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Psychology (TSM)

  • Course Type: Undergraduate
  • CAO Course Code: TR001 (TSM)
  • No. of Places: 17
  • Min Entry Points for 2014: 580 points (Points per TSM combination)
  • Duration: 4 Year(s) Full Time
  • Award: B.A.
  • Course Options:

    TR006: Psychology is a single honor course where psychology is read almost exclusively for four years.

    TR001 (TSM) - Psychology may be combined with one other subject within the two-subject moderatorship (TSM) programme. TSM is a joint honor programme. An honors degree is awarded in both subjects.

    For subjects that combine with Psychology see TSM: possible combinations.

    Single honor and TSM students follow the same courses. However, while TSM students cover all the principal areas of psychology, the workload is less extensive than that of the single honor programme.

  • How to apply: See how to apply

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student - Supplementary Application Form

+ Advanced Entry Applications

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. Although taught in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology has many of the features of a science course - practical work, statistical description and analysis of data and courses on the underlying physiology of the human brain, for instance. These are in addition to the more familiar psychological topics such as human development, perception, learning, motivation, cognitive processes, individual differences and social psychology.

There are five thematic areas in psychology: Biological, Cognitive, Developmental, Personality and individual differences, and Social psychology.

Is this the right course for you?

Psychology is a rigorous, fascinating and demanding field of the life sciences. If you are interested in the factors influencing human thinking, feeling and behaviour, as individuals and in groups, you will enjoy this course. The School of Psychology is committed to excellence in education and training at all levels, and aims to offer a knowledge base and a set of skills that not only equip students for the many careers that exist in psychology, but also prepare students intellectually for other careers. Psychology is a branch of science that demands clear, rigorous thinking, numeracy and the ability to define, study and solve problems in complex, changing settings. Psychology educates and trains students to be aware of the factors influencing human thinking, feeling and behaving, as individuals and in groups. Such abilities are highly transferable to many different spheres of life. Psychology is also an applied science that deals with how people act and behave in the real world. It provides support for families in their social life and work, through clinical and counselling interventions.

Course overview

The course is designed to develop a wide knowledge of the concepts, principles, theories and research methods of contemporary psychology; to develop skills of analysis and synthesis, research design, statistical description and evaluation, problem-solving and computer use; to provide practice in the design, execution, reporting and assessment of research and to develop competence in group work, communication and presentation skills and self-assessment. This preparation is designed to cultivate a high level of competence in scholarship and research, enabling the successful graduate to proceed directly to advanced postgraduate work, professional training or a productive career.

During lecture term, single honor students spend approximately 5-6 hours per week receiving tuition such as lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals.

The Freshman years

The Junior and Senior Freshman (first and second) years provide a broad foundation on which more advanced course work is built in the Sophister (third and fourth) years. In addition, modules in methodology and statistics enable students to develop their research skills in a systematic fashion. Training in academic skills is also provided which enable you to build the skills required to write essays, to develop an attitude of scepticism and to develop independent, critical thinking.

As a Freshman student, you will take foundation-level modules in a range of areas such as:

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Perception
  • History of psychology
  • Psychological disorder
  • Developmental psychology
  • Cognition
  • Fundamentals of neuroscience and behaviour
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Personality and individual differences

You will also be given the opportunity to take a module/modules from the Broad Curriculum options (see

Research methods, statistics and laboratory practicals

Modules in research methods and statistical analysis, which include laboratory practicals are provided in the Freshman years. These will enable you to understand the different research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative) upon which psychology is based and will prepare you for planning, conducting and communicating your own research. Some of the practicals are related to the foundation courses and provide hands-on experience of carrying out research in different areas of psychology. Other practicals concentrate on statistical description and analysis and key research-related skills, such as literature searching.

The Sophister years

By the Junior Sophister (third) year you will have identified areas within psychology that are of particular interest to you and you will have the opportunity to develop these interests throughout the Sophister years. In addition to a number of core advanced modules, you will choose modules from a series of advanced options. These optional modules will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the various branches of psychology and the different ways in which research is carried out. The options you select may also help you to make decisions about your future career, if it is to be in psychology. Students majoring in Psychology also take additional modules in research methods and statistics.

On completion of the Sophister years, students must have taken at least one module from each of the five specified thematic areas. The following table shows the kind of modules which have been offered within each of these areas:


  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Behavioural neuroscience
  • Memory, synaptic plasticity and the brain
  • Clinical and experimental neuropsychology


  • Culture and health
  • The social self: Theory and measurement
  • Organisational psychology
  • Social neuroscience


  • Child development in changing family contexts
  • Debates in child psychology
  • Language and language disorders
  • Applied issues in developmental psychology


  • Rationality and reasoning
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Cross-modal cognition
  • Development of perception throughout the lifespan

Personality and individual differences

  • Clinical cases
  • Advanced individual differences
  • Embodiment
  • Human sexuality
  • Health psychology

As a Junior Sophister (third) year student you will carry out a group research project on an important community-based psychological issue. This will give you experience of working as a team member, of working with a range of research methodologies in psychology and of presenting psychological research. A series of seminars in the Junior Sophister year, in which staff talk directly about their own research, gives you a first-hand account of the research process.

In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year a large part of your workload involves carrying out an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Typically, the topic you choose to investigate will coincide with your supervisor’s own research work, giving you all the benefits and support of an active and accessible research group. Many students report that this project, while challenging, is one of the most rewarding parts of the course.


A combination of end-of-year written examinations and continuous assessment is used. In your final year, you will also submit a report of your research project.

Study abroad

Second and third year undergraduates are eligible to apply to study for one or more terms (students usually go for a whole academic year) in certain other European psychology schools, with travel, and where appropriate, some subsistence funding provided by the EU Erasmus fund. There are no basic course charges to be paid abroad. Assessment is carried out in the host (i.e. foreign) institution and is accepted by Trinity as if students were examined here. This School has bilateral agreements with several European universities where arrangements have been made for students to study.

Career opportunities

Many psychology graduates proceed to a career in professional psychology through professional training or higher education in areas related to psychology. The School of Psychology offers a range of postgraduate programmes including professional doctorates in Clinical psychology and Counselling psychology, Masters courses in Applied psychology, Applied behaviour analysis and Clinical supervision, a postgraduate diploma in Applied behaviour analysis as well as research M.Sc. and PhD degrees. However, the advanced understanding of human behaviour and experience and the wide range of skills developed during the course have allowed students to enter many professions, ranging from management, marketing, advertising and accountancy, to journalism, broadcast media, teaching and recruitment. Seminars about career development will be provided by the School during the course of your degree.

Did you know?

  • Trinity College's School of Psychology was ranked in the world top 100 universities for Psychology in the QS World University Rankings 2014.
  • As well as offering high-quality teaching, the School of Psychology collaborates with a number of other disciplines through the Children's Research Centre, Neuroscience Institute, Centre for Global Health, and the Centre for Innovative Human Systems (all based on Trinity College’s campus). Students are encouraged to become actively involved in our ongoing research, particularly in the third and fourth years of College.

Psychology degree and professional qualifications

The TSM degree (where the student majors in Psychology) confer eligibility for graduate membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland. TSM students for whom Psychology is the minor subject (studied for only three years) are not eligible for graduate membership of the society.

Progression into the profession of psychology, however, requires further training at postgraduate level. For example, clinical and counselling psychology typically lasts for 3 years, health psychology for 2 years and occupational psychology for 1 year.

Further information

Tel: + 353 1 896 1886