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UCC Adult courses

Social Studies - Dip

Course Fact File
Duration2 years
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 7
NFQ Award TitleMinor
Fees€990 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31 August 2024
Next IntakeSeptember 2024

Joint delivery: UCC and Cork College Of Further Education and Training Service Morrisons Island Campus

Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

The Diploma in Social Studies is an interdisciplinary programme designed to introduce you to the social sciences. You will have an opportunity to study sociology, social policy, social psychology, social philosophy and economics. This diversity of disciplines allows you to develop a critical awareness of the key issues that impact on everyday life in contemporary society. In addition, the variety of topics introduced will equip you with the capacity for divergent thinking – a highly desirable attribute in the current economic climate.

Irish society has undergone rapid social change in recent years and the Diploma in Social Studies aims to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the key trends from a social science perspective. In the first year of the course you are introduced to the key concepts and perspectives in the social sciences. In particular, you will be encouraged to apply sociological concepts to aspects of everyday life; explain change and development as an economist would; appreciate how social psychology explains aspects of human behaviour and the potential to analyse social problems offered by social policy: and suggest improvements to services such as health, housing and education. The ‘Introduction to Academic Writing’ module will give you the opportunity to hone your writing, research and referencing skills. 

In the second year of the course you will extend your knowledge of sociology, social policy, social philosophy and economics.  

On successful completion of this programme you will have the opportunity to apply for entry into Year 2 of the full time undergraduate Bachelors degree in Social Science in University College Cork.

The Modules for the Diploma are as follows:

Year 1

  • AD1868 Introduction to Academic Writing
  • AP1860 Psychology as a Science
  • EC1803 Markets and Governments: An Introduction to Microeconomics
  • SC1806 Introduction to Sociology
  • SS1840 Introduction to Social Policy

Year 2

  • AP2818 Social Psychology and Development
  • EC2802 Markets and Governments: An Introduction to Macroeconmics
  • PH2807 Social Philosophy
  • SC2804 Key Issues in Sociology
  • SS2833 Exploring Irish Social Policy

Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinator Eileen McBride at 

For Online Application Support please click here. 

Important Notice: Course Registration Deadlines

Once the course has reached full capacity we will no longer be accepting applications.

We strongly recommend early application to secure your place on the course.

Course Practicalities

This course takes place on Tuesday evenings from 7.00pm to 10.00pm from September/October to May plus some Saturdays, it runs over two years with the option of an exit award of Cert at the end of year one. This course will be delivered in both UCC and the Cork College of Commerce (with Saturday sessions taking place in the UCC Campus). 


All work is assessed on a continuous basis through a combination of essays, journals of learning in class tests and oral presentations.

Why Choose This Course

The course will provide participants with a firm grounding in theoretical areas and enable them to develop a capacity for critical thinking.


  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application
  • Normally have Leaving Certificate or FETAC Level 5 or an equivalent qualification
  • Applicants may be required to attend for interview.
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score or the equivalent Duolingo score
  • On successful completion of this programme you will have the opportunity to apply for entry into Year 2 of the full time undergraduate Bachelors degree in Social Science in University College Cork
  • Applicants will be asked to submit a Personal Statement, detailing their motivation to take this course and any work or life experience relevant to the subject (maximum one page).

Fees and Costs

€990 per academic year

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here

How To Apply

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.

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 
  • Personal Statement
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • 50% of the fees are also required to complete your application. 


Apply Now

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact