UCC Adult courses

Social Enterprises and Community Development Practice - Dip

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Social Enterprises and Community Development Practice

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    2 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 6/7

  • Fees

    €990 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants must hold a Leaving Certificate/FETAC Level 5 qualification (or equivalent). See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date


  • Next Intake

    September 2020

  • Venue



  • Start Date

    September 2020

Course Outline

This course introduces you to the theoretical and practical elements of community development and social enterprise. Emphasis is placed on developing ways to successfully integrate a range of business skills suited to a people-centred social enterprise. You will engage in the critique of models, theories and policies relating to the development and successful management of social enterprise/community development projects. Through development of analytical skills, management strategies and enterprise approaches you will become equipped to cultivate entrepreneurship in local communities and establish a ‘can do’ approach to local development.

Course Practicalities

The programme will be run one night per week over a two-year period. You will undertake a 100 hour practical placement during year two of the Diploma. This includes 20 hours of supervision from the Diploma placement officer. Prior to starting placement you will prepare an agency profile on the social enterprise you will be working with. All placements will be approved and monitored by the course placement officer.


Assessment is assignment-based, there are no examinations. Assignments take a variety of forms including: reflective journals, essays, community/agency profiles, research reports and case studies. Briefs and guidelines are available in the course handbook so information is available in advance. Lecturers will cover assignment approaches. Assignments are handed in one week after a module ends. Two assignments are required per 10 credit module and one per five credit module.

Who teaches this course

All members of the lecturing team are experienced adult education lecturers chosen for their ability to facilitate development of positive learning environments. They offer a wide range of professional experience and have strong links to local community agencies and development bodies. Their participation in area development initiatives and training programmes provides them with first hand knowledge of local development and the challenges and rewards of social enterprise.

Why Choose This Course

Whether you aim to run your own business or become involved with a local development agency this Diploma will equip you with skills that enable you to take an active part in the development of your local community. It offers the opportunity for you to become actively involved in generating openness to the establishment of local social enterprise and the professional know-how to work confidently to secure its success. You will be prepared to meet the challenges posed by people-centred businesses by the body of information you have gained on funding sources, development strategies, conflict resolution and team building.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will undertake a 100 hour practical placement during year two of the Diploma. This includes 20 hours of supervision from the Diploma placement officer. Prior to starting placement you will prepare an agency profile on the social enterprise you will be working with. All placements will be approved and monitored by the course placement officer.


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by 1st January of the year of application
  • Hold a Leaving Certificate/FETAC Level 5 qualification (or equivalent)
  • Be able to demonstrate involvement in the community development or social enterprise sector verified by an up-to-date reference
  • Satisfy Garda vetting requirements
  • Diploma programmes are offered subject to a minimum number of eligible applicants registering for the programme. Following completion of year 1 of this programme, should a sufficient number of eligible students not wish to progress form year 1 to year 2 of this programme as to make the year 2 viable, students will graduate with a certificate at that point. Programme viability is determined by reference to fee income and applicable costs in running the programme. 
  • All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score. 
  • Applicants may be called for interview.
  • Applicants who do not have a Leaving Certificate/FETAC Level 5 qualification but have relevant work experience may be deemed suitable on submission of a 500 word Personal Statement outlining their suitability for the course with an overview of relevant experience. A selection committee comprising the Director of ACE or nominee, Programme Co-ordinator or nominee and one other nominee will adjudicate submissions. 

Note: Students who successfully complete Year 1 of this programme and who do not wish to proceed to Year 2 may exit the programme with a Certificate in Social Enterprises and Community Development Practice.

Fees and Costs

€990 per academic year

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

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

  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • 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.


Contact details for this course

Similar Courses

Youth and Community Work

Year 1 Modules

  • AD1001: History and Theory of Community Development and Social Enterprise (10 credits)
    This module will contextualise the historic development of Community Development and Social Enterprise; explore the concept of community from a sociological perspective and examine the actors and dynamics within the politics of Community Development and Social Enterprise.
  • AD1002: Introduction to Social Enterprises and People Centred Business (5 credits)
    Organising and running a people-centred business and social enterprises; decision making practices; governance.
  • SS1828: Facilitation Skills for Social Enterprise and Community Workers (5 credits)
    Theoretical approaches to group work
    Group facilitation skills
    Conflict Resolution
    Communication skills.
  • SS1829: Research Skills in Community Development Work and Social Enterprise (10 credits)
    Research design. Research ethics, Methodology, Data Collection and analysis and Presentation Skills.

Year 2 Modules

  • AD2001: Social Enterprise and Local Development (5 credits)
    This module provides an introduction to the role of the social economy with a particular emphasis on social enterprise and its links to local and community development. The module will include specific references in the form of actual case studies of existing and successful social enterprises within a community context, while exploring the role and use of the Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) as a means of service delivery in the context of local development.
  • SS2821: Social Analysis of Community (5 credits)
    Social policy in Ireland
    The emergence of Community within a historical context
    The emergence of Social Enterprise in the Irish Context
    EU Social Policy
    Mechanisms of social inclusion.
  • SS2822: Managing Community Development and Social Enterprise Projects (10 credits)
    This module will introduce students to the key issues and skills associated with managing Community Development Projects and Social Enterprises. The module will focus on Project Planning and Management; Issues related to funding; Managing Human Resources; Third Sector Management and the Law; Committee Skills.
  • SS2823: Practice Placement (10 credits)
    · Theoretical learning
    · Reflective practice
    · Case recording
    · Placement.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact