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Humanities (Psychology Major)

Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (Psychology Major)

  • Course type Undergraduate
  • Qualification Honours Bachelors Degree
  • Delivery Modes Online Distance Learning
  • Duration Continuous

This online course is designed to develop your knowledge, skills and competencies in Psychology, whether for personal or professional reasons. You may have a general interest in studying behaviour, thoughts, feelings, motivations; a specific interest in a particular area like Social Psychology or Counselling Psychology; or a specific interest in a field in which Psychological knowledge, skills and competencies can be applied, such as education or health.

Whatever your interests, you can pursue either a Diploma in Humanities (Psychology Major), or a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English and History, in the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule.

About the course

Understanding the Course:

The DCU Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (Psychology Major) is a Level 8 (on the National Framework of Qualifications), honours degree programme, which provides students with a focused, tailored programme of education in Psychology.

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and mental process, and as such is concerned with why we do what we do, feel what we feel and think what we think. Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding in a wide range of topics, as Psychology is a broad discipline. Psychological knowledge has many applications in a variety of settings such as industry, education, the law, as well as medical and forensic settings.

This programme offers students great flexibility in that they can vary the number of modules they register for in a given year to match the other responsibilities in their life. Given that registering for a module means committing to the workload associated with that module this flexibility allows a student to only take on the work they can accommodate in a given year. When deciding how much work to take on students should consider the time needed to: study learning materials; actively participate in tutorials; and the time they need to set aside to interact with tutors and other students in the online discussion forums. Students on this programme also have a good degree of flexibility in terms of time, place and pace of studying as they do not have to attend campus-based classes on a regular basis.

At the beginning of the academic year, students are provided with access to a suite of self-study learning materials and resources, along with reading lists for required textbooks. Studying Social Science subjects necessarily involves spending a lot of time reading academic material.

Students are supported academically through a variety of means. When studying a module students are supported by a dedicated Tutor. Each module has a blend of face to face and virtual tutorials. Tutorials are activity-based, participatory sessions where Tutors facilitate review and discussion of the material students have been studying. Face to face tutorials are held on DCU campus, usually on Saturdays, while virtual tutorials take place using 'live' online classroom technology. Students can partake in these virtual classroom tutorials at home, work or anywhere with a broadband internet connection. All that is required is a computer with a webcam and headset. These tutorials are recorded so they can be viewed again later and usually take place on weekday, evenings or on Saturdays. Attending the majority of tutorials/workshops is voluntary, with attendance at a small number of tutorials/workshops being mandatory. Students are also supported in online discussion forums. These discussion forums which can be found within DCU's virtual learning environment Loop, is the key medium through which students communicate with their Tutor and fellow students. Regular participation in these discussion forums is very important. In addition, students have access to a number of support services that are used to find answers to question and resolve any issues or problems they may be experiencing. 

In each module students will be given several opportunities throughout the academic year, to demonstrate their learning through assessment work. The form that these assessments take depends on the module, but may include essays, case studies, group work, practical work such as experiments, contributions to online forums and discussions, multiple choice questionnaires, learning journals and/or end of year examinations. Assessments are submitted online in Loop. Students can sit their end-of-year examinations in an examination centre in Dublin, Cork or Galway.

Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) may, when they graduate, apply to the British Psychological Society (BPS) for consideration of eligibility for Graduate Membership and the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). The BPS will consider their eligibility on an individual basis according to the criteria applicable at that time.

An application for undergraduate accreditation of the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), is currently being prepared for submission.

About You:

This programme is designed to develop students' knowledge, skills and competencies in Psychology, and is therefore tailored to be suitable for anyone who wishes to study Psychology at undergraduate level; whether for personal or professional reasons. You may have: a general interest in studying behaviour, thoughts, feelings, motivations etc.; a specific interest in one area of Psychology, for example Social Psychology or Counselling Psychology, or; a specific interest in one of the fields in which Psychological knowledge, skills and competencies can be applied, such as education or health.

This Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme offers you the attractive opportunity to obtain a DCU undergraduate degree through online learning, which is more open and flexible than if you registered for a full-time, or part-time, campus-based programme.

Course Structure:

On this programme you will study nine Psychology modules, which cover the core areas of Psychology: Social and Organisational Psychology; Developmental and Educational Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Biopsychology; Individual Differences and, very importantly; Psychological methods for conducting scientific research. As part of this programme you will also have the opportunity to complete, under supervision, an independent research project in Psychology. In addition to the Psychology modules you will study three Sociology Modules that complement your Psychological studies. These Sociology modules cover topics such as power and social order, crime and deviance, work and employment, social inequality and intergroup relations.

To complete the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) a student needs to successfully complete the twelve modules from these two subjects.

Students may elect to exit with a Diploma in Humanities (Psychology Major) on successful completion of eight modules, if they do not wish to progress to the full degree qualification. It should be noted that this Diploma is not a route to graduate membership of a Psychological society, and therefore is not a route into the field of Psychology in and of itself.

Please note that the programme is under constant review and there may be changes to the structure, content and presentation of the programme in future years.

Each module is awarded 15 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit points. These points are accumulated towards your award of degree. 180 ECTS credit points are required for the BA (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) and 120 ECTS credit points are required for the Diploma in Humanities (Psychology Major).

How Long does it take to Complete the Course?

It is possible to complete your degree in a minimum of four years, however, this would be a 'full-time' studying commitment. The Diploma in Humanities (Psychology Major) can be completed in a minimum of three years with a similar commitment. The greater the number of modules successfully completed each year, the quicker you obtain your degree. In the first year of study a student can only select the three foundation modules. After the foundation modules have been completed a student can select from one to four modules per year. The number of modules you undertake each year will depend on your individual circumstances. The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) must be completed within an eight year registration period.

Getting Started on your Programme:

The first module in each subject area aids students in becoming accustomed to studying at third level and to that specific subject area. These modules are designed to:

  • Introduce students to the specific subject area and get them started on their journey of acquiring knowledge about that subject.
  • Facilitate students in developing the study skills necessary to succeed in the subject for example, essay writing, sourcing and recording information, structuring assignments, and at third level in general.
  • Introduce students to the wide range of resources that are made available to them, for that subject.
  • Facilitate students in their acquisition of skills in using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to enhance their learning in that subject.
  • Enable students to demonstrate their achievement of the necessary skills and knowledge through a range of different types of assessment tasks, for examples essays, reports and/or learning portfolios.

Programme Subject Areas:

PSYCHOLOGY
The Psychology modules equips students who wish to specialise in Psychology with a foundation in the key concepts, language, and approach of the discipline and an appreciation of the nature of evidence and theory. Psychology is a progressive and modern field of study examining behaviour and mental process, and as such is concerned with why we do what we do, feel what we feel and think what we think. Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding in a wide range of topics, as Psychology is a broad discipline. Psychological knowledge has many applications in a variety of settings such as industry, education, the law, as well as medical and forensic settings.

The information below is provided in order that students may gain a reasonable impression of module content. This information is also provided specifically so that students may use it to inform any exemption applications they may make. However, modules are regularly updated and therefore the content of these modules, when they are delivered in the academic year 2016-2017, may differ from what is stated below.

PY100: Psychology Foundation - Why do Psychologists consider certain questions to be of key importance in understanding human nature? What are the fundamental questions that recur throughout every aspect of the discipline of Psychology? The Psychology Foundation module gives students a historical perspective on Psychology, and provides them with an introduction to areas of Psychology that they will encounter in later modules: biological; cognitive; developmental; organisational; personality; social. Students study key theorists and their theories, important concepts, debates, ethical issues and the research methods employed by Psychologists in these different areas of Psychology.

This module also introduces students to the essential study skills that students must attain to succeed in studying psychology at third level and beyond. These study skills are the building blocks of learning to "do" psychology, which is as important as learning about Psychology.

PY110: Exploring Psychological Research - Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding of different behaviours and mental processes. This module introduces students to Psychological research and its strategies, methods and techniques. Students develop their knowledge of Psychological research methods, including their history, utility, and the importance of ethics; along with the practical skills necessary to carry out effective, ethical Psychological research.

In order to fully support students as they attain the knowledge, skills and competencies relating to Psychological research methods the Exploring Psychological Research module has a larger number of tutorials than other modules on the programme. Students are also provided with appropriate research methods software (for Windows PC), where necessary. Students are required to attend a mandatory introductory day and a mandatory research methods school for this module.

PY200: Social and Organisational Psychology - Social Psychology is concerned with how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. It asks questions like: Why are people reluctant to go to the assistance of a person needing help?; Why do people tell 'white lies'?; Why do large groups of people follow advice to give away all their belongings in preparation for a predicted end of the world? This module explores topics of interest to Social Psychologists such as: how we think about the world around us; attitudes and how these can change; prosocial behaviour; aggression and; social influence, as well as how our understanding of such topics can be applied to real world situations in areas such as health and the law.

Organising touches on almost every significant area of human life. Organisational Psychology, as a branch of Applied Psychology, applies the concepts and theories of Psychology to study human behaviour in a particular context, often the workplace. This module will chart the origins of Organisational Psychology and the role of an Organisational Psychologist, as well as examine topics such as: how an organisation may be structured; selection and assessment; well-being at work; motivation; leadership and; power and influence in organisations.

PY210: Developmental and Educational Psychology - How does a child develop, within the individual, family and social contexts? This module examines the theories that have been put forward about how we develop and the methods by which these theories have been arrived at. Topics such as: the role of gender in development; how we develop a sense of morality; the impact of a child's peer group on development and; how children deal with adversity will be examined.

This module also introduces students to the field of Educational Psychology, and the contribution it makes to educational practice, with a focus on the work of the Educational Psychologist practitioner. Students will study what Educational Psychology research says about questions like: what causes some children to perform poorly at school?; why are some pupils unmotivated at school?; why are some pupils difficult to manage in class? and; how can children with learning difficulties be helped to overcome these problems?

PY220: Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods - This module further develops students' knowledge, skills and competencies with regard to Psychological research methods. Data collection and data analysis methods for quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research are explored, with students assessing their strengths and weaknesses. It is essential for Psychology students to be able to explain why a particular data collection or analysis method is appropriate in a particular instance. Practical skills and competencies with regard to the analysis of data using appropriate software are developed in this module. Students are provided with appropriate research methods software (for Windows PC), where necessary. As part of their assessment students produce a research proposal that demonstrates their ability to design a research project that is both methodologically and ethically sound.

Students are required to attend a mandatory introductory day and a mandatory research methods school for this module.

PY230: Cognitive Psychology and Biopsychology - Cognitive Psychology is concerned with: how we attend to and gain information about the world; how information is stored and processed by the brain and; how we solve problems, think, and formulate language. It is the scientific study of the thinking mind. Students will study attention, perception and memory, language, intelligence and problem solving and representations of knowledge.

Biopsychology has, as its core question; what role does biology have in determining our behaviour? In studying Biopsychology students will learn about: Neuroanatomy and Neuropsychology; the biological bases of behaviour; Behavioural Genetics; Evolutionary Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology and; the chemical bases of behaviour.

PY300: Individual Differences - This advanced level module focuses on the scientific method of studying personality, intelligence and Individual differences. In this module students become familiar with the theories associated with these complex concepts, the issues and debates in these areas as well as the methodology for observing, describing and predicting behaviour; the psychometric model of individual differences. Students study the psychometric model in terms of its assumption that four aspects of individual difference will determine a person's behaviour in a particular situation: their personality traits; their ability traits; their mood states and; their motivational states.

PY310: Abnormal and Counselling Psychology - The first part of this module focuses on theory and research relating to abnormal human behaviour, its manifestations and how such behaviours may be diagnosed and treated. The second part of this module, focusing on Counselling Psychology, examines the main concepts and theories relating to a range of psychological therapies, the skills and competencies developed by Counselling Psychologists and contextual factors that impact on counselling practice.

PY320: Advanced Research Methods and Project - The principal purpose of this module is to facilitate students in the completion, under supervision, of a research project based on an independent piece of psychological research. The module requires students to: design a research study; successfully apply for ethical clearance for the study; collect and analyse data; and submit a professionally presented research project document. To support students in preparing for, and carrying out their research projects, the module will involve a number of advanced research methods workshops.

SOCIOLOGY

The Sociology modules provides students with the techniques and skills to analyse contemporary Irish and European society, in particular the issues and problems associated with some of its major social institutions. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical approach to explanations of contemporary social issues offered by sociologists arguing from different sociological perspectives.

The information below is provided in order that students may gain a reasonable impression of module content. This information is also provided specifically so that students may use it to inform any exemption applications they may make. However, modules are regularly updated and therefore the content of these modules, when they are delivered in the academic year 2017-2018, may differ from what is stated below.

SC100: Sociology Foundation 

This module introduces the discipline of sociology, through the concept of the 'sociological imagination'. It explores key aspects of sociological thought; the emergence and development of the discipline; key theorists and methods and applies these approaches to the analysis to selected aspects of Irish society, including development;power and class;education;identity and culture; media and consumption.It concludes with an examination of future development and challenges for the discipline.

Soc3A: Power, Social Order; Crime Deviance, Work and Employment - Power is central to how our social world is structured and experienced. This module examines this concept by identifying several sources of power and by exploring some of the ways in which it is exercised. Different sociological perspectives are explored including the work of key thinkers such as Parsons, Gramsci and Foucault. Power is explored through a range of concepts that include social order, rules, crime, drugs and the contemporary work environment.

Soc4: Social Inequality and Intergroup Relations - In Ireland and elsewhere, inequality tends to be a major feature of society. Differences in wealth, income, prestige, education, gender, race and other social attributes profoundly impact how our lives are experienced and how we view, and are viewed by others. In this module, different forms of social inequality are outlined, as well as the ways that they can be examined from a practical and theoretical perspective. A range of studies are drawn upon that demonstrate how the manifestations of inequality vary in both time and space. Changes in the class structure are outlined as well as key issues related to inequalities in contemporary Irish society such as health care, housing and education. The module outlines a range of sociological perspectives on inequality as they relate to class, poverty, gender and racism.

What Modules are Running in 2016-2017?

All modules are being presented in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Module Selection:

While this programme's modular structure provides you with the flexibility to choose how many modules you commit to studying in any one academic year, there are rules relating to module registration that you must be familiar with in order that you can make a fully informed decision about which modules you wish to take. For example, some modules must be completed before others can be selected, and other modules cannot be taken in combination. Before planning your pathway through the programme (and it is important that you create such a plan) you should view the Guide to Module Selection for the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major).

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

Mathematics Recommendation:

Please note that the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme involves a number of modules that focus on Psychology research methods, which require a competence in mathematics roughly equivalent to pass Leaving Certificate level. While a Leaving Certificate mathematics qualification is not mandatory, students without recent exposure to mathematics should consider updating their skills by enrolling in a Leaving Certificate mathematics course or by studying Leaving Certificate mathematics textbooks.

Because of the way the programme is structured, you do not have to defer commencement of the programme while you develop your competence in mathematics. You could update your skills in parallel with other modules not requiring competence in this area specifically PY100: Psychology Foundation and Soc1: Sociology Foundation.

IT Equipment and Skills required:

You must have regular access to a computer (with Microsoft Office), a broadband Internet connection, a printer and, for virtual tutorials, a basic headset and a webcam. Specifically, you will need access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You should also be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, and using word processing packages like Microsoft Word.

Some modules on this programme specifically require the use of software that will be provided to students and must be run on a Windows PC.

You can find detailed information on the IT skills and equipment required for this programme under the section 'Technology Requirements'.

 

Course Life

Careers

Career Prospects:

The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) degree programme facilitates those interested in pursuing any kind of work that requires critical thinking skills, high quality written expression, and transferable skills such as organisation and time-management, and these skills and abilities are highly valued by employers. The knowledge and skills you will develop are useful and valuable to have no matter what path you take once you successfully complete your DCU degree programme.

The knowledge, skills and competencies relating to Psychological research methods that graduates have achieved in their studies on this programme allow them to work in junior researcher positions.

Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme who intend to qualify as professional Psychologists will need to pursue further training in Psychology at Masters or Doctoral level. Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) will be able to go on to postgraduate study, and careers, in a number of Psychology's sub-disciplines and related fields. Graduates may proceed to either a taught masters or doctoral programmes in a specific sub-discipline of Psychology, or a Psychology masters or doctorate by research, where they conduct a research project, under supervision, in their area of interest

As Psychology is such a broad field there are many different routes that graduates may take depending on their areas of interest. As the majority of online learning students are already working, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) may facilitate advancement in their existing career or it may enable them to change career. Existing graduates have gone on to careers such as: Human Resource Manager; Psychological Researcher; Research Methods Tutor; Behavioural Therapist; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Therapist; Clinical Psychology assistant/researcher; Special Needs Assistant; and Clinical Co-ordinator for a regional counselling service.

Requirements

General Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements:

Applicants aged over 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry are eligible for admission to the programme and are automatically granted a place subject to submission of an application form and deposit.

Applicants under 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry must satisfy the normal minimum degree entry requirements of Dublin City University which are:

Irish Leaving Certificate: Grade C3 in two Higher Level Subjects and Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects including Mathematics AND English or Irish.

In addition, applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must satisfy the university requirements for competency in the English language.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving examinations

How to Apply:

Applications are now closed for academic year 2016-2017. You need to first register with PAC in order to make an application.

To apply please go to: www.pac.ie/ugrad and select Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) PAC Code: DC345.

PAC will charge undergraduates an application fee of €35. .

Recognition of Prior Learning:

The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme allows for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), through the granting of module exemptions.

Applicants can apply for a `Specific' exemption if they have covered the full content of a module, to successful completion, in another programme, at a similar award level (but not where that module contributed towards an achieved award as the credits for that module have already been 'cashed in' against that award).

Please note that a student may not present the same ECTS credits as qualification for more than one DCU award. Similarly, a student may not claim an exemption for ECTS credits towards one award that has already been presented as qualification for another award elsewhere at a similar award level.

Please note that applicants will not obtain exemptions on the basis of work experience only.

A maximum exemption total of 60 credits (four modules) may be awarded to applicants with appropriate prior qualifications.

Please see the Exemption Form for more details.

Those interested in applying for exemptions should firstly apply for the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme. Exemption Application forms are available to all applicants upon request or you can download them from the Programme Forms section of our website.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions we have prepared for all applicants.

You can also email us with any questions to: openeducation@dcu.ie or telephone us directly on 01 700 5481for further assistance.

Important Dates:

Study Period: 19th September 2016 to mid-May 2017.

Closing Date for Applications: Applications normally close in mid September of each year.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)