UCC ACE Short courses

Gender Identity in Ireland: Perceptions and Practice (taught online only)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Gender Identity in Ireland: Perceptions and Practice (taught online only)

  • Code

  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Eight weeks, Mondays 7-9pm, from 25 January to 15 March 2021

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €200 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Students must be minimum eighteen years at course commencement See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Monday 18 January 2021

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Start Date

    Monday 25 January 2021

Course Outline

Throughout history transgender people have been misunderstood and stereotyped; victimised, abused murdered and are above the national average for committing or attempting to commit suicide and self-harm. Transgender people have also been discriminated against, marginalised and excluded from families, communities, education, the workplace, faith groups and pretty much every area of society. And yet people are still largely unaware of the highly complex nature not only of what it means to be transgender but also the multi-various forms of gender identity; with the least understood being Gender Dysphoria, and its congenital neurobiological origins. Also, the confusion around those who self-declare being of a different gender identity or being non-binary. Added to this is the increasing negative reactions in many countries normally regarded as being more liberal, open and inclusive, e.g. the US and UK etc., and where is Ireland in the midst of the swirling confusion. The truth is there seems to be far more questions than answers around gender identity.

Module 1: Transgender the T In LGBT+ and Why the Terminology Matters Self-Reflection

Module 2: Being Transgender in Ireland Making History – A Personal Journey

Module 3: The Disconnect – Gender Dysphoria and Non-Binary Gender Identities

Module 4: Gender Identity & Healthcare – Why so Controversial, and why Age Matters? 

Module 5: Gender Identity – The Social and Legal Impacts for People who are Gender Different

Module 6: Gender Identity & Social Inclusion – Where Do We Draw the Line?

Module 7: Transgender Movements – Reactions and Backlash

Module 8: Gender Diversity in the Workplace – A Practical Approach (Self-Reflection-2) Course Practicalities Assessment:

Course Practicalities

Short courses are non-assessed

Who teaches on this course
Sara-Jane Cromwell, Adult Continual Education (ACE) University College Cork, sarajane.cromwell@ucc.ie
Sara-Jane Cromwell graduated from the National College of Ireland (NCI) in 1990 with Diploma in Industrial Relations and Trade Union Studies, she served for two years with the NCI as Associate Faculty Lecturer 2002 – 2004, and several years as Senior Union Representative in Gilbeys of Ireland. Sara-Jane has a career spanning 48 years, currently working in Workplace Relations Consultancy, and 45 years working in the voluntary non-profit sector. She is a lecturer, published author, Lifecoach and speaker. Sara-Jane is an occasional lecturer for UCC since 2017 lecturing and speaking on various courses and has participated in several staff LGBT events since 2018 and coordinated the first ever Fresher Fest Workshops for new LGBT students coming into UCC. She was guest speaker at the EAP conference in October 2019 and is booked to speak at the Third-Level Chaplaincy AGM, due to be held in UCC in January 2021,
She is also doing ground breaking work with the Church of Ireland on marginalisation and exclusion of LGBT people from their faith communities.

Sara-Jane has long been regarded as one of the leading authorities in Ireland on gender identity issues. She is the initiator and co-founder of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), and Gender Identity Disorder Ireland (GIDI); the first two organisations to be established in Ireland for the purpose of providing support and awareness. She is responsible for many of the initiatives that have led to significant change in Ireland, including the assessment and gender reassignment pathway for people with gender dysphoria, and public awareness of people with a different gender identity. She assisted in drafting the Heads of Bill for what is now the Gender Recognition Act, 2015. Sara-Jane has published two books about gender identity including her first autobiography “Becoming Myself” and her second book “Wrong Body Wrong Life.” Her third book (second autobiography) “No Ordinary Life” is due for publication in 2020. She has also been published extensively with the Irish Medical Times 2009.


Why Choose This Course

Gender identity, transgenderism and the complex issues around gender reassignment are of increasing interest across all areas of society, from the typical stereotypes to the more complex clinical issues including the increasing number of young people being assessed and diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria. There is also the ethical questions around transitioning at a young age, including hormone blocking interventions and whether this is appropriate for very young children, those seeking to reverse their gender reassignment. There is also the growing need for clarity around these multi-various and complex issues, especially in relation to how people can be more appropriate when it comes to using the correct pronouns for gendering and misgendering transgender and gender dysphoric people. Another concern is to do with how trans people are perceived to be so angry and so quick to brand others as transphobic simply because they may ask a particular question, or make what is perceived to be inappropriate comments, or inadvertently misgendering someone. These all have the effect of instilling fear into others and thereby making it more difficult for the general population to have a better understanding of these issues which consequently makes it more difficult to engage, interact and show support.

This course will help participants address these and other issues which will both stimulate and challenge people’s perceptions, attitudes, and ability to respond appropriately in equal measure. The programme is designed for anyone with a genuine interest in the subject and the practical positive change that can be accomplished through a broader understanding of the many and varied issues discussed during the course. Unique aspects of the course This course is unique in that it combines an academic and practical approach to understanding the broad range of issues relating to gender identity and transgenderism and is delivered by one of Ireland’s leading authorities on this subject.


Students must be minimum eighteen years at course commencent. 

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €200.

How Do I Apply

To book this course please proceed to the booking area at https://open.ucc.ie/   Exceptional Education Experiences at UCC.  Click into your selected course and access the registration pages through the Enrol button.

A detailed guide to the new booking system, ACE Short Course Catalogue Guide, is available at the Foreward page at https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace/courses/shortcourses/

The closing date for applications is Monday 18 January 2021. Students register and pay fees before course commencement which is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact