Program Title

Biological Psychiatry (P.Grad.Cert.)

Program Duration (Months)


Study Modes

Full Time

Educational qualification required for admission

Graduate degree

Admission Criteria
Trinity is a high-ranking university renowned for academic excellence. Entry to our programmes is competitive and based on academic merit.

As part of your application, you will be required to submit:

  • Academic transcript(s) which must be certified by the issuing body
  • Two academic references (or where appropriate clinical referees)
  • Proof of English proficiency (typically IELTS or TOEFL scores)
  • Certified copy of degree certificate(s)
  • A copy of your passport
Program Description

Course Description

'Vision is the art of seeing things invisible -  Jonathan Swift'

The Postgraduate Certificate course in Biological Psychiatry is designed to address the major neuroscience developments and challenges in psychiatry and their clinical application.  The TCD Discipline of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine has established expertise in neuropsychiatric genetics, molecular neuroscience, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, clinical trials, biostatistics and research methodology. The Discipline has strong links with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience with several of its senior members being PI’s.  In recent years members of the Discipline have authored landmark papers in leading scientific journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Genetics, Molecular Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, Archives of General Psychiatry, Human Molecular Genetics and Biological Psychiatry.

The course will be run in the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8.  The Centre has modern teaching facilities and computer labs and hosts laboratory facilities for molecular neuroscience practicals.

Course Description
This Postgraduate Certificate course explores the relationship between basic principles, biological factors and clinical features in mental health disorders, allowing students to translate scientific understanding into their training effective clinical practice. It is aimed primarily at medical graduates with a background or interest in Psychiatry (or related health care disciplines such as neurology, psychology, or biological sciences) who wish to develop their research skills and broaden their research interests.  The Postgraduate Certificate course also addresses the research methodology and pre-clinical scientific components of the curriculum for Basic Specialist Trainees in Psychiatry, which is similar to the syllabus for the UK MRCPsych exams. The course will aid in equipping participants with the skills to progress in a career in Psychiatry and mental health research or to embark on a doctoral programme.

Course Objectives
Neuropsychiatric disorders are common with one in four of the world’s population suffering from various forms of mental, behavioural and neurological disorders.  Within the 15-44 age group, mental disorders account for 6 of the 20 leading causes of disability. According to the World Health Organisation, mental disorders account altogether for about 13.5% of the global burden of disease and this is projected to rise to 14.2% by 2030.  The proportion of the burden is actually greatest in high-income countries (21.4%) but is now growing in lower- and middle-income countries due to improvements in infectious disease management, increasing numbers of younger adults entering the age of risk for common neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) and also the expanding ageing population at risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The neurobiology underlying the most common neuropsychiatric disorders is not yet clear.  However, remarkable advances in neuroscientific methods, such as molecular biology, genetics, cognitive neuropsychology, and functional imaging, are beginning to provide a clearer understanding of the complexity and multifactorial aetiology of many disorders.  It is hoped and expected that, over the coming decades, such advances in biological psychiatry will aid diagnosis and inform rational therapeutic strategies.

Providing a new Postgraduate Certificate course in Biological Psychiatry with a curriculum incorporating basic research methodology, cognitive neuropsychology, neuroimaging, molecular neuroscience, molecular psychiatry, and neuropsychiatric genetics will fulfill an important educational need for a range of disciplines involved in evidence-based mental health care practice.  For example, the subject matter covered in the course makes up a large proportion of the curriculum for post-graduate professional training in Psychiatry for doctors.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
1.    Apply skills in critical appraisal of existing research, hypothesis formulation, study design, and data analysis
2.    Evaluate the role of genetic and molecular factors in neuropsychiatric disorders
3.    Use knowledge of basic human psychology and development to describe both normal and abnormal mental states
4.    Describe emerging technologies used in studying functional neuroanatomy, behaviour,  cognition, and information processing relevant to psychiatric disorders
5.    Explain contemporary molecular diagnostic, neuropharmacological and therapeutic mechanisms as applied to mental health care practice
6.    Describe the molecular and cellular basis of a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders
7.    Discuss and communicate scientific data and concepts with mental health professionals and society at large

Course Timetable
The Postgraduate Certificate in Biological Psychiatry is a one-year part-time course.  The course is run during term time on Thursday afternoons from 14.00 to 19.30.  Students are required to take a total of 5 modules over two semesters. The modules are awarded the following ECTS credits:

Module 1: Statistics and Research Methodology and Statistics (10 ECTS)
Module 2: Molecular Neuroscience and Genetics (5 ECTS)
Module 3: Basic and Developmental Neuropsychology (5 ECTS)
Module 4: Neuroimaging and Biomarkers (5 ECTS)
Module 5: Molecular Psychiatry (5 ECTS)
Programme Structure
Assessments will be based on a combination of formative assessment for each Module, based upon in-module coursework, and summative end-of-module has written examination.  All course work will be double-marked.  In terms of weighting, Module 1 contributes 10 ECTs while Modules 2-5 contribute 5 ECTs each.

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Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland

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1 hour ago
Monday, February 1st is the closing date for normal applications to the #CAO for entry to all first-year undergraduate courses. Applications must be submitted by 5.15pm. For more CAO key dates, visit tcddublin photo
4 hours ago
Sam is going to be a Mammy!
Heres herself and Prince the larger Male caught in a post coital copulatory lock typical of most canids.
How cool is that to see!! ❤🦊
4 hours ago
I see @collieennis beat me to some Fox photos today - nevertheless, here are some postgraduate foxes heading in for more @tcddublin!

Photo courtesy @AineHennessy5
tcddublin photo
4 hours ago
3 Foxes in Trinity this morning.
Sam & a dog fox who has been courting her all week (Prince) & another dog fox with a massive scar across his face (Foxy Montana).
There was Mexican soap opera levels of drama happening but I think Prince has established himself as TCDs top dog.
6 hours ago
Need a laugh during these #COVID19 times…. check out some of @tcdalumni and comedian @WeeMissBea’s hit programmes listed here by @rte:
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