Certificate in the Psychology of Gender and Sexuality

NFQ Level





12 weeks







The Certificate in the Psychology of Gender and Sexuality focuses on gender and sexuality from a variety of theoretical perspectives in psychology. The course aims to give a critical understanding of the issues and key debates in the area and of how these debates have been influenced by research conducted across a range of sub-disciplines in psychology.

Some questions that will be examined are:

  • What are the political implications of studying gender?
  • Is there a difference between sex and gender?
  • How are men and women, and those who identify as non-binary, portrayed in the media?
  • How large are actual gender differences?
  • Where do gender differences come from?
  • To what extent is gender based on nature or nurture?
  • What is gender identity?
  • What do these approaches have to offer us in understanding our own gender and sexuality, our life experiences and our relationships?

The course aims to investigate these debates with an in-depth consideration of a range of areas in which gender research has been conducted, such as power, leadership, self-concept, sexuality, and health. The learner will be encouraged to engage in a critical evaluation of the debates that are covered and to apply this analysis to their everyday experience of gender. The learner will consider several areas where the psychology of gender and sexuality intersects with topics such as education, sex crimes and body image, in contemporary society.

Credits: 10 ECTS

Delivery: One evening (Tuesdays) per week (6.30pm – 9.30pm online) for 12 weeks. Scheduled day may be subject to change.

Over the course of the Certificate, the learner will cover topics such as:

Introduction and Overview

  • Biological Paradigms of Gender and Sexuality
  • Sex Differences and Physiology
  • Sex Differences in Brain Architecture

Social and Cultural Paradigms in Gender and Sexuality

  • Mainstream Psychological Approaches to Gender and Sexuality
  • Bio-Psycho-Social Views of Gender and Sexuality
  • Key Debates Include the Nature Versus Nurture Debate
  • Stable Versus Malleable Gender Differences
  • Prescriptive Versus Descriptive Gender Stereotypes


Perspectives in Psychology Towards Sex and Gender,

  • Essentialist and Constructionist Accounts of Sex and Gender.
  • Internalising the External
  • Meta Analytical Techniques and Evidence About Sex Differences
  • Gender Stereotyping
  • The Contribution of Anthropology

The Challenges to Mainstream Approaches

  • Liberatory Challenges
  • Feminist Challenges
  • Postmodern Challenges
  • Feminism and Psychology
  • The Range of Feminist Perspectives

Historical Antecedents of Sex and Gender Within Psychology.

  • Queer Theory
  • Liberal Humanism
  • Humaneering
  • Implications for Gender and Sexuality
  • Liberalism and Women’s Sexuality


Applications of a Critical Approach to Gender and Sexuality

  • Domains of Professional Practice: Mental Health
  • Education
  • The Criminal Justice System
  • Applied Aspects: Gender in the Workplace
  • Gender and Health
  • Gender in the Media

Entry Requirements

Applications are assessed on a case by case basis in accordance with Carlow College Admission Guidelines and Procedures for Part-Time Learners


Course fees are €350 and payable at registration.

Book Your Place

The next intake of this course commences in September.

Book your place here

Please note payment in full is required at time of booking.

Closing date: 8th August

The Certificate in the Psychology of Gender and Sexuality
is validated by the South East Technological University.

Course Contacts

Dr Eoghan Smith, Lecturer in English Literature

Dr Eoghan Smith

Course Enquiries

T: 059 9153257

E: esmith@carlowcollege.ie

Admissions Office

Admissions Enquiries

T: 059 9153268

E: directentry@carlowcollege.ie