UCC Adult courses

Youth and Community Work - Dip

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The Diploma in Youth and Community Work offers you the opportunity to develop professional skills and gain an understanding of the theory that guides good practice. It is a two year part-time course that explores approaches to working with groups in a variety of settings to create a positive social environment. You will trace the development of social intervention from its historical beginnings to its current form. You will develop skills that support reflective practice and enable you to engage in research, strategic planning, group leadership and mediation. Lectures are interactive; they promote discussion and may include student presentations. During year 2 you will complete a 70 hour placement in a local agency monitored by the course placement officer.


Additional Teaching Mode Information

This course runs one evening per week from September/October to May.

In UCC it will run on Tuesday evening from 6.00pm - 9.00pm. 

Course Practicalities


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

Who teaches this course

all members of the lecturing team are experienced adult education lecturers chosen for their ability to facilitate the development of positive learning environments. they have extensive professional experience in the field and would normally hold a minimum of an ma degree. their strong links to local youth and community agencies and development bodies, along with their participation in area training programmes, provides them with first hand knowledge of the skill set expectations of local youth and community work employers.

Why Choose This Course

This Diploma focuses on professional skill building. If you want to enter youth and community work, are already employed and wish to gain promotion or progress to full-time professional training this course is for you. You will engage in dynamic discussions, compile a community profile, make confident mini-presentations, conduct a research project and complete an agency placement. Graduates have progression choices. You will be equipped to apply for youth/community positions or to progress to further third level courses. One such course is the UCC Bachelor in Youth and Community Work that is designed for mature students.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

You will undertake a placement in a youth/community agency during year 2. This gives you the opportunity to apply your understanding of theory and professional skills and to reflect on the experience. Prior to commencing placement you will compile an agency profile of the organisation you will be working with.

Skills and Careers Information

The course opens access to full time third level education. Past students have progressed to level 8 and 9 courses in UCC, LIT, CIT, UL, Maynooth and Mary Immaculate College. The Diploma was their first step to obtaining qualifications in the areas of addiction studies, social care, regeneration studies and social work.

The Diploma enhances employment opportunities. It has a high profile with local agencies who welcome applications from our graduates. It is not unusual for participation in practice placement to lead to employment. Many of the lecturers work with local agencies and can highlight essential employment skills and opportunities.


The programme will be taken part-time over a two-year period.

  • Applicants for entrance into the Programme must be at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application
  • Have Leaving Certificate (or equivalent qualification) or FETAC Level 5 qualification
  • Candidates who do not have Leaving Certificate or FETAC Level 5 but are over 21 years of age and have a minimum of 2 years relevant experience may be deemed suitable, subject to the approval of the CACE Committee
  • Applicants must satisfy Garda Vetting requirements. Candidates may be required to attend for an interview before being permitted to progress to Year 2
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score

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.

Candidates who successfully complete First Year may opt not to proceed to Second Year and may exit the programme with a Certificate in Youth and Community Work.

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 Patricia McGrath at patriciamcgrath@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.

NOTE: If you are applying for the Limerick Centre - Please go to the Certificate in Youth and Community Work. https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-cycw/ 


Contact details for this course

Similar Courses

Social Studies

Diploma in Youth and Community Work

Year 1 Modules

  • SS1802: Introduction to Youth and Community Work (5 credits)
    The module will examine the history and development of Youth and Community Work. Youth and Community Work will be explored and defined and the module will consider the value systems, theoretical approaches, interventions and their application to practical youth and community work settings. The structure of the youth service and the community sector will be examined in the context of broader Irish society.
  • SS1805: Introduction to Research Methods in Youth and Community Work (10 credits)
    Research skills, design, methodology and presentation.
  • SS1819: Principles and Practices of Youth and Community Work (10 credits)
    This module addresses the nature of youth and community work practice, the concept of working with people and approaches used in professional work settings. It examines the benefits and challenges of youth/community participation and explores some theoretical approaches to working with people.
  • SS1822: Core Skills in Youth and Community Work (5 credits)
    Group facilitation skills, leadership, conflict resolution, listening and communciation skills. The communication process will be introduced in terms of non-verbal communication, effective listening, facilitation and leadership and communication in groups. Skills in working with youth and adult groups will also be included.

Year 2 Modules

  • SS2801: Practice Placement - Youth and Community Work (10 credits)
    This module affords students the opportunity to apply their learning to a practice context in the field of Youth and Community Work and exercise theoretical learning and skills development through praxis. Students will also engage in reflective learning through the supervision process.
  • SS2802: Models of Youth and Community Work (5 credits)
    The models of community work are explored such as Community Organisation, Community Care, Community Development and Community Action. Volunteer monitoring, management and development is explored. Hurley & Tracey's Models of Youth work will be examined in addition to new developments in the Youth and Community Work Sector.
  • SS2813: Social Analysis: Disadvantage and Social Exclusion (5 credits)
    Introduce the concepts of prejudice, discrimination, poverty and social exclusion; subjects of class, race, gender, ethnicity, sectarianism, sexuality, disability. Look at empowerment and the role of youth and community work in affecting social change.
  • SS2814: Managing Youth and Community Youth Projects (10 credits)
    This module will provide students with the practical skills of running projects, strategic planning, identifying funding sources, working with official documents, managing records and writing reports. Students will also become familiar with management structures of various agencies.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact