UCC Adult courses

Social Studies - Dip

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Social Studies

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    2 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 7

  • NFQ Award Title


  • Fees

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

  • Entry Requirements

    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. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    17th September 2021

  • Next Intake

    September 2021

  • Venue

    Joint delivery: UCC and Cork College of Commerce


  • Start Date

    20th September 2021

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.

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
  • 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

Fees and Costs

€990 per academic year

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here

How Do I Apply

Delivery Mode For Academic Year 2021/22

Following consultation with our students and programme teams, there will be a blended online approach for this programme for the 2021/22 academic year. This approach will allow for the multiple other personal and professional commitments that adult learners often have to manage alongside their studies.

From September to December, all courses will be delivered online where students will attend live virtual classes which will incorporate (as much as possible) opportunities for engagement and interactivity with lecturers and fellow students.

From January to June, we will endeavour to provide opportunities for in-class workshops and lectures where relevant. Please note that if some campus-based activity does resume, it will not be compulsory for students to attend face-to-face classes. Provisions will be made to facilitate all students’ ability to complete their studies regardless of the approach taken (online, blended, face-to-face).  

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 Pat Twomey at pat.twomey@ucc.ie 

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.


Year 1 Modules

  • AD1868: Introduction to Academic Writing (5 credits)
    This module will focus on the key skills required for completing academic assignments. It will provide opportunities for practice in areas such as structure, paragraphing, coherence, relevance, referencing and developing arguments.
  • AP1860: Psychology as a Science (5 credits)
    Psychology as a scientific discipline. Introduction to the scientific methods in psychology; historical perspectives on psychology; branches of modern psychology.
  • EC1803: Markets and Governments: An Introduction to Microeconomics (5 credits)
    The role of markets and government in achieving social goals and public policy objectives is examined. The module introduces key economic concepts, through a framework of analysis, on a range of contemporary social problems. This involves an understanding of the economics of the market, the efficiency rationale for government intervention and the various approaches undertaken by government to ensure an efficient allocation of resources.
  • SC1806: Introduction to Sociology (5 credits)
    This module introduces students to the subject of sociology; to the development of modern society; to key people and ideas in sociology; and to issues and problems in contemporary society, both in Ireland and globally.
  • SS1840: Introduction to Social Policy (10 credits)
    Defining social policy, history of Irish social policy, social policy formation in Ireland, analysis of core concepts and ideological perspectives of relevance to key welfare debates.

Year 2 Modules

  • AP2818: Social Psychology and Development (5 credits)
    An introduction to the theories and research in social psychology focusing on the areas of social influence (e.g. inter-group behaviour and conformity) social relations (e.g. group identity and prosocial behaviour) and social thinking (e.g. attitudes and attribution). An introduction to theories and research in development psychology, covering selected aspects of perceptual, motor, cognitive, social and emotional development in childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
  • EC2802: Markets and Governments: An Introduction to Macroeconomics (5 credits)
    The module covers the nature and rationale of government and the role and methods it uses to achieve social goals and public policy objectives. This involves analysing macroeconomic issues such as national income and expenditure accounts, understanding governmental budgetary policies, the drivers of inflation, unemployment measures, the impact of international trade and globalisation, and the role and contribution of banking to the economy.
  • PH2807: Social Philosophy (5 credits)
    Introduction to some key areas in philosophy, including philosophy of mind, ethics and metaphysics.
  • SC2804: Key Issues in Sociology (10 credits)
    This module introduces students to a number of key issues in the discipline of sociology by focusing on debates about the nature of contemporary society such as Globalisation, Politics, Economics, Culture, Environment, Family, Migration, Gender etc.
  • SS2833: Exploring Irish Social Policy (5 credits)
    Social policy and the Irish welfare state; education policy, health policy, housing policy and social protection policy.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact