UCC Adult courses

Practice Support in Social Farming - Cert

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Practice Support in Social Farming

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 6

  • NFQ Award Title

    Special Purpose

  • Fees

    €990 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    11th September 2020

  • Next Intake

    September 2020

  • Venue




  • Start Date

    September 2020

Course Outline

Adult Continuing Education (ACE) at UCC is pleased to offer this new and innovative Certificate in Practice Support in Social Farming in UCC campus and outreach centres. This course is both inter and multi-disciplinary, informed by scholarship from law, policy studies, environment and mental health studies, communication and disability studies. This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of Social Farming, which is founded on the principles of equality, social inclusion, voluntary community development and collaboration. You will learn about the history of social farming, disability, marginalised groups and the diverse strengths, challenges and conceptualisations, including the different ways in which people with a disability and other marginalised groups experience the world. The role of the environment for mental health and wellbeing will be examined as well as the various supports and interventions that are available for people across their lifespan, and the legislation and policies that govern best practice.

This Certificate in Practice Support in Social Farming will help you to develop critical awareness of the key issues that impact on the everyday life of individuals with a disability and those of other marginalised groups within contemporary society.  In addition, the variety of topics introduced, will equip you with the capacity for diverging thinking and enhance your knowledge and awareness of the benefits of social farming, especially in relation to mental, physical and social wellbeing.

Course Practicalities

The Certificate is delivered part-time over one academic year. It carries a 30 credit value, NFQ Level 6 Award. The Certificate is ideal if you are an adult learner looking to enhance your understanding and awareness of social farming practice. Classes are structured to provide a safe learning space through a series of blended learning experiences from; class lectures, self-directed learning, experiential learning, guest speakers and enhanced by Canvas Online Learning System.

Classes are held on evenings and occasional Saturdays from September to May

Modules Taught:  

SS1844 Social Farming in Practice  - 5 credits 
SS1845 Disability and the Law  -  5 credits 
SS1846 Environment and Well-being - 5 credits 
SS1847 Communications in Disability Studies  - 5 credits 
SS1848 Disability Models, Education and Work - 5 credits 
SS1849 Social Farming for Social Inclusion - 5 credits 

Why Choose This Course

Benefits to Learners and Their Communities

This course enables the learner, their employer or business, community organisation, voluntary group or charity, family, friends and colleagues to better support the inclusion of those often marginalised by society. Students are encouraged in their development of facilitation and advocacy skills, as well as honing both their own knowledge and confidence. Students develop a range of life skills including; self-confidence and awareness, problem solving, independent self-management and teamwork, as well as professional presentation of self, reports and assignments.


Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application. While there are no formal educational requirements, it is expected that proposed candidates will have attained Leaving Certificate/FETAC Level 5 or an equivalent qualification. 

Prior experience will  be taken into account and short listed candidates may be required to attend for an interview. All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or equivalent TOEFL score. 

Fees and Costs

€990: Students who are registered on this programme are eligible to apply for the Financial Aid Fund for Part Time Students. Eligibility criteria applies. For more information see https://www.ucc.ie/en/finaidpt

How Do I Apply

Ace's Temporary Pivot Towards Blended Online Learning For Academic Year 2020/2021

Given the current context of Covid-19 and the prevailing public health guidelines, there will be a blended online approach for ACE programmes for the 2020/21 academic year. This will mean that for semester 1 all teaching will generally be delivered online. We will endeavour to provide more classroom-based teaching in semester 2, however this is dependent on the progression of the virus and public health advice in this very fluid situation. 

Our approach will involve (as much as possible) the replication of the classroom environment in an online environment:

  • Classes will be held in accordance with standard programme timetables;
  • Synchronous/live delivery of lectures online will be prioritised as much as possible;
  • The use of recordings in place of live lectures will be limited;
  • Opportunities for student engagement and interactivity (through online breakout rooms, discussion boards, live Q&A, etc.) will be the norm across all programmes.

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:

  • You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
  • Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies.  However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
  • You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
  • We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
  • You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software.  All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc. once registered.

Should you have any queries on this, please contact Programme Coordinator Dr Joan Cronin at joancronin@ucc.ie

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

  • Birth Cert or Passport or New Driving Licence
  • Passport Photograph 
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]

NOTE: Once you have selected your course your application saves automatically.  If you don't complete your application in one session you can access your draft application in the "My Applications" section of the UCC360 application portal. The My Applications section will also keep you updated on the status of your application.



Year 1 Modules

  • SS1844: Social Farming in Practice (5 credits)
    Students will engage with social farming through practical observation. Several visits to different social farm settings will be undertaken where various approaches to the practice support needs will be examined. There will be a general introduction to the different types of social farming both in an Irish context and European context. The principles of social farming will be discussed and students will learn about the relevant national and European policy context and analyse how these impact on the operation and development of Social Farming. Students will explore how evidence-based learning, best practice and policy recommendations can contribute to the promotion and development of social farming in Ireland.
  • SS1845: Disability and the Law (5 credits)
    This module focuses on various aspects of Disability and the Law from a human rights perspective, including areas such as the recently ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006. Irish legislation governing the rights of persons with disabilities will also be addressed, including the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011, the Equal Status Acts 2000-2012, the Mental Health Act 2001, the Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2004, and the Disability Act 2005. Students will also consider the legal standing on supported decision-making theory and its practice in Irish Constitutional Law as well as Irish policy in this area.
  • SS1846: Environment and Well-Being (5 credits)
    Students will review the different interventions associated with social farming in areas such as nature therapy, ecotherapy, therapeutic horticulture, facilitated green exercise, and their role within 'green care'. The module will also explore the role of farms as a provision of a positive social space in contributing positively to mental and social wellbeing. Activities to promote health and wellbeing taking place in a natural environment as both passive and active interactions will also be discussed.
  • SS1847: Communication in Disability Studies (5 credits)
    Students will examine effective styles of communication used when interacting with people with different types of disability. Students will explore the use of positive and negative language and how to maximise communication. Barriers to effective communication and motivation will also be considered.

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact