Are you intent on pursuing an education in psychology or the humanities? This pre-university course is designed to give you a complete grounding in the concepts, theories, terminology and research skills required to pursue a successful degree in a third level college. Build your confidence and competencies with the methodologies and knowledge necessary to move to degree level.

View Frequently Asked Questions for this course.

  • Psychology 5N0754 – Explore a variety of theorists / practitioners / therapists e.g Freud and Rogers, look at the brain as well as memory and how it works.  Learn specifics about addiction, schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, stress, emotional behavioural disorders and learning disabilities, phobias, OCD  etc. Understand sleep and dreams as well as disorders in this area, social psychology experiments and research in this area, behaviour in groups, helping behaviours, peer pressure, advertising etc. Investigate research methods, ethics and their importance as well as experimental psychology- here students get to partake in experiments and learn how to write up experimental reports. A number of therapeutic approaches are covered e.g. CBT, gestalt , person centred etc… when dealing with people who have mental health issues.
  • Social Studies 5N1370 – Understand your position as an individual, family member and as part of a community and wider society. Examine critically contemporary social issues, learn how some sociological theories can be applied to Irish society, increase your effectiveness in life and work through understanding social issues e.g the impact of discrimination on individuals and groups in society
  • Communications 5N0690 – Acquire writing skills, learn to speak fluently and coherently in a professional setting, develop interpersonal skills and have an understanding of the impact of ICT on society.
  • Human Growth and Development 5N1279 – Learn  psychology throughout the lifespan, how we grow, learn, develop and change throughout our lives. Understand factors that affect development throughout the lifespan. Develop interpersonal/interactive skills appropriate to responding to the needs of others.
  • Intercultural Studies 5N0765 – encourages students to appreciate diversity and multiculturalism in 21st century Ireland. Looks at Irish and International examples of cultural diversity – and both the positive and negative outcomes that can arise from these
  • Legal Practice and Procedures 5N1394 – Understand the role of the constitution in the Irish legal system, legal terminology and the structure of the Irish court system. Describe proceedings in a court of law. Explore the impact of European law on the Irish system. Evaluate documents and legislation in your relevant area. Identify main categories of remedies e.g compensation etc.
  • Statistics 5N2066 – Understand data, data collection and compile statistical information. Identify and implement appropriate means of presenting data. Analyse and interpret statistical information and learn how to use statistics for work and life.
  • Personal and Professional Development 5N2985 – Develop appropriate self assessment tools for personal and vocational settings. Identify personal strengths, learning strategies and decision making methodologies.  Analyse factors that enable and prohibit personal success.  Use research skills and develop a range of materials to achieve personal and career goals.

Additional Training 

  • Mindfulness (online training): This Mindfulness workshop will introduce the learner to the practice of Mindfulness as a personal resource. The theory and practice of Mindfulness will enhance your understanding and demonstrate how it can be integrated into your life and your work. The topics include a better understanding of what mindfulness is, understanding how mindfulness can help us to manage stress and anxiety and learning practical tools to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life. A record of achievement from Morrison’s Island Campus is issued on successful completion.
  • Data Protection (online training): This course gives learners an overview of GDPR. The workshop examines what GDPR stands for and gives an understanding of the current data protection rules and obligations.  The learners also receive information on the types of data, the terminology associated with GDPR, the penalties with breaches, storage of data and general do’s and don’ts regarding data. A record of achievement from Morrison’s Island Campus is issued on successful completion.

Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 2 x H6 grades or above, plus 3 x O6/H7 grades (including Maths).  Mature students are exempt from the Leaving Certificate requirement. All applicants are interviewed. CERFL proficiency at B2 for access to Level 5 courses for those whose first language is not English. 

The application process: Applicants apply online through the college website.  All applicants will be interviewed. 

An offer of a place on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the requirements set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview.  




Excellent progression opportunities including:

Excellent progression opportunities to other Higher Education colleges. Special arrangements in place with MTU Cork (CCPS), MTU Kerry and SETU (Waterford & Carlow) for preferential entry for students of Morrisons Island locations. See Progressions for full details on progressions.

This course is designed for progression, to provide a foundation in the knowledge and skills needed to successfully advance and succeed in a 3rd level course in a related area. It is the first step in achieving a career in this area. Guidance seminars and one to one guidance available on the wide range of opportunities.

  • Duration: September to May
  • Fees: €300 including QQI examination fees. (Medical card holders exempt from €50). See Payment for details.
  • Certification: QQI Level 5 Certificate in Applied Social Studies 5M2181

Email:          Tel: (021) 4223833

Or send us your contact details and your query.

    Your name

    Your email address

    Your message

    If you’re considering returning to education as a mature student and reading this testimonial then you’re already on the road to a new journey. Every journey begins with taking the first step and yours has begun as mine did with reading what others had to say about their time in Cork College of Commerce.

    It’s nerve racking returning to education especially if your time in school wasn’t the most enjoyable for whatever reason. Add into the mix the fact that you’ve a lot of life experience since you left school and it’s been decades since you’ve been in a classroom environment. Then you begin to question, will you be able to be a student among younger students (possibly most the same age as your own kids) & teachers, can you sit and listen to someone teach you?

    I’m here to settle your nerves a little, and let you know you can do it. Not only can you do it, you’ll thrive in Cork College of Commerce (CCOC). Once you’re there you’ll be guided throughout your time there with empathy, care and encouragement.

    Now because of my incredible CCOC experience and the teachers continued encouragement to believe I had more to offer, I am now studying a four year degree in Social Work at UCC and I’ve no doubt my year at CCOC is the strong foundation I needed for me to build on over the next four years.

    Ruth Bailey, Bachelor of Scocial Work, UCC

    Hi my name is Nicole Kelly. I started my journey in Cork College of Commerce in 2019, I was extremely disappointed with my leaving cert results and believed that my dream to study Social Science in UCC was over, this was far from the truth and that’s thanks to College of Commerce I got accepted into the Psychology and Social Studies course and I enjoyed every minute of it. The teachers were very supportive and pushed us all to get the grades we wanted to progress. Along came Covid-19 and forced college to close and the end of year assignments were approaching, the teachers were still helpful making sure we were looking after ourselves. I am currently a 1st year Social Science student in UCC and this is thanks to College of Commerce for giving me the opportunity to achieve my dreams. College of com has been very beneficial towards the modules I am studying in UCC as I have a great foundation of knowledge built up. I enjoyed my time here and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is unsure which career they want or even like me if you were unhappy with the LC results. There are such great opportunities here

    Nicole Kelly, Social Science, UCC

    Hi, my name is Chloe O Mahony and I am a past student of Cork College of Commerce. I was a student of the course Psychology and Social Studies last year. I chose to do this course because I did not succeed in getting the right amount of points, missed out by 50 points in my leaving certificate for my chosen course Social Care in CIT. From a personal view I did not think I would ever be in college after hearing I didn’t get my course however at a last minute decision I chose to apply for the level 5 Psychology and Social Studies course, that was for a year only and would help me get into a third level college. When I first attended the college I fell in love with what I was doing and could see myself carrying on psychology and social studies in the future. It was a heavy and tough year but it paid off in the end as I enjoyed the year very much. After passing all my modules, I had filled out the CAO form to gain my place in a third level college and had received an acceptance to UCC for the course Social Science. I am now a student in UCC and I enjoy and love what I am studying. In fact the course Psychology and Social Studies gave me an opportunity to be ahead of others going into first year college as I have the majority of the same material covered. I would like to thank the Cork College of Commerce for giving me the opportunity to carry on my studies and to the staff who were very friendly and helpful. I wouldn’t be in UCC and studying what I love if it wasn’t for this College.

    Chloe O'Mahony, UCC student

    During 6th year I knew that I wanted to go to UCC however I had no idea what I wanted to study. In the last few months of 6th year I had decided that the best thing for me would be to apply to the College of Commerce. While looking through the different courses that they offered I found that the course  Psychology and Social Studies interested me the most. The course is taught similarly to third level which suited me better than the leaving cert structure. It also prepared me for what studying Applied Psychology in UCC would be like. If it wasn’t for the College of Commerce I would not be in UCC studying what I love.

    Andréa O'Driscoll, Now studying Applied Psychology in UCC.

    I chose to study in Cork College of Commerce as when I had completed my Leaving Certificate in 2017, I was 17 and had decided that I was still very young to proceed to third level. The year in the College is one that I will be forever grateful for as it prepared me well for progressing to third level. Although the year was busy, the guidance from the teachers made the year manageable and enjoyable. The skills I gained from the year has helped with the easy transition to third level. I am now studying Social Science in UCC and without the help from Cork College of Commerce this dream would not have become a reality.

    Jean McCarthy, Now studying Social Science in UCC.

    I am forever grateful for the opportunity of being accepted for the Psychology and Social Studies course in Cork College of Commerce. The course is taught similar to Third Level in so much as you are required to complete a number of assignments and end of year exams rather than the Leaving Cert structure. This system suited me better as I learned very important skills in research which I now use in UCC . The course is hard work but it is worth it if you put the work in. My class was very diverse, I made a lot of friends and we had fun but most of all we were supported by our teachers and we also supported each other the best we could. I loved my time spent there and it has allowed me to reach my goal as I am now studying level 8 Criminology in UCC! I would highly recommend this course to everyone. Graduate 2016.

    Emma Murphy, UCC student

    Last year I went to the College of Commerce to study Psychology and Social Studies. I had been out of education for eight years. The thought of going back was very daunting but the structure of the course and the support from the staff helped so much. Now I’m studying in UCC and I find the course content from last year gave me an excellent head start. I gained a lot of useful skills during my time in College of Commerce which took a lot of the pressure off me in first year in UCC. I would advise anyone thinking of returning to third level to take a course first in College of Commerce. The experience and the knowledge, coupled with the support and guidance is invaluable and very relevant. I loved my time there and I’m very grateful to the staff and the college for the opportunities it opened up for me. Thanks to everyone in the College, I couldn’t have done it without them.

    Kate Bollard, Graduate student