A postgraduate qualification is normally required if graduates are to find work as professional psychologists. Such courses are normally at the level of Master’s degree or Higher Diploma, and usually are of 1-2 years duration. A full range of specialist areas can be studied, including Sports, Child, Health, Educational and Clinical psychology, demonstrated below. Graduates are also eligible to undertake many postgraduate courses and/or research in related areas such as social and cultural studies or health sciences.
Upon successful completion of the degree, depending upon the final grade, graduates will be eligible to apply to enter postgraduate training programmes in their chosen specialisation and ultimately gain employment in their area of expertise. Traditionally, many graduates in psychology pursue training in one of the following areas of professional practice:
Clinical psychologists work in health settings, engaging in diagnostic and therapeutic work with people with conditions such as schizophrenia and major depression. They often work in teams alongside other health professionals, including social workers, psychiatrists and doctors, in order to tailor treatment that best serves the needs of the patients.
Counselling psychologists work with people who have emotional and psychological difficulties in their daily lives, seeking to guide, support and advise people through their problems. They can work in health settings and in other institutions (such as schools) or they can work in private practice seeing members of the general public.
Educational psychologists often work with schools under government of local authority supervision, assisting students with learning, emotional, behavioural or other difficulties. Some educational psychologist work at the highest levels of the education system, designing and reforming the national curriculum to make it more effective, fairer and more useful to students and students and society. Others specialise in related areas such as special needs or adult education.
Forensic psychologists often work in the Prison Service. However, forensic psychologists may also work in the health service (including rehabilitation units and secure hospitals), the social service (including An Garda Siochana and young offender units) and in university departments or in private consultancy. Forensic psychologists also act as expert witnesses and give evidence in court.
Organisational psychologists work primarily in industry, but also in institutions such as hospitals, prisons, universities and public service agencies. Their expertise lies in the study of people in organisations, personnel practices, human engineering, the assessment of stress, efficiency, motivation and productivity. Some organisational psychologists specialise in the behaviour of consumers and so work with marketing departments, identifying key factors that are crucial in the management of industrial production, market research and advertising campaigns.
Health psychologists work in healthcare and related industries and are experts in the psychology of physical health and illness. Their duties span the whole of the healthcare system from health promotion, public health and health education to pain management, rehabilitation and patient maintenance. They also assist in the training of health professionals, including medical and nursing training and conduct research to isolate the connection between psychological causes and physical disease.
Neuropsychologists work in areas where an expertise in the biological basis of psychology is needed. Such knowledge is paramount when dealing with people who have suffered brain damage as a result of an accident, a drug overdose or a stroke. Neuropsychologists help to diagnose the precise nature of people’s symptoms and to recommend suitable rehabilitation techniques. They have expertise in areas such as amnesia, dementia, intellectual disability, epilepsy and the effects of drugs on the brain. They also conduct the most technologically modern research in psychology, into the very functioning of the human brain itself.
Sport (and Exercise) Psychology
Sport psychologists work with sports participants and are interested in two main areas: (a) helping athletes use psychological principals to achieve optimal mental health and to improve performance (performance enhancement), and (b) understanding how participation in sport, exercise, and physical activity affects an individual’s psychological development, health and well-being throughout their life span.
With a significant representation of psychoanalytic topics in the core modules of the BA (Hons) in Psychology, graduates may be eligible to apply for the MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, a rigorous two-year placement based program which can initiate training as a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy is increasingly being recognised as having a crucial role to play in mental health and social services as well as in society generally.
In addition, graduates of psychology often enter research-based careers in colleges and universities or work in a huge range of related areas, including forensic psychology, sport psychology, community development, social work, childcare, the media and the arts. Psychology is clearly wide-ranging and this variety is fully represented in the degree programme. Students take modules in theoretical and applied aspects of psychology, as well as modules in the history of psychology, current trends in psychology and research skills. The programme is delivered by members of the DBS School of Arts Psychology Department, one of five such departments in third level education in the Republic of Ireland. The Department is well known and respected in its field, with an experienced and varied team of full-time lecturers who are active in research and professional practice.
Dublin Business School has a dedicated Careers and Appointments Services department who work to develop the career prospects of the student body by teaching employment skills to be utilised following graduation and throughout a student’s professional life. The Careers office additionally publicises recruitment campaigns and current vacancies that may be of interest to students.
Additionally, internships and work experience opportunities are developed by our Employer Liaison Officer, with many DBS graduates continuing on to work within the company where they have completed their work placement.
For further information on the DBS Careers and Appointments Services, please visit the dedicated website