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.


1 June 2023

University of Galway ranked 34th in the world for sustainability

THE Impact Rankings place University of Galway number 1 among Irish universities for addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals     University of Galway has been named the number one university in Ireland for sustainable development for a second year in a row. The accolade has been awarded by THE Impact rankings in recognition of University of Galway’s progress in responding to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  University of Galway has increased its ranking in the world’s top 50 universities for sustainable development – jumping more than 10 places to 34th THE Impact report cements University of Galway’s position as number one in Ireland for sustainable development  University of Galway recognised globally for significant contribution to progress on 11 of the 17 UN SDGs  World ranking of number 5 for Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) University of Galway ranked top 50 for 7 of the 17 SDGs    President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University of Galway being ranked again this year in the top 50 among the universities of the world is a huge achievement. It is also a remarkable recognition to be embedded as the number one, the leading university in Ireland for the work and progress we have made on our core value of sustainability. “Building on local impact through our work with Galway City Council on the EU-funded ZeroNetCarbon Cities pilot, our national recognition as the first and only university to be recognised as a Sustainable Development Champion, we are leading internationally as well.  “Huge credit goes to staff across our university for making this happen, in our teaching and learning, in our research and in our day to day operations. Equally, credit is due to our students who put sustainability to the forefront of our agenda as we developed our 2020-2025 strategy Shared Vision, Shaped by Values. This has happened because of the energy, passion and enthusiasm of our empowered university community. “Sustainability and climate action are the urgencies of this moment.  At this time and from this place, University of Galway is glad to lead, for the public good.”   The 2023 edition of Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings ranks the University 34th out of 1,591 institutions across the world. Assessments for THE Impact rankings are based on submissions from universities around the world in line with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report is a measure of the extent to which institutions are having a positive social and economic impact on the planet; from climate action and gender equality, to good health and well-being. University of Galway’s ranking is even more impressive with new universities entering THE Impact in 2023.   Deputy President and Registrar of University of Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Chair of the University Sustainability Advisory Board, said: “There is a great team behind the University’s achievements on this front and being recognised by THE Impact rankings, and an even more important sense of collaboration among staff and students, where the wider community can be seen taking on the challenge of the United Nations SDGs.  “I’d like to commend the hard work of everyone involved. University of Galway’s progression on this front has been immense, surging from 82nd in 2021, before breaking into the top 50 in 2022 at 47th place and now a superb 34th in the world. The result is a symbol of what we can achieve when we work together, with a common goal, and support one another in those ambitions.”   Some of the initiatives and developments that the University has pursued include:   University of Galway designated as a national SDG Champion for 2023-24, the first university in Ireland to hold this honour. 300 course modules cover sustainability issues and a new Introduction to Sustainability module is available in 56 courses across three colleges, with the aim to make it available to all students.  A €5m Global Challenges Fund was established aligned to sustainability to support research on issues affecting humanity. Since 2006 we have reduced energy consumption by 50% and exceeded national targets on energy efficiency. We have installed more than 500kW of solar PV and 7,000 LED light fittings. We have embarked on a geothermal heat pump project on campus to heat the swimming pool in our Sports Centre and 22 EV charge points on campus. CÚRAM, the SFI research centre at University of Galway, is the first in Europe to be awarded Green Lab Certification; 28 additional labs have received greening certification and we plan to double this number by the end of the year. Our campus is one of the most biodiverse in Ireland: we hold An Táisce Green Campus Flag. We have introduced new wildflower enhancement schemes, bird boxes, bat boxes, insect hotels, beehives, a pollinator friendly pesticide code and a log tree hive.  We have introduced a new organic waste circular economy process and a new deposit and return scheme for reusable cups. Partnering for the The Mary Robinson Climate Conference, delivered by The Mary Robinson Centre, along with Ballina 2023, Mayo County Council, sponsored by IPB Insurance and Eirgrid and co-hosting a European Commission conference on Atlantic ocean research, also in July. University of Galway performed strongly across a number of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to secure a ranking of 34th in the world.   According to THE Impact, the University is top 50 in seven areas and retained the top 10 rank in one area:  Ranked 5th in the world for SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production (same as 2022)  Ranked 21st for SDG 14: Life Below Water, up 10 places  Ranked 23rd for SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy, up from 75th  Ranked 43rd for SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, up from 51st Ranked 44th for SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Ranked 47th for SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, up from 63rd  Ranked 50th for SDG 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institution, up from 59th Ends

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31 May 2023

University of Galway to lead on clinical trials of the future

Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials established with a focus on benefit and impact for patients   University of Galway has today announced the establishment of Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials. The new institute will transform the clinical research landscape by creating an environment where scientific advances are translated into improved care for patients.  The Institute for Clinical Trials will transform lives by ensuring patients get access to the latest medicines and treatments in a timely way.  Through its ambitious programme of research excellence, the Institute will position Ireland at the forefront of clinical and biomedical discovery.    University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “As a university for the public good, led by our values, including excellence and openness, the establishment of the Institute for Clinical Trials will chart new paths in research for the benefit of the health and well-being of people at their most vulnerable time, in Ireland and internationally. This is a shining example of our ambition and a manifestation of University of Galway looking beyond the horizon, forging breakthroughs in science and in research, in the world and for the world."    Director of the Institute, Professor Peter Doran, outlined the ambition for the Institute, said: “Research is critical to the healthcare ecosystem. Patients who attend hospitals that are research active have better outcomes, due to both increased access to early lifesaving treatments, and through the culture that pervades when research and inquiry are at the core of the health systems. By increasing clinical research activity, which is at the centre of the institute ambition, we will drive outcomes for patients. “We also know that indigenous companies, particularly in the medtech sector, struggle to conduct clinical evaluations in Ireland, which is essential for market access. We are setting in motion a strategy to address the barriers which limit the conduct of clinical trials in Ireland.”     A major component of the Institute’s activity will be to improve how trials are done, integrating innovative methodologies, with enhanced technologies and better molecular analysis to create the trial of the future and position Ireland as a leader in clinical trials.   Professor Doran continued: “The cross-sectoral activities of the Institute for Clinical Trials will be nationally distinctive, will align with Ireland’s regional development strategies and will enhance economic competitiveness by attracting investment, jobs and talent, in addition to its core mission of improving the health of the population.”    The institute was officially launched this morning by Noreen Doyle, an entrepreneur and mother of four children, two of whom are childhood-cancer survivors.    Speaking at the launch, Ms Doyle said: “In 2007 we entered our two year-old son, James into a clinical trial following is diagnoses of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) with the hope that it would help children in the future to fight cancer. Little did we know then that it would actually be his little sister, Kate, 10 years later, who would be one of those children to benefit greatly from this exact trial.”   The Institute will be led from University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.   Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway and Consultant, said: “This institute will consolidate our areas of considerable strength in clinical trials, ensure the rapid translation of medical discoveries to clinical evaluation and ultimately improve the lives of patients and health of our population, leveraging the academic strengths of our University and its healthcare partner Saolta University Healthcare Group. The Institute will also focus on developing sustained, mutually advantageous partnerships with industry and academic partners, positioning our region as a leader in health and med tech research.”  Ends

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24 May 2023

University of Galway host European Dialogue Digital Innovation in Health and Wellbeing

University of Galway will welcome 150 researchers, PhD students and external industry stakeholders from across the ENLIGHT network to campus for a special event to address and discuss solutions for global societal challenges.  The ‘ENLIGHT European Dialogue Digital Innovation in Health and Wellbeing’ runs from 23 to 25 May, 2023 and brings together ENLIGHT universities and external stakeholders to share best practices and foster future research and education collaborations. One of the highlights of the networking event is the Academic Industry Meeting (AIM) day on Wednesday May 24. Created by Uppsala University in Sweden, AIMday is an exchange of knowledge and ideas focused on finding novel approaches to real-world challenges, and has been successfully adapted by universities around the world to open new networks and develop new collaborations between academia and industry. Numerous local companies will participate in the event including SymPhysis Medical, FeelTect, Croí and Boston Scientific and they will be joined by digital health companies from across ENLIGHT regions.  President of University of Galway Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway’s mission is to be a university for the public good. At the edge but in the middle of everything, the openness and shared respect of the European ideal is central to us. Through working together, we are always seeking new ways to build connections and make an impact in our society and the ENLIGHT AIMDay is part of that.” Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International at University of Galway,  said: “The ENLIGHT alliance exemplifies University of Galway’s commitment to openness and diversity in our University, creating opportunities for students and staff, as well as for our region.  “Our partnership in a European University Network puts us at the forefront of designing models for cross European collaboration, in education, research and our external stakeholders in Galway and throughout Europe.”  ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); and Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education and research, 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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Undergraduate programmes in our School

Undergraduate Programmes


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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