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UCD Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology totals 100 graduates

Wed, 2 December 15 10:40

On November 30th 2015 the total number of graduates from the UCD doctoral programme in clinical psychology reached 100. The programme is co-directed by Professor Alan Carr and Dr Gary O’Reilly. Speaking at a reception for recent graduates from the programme, Professor Carr said ‘Today was an important milestone. The total number of graduates from the programme, since its foundation in 1997, has reached 100.’

At the reception, Dr Martha Noone was awarded the Thérèse Brady medal for her doctoral thesis on social cognition in children with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr Mark Fitzhenry and Dr Kevin O’Hanrahan, who were awarded their doctoral degrees in clinical psychology with distinction, were presented with engraved UCD pens. Dr Fitzhenry’s thesis focused on the link between childhood maltreatment and adult psychopathology. Dr O’Harahan’s thesis involved the validation of a family assessment instrument with adult mental health services users.

The UCD doctoral programme in clinical psychology was the first such programme to be established in Ireland. It was set up as a partnership between the UCD School of Psychology and the HSE to train professional clinical psychologists to work in the HSE, and to conduct doctoral level research in the field of clinical psychology The programme has been accredited by both the Psychological Society of Ireland and the British Psychological Society. Nationally there is a significant shortage of clinical psychologists with accredited qualifications. The UCD doctoral programme in clinical psychology was established to address the need for professionally trained clinical psychologists within the HSE.

Key members of the programme faculty include Sara Hollwey, Clinical Co-ordinator, Dr Jessica Bramham, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Dr Muireann McNulty, Specialist in Psychotherapy, and Dr Suzanne Guerin and Dr Brendan Rooney, specialists in Research Methodology and Statistics.

Postgraduates on the programme complete a doctoral thesis, academic modules, and a series of placements of supervised clinical internships within the HSE. All candidates are sponsored by the HSE, receiving a salary throughout their 3 years of training, and part payment of course fees, on condition that they work for at least 3 years within the HSE following graduation. To date the programme has attracted over €12 million in HSE sponsorship funding. Currently the programme has a capacity of 30, with about 10 postgraduates in each year of this 3 year programme. Current annual HSE sponsorship is approximately €1.2 million.

Photo: Left to right Professor Alan Carr, Dr Kevin O’Hanrahan, Dr Martha Noone, Dr Mark Fitzhenry, Dr Paul McGrath, Dr Maebh Culhane, Dr Clare Sutton, Dr Gary O’Reilly.