Fact File

Course Code: CKA02 Full-time; CKA23 Part-time

Course Title: Social Policy

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Social Policy

Duration: 1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time, Part-Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Qualifications: HDip

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Entry Requirements: The Higher Diploma in Social Policy is open to graduates who do not already possess a BSocSc Degree. Applicants may be required to present for interview where an overall assessment of their suitability will be made.

Closing Date: Applications now closed for 2017/2018

Next Intake: September 2018


The Higher Diploma in Social Policy is a conversion course giving a foundation in the field of social policy for graduates who do not hold a social science degree.  It can be studied full time as a one year course or part time over two years (by day).

The course sets social policy in the context of the social sciences. The course is particularly relevant to those who want to apply for professional postgraduate courses in social work, e.g. Master of Social Work.




Course Details

You will study core modules on topics including the evolution of the welfare state, poverty and social exclusion, social policy and social theory, and housing and homelessness. Additionally, you will choose three optional modules from  the areas of social science and social work, community development, youth policy, mental health, education, sexuality, planning, and developmental psychology.

You will also undertake a supervised 10,000 word, social research project on a social policy topic of your choice (in consultation with your supervisor). This will be a desk-based piece of research, involving an exploration of the policy and literature around your chosen topic.

Details of the programme content and modules are in the Postgraduate College Calendar

Fitness to Practise

Commencing with the 2013/2014 intake, this programme will be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found here

Detailed Entry Requirements

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at www.pac.ie/ucc. Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

The application process for the Higher Diploma in Social Policy involves:-

Completing/Answering specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme.  A copy of these online supplementary/additional questions are available to view here: CKA02AdditionalQuestions (278kB)

Arranging for Two Referees Letters to be emailed or posted directly to the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork (one from an academic source and the other from a work source - either voluntary or paid). The REFERENCE REQUEST FORMS must be downloaded and printed during the online application process and a copy should be sent to each of your Referees. A copy of the Reference Request Forms are available to view here:- CKA02RequestReferenceforms (73kB)

All other required supporting documentation (e.g. evidence of non-UCC undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications) must be UPLOADED via the PAC "Application Status" link or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway (marked with the applicants PAC application number)

ONLY applications which include two written references from referees can be processed.   Short-listed applicants may be required to attend for interview

Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.

Course Practicalities

Depending on optional modules chosen, for the full-time one year option, students can typically expect 12-16 hours of lectures per week, and four reading hour in the first semester, and 4-8 hours of lectures per week, and eight reading hours in the second semester. For the part-time option, students can typically expect 6/7 hours of lectures per week (by day). Students must also make themselves available for a study visit, which may be abroad, for 3 to 4 days.

Extra additional costs in addition to fees:     approx. €250 on the study visit (for day-to-day living expenses) (flight and accommodation costs are included in the fee).


Assessment is by a combination of essay, exams, and social research project.

Further Contact Information

Mr. Joe Finnerty,
Course Director,
E: j.finnerty@ucc.ie
T: + 353 (0)21 490 3537

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