School of Psychology

  • Head of School: Prof. Sven Vanneste
  • Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate): Dr Frédérique Vallières * (on leave January – September 2024)
  • Deputy Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate): Dr. Lorraine Swords
  • Email:  
  • How to apply: Please see links below

School Description:

The School has a variety of research activities spanning a diverse range of areas.  The School is prominently associated with seven research groups in the College: the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, the Global Brain Health Institute, TRiSS (Trinity Research in Social Science), the Centre for Global Health, Trinity Research in Childhood Centre, the Research Centre for Psychological Health and the Centre for Innovative Human Systems.  The School is well equipped with a student computer laboratory, multi-media facilities, EEG and behavioural neuroscience laboratories, video-observation suites and sound attenuated experimental testing suites and fMRI analysis capability. There are excellent contacts with hospitals and medical services. Members of the School receive significant research funding from national and international sources.

Our Postgraduate Programme develops high calibre psychologists who advance psychological science and practice.  Leading international experts provide excellent training in research methodology and foster academic excellence in a range of research areas on our M.Sc. and structured Ph.D. programmes. The School encourages active participation in national and international collaborations, and attracts many visiting academics and international graduate students.

Students following the School’s postgraduate programme by research are engaged in research spanning the wide range of expertise in the School. Further information about the research being conducted by individual members of staff in the School is available on the School website:

Research Programmes

M.Sc. Research

The minimum registration period for the M.Sc. (full-time) is one year, and the thesis of not more than 60,000 words must normally be submitted within two years.*

Ph.D. Research

The minimum registration period for a Ph.D. (full-time) is two years and the thesis of not more than 100,000 words must normally be submitted within four years.*

*Depending on the subject nature of the thesis, word count guidelines as laid out above may not apply.  Your supervisor will advise on an acceptable length for the thesis.

There are two start/registration dates for postgraduate research programmes: September and March of each academic year.

Closing Date for Applications: While there is no deadline for applications, please note that any new student wishing to apply for School or College research funding must submit their application by the 31st May 2024 for the 2024/25 academic year (September 2024 and March 2025 intake). Please note that funding is currently contingent on registration as a full-time Ph.D. student. Students must make their application for Postgraduate studentship awards in conjunction with their Ph.D. application. This process is done online via

How to Apply: New entrants to the Research Register must make their applications online via

The School will consider applications for postgraduate research across the wide area of its expertise. However, intending applicants must have supervision arrangements in place, agreed by an academic member of staff in the School of Psychology before submitting an application. Postgraduate research students are expected to attend the School’s research seminars, which take place on a regular basis during the teaching terms. Each postgraduate student must present a research proposal at an appropriate early point in the development of their ideas. Research students are encouraged to participate in formal and informal academic development exercises.

A process of academic assessment for all Ph.D. students to confirm their continuation of the Ph.D. register is normally arranged within the first eighteen months of registration. This timeline is extended by a further eighteen months of registration. This timeline is extended by a further year for Ph.D. students on the part-time register from year 1. The School runs an annual appraisal system for all postgraduate research students aimed at facilitating and monitoring their progress throughout the course of their research. Two independent members of staff are assigned as the student’s thesis committee at the beginning of their studies. As part of this system each student is required to present a progress report to their thesis committee every year.

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to register retrospectively. Applicants wishing to be considered for retrospective admission should contact the Graduate Studies Office by emailing