 61 774723
  • Email:
  • Location: R104


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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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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PLEY Survey: Play & Learning in the Early Years

Researchers in the Cognition, Development and Learning Research Lab in the Department of Psychology in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, are interested in examining how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the play and learning activities that young children engage in at home and how…

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Double success for Students at PSI All-Ireland Student Congress

Two MIC students took home prizes at this year’s Psychological Society of Ireland All-Ireland Student Congress. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the conference, which was due to be held in UCC, was moved online with students from across the country submitting posters based on…

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Tips for Working at Home

1. Be aware of the power of the situation, and be kind to yourself and others We should be aware of and repect the impact that this strange situation has on us, the other people in your office and other areas of college life, and on students. It may not be possible to do everything we…

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Bachelor of Education & Psychology Student Highly Commended in Global Award

Kevin O’Sullivan, a student at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has been Highly Commended in the Education category of the 2019 Global Undergraduate Awards. The Global Undergraduate Awards is the world’s leading undergraduate awards programme which recognises top undergraduate work from…

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Psychfest 2019

Final year Psychology students recently showcased their undergraduate research projects as part of the Psychfest event at Mary Immaculate College, on March 26th. Psychfest ran for the entire day across two separate venues. Over 50 individual presenters talked about their work and…

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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 and social psychology, and the work of the Cognition, Development, and Learning Lab.

Our research into personality incorporates three main areas; mental toughness, temporal psychology, and psychometrics. Mental toughness research, led by Dr John Perry investigates the how people deal with stressors, even in difficult circumstances. Dr Perry also investigates areas of temporal psychology, such as time perspective and considerations of future consequences. This leads to new approaches to behaviour change. In both of these areas, and often in personality research, psychometric tools are routinely investigated.

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.

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 webpage.

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?


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 virtual lab software such as Coglab and Sniffy the Virtual Rat.

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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