School of Human Development header
School of Human Development


Primary Department
School of Human Development
Academic Staff
Aisling Bourke
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 305

Academic biography

Dr Ashling Bourke is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Human Development at the Institute of Education. She is interested in examining the processes that impact on child and adolescent wellbeing, with a particular focus on children's rights, child abuse and child protection, adversity and resilience, and social and emotional aspects of Education. She is an Ethics Advisor for the School of Human Development and a member of the Steering Group of the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education. She is currently the Co-Investigator on TEACH-RSE Teacher Professional Development and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE): Realising Optimal Sexual Health and Wellbeing Across the Lifespan 

Ashling completed her BA (hons) in Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a Masters in Forensic Psychology at University College Cork , and a PhD at Trinity College Dublin. Her doctoral thesis took a Developmental Forensic Psychological approach and examined Implicit Theories of Sex Offenders. Following this she worked as a researcher with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and as a Teaching Fellow at St. Patrick's College. Along with her various academic roles, she has also has worked in support and advocacy roles with vulnerable child and adult populations. 

Her research interests span the intersection of Psychology, Rights, and Education, specifically wellbeing, adversity and resilience in childhood; children's rights, Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), and Developmental Forensic Psychology.  Ashling welcomes PhD proposals in any of these areas. 

Research interests

Children's Rights

Child Abuse and Child Protection

Adversity and Resilience

Sexuality and Relationships Education

Developmental Forensic Psychology