About Us

About Us - School of Applied Social Studies


The School of Applied Social Studies’ mission is "to provide an educational environment which promotes a culture of critical intellectual and practice enquiry in the social sciences based upon participation, inclusion and diversity".  This mission statement is underpinned by the objective of making equality an integral part of the intellectual, cultural, social and economic life of the University.  The School believes that quality is best achieved through the pursuit of equality, based upon the principles of student participation, lifelong learning, community involvement and open access.

Teaching and Learning

Our teaching programmes encompass three broad disciplinary areas:

  1. Social Policy
  2. Social Work
  3. Youth Work and Community Development.

Our learning approach emphasizes critical thinking.  We want our students to go out into the world ready to ask questions, but also are prepared to innovatively and creatively answer those questions.  Through lectures, writing and community engagement, we give students the tools to empower their own futures and become the person they want to be with the necessary skills-set to pursue the career of their choice.  Student participation is an essential part of the School's teaching and learning environment.

Teaching methods encourage maximum student participation and include lectures, seminars, fieldwork, group and individual tutorials, group work, projects, meetings, workshops, practical exercises and written work.


The School has a very active research community including academics and students at all levels.  Many of the staff are affiliated to the Institute of the Social Sciences for the 21st Century (ISS21) working collaboratively across disciplinary boundaries on a variety of funded research projects and individual studies.  A substantial volume of books, articles and reports have been produced by staff over the past five years.  Approximately €2 million has been won by staff from Irish and European grants.

Public Engagement and Community Involvement

Many of the staff are involved in civil society working actively in the voluntary and community sector.  Through the 'Science Shop' initiative, projects, placements and volunteering students play an active part in the community.  Staff are also engaged in adult and community education in Cork and its environs.

Diversity, Access and Widening Participation

The School of Applied Social Studies is committed to promoting diversity through widening participation as part of the multicultural reality of Ireland in the 21st Century.  We start from the premise that each person is unique.  Our being different is what makes us unique as human beings.  The School’s programmes seek to promote curiosity and appreciation of what is different, with a view to opening up new worlds of understanding to the learner.  We value differences in class, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ideological beliefs and ability as the most valuable asset of the University.  In all our programmes, diversity is valued as an important source of intellectual enrichment and personal development. 

Fourth Level and Graduate Education Programmes

The School of Applied Social Studies has a very strong record at Fourth Level, guided by its philosophy of lifelong learning.  In 2007, the School (in collaboration with the Sociology Dept.) was awarded €919,000 to develop its Graduate Research Education Programme under the PRTLI4 scheme.  The School also offers a range of taught programmes including a D.Soc.Sc. “Practitioner Doctorate”; the MSW programme (100 students), an MSocSc in Social Policy; an M.Plan (Planning and Sustainable Development) with the Schools of Geography and Sociology (60 students). The School co-ordinates the part-time MSocSc in Third Sector Management which it teaches along with six other University Schools namely: Management and Marketing, Government, Economics, Food Business and Development, Law, and Accounting, Finance and Information Systems.

School Strategic Plan

The School recently published its latest strategic plan: School Strategic Plan 2019-2024

School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

William Thompson House, Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland.