School of Human Development


Primary Department
School of Human Development
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 120

Academic biography

Dr. Catherine (Kay) Maunsell is Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development in the School of Human Development, DCU Institute of Education and Principal Investigator, along with her Co-Investigator, Dr. Ashling Bourke, on the TEACH-RSE Research Project on Teacher Professional Development and Relationships and Sexuality Education, funded through an IRC Coalesce Research Award (2019/147) with the support of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme. 

Kay lectures primarily in the area of developmental and educational psychology across a range of programmes offered within the Institute of Education, including the BAJH (Human Development). She is also the Subject Co-ordinator of Developmental and Educational Psychology on the BSc Psychology and MSc Psychology (Conversion) programmes offered through the DCU School of Psychology. . 
Dr. Maunsell supervises students' research from undergraduate through to doctoral levels, and welcomes enquiries regarding Masters and Doctoral supervision in areas pertaining to the interface of Psychology, Human Development and Education, with particular interest in supervising research on themes relating to Relationships and Sexuality Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Wellbeing and Teacher Education and Children/Adolescent's Rights. She is fully committed to supporting her students' development and, in turn, learning from them.

Dr. Maunsell maintains an active research profile in the broad fields of developmental psychology, education, social justice, human rights. She is currently pursing her research interests in the rights of children and young people and those most marginalised, and their rights to Relationships and Sexuality Education from a developmental perspective.
Previously, she was engaged as Irish Co-ordinator on a range of large-scale EU research projects, in the broad areas of education, lifelong learning and social justice. In this body of research she examined themes, inter alia the role of the education system in social inclusion and broad issues pertaining to the right to education and teachers’ role as enablers of human rights in the education system.   

From 2013 to 2016, Kay was the St. Patrick’s College, Director of Quality Promotion and Assurance and following Incorporation is currently a designated representative of the Institute of Education to the DCU Quality Promotion Committee. 
She is also a founding and current member of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education in the DCU Institute of Education.   
Dr. Maunsell is an active member of national and international organisations devoted to research on child and adolescent development and education namely:
BASPCAN – Ireland Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
EARA – European Association for Research on Adolescence. 
SEN - Sex Education Network