UCC Adult courses

Women's Studies - Dip

Course Fact File
Duration2 years
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 6/7
NFQ Award TitleMinor
Fees€990 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing DateTo be confirmed
Next IntakeTo be confirmed

UCC Campus

Start DateTo be confirmed

Course Outline

Programme is currently underview and new details will be updated as soon as possible.

The Diploma in Women's Studies focuses on the changed and changing roles of women, delving into areas of knowledge relevant to women's lives today. This course challenges negative stereotypes of women, treats women’s experiences as equal in importance to those of men and identifies values, traditions, practices, and perspectives that can be considered distinctively female.

You become aware of gender constructions found in all areas of your own lives, allowing you to better prepare for our contemporary world where family and work are rapidly changing around gendered issues, including care for children, sexuality, and new definitions of family life and roles. Whatever your ideals and beliefs, you will be better able to make informed decisions about the debates and concerns underlying changing policies and legislative issues after completing this course.

DWS includes 12 modules that cover a wide range of topics, and introduce students to analyses of the structural and cultural underpinnings of sexism and women's inequality.


Course Practicalities


Each module includes 24 hours teaching, group discussion and self-directed learning.  At the end of the module, each student will submit an essay (max 2000 words).

Who teaches this course

The academic staff who are teaching in this Diploma are lecturers and PhD students from Adult Continuing Education, Department of Sociology, School of English, School of Applied Social Studies, Board of Women's Studies and other staff from appropriate departments.

Lectures and workshops.  The programme will be run one night per week in UCC [Wednesday 7.00pm - 10.00pm] over a two-year period with some sessions on Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm.

The programme will be run one night per week in Cahirciveen [Friday 7.00pm - 9.00pm] over a two-year period with some sessions on Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm.

Why Choose This Course

The current modules will introduce you to analyses of the structural and cultural underpinnings of sexism and women's inequality.
You will also be involved in:

  • evaluating values, traditions, practices, and perspectives historically associated with various groups of women
  • interrogating the social construction of women and gender roles
  • analysing the historical, political, economic, and cultural structures that have contributed to discriminatory practices regarding gender, sexuality, and intersecting systems of oppression

Areas of employment may include:

  • Equal opportunities / equality advisory
  • Research and Education
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Journalism and Information sector
  • Social and Health sector


Normally, applicants will be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application. However, applicants who have appropriate training and experience, but who are not yet 21 years, may be deemed suitable by the selection committee.

English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score. Candidates who successfully complete First Year may opt not to proceed to Second Year and may exit the programme with a Certificate in Women’s Studies.

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.

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.

Should you have any queries on this, please contact Programme Coordinator Rola Abu Zeid - O'Neill at r.azoneill@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]



Year 1 Modules

  • AD1013: An Introduction to Women's Studies (5 credits)
    Students will study extracts, historical and contemporary, from a range of relevant international and Irish theorists.
  • AD1014: Women and History (5 credits)
    The module focuses on issues such as women and family, ideas on female sexuality and fertility control, nineteenth and early twentieth century campaigns on sexual crime and against the Contagious Diseases Acts, and women's campaigns for the vote.
  • AD1016: Women's Movement (5 credits)
    A range of historical and contemporary issues will be covered which may include the vote, women's right to work, social welfare, and reproductive rights.
  • AD1017: Women, Gender and Conflict (5 credits)
    The experience of war has had major implications for our understandings of both masculinity and femininity. This module examines the gendered dimensions of war, by taking into account how wars have been experienced and remembered. It will discuss the impact of war and conflict on women by examining torture, genocide, and experiences of refugees.
  • AD1018: Women and Sexuality (5 credits)
    Examines the concepts of sex and gender as they are defined in sociological literature, focusing on how social contexts (i.e., education, employment, family, sexuality and reproduction, etc.) construct gender which, in turn, shapes future opportunities for individuals in society.
  • AD1033: Women in Ireland (5 credits)
    It may include discussion of all or some of the following topics; women and social policy, and women and politics. An important aspect of the module is that it will focus on issues current in the media in the year of delivery.

Year 2 Modules

  • AD2003: Women and Development (5 credits)
    This module will examine the longstanding tensions and emerging areas of overlap between traditionally separate domains of development and women from feminist perspectives.

    This module will be an introduction to gender concepts and relations of gender and development policy and development process. It will discuss the issue of development in practice and women's lives and livelihoods in different contexts, such as rural areas, dry-lands areas, etc.
  • AD2004: Women and Philosophy (5 credits)
    To examine the ways in which philosophy, as a reflective and critical activity, can assist women in attaining better understandings of themselves, others and their environment. And the extent to which the women's movement has contributed to making families more egalitarian.
  • AD2005: Women, Work and Family (5 credits)
    The module focuses on such issues as: dual-career and dual-work families, effects of maternal employment on children, impact of child care and elder care on the workplace, and parental leave and other workplace supports for families. Looking at both the past and the present, students will examine the changing nature and patterns of women's work, the meaning work has for women, and the value of women's work to our society.
  • AD2006: Women, Art and Culture (5 credits)
    Though specific content may vary from year to year, it will involve issues such as the presentation of women in art, women as artists, and women as audience. Key issues include the relevance of women's position in society to contemporary evaluations of women's art and cultural products and to supporting and challenging gendered assumptions about them.
  • AD2007: Women, Memory and Identity (5 credits)
    This module offers a multifaceted and interdisciplinary look at the relationship between women, memory and identity, focusing on the interaction between collective memory and forms of political identity such as nationality, citizenship, and ethnicity.

    In this module students will draw on feminist literature to explore issues such as the impact of gender, ethnicity, race, and cultural heritage on individual and collective memory and identity formation.
  • AD2015: Women and Literature (5 credits)
    The course may include all or some of the following literatures: English, Irish, Italian, Canadian, Arabic and Hebrew ones.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact