UCC Adult courses

Facilitating Inclusion [Disability Studies] - HDip

Course Fact File
Duration2 years
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 8
NFQ Award TitleMajor
Fees€2400 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31 May 2024
Next IntakeOctober 2024

Blended Approach - Online lectures with in person workshops. 

Start DateOctober 2024

Course Outline

The Higher Diploma in Facilitating Inclusion & Disability Studies (HDFIDS) is a two-year part-time Programme. It incorporates the twin aims of lifelong learning – active citizenship and employability. It offers participants a strong foundation in disability-related issues and facilitates the development of skills, understanding, awareness, and knowledge to better support the fuller participation of people with disabilities in education, training, employability, and leisure. The course includes an introduction to sign language, inclusive media, and the skills required to successfully design a course that maximises the inclusion of people with disabilities. It also looks at the social context of mental health and autism. Accessibility to sport and leisure, the creative arts, and culture also form part of this course and you will be encouraged to contribute constructively to the ongoing debate around disability and inclusion locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Modules for the Higher Diploma are as follows:

Year 1

  • AD5832 Interdisciplinary Perspective on Inclusion (Disability Studies)
  • AD5835 The Social Context of Mental Health
  • AD5836 Autism: The Social Context 
  • AD5847 Disability, the Arts and Creative Expression
  • AD5848 Accessibility and Universal Design

Year 2

  • AD5833 Introduction to Deaf, Deaf Blind, Vision Impaired Awareness and Communication
  • AD5834 Introduction to Assistive Technologies
  • AD5837 Design, Training and Inclusion
  • AD5838 Dis/ability and Development: A focus on the Global South
  • AD5839 Disability, Sport and Leisure

Candidates who successfully complete Year 1 may opt not to proceed to Year 2 and may exit the programme with a Certificate in Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies)

Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinator Brenda Healy at b.healy@ucc.ie.

For Online Application Support please click here. 

If you require further assistance with your online application please contact the Programme Administrator Siobhan Hosford at siobhanhosford@ucc.ie. 

Important Notice: Course Registration Deadlines

Please take note of the following deadlines for this course:

Round One Application Deadline: Friday, May 31st, 2024

  • If the course fills by this deadline, there will be no round two application process. Early application is advisable as there are limited numbers of places for this course. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications by this date to guarantee consideration.

Final Registration Deadline: August 31st, 2024

  • In the event that there are additional places available, round two applications will open. Round two applications will close on August 31st, 2024.

We highly recommend early application to secure your place in our courses.


Course Practicalities


The course is evaluated by continuous assessment through a combination of essays, reflective logs, a journal of learning, case study, oral presentation, in-class practice elements – sign language, and course design.

Who Teaches this Course

The teaching team together combines extensive academic expertise, practice experience, and lived expertise on disability and inclusion-related topics and contexts. Diversity in the classroom enhances learning by offering multiple perspectives and experiences on topics.    


The course will be delivered online on either Monday/Friday evenings with occasional in-person workshops on Saturdays. Contact the programme coordinator for a timetable.  

Why Choose This Course

I chose to do the course because I wanted to broaden my perspective beyond my personal experience.

Katherine O'Leary


Find Out More

HDFIDS is unique: there are no similar programmes currently available in Ireland. The Higher Diploma offers a natural progression route for graduates of the QQ1 Level 7 Diploma in Disability Studies, Diploma in Autism Studies (and other courses) as well as an opportunity for anyone working in disability in either a paid, voluntary, or caring capacity, to enhance their knowledge and skills. Furthermore, graduates can progress into the QQ1 Level 9 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Awareness for Health, Social Care and Education Professionals or the M Soc in Social Policy and Social Justice.   

One of our students recently secured a post in UCC’s Disability Support Service and is now working as an Employability Project Advisor. Prior to returning to college, she worked for twenty years in Supply Chain in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. She says “The course gave me a strong foundation in disability-related issues and opened my mind to different career paths. It gave me practical knowledge that I can now apply to the various strands of the project I work on. I now look forward to continuing with my studies, possibly at the postgraduate level, and developing my knowledge in the areas of Neurodiversity and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. "

Placement or Study Abroad Information

While students come from different parts of Ireland to attend the HDFIDS, it also attracts students from the international community. One student is from Spain. She has commented that embarking on HDFIDS: “has deeply affected the way I carry out my job. I am an EFL (English Foreign Language) teacher here in Madrid, and I primarily teach people from the organisation ONCE (National Council for the Blind). It has proved hugely challenging adapting textbooks and my own professional training as a teacher to this post”. She believes that her experience on the course has played a huge part in her professional development.

Skills and Careers Information

The aim of this programme is to provide participants with the skills, understanding, awareness and knowledge to be able to support the fuller participation of people with disabilities in education, training, work and leisure, and to be able to contribute constructively to the ongoing debates around disability and inclusion, locally, nationally and internationally.

On successful completion of the Certificate in Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies), students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and critically appraise the social construction of disability and exclusion in a historical and contemporary context.
  • Apply theories of disability to critically examine inclusive policies and practices.
  • Demonstrate competence in Irish Sign Language and apply a range of skills and techniques for effective communication with people who are deaf, deaf blind.
  • Identify a range of mobility and living skills applicable to people who are blind or vision impaired.
  • Critically assess the impact that social and environmental factors can have on people who are blind or vision impaired
  • Identify and evaluate key developments in assistive technology.
  • Critically assess the impact of social and environmental factors on mental health in a historical and contemporary context.
  • Identify effective, holistic approaches to dealing with mental health issues.

On successful completion of the Certificate in Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies), students should be able to:

  • Conduct needs assessments, design training materials and enact instructional methodologies cognisant of the diverse learning needs of people with disabilities.
  • Critically assess the implications of policies and practices on the ability of people with disabilities to fully participate in society.
  • Evaluate the role of sport and leisure activities in enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Identify and evaluate measures to promote inclusion in sports and leisure activities.
  • Appraise the role and significance of creative arts in promoting social inclusion.
  • Critically evaluate the social and environmental factors affecting the lives of people with disabilities.



Applications will be considered based on the following combined elements: academic performance; motivation, commitment, and suitability; certified work-related experience and initiative.

  • Candidates must hold a minimum Level 7 qualification with at least a second-class honours grade 1 in a relevant discipline in the areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, or Health Care and
  • Candidates must have completed at least 420 hours of certified work-related experience in the areas of Disability/ Inclusion (whether in a professional or voluntary, community or advocate capacity) and a Statement of Interest, to be included with the application.

Statement of Interest, please outline the following:

  • Describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Disability/Inclusion/ related experience, paid or voluntary, including (total hours) and relevant student placements, if applicable (total hours). In addition, you may include a statement about your own lived experience where applicable.
  • Please list newest to oldest and specify the duties and responsibilities for each position whether it is: Voluntary/PaidPart-time/Full-time.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

 ‘Statement of Interest’ must be signed by your manager or supervisor.

  • Candidates may be required to attend for interview. Shortlisting may apply.

Fees and Costs

€2400 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 
  • Statement of Interest is available during application to download and attach to the application. 
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • 50% of the fees will also be required to complete your application. 



Apply Now

Contact Details For This Course

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact