Course Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and Health (PhD) programme is a four year (full-time) postgraduate research degree that combines a PhD thesis with the taught academic components of the existing MSc in Health Psychology programme and a range of transferable skills. This full-time PhD programme subscribes to the scientist-practitioner model, and provides students with integrated training in the academic and research aspects of Psychology and Health as well as providing students with a broad range of transferable skills.

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (Psychology and Health)—full-time 
Structured PhD (Psychology and Health)—part-time
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Students are selected by course committee comprising the course Director(s), prospective research supervisor(s), and Head of School. Entrants are expected to have no less than an Upper Second Class Honours degree in psychology or a discipline related to health psychology, or equivalent international qualification. If students do not have this basic qualification they must have demonstrated high ability by some other means (e.g., through publications or achievement in a higher degree). Candidates should be proficient in the use of the English language. An interview process forms part of the selection procedure and these take place at the end of June/early July.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Web-based intervention to increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine in young women (Dr. Jane Walsh, Susie Kola & Sinead Leonard School of Psychology)

Managing the Psychological Challenges of Breast Cancer (A Groarke, R Curtis) (Psychology University of Galway), M. Kerin & Ray McLaughlin (Dept of Surgery, UCHG)

The meaning of motivation for patients with chronic low back pain, using a person-centred qualitative approach to understand how patients with this chronic condition manage to maintain their resilience in the face of this health challenge (P. MacNeela) (funded by the IRCHSS)

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Dr. Molly Byrne
Research interests:
The application of psychological theory to health behaviour change interventions.
Chronic disease (particularly coronary heart disease and diabetes): self-management and psychosocial aspects.
Sexual function and intimate relationship problems and chronic disease.
Blood donation behaviour.
Enhancing physical activity, particularly active commuting (walking and cycling).

Dr AnnMarie Groarke 
Research Interests: Areas of interest include illness representations and coping with chronic illness conditions, illness, emotions and adjustment (e.g benefit finding).  The stress and illness link, stress and illness moderators (e.g personality, perceived control). Psychosocial predictors of adjustment and efficacy of stress management/ cognitive behavioural interventions (e.g.  in cancer,  rheumatoid arthritis ).

Dr. Caroline Heary
Research interests: pediatric psychology, including psychosocial factors associated with sedentary behaviours, physical activity and eating behaviours during childhood and adolescence; stigma associated with mental health difficulties and developmental disabilities; coping with chronic illness during childhood/adolesence.

Dr. Jane Walsh
Research Interests: Health behaviour change and communication in health care settings, organ donation, uptake of vaccination, interventions to reduce patient anxiety in patients undergoing stressful medical procedures.

Ms Anne Marie Keane
Research Interests: Psychosocial factors in the adjustment and management of chronic illness; Psychological aspects of acute and chronic pain perception and pain management; Children’s understanding of health issues; The psychosocial impact of work on health and well being.  Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Dr. Padraig MacNeela
Research interests: Mental health, alcohol use, pain, volunteering and civic engagement, health care judgement and decision-making, health services, nursing and other health care professions, qualitative studies of health conditions

Dr. Kiran Sarma

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€14,500 p.a. (€14,640 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy €140.

Contact Us

Dr. Jane Walsh
School of Psychology
T +353 91 493 102