UCC Adult courses

Facilitating Inclusion [Disability Studies] - HDip

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Facilitating Inclusion [Disability Studies]

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    2 years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 8

  • NFQ Award Title


  • Fees

    €2400 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Candidates may be required to attend for interview. Shortlisting may apply. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    30 September 2022

  • Next Intake

    October 2022

  • Venue

    Online - Year 1

    Blended Approach - Year 2 Online lectures with in person workshops. 

  • Start Date

    October 2022

Course Outline

The Higher Diploma in Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies) (HDFIDS) is a unique course and a progression route for graduates of the very popular part-time Diploma in Disability Studies (DDS) as well as the Diploma in Autism Studies. It is an opportunity for people working in the area of disability to enhance their knowledge and skills to enable them to support the fuller participation of people with disabilities in education, training, work and leisure. It incorporates the twin aims of lifelong learning – active citizenship and employability. 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’ll be encouraged to contribute constructively to the ongoing debate around disability and inclusion locally, nationally and internationally.

Programme Structure;

Year 1: Students complete 30 credits as follows;

AD5832: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Inclusion (Disability Studies) (10 credits)  

AD5835: The Social Context of Mental Health (5 credits)

AD5836: Autism: The Social Context  (5 credits)

AD5847: Disability, the Arts and Creative Expression (5 credits)

AD5848: Accessibility and Universal Design (5 credits)

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)

Year 2: Students will complete 30 credits as follows;

AD5833: Introduction to Deaf, Deaf Blind, Vision Impaired Awareness and Communication  (5 credits)

AD5834: Introduction to Assistive Technologies (5 credits)

AD5837: Design, Training and Inclusion (10 credits)

AD5838: Dis/ability and Development: A focus on the Global South (5 credits)

AD5839: Disability, Sport and Leisure (5 credits)

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. 


Course Practicalities


Some of the modules combine in-class examinations in the form of multiple choice questions with a practical element – sign language/social media online assessment. The rest of the course is evaluated by continuous assessment through a combination of essays, reflective logs, a journal of learning, case study, oral presentation, and course design.

Who Teaches this Course

Teaching staff are chosen for their expertise and interest in the area of disability and inclusion. This includes the School of Applied Social Studies, School of Music, School of History, Computer Science and ACE.


Online - the course will be on either Monday/Friday evenings with some Saturdays. 

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

The HDFIDS is unique: there are no similar programmes currently on offer in Ireland. It is a natural progression route for graduates of the Diploma in Disability Studies (and other courses) as well as an opportunity for anyone working in the area of disability to improve their knowledge and skills. The course also gives a progression route to a Masters in Social Science (Disability Studies).

One of our students has recently secured a post as a community employment supervisor, training 31 people on CE schemes. She observed that most of the interview focused on inclusion and feels that embarking on the HDFIDS and the DDS contributed to her getting this position. She also feels the course helps her not only in her role as supervisor and trainer but also in her work with the older people many of whom have a disability.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

While students come from different part of Munster to attend the HDFIDS, one student is commuting from Spain and 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 text books 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 Do I 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

Year 1 Modules

  • AD5832: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Inclusion (Disability Studies) (10 credits)
    An interdisciplinary module informed by the arts, humanities and social sciences that investigates society's understanding of disability from a historical, social, cultural, political, legal, global and educational perspective. The need for a cross-sectoral approach will be explored in cultivating an inclusive society.
  • AD5835: The Social Context of Mental Health (5 credits)
    Theories and definitions of mental health from a historical, cultural, medical social and holistic perspective will be examined. Contemporary debates on policy and practice around mental health; ethics and values relating to mental health; the role of service users in mental health policy practice and understanding mental health and the family and the family members' lived experiences. A range of supports will be reflected upon in the context of policy/legislation and human rights.
  • AD5836: Autism: The Social Context (5 credits)
    This module will review a brief history of autism and associated life experiences; the impact of autism on the individual and the person's circle of supports; the concept of the 'autisitic spectrum'; theories of autism and varied models of support and facilitative approaches across the lifespan.
  • AD5847: Disability, the Arts and Creative Expression (5 credits)
    Review various cultural forms depicting disability (including painting, sculpture, literature, poetry, music, theatre and dance); reflect on popular culture (including television, film, music, art, fashion); analyze the visibility and invisibility of disability; review facilitative approaches to increasing engagement.
  • AD5848: Accessibility and Universal Design (5 credits)
    Principles underpinning accessibility and universal design will be examined as well as: human rights as a dynamic driver of change, and international and Irish efforts to further develop access strategies and initiatives across a range of departments/sectors towards increasing capacity for full participation of people with disabilities.

Year 2 Modules

  • AD5833: Introduction to Deaf, Deaf Blind, Vision Impaired Awareness and Communication (5 credits)
    The following will be examined in this module in relation to deaf, deaf blind, vision impaired and blind awareness: types of deafness, deafblindness, vision impairment and blindness; Communication methods, contemporary terminology, definitions, societal attitudes around sensory impairments will be explored while understanding that challenges experienced are unique to each person. Various supports will be explored e.g. technical and mobility aids, support work of national organisations working with people with sensory impairments.
  • AD5834: Introduction to Assistive Technologies (5 credits)
    Introduce Assistive Technology and specialised software; review evolution of design; examine a range of technologies available and potential future advancements; debate outcomes for people using assistive technology versus other supports.
  • AD5837: Design, Training and Inclusion (10 credits)
    This module will examine methodologies used of assessing learning and development needs; reflecting upon and designing accessible, person centred teaching/support practices to meet the diverse needs of people with disabilities; incorporating flexible approaches to learning and assessment; designing accessible materials.
  • AD5838: Dis/ability and Development: A focus on the Global South (5 credits)
    Students will be introduced to a brief overview of the development context in the Global South. Thereafter, discussion will focus on dis/ability, development and poverty in the Global South, highlighting particular issues that need to be considered with reference to norms and practices prevalent in these countries. Case studies are then utilised to highlight the complexities of particular contexts and identify similarities and differences that are apparent in the Global North and the Global South with reference to dis/abilities.
  • AD5839: Disability, Sport and Leisure (5 credits)
    Types of sports and leisure; common barriers to sport and leisure for people with disabilities in Ireland; comparative analysis with other countries; adapted sports; making sport and leisure accessible to people with disabilities; sport and leisure as tools for the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact