Graduate Diploma in Child Mental Health

Course Overview

This postgraduate diploma course will provide a comprehensive review of aspects of mental health and mental ill health, and give information on promotion, detection and primary care intervention, for children and families with mental health difficulties. It will also cover the more formal mental health disorders such as ADHD, eating disorders and mood disorders, and it will provide information to the student on when and where to refer.

Mental health problems can affect people of all ages, and it is estimated that one in five young people will suffer from a mental illness by the age of 18 years. Many people who work with children will encounter children who are suffering from a mental illness. This one year long course addresses the very broad issue of mental wellbeing and mental illness in children and adolescents.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is designed for people in all areas who are working with children, including medical, nursing, education, social welfare, primary care, voluntary services, as well as those in specialized mental health services, to complement their skills in caring for young people, and to increase knowledge of how mental illness affects children and families. UCD has built up a well respected faculty in the area of psychotherapy and study of mental health.

What Will I Learn?

Course description

Mental health problems can affect people of all ages, and it is estimated that one in five young people will suffer from a mental illness by the age of 18 years. Many people who work with children will encounter children who are suffering from a mental illness.

Emphasis will be placed on how this knowledge can be practically applied in the students’ own workplace. This diploma course aims to provide people working with children with the specialized knowledge and skills to enable them to contribute to the mental health care of young people.

Course context

Mental health problems can affect people of all ages, and it is estimated that one in five young people will suffer from a mental illness by the age of 18 years. Therefore many people who work with children will encounter children who are suffering from a mental illness.

The UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science is now offering this Graduate Diploma course in Child Mental Health. The course will provide a comprehensive review of aspects of mental health and mental ill health, and give information on promotion, detection and primary care intervention, for children and families with mental health difficulties.

The aim of this program is to strengthen and develop knowledge and skills in Child Mental Health. Emphasis will be placed on how this knowledge can be practically applied in the student’s own workplace. This diploma course aims to provide individuals working with children with the specialized knowledge and skills to enable them to contribute to the mental health care of young people. The Graduate Diploma in Child Mental Health will also cover the more formal mental health disorders such as ADHD, eating disorders, mood disorders and pervasive developmental disorders. It will provide information to the student on when and where to refer. Student will be assessed by examinations, essays, oral exams and submission of thesis. 

Students participating in the Graduate diploma course to date have come from a variety of backgrounds. The course is designed for people in all areas who are working with children, including education, social welfare, primary care, voluntary services, as well as those in specialized mental health services, to complement their skills in caring for young people, and to increase knowledge of how mental illness affects children and families and how to ensure optimal mental health in children. UCD has an established track record in the provision of courses on mental health and psychiatry to students.

Modules and course content

This course covers a number of topics from normal child development from a psychological perspective, its abnormal deviations and resulting difficulties. The course also covers common child mental health disorders, how to assess children and families, and what treatments are available. There is a strong emphasis on promoting positive child mental health and well being in the general sense and how this may influence policy.

The course also covers research methodology, critical review and assists the student in understanding how to conduct research, critically appraise publications, as well as developing their own writing skills, through successful submission of a thesis.

The modules on this course will cover topics such as: Developmental Psychology, Assessment of Children and Families, Common Child Mental Health Problems, Introduction to Communication and Counselling Skills, The Treatment of Child Psychiatric Disorders, Promoting Positive Child Mental Health. For Module 7, Students will be required to produce a Thesis Dissertation in Child Mental Health. Teaching related to Literature Review, Research Methods and production of a thesis will be provided throughout the taught course.

In conjunction with the main course program, students are also given unique opportunity to attend a series of conferences and workshops presented by internationally recognized guest speakers and experts in the field of child mental health.

How/Where Will I Learn?

There is a mixture of teaching methods including didactic, interactive small group discussions, in class projects and presentations as well as video material and role play. A communication skills module, encourages and teaches how to properly communicate with children and families. Teaching is done one day a week on campus, on Wednesdays, from 1pm to 9pm. The UCD academic calendar dates are adhered to including following the dates for revision and examinations.

Am I Eligible for this Course?

The course requires students to have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, possess an appropriate Curriculum Vitae and show an interest in child mental health.

International Applicants

International students are welcome. However, there as certain requirements to be fulfilled, which are outlined on the UCD website. One prerequisite is having a recent TOEFL exam completed within the last 2 years with a score of at least 600 or IELTS with a minimum score of 7.0.

  • International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.
  • A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here.

Application Details

Applications are made through the UCD website and open from October 2013 for September 2014 intake. Decisions are made until August 2014.

  • The next intake for this course will be September 2013.
  • To apply online, please click here www.ucd.ie/apply
  • Once online, the first step is to create a user account, then select “Graduate Taught Courses” as the application type and from the list of program choices select Graduate Diploma in Child Mental Health
  • For your application to be considered please ensure that all requested documentation is returned at the earliest possibility.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program will be well positioned to pursue further study in Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, or if suitable clinical experience, Masters courses in UCD, e.g. MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children and Adolescents, MSc in Visual Therapy, MSc in group Analytic Psychotherapy or MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy. Additionally graduates may decide to focus on policy areas and pursue courses in Leadership and Management.

The course will strengthen and develop the students’ knowledge in their area of practice in Child Mental Health.

Course Fees

2017/2018 Indicative Fees

EU StudentsNon-EU Students 
€7,280  €15,870 
  • For more information on course fees please visit the Fees & Grants Office website.
  • Fees are correct at the time of writing and subject to change.

Contact Us

Programme Administrator

Ms. Maria Fay

UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science

St Camillus, Lower Ground Floor

St Vincent’s University Hospital

Elm Park

Dublin 4

T: + 353 1 2214929

E: dcmh@ucd.ie 

Academic Programme Coordinators

Prof Fiona McNicholas/Dr Udo Reulbach

The Lucena Clinic

59 Orwell Road

Rathgar

Dublin 6

E: udo.reulbach@ucd.ie