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National College of Ireland event series delves into the world of psychology and the human mind

In the Psychologists' Chair in association with The Irish Times

The packed theatre at the opening event of the series, In The Psychologists' Chair, at National College of Ireland, was testament to our enduring fascination with the human brain.

“Psychology has made us all very introspective,” said Dr Tony Bates, founder and CEO of Headstrong, The National Centre for Youth Mental Health. “We ponder our mental mechanisms with fascination … we search through spirituality and nutrition programmes, wellbeing and mindfulness, poetry and art in an attempt to find our truest selves.”

Speaking on the topic of “Who am I, where am I, and why am I here?”, Dr Bates said that “beauty can awaken us, love can draw us out of ourselves, but it is more common for pain to wake us up; often our pain becomes a question we seek to answer throughout our lives.”

Run by the college, in association with The Irish Times, the series is aimed at those with an interest in studying the human mind and behaviour, and shines a spotlight on the many and varied career paths which are open to students of psychology.


Covering topics like the psychology of homicidal behaviour, the effects of loneliness on the heart and how to apply psychology to education, the events are intended as taster sessions for the college's BA in Psychology.

Accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), the course is available on a full or part-time basis at NCI’s city-centre campus in Dublin’s IFSC.

Caroline Kennedy, Careers & Opportunities Officer at NCI, said: “The psychology course has proven incredibly popular because of the sheer range of options that it opens up to graduates.

The PSI accreditation means that graduates can pursue further professional training in any number of areas, depending on their particular interest – anything from clinical, educational to occupational psychology, and more.

Not every graduate will go on to become a practising psychologist, but they will gain all manner of transferable skills and knowledge, that will be attractive to any employer.

With strong research and communication skills, and an understanding of why people act the way they do, graduates could end up working anywhere from marketing, management and HR, to sports or healthcare – it’s a degree that gives you a huge variety of options.”

And of course, it’s a degree that covers everything from the most dazzling to the darkest aspects of the human condition.

Dr Grace O'Malley, Course Director of the BA in Pscyhology at NCI said: "The range of speakers we have lined up for this event series is a good indication of how diverse and fascinating psychology is as an area of study.

It teaches you so much about why we think, feel and act the way we do, and seeks to answer compelling questions, like: what shapes our personality? How do children develop and learn? What influences our well-being?

Psychology is a marvellous option for those of us who are curious about human behaviour and who wish to learn more.”

Current student Ciara Bugle said: “Studying psychology I’ve learned about people, myself and life. I’d recommend psychology at NCI because it’s interactive, interesting and fun.

I love understanding how people work and how the mind works; I’ve learned a lot about myself. The lecturers have real world experience and they bring it into the class, which is very beneficial because you can see the different aspects of psychology and the different fields, which helps you understand what you want to go in to. It’s definitely given me more options.”

Further speakers in the series include Dr Louise McSharry on mindfulness and the self, on Thursday 12th March from 1-2pm.  Visiting lecturer from the University of Huddersfield, Dr. Daniel Boduszek, will shine a fascinating light on the psychology of homicidal behaviour on March 23rd.

An expert on criminal psychology, Daniel’s research work is focused on studying homicidal behaviour, psychopathy, recidivism and prisonisation, and violent behaviour. His talk will focus on the real-life case of Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer who was given the nickname “The Iceman” because of his method of freezing the bodies of his victims.

On April 2nd, the former Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board, Professor Ivor Browne, will discuss the nature of madness, drawing on his extensive experience and research at the forefront of Irish psychiatry.

'Applying Psychology to Education', 'Politics in the Brain' and 'Loneliness and the Heart' will also be discussed. All events take place from 1-2 pm at NCI's campus on Mayor Street, Dublin 1; they are free to attend but attendees must register via the college website to attend. The new part-time BA Hons in Psychology will be starting at NCI this September.

About National College of Ireland:

National College of Ireland is a third-level education provider with over 60 years' experience. The college works closely with industry and adult learners to deliver education that can be successfully applied in the workplace and, from its Dublin city centre campus, develops and delivers courses from Certificate to PhD level in areas including business, computing, marketing, accountancy, financial services, HRM and psychology. / @NCIRL