Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHW04 (FT), MHW05 (PT)

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 June 2019

View FETAC details

The goal of the structured MSc by research programme is to provide a high quality research experience with integrated taught support. Structured support is offered through generic/transferable skills modules and specialist modules to provide students with academic and professionals needed for careers in industry and academia. Under normal circumstances, students who intend to pursue a PhD but who do not already hold a postgraduate qualification in psychology are initially registered to undertake a Master’s degree, with transfer to the Doctoral programme subject to satisfactory progress. It is expected that campus-based postgraduate students will participate in demonstrating and tutoring to undergraduate students.

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time. Commencement dates are restricted.

September (or other agreed time)

Normally, candidates for research degrees must possess a first class or upper second class honours degree in psychology that qualifies the student for eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society or for Graduate Membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland. In exceptional cases, graduates of cognate disciplines with a first class or upper second class honours degree may be accepted for postgraduate study; such students should be aware that they will require additional qualifications in order to be eligible for GBC or Graduate Membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland.Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:
• IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
• TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
• TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
• PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

The following research interests and specialisms are within the Department of Psychology:

Dr Laura Coffey

Self-regulation; cancer survivorship; rehabilitation; assistive technology; adjustment to illness and disability.


Dr Seán Commins
The neurobiology of spatial navigation, learning and memory. Consolidation of long-term memories. Neural substrates of hippocampal-cortical interactions. Investigation of cognitive deficits following stroke and other disorders. The role of cognition in driver behaviour.


Professor Andrew Coogan
We are interested in circadian rhythms and sleep, and their importance for health and wellbeing. Current research interests include assessing how circadian clocks may be involved in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, looking at circadian rhythm involvement in other important conditions, such as diabetes and depression, asking how the immune system influences circadian rhythms and assessing how cognition and behavior may be changed following sepsis.


Dr Michael Cooke

Living and working with technology. Human factors and human-computer interaction. Understanding people in complex systems (such as aviation, security, emergency management, health, manufacturing, energy production, critical infrastructure, etc.), the psychology of lived experience (phenomenological perspectives) and sociocultural psychology.


Dr Deirdre Desmond
Psychosocial adjustment to illness, injury and disability; Coping; Outcomes measurement; rehabilitation; assistive technology.


Dr Unai Diaz-Orueta

Neuropsychological assessment using a process-based approach. Virtual and augmented reality applications in (neuro)psychological assessment and intervention. Cognitive rehabilitation procedures (both traditional and technology/game-based approaches). Serious games for health.


Dr Patricia Gough 
Representation of language in the brain. The role of the motor system in language processing. Embodiment of language. The mirror neuron system. Evolution of language.


Professor Fiona Lyddy
Psychology of Communication. Computer-mediated communication. People and technology.


Professor Mac MacLachlan

Social inclusion, human rights, assistive technology, global health, policy development and implementation, macropsychology, maritime psychology,


Dr Rebecca Maguire

Psychological appraisals and representations of health and well-being. Quality of life in patients with chronic illness and their caregivers. Reasoning and decision making. Cognitive basis of surprise.



Professor Sinéad McGilloway
The psychological aspects and community context of health care and social problems. Child and adult mental health and well-being. Health services research and evaluation.. The health and social care needs (including employment and social integration) of vulnerable and socially excluded groups. Bereavement support and
palliative/end-of-life care.



Dr Carol Murphy
Applied behaviour analysis and language development in populations with and without learning disorders. Relational frame theory and derived relational responding. Development of special education programmes. The experimental analysis of human behaviour. Clinical behaviour analysis. Implicit cognition.


Dr Brenda O’Connell

Positive psychology, health, and wellbeing.  Emphasis on if, how, and when positive psychological constructs (gratitude, resilience, optimism etc.) influence mental and physical health (somatic and biomarkers). Stress buffering effects of gratitude and compassion. Design, delivery and evaluation of wellbeing- promoting interventions.


Dr Bryan Roche
The experimental analysis of complex human behaviour, language and cognition (EAB). Experimental social psychology and implicit attitude measurement. Fear and avoidance conditioning models of human anxiety. Intelligence and the development of behaviourally oriented educational interventions.


Dr Richard Roche
Memory Consolidation and Reconsolidation. Spatial Memory and Navigation. Source Memory and Ageing. Cognition in Stroke and Psychosis. Brain Injury. Human Electrophysiology.

For further details on the research specialisms within the Department please visit:

Master’s students must take a minimum of 10 credits in taught modules (5 in generic/ transferable modules and 5 in specialist modules). Selection of specific modules within the programme will be tailored to the needs and experiences of individual students.

Course Duration: 2 years Full-time, 3 years Part-time

The MSc by Research is a research oriented programme associated with a wide range of career options, depending on subject area. The prospective supervisor will be able to advise on specific career options.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHW05 Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.


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