School of Psychology

Welcome. The School of Psychology is housed in a purpose-built facility in the centre of campus. We are dynamic, innovative and recognised for our teaching, research, and community contribution. We have a suite of professionally accredited undergraduate and postgraduate (Higher Diploma, Masters and PhD) programmes. We also have two active and successful research streams: Brain & Behaviour, and Health & Wellbeing. Researchers from both have participated in acquiring major national and international funding awards and we continue to develop a strong profile in quantity and quality of research output.

 

Latest University News

15 July 2024

Two University of Galway academics recognised by ENLIGHT European University Alliance

University of Galway academics Dr Kathy Reilly and Dr Conn Holohan have been awarded ENLIGHT Impact awards for their research endeavours. The awards were bestowed at a special event at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, where the academics were recognised for their impactful projects, highlighting the significant positive change their research brings to society. University of Galway secured two out of the six awards: Dr Kathy Reilly was awarded under the Climate Change category for her work with young people and empowerment to tackle policy. The research involved than 2,000 young people, including those in 11 post-primary schools, in the creation of research tools and educational toolkits, boosting their knowledge and confidence in climate issues. Entitled CCC-CATAPULT: Challenging the Climate Crisis: Children’s Agency to Tackle Policy Underpinned by Learning for Transformation, the work has fed into the development of Climate Action and Sustainable Development Curriculum for schools. Dr Conn Holohan was awarded under the Culture & Creativity theme for his Immersive Empathy project on homelessness. The project involved the production of a new virtual reality film Lost & Found which captures the experience of homelessness from the perspective of those who have lived it. The production adopted a 360-degree style of filming to show the viewer a fully immersive world that can be experienced by wearing a virtual reality headset. It was co-created out of the University’s Centre for Creative Technologies, in collaboration with clients from with Galway Simon Community, enabling people who have experienced homelessness to share their stories but also to enhance their lives through greater engagement in work, education, and volunteering. Three of the six people who took part have gone on to study at the University while the film has effectively fostered empathy and positive attitudes towards the homeless. Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway’s Vice President International and University of Galway Director within the ENLIGHT Alliance, said: “These ENLIGHT Impact awards represent thoroughly deserved recognition from across the ENLIGHT University Alliance for both Conn Holohan’s and Kathy Reilly’s research and the longstanding impact it will have on society. Their success is an inspiration for our research community and is a great example of how impact can be achieved.” The ENLIGHT Impact Award is given annually as part of the ENLIGHT European University Alliance, of which University of Galway is a partner, along with nine other universities across Europe. The awards recognise and give visibility to research endeavours that are exemplars in planning for and achieving impact.  ENLIGHT includes University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bern (Switzerland); University of Bordeaux (France); Ghent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); and Uppsala University (Sweden). The project is supported by the Government and the European Commission. The aim is for the alliance to develop as a platform for the creation of a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends

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10 July 2024

University of Galway ranked Top 100 in Europe

University of Galway has been named as one of the top universities in Europe, according to the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2025. For the second year in a row, the Europe-wide rankings have placed University of Galway 98th out of almost 700 institutions in more than 40 locations. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Being ranked in the top 100 universities in Europe two years in a row, as well as being recognised as number one in Ireland and among the best in the world for sustainability, is a tremendous endorsement of our community of teaching, learning and research and the culture of the people who work at our university. “I would like to thank everyone across our University who continues to make the effort to be a university for the public good, true to our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability. We are a place of learning and research, that goes without saying. We are distinctive by being more than that. Our university community is built around our people whether you are a student, a member of staff, an academic, a researcher, a technician or among the many who keep our operations running every day of the year. We have made great strides in recent years to be more outward looking, creating a space and carving a place for our university and our work, from this place, at an international level. I wish everyone continued success on that journey.   “We are also delighted to see three Irish universities in the top 100 in Europe – with University of Galway alongside Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. This is testament to the capacity of the academic and research community to achieve, despite challenges the sector faces in terms of funding.”   The QS World University Rankings: Europe 2025 recognition also builds on the reputation that University of Galway has earned in recent years for progress on sustainability, having retained the position in Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings as the number one university in Ireland; top 5 in the EU; and in the world’s top 50, for progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   More information on the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 is available at https://www.topuniversities.com/europe-university-rankings Ends

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10 July 2024

University of Galway researcher elected to European scientific organisation

A University of Galway professor whose research focuses on the biology of stem cells has been elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Europe’s leading academy across the life sciences. Professor Uri Frank, who is based in the University’s Centre for Chromosome Biology, secured the membership in recognition of his research over the past 20 years. Professor Frank joins two other colleagues from the research centre who have been elected members of EMBO - Professor Brian McStay and Professor Noel Lowndes.             Speaking about his election, Professor Frank said: "I am delighted to join the international EMBO community, whose members perform basic, curiosity-driven research across the life sciences, contributing essential knowledge for future applications." Professor Frank's research addresses fundamental questions in the biology of stem cells, focusing on the role of these cells in development and regeneration. His team has established the jellyfish-related animal Hydractinia as a laboratory model organism for this purpose. These highly regenerative animals are unusual as they do not succumb to age-related deterioration, nor do they develop cancer. It is thought that understanding how Hydractinia's stem cells act in mediating these traits will provide insight into how stem cells function in other animals, including those of humans. Research in Professor Frank’s lab has been funded by Wellcome Trust, Science Foundation Ireland, the US National Science Foundation, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and by Human Frontiers Science Program. After completing his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, Professor Frank went on to train as a postdoctoral scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography in Israel, and continued for two additional postdoc periods, in Jena and Heidelberg in Germany, before joining University of Galway in 2005.             EMBO Director Fiona Watt said: “The new EMBO Members and Associate Members have made immense contributions to fundamental life science research, and, in many cases, their work has paved the way for innovations that have improved lives and livelihoods around the world. As EMBO marks its 60th anniversary, we celebrate the pivotal roles played by the EMBO Membership in strengthening international life science research and contributing to the EMBO Programmes and activities. I send my warmest congratulations to all those elected.” EMBO Members guide the execution of the EMBO Programmes and activities, for example by evaluating funding applications, serving on EMBO Council and committees, and contributing to initiatives such as training, policy, outreach and mentorship. New members are nominated and elected by the existing EMBO Membership. Ends

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International Students

In the School of Psychology approximately 100 visiting students from around the world take our modules each semester. We offer about 20 different modules over the course of the academic year to our visiting students. These range from foundational introductory courses to specialised final year electives. Therefore there is the opportunity for our visiting students to experience the full breadth and richness of psychological science during their time with us.

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