Psychology Education in Ireland

Swan, Desmond
Psychological Society of Ireland,

While evidence from ancient manuscripts shows that psychology, applied to the care of the sick, was taught in Ireland as early as the eighth century, it became formalised only since the eighteenth century, and that mainly in the teacher training context. However, psychology as a science and as a profession in its own right, has grown rapidly in this country and is now one of the most popular subjects in Universities here.

This presentation will briefly review the teaching of psychology as a separate academic discipline in the Irish Universities, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with a particular interest in the professional training of Educational and Clinical Psychologists. The very influential role of the profession through the Psychological Society of Ireland, especially by way of course accreditation, in the shaping of many courses, will be dealt with, while both common and individual features of programmes will be included. It will be necessary to present something of the context within which this work is done, and to assess evidence of the extent to which students are taught to apply critical thinking to their own discipline. Features that might be of particular interest to scholars of psychology education will be highlighted. Lastly while psychology does not figure largely as yet, on school curricula, it is hoped to look at how it contributes to the training of other professionals as well as psychologists