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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Social Care (Degree/Diploma/Certificate)
If you are currently working in social care or have one year's full-time (or equivalent) social care experience, then the BA Social Care may be the course for you!
The Bachelor of Arts (Social Care) provides teaching of theoretical concepts applied to social care practice. It was developed in response to the continuing educational needs of social care workers in the context of the professionalisation of social care work and includes both theoretical and practice components.
The BA Social Care reflects the depth and breadth of social care work both in terms of service users groups, such as children, individuals with disabilities, adults or older people and in terms of service diversity, such as residential, community or independent living services. Current students and graduates of the BA Social Care work in a vast array of statutory, voluntary and private services and settings including independent and residential services for individuals with disabilities, residential and aftercare services for children, homeless services, services for older people and community support services.
Applications and Selections
Applications will be assessed solely on the information provided within the online application form and interviews do not form part of the selection process. Applicants are therefore advised to complete the application form fully and thoroughly, as incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please contact the course administrator for further information.
Practice placement is an integral component of the BA Social Care and provides the opportunity for learners to integrate theory and practice. In line with current CORU guidance, the practice placement component of the BA Social Care is comprised of 800hrs of placement in a variety of settings over the 4 years of the programme, as such each annual placement consists of 200hrs. As the BA Social Care has been designed to meet the needs of adult learners, practice placements are organised in partnership with students and commonly operate on a continuous rather than ‘block’ basis. Nonetheless, block placements can be accommodated where preferred and possible.
Exemptions and Advanced/Direct Entry
Applicants with existing academic qualifications can apply for exemptions from modules (post-registration only), where direct comparability can be demonstrated. Applicants with appropriate prior academic qualifications can apply for advanced/direct entry to years 2 or 3 of the course. Advanced entry applications must be approved prior to registration on the course. It is not possible to enrol directly into year 4.
The closing date for applications for advanced/direct entry is 5pm Friday 27th July, 2018. Please note, applications for advanced/direct entry will be assessed solely on the information provided in the application documentation and applicants are therefore advised to complete the documentation fully and thoroughly. Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please contact the course administrator for further information.
Who Teaches this Course
Requirements and Assessment
4 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
Next start date
Mode of study
Year 1: The first year of the course provides a general introduction to the field of social and health studies through three course components: course modules, a seminar and work placement. Students receive interactive materials for home study and attend a workshop for each module. Students also attend one weekend seminar, which normally takes place in mid-November. In addition, students complete supervised work placement in a social care setting. Students who successfully complete these course components may leave the programme at the end of this first year and be awarded a Certificate in Social Care or they may continue to the second year of the programme.
Year 2: This second year develops the skills and understanding gained in year 1 as well as developing on the theoretical ideas that underpin social care practice and service provision. On successful completion of year 2 students may leave the course and graduate with a Diploma in Arts (Social Care).
Year 3: This year builds on years 1 and 2 with further theoretical exploration of social care work and service provision through interactive distance education materials, workshops and work placement. The core competencies required for working in the social care field are further developed and linked to their application in a workplace setting. Years 3 and 4 form the degree cycle of the course.
Year 4: This final year of the BA in Social Care is comprised of workshops, work placement and self-directed study components. In addition, learners complete a dissertation on a particular area of social care work, with the support of a named individual supervisor.
Classes days and times
Workshops normally take place on Fridays and/or Saturdays (or a combination of both) and, will run generally from 10am to 4pm. The Seminar in years one and two normally runs from approximately 9:30am to 5pm. All workshops will be held at NUI Galway, unless otherwise advised. Provisional timetables for year one will be available from May 31st 2018 and can be requested from the course administrator.
Year One: Certificate in Social Care
- Introduction to integrated and experiential learning
- Introduction to social care practice and care skills
- Seminar 1 (at NUI Galway)
- Introduction to legal, ethical and professional practice in social care
- Health and health promotion in the social care context
- Introduction to communication skills for social care
- Social and health services: history, systems and context
- Work-placement 1
Year Two: Diploma in Arts (Social Care)
- Sociology: social care in context
- Psychology across the lifespan in the social care context
- Seminar 2 (at NUI Galway)
- Health promotion model of social care
- Introduction to care planning for social care
- Communication and relationship skills for social care
- Legal, ethical and professional practice in social care
- Introduction to research for social care
- Work-placement 2
Year 3: Bachelor of Arts Social Care
- Experiential learning and evidenced based practice in social care
- Care planning in social care practice
- Professional autonomy and accountability in social care practice
- Social care across the lifespan - working with children and young people
- Health promotion strategies and approaches in social care
- Research methods and methodology for social care
- Work-placement 3
Year 4: Bachelor of Arts Social Care
- Social care across the lifespan - working with adults and older people
- Management and leadership in social care settings
- Research project
- Social care and health promotion - national and international professional perspectives
- Work-placement 4
Please note that this outline is for guidance only and alterations may be made as required.
Why Choose This Course?
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
A €500 deposit is due on acceptance of an offer of a place on this course, with the €870 remaining Semester 1 fees due by the 31st October 2018; €1,370 Semester 2 fees due by 31st January 2019
A student levy of €168 to be paid in full by all students by the 31st October 2018.
A scholarship of a 30% contribution towards course fees for is available. See Social Care Fees Scholarship Form for further details.
What Our Students Say
Michael Quinn | Past Student
This course has been the greatest experience in my adventure, back to education as a mature student. It has given me new perspectives in which I view people and the world. It has been very challenging and rewarding. I am excited and nervous about my dissertation – but I see this as a springboard to more adventure. My tutors are very supportive and I would personally recommend this course to any prospective care worker.
Leora Monaghan | Past Student
10 years after leaving formal education I never thought I would be back. Changes in circumstances lead to the opportunity of returning to university. I chose Social Care as it is a profession I have always wanted to get in to. The course content and modules were reflective of everyday situations and made learning easy. I was concerned about returning to university after so many years but need not have been. The lecturers were supportive and extremely approachable. As part of this course, I was required to complete 200 hours work experience. I cannot stress how beneficial this turned out to be. My communication skills and confidence grew as a direct result of my work placement. It also helped me develop a network of people and outreach services which I never knew existed. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in social care.