UCC Adult courses

Continuing Professional Development in Trauma-informed Care: Theory and Practice - Cert

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Continuing Professional Development in Trauma-informed Care: Theory and Practice

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education, Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    16 weeks

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 9

  • NFQ Award Title

    Special Purpose Award

  • Fees

    €850 €500 for module 1 exam only students See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    8 September 2023

  • Next Intake

    October 2023

  • Venue


  • Start Date

    October 2023

Course Outline

This Certificate in Continuing Development in Trauma-informed Care is designed to meet the educational and professional skills needs for front-line practitioners in the integration of trauma-informed practices into their role as a response to working with children, young people, adults and/or their families who have experienced trauma. The programme focuses on both developing practitioner’s understanding of the lived and living experience of trauma and effectively intervening with those that have experienced trauma across the life span. The programme is practice orientated and focuses on integrating trauma-informed practices through a practice framework that was developed by Dr Maria Lotty, entitled TARA (Trauma, Attachment, Resilience into Action) (Lotty, M. (2021). Making Sense of the Practice of Trauma-informed Care: A Response to the need to implement Trauma-informed Care into front-line practice. The Irish Social Worker, Winter, 160-171). The programme examines the theoretical base of the practice of trauma-informed care in an accessible and applicable way with attention to the trauma, stress response system, polyvagal, attachment, mentalising and resiliency theories. The programme introduces students to the applications of the approach in their practice role providing an introduction to the practice of trauma-informed care methods of intervention. The programme also explores students’ critical thinking on the current debates about the implementation of the practice of trauma-informed care and the impact of vicarious trauma.


The CPD1717: Trauma-informed Care: Principles, theory and practical application module has been discontinued.

Students who wish to complete the Certificate in Continued Professional Development in Trauma-informed Care: Theory and practice that have completed the CPD1717 module within 5 years are eligible to join this programme in module 2 by completing and successfully passing a 3,000 word assignment on their learnings from the CPD1717 module.

Please contact Dr Maria Lotty by email at: maria.lotty@ucc.ie for further details.

Please see below an introductory video about the course. 


This programme is taught by Maria Lotty, B. Soc. Sc., MA/Dip SW, PhD. Maria has over 20 years of professional social work experience that reflects a comprehensive experience of working with children and families in assessment, therapeutic and project management roles. She is the author of the Fostering Connections: The Trauma-informed Foster Care Programme. She has developed this CPD Certificate Programme to support practitioners to develop their practice of Trauma-informed Care drawing from her PhD research and extensive front-line social work professional experience. Dr Maria Lotty’s research profile is available at this link: http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/T003/maria.lotty@ucc.ie

The Modules for the Certificate are as follows:

  • SS6806 Understanding Trauma-informed Care: Principles and Theory
  • SS6807 Application of Trauma-informed Care: Intervention and Practice

Course Practicalities

This programme is scheduled to run in academic year 2023/2024 as follows: the programme will be delivered in a blended format, part-time on-line with 1.5 hours pre-recorded materials and 1.5 hours live lecture per week.

Live online sessions will be delivered on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:30pm as follows:

SS6806 Module 1:

Introduction: 3 October 2023

Week 1: 10 October 2023

Week 2: 17 October 2023

Week 3: 24 October 2023

Week 4: 31 October 2023

Week 5: 7 November 2023

Week 6: 14 November 2023

Week 7: 21 November 2023

Week 8: 28 November 2023

SS6807 Module 2:

Week 1: 23 January 2024

Week 2: 30 January 2024

Week 3:  6 February 2024

Week 4: 13 February 2024

Week 5: 20 February 2024

Week 6: 27 February 2024

Week 7: 5 March 2024

Week 8:  12 March 2024


The programme is assessed through 2 X 3000-word assignments. These are set at the end of each module.

Why Choose This Course

I absolutely loved this course.... I have increased my skillset and I have great confidence in this work and my ability to be a Trauma-informed Care champion

Michelle Murphy

Social Care Leader, 2022

Find Out More

This course is the only university based credit bearing CPD course in Ireland that offers practitioners the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the effects of trauma and introduce them to the application of the Trauma-informed Care approach into their practice. It introduces the theoretical framework that underpins the practice of Trauma-informed Care informed by Dr Maria Lotty’s research and extensive professional experience. The course aims to support the practitioners’ in developing an understanding of the theories and principles that underpin this approach and the methods of intervention. It supports practitioners to build a toolkit of resources to implement Trauma-informed Care in their specific role through extensive accompanying resource material. It also gives practitioners an opportunity to reflect on these concepts and how they impact on their professional and personal experience.

It is particularly relevant to those interested in and/or working with children, young people, adults and/or families in roles in health and social care such as social care leaders, childcare leaders, youth workers, social workers, community workers, family support workers, psychotherapists, residential care staff, and mental health professionals.

Interested parties with a qualification in teaching (Early Years, Primary and/or Secondary School) are advised to consider the CPD Certificate in Trauma-informed Practice in Education


  • A level eight honours degree or equivalent qualification within a relevant field such as social work, psychology, social care, youth and community work, family support, psychotherapy, health care or family support.
  • Applicants without an NFQ level 8 award are eligible to apply, subject to the approval of the programme Academic Director, if s/he can demonstrate at least three years’ professional experience in a related field – examples include (but are not restricted to) family support, therapeutic practice and community engagement work.
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English are required to sit either an IELTS test or a recognised equivalent test. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5, or the equivalent TOEFL score with no individual section lower than 6.0. In addition to IELTS and TOEFL a number of English language tests & examinations are applicable to the majority of our programmes. Further information on English language requirements can be found at PG English Language Entry Requirements | UCC | University College Cork | Ireland 

Fees and Costs


For further information on fees and financial supports please click here.

How Do I Apply

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 
Select the following options:
Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photograph 
  • Statement of Experience [template available for download during application]
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • Transcripts [if applicable] 



Contact details for this course

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact