About This Course
2 years Full-time
EU Fees 2021
€7,965 (Year 1); €7,965 (Year 2)
See Fees and Costs for full details.
Non-EU Fees 2021
Applicants must hold at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours (NFQ, Level 8) BSocSc Degree (or its equivalent) or graduates, who have successfully completed an approved conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (or its equivalent) with at least Second Class Honours Grade I. See Requirements for full details.
5 February 2021
Non-EU Closing Date
5 February 2021
13 September 2021
The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a two-year full-time course that combines academic study with fieldwork placements. The MSW course is accredited by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU). When you finish this course you will have an academic qualification that will enable you to register as a social worker with regulatory bodies in Ireland (CORU) and internationally.
All prospective applicants should also check the School of Applied Social Studies website at: http://www.ucc.ie/en/msw
This website has been designed to answer most of the questions you may have about the PGDSWS, social work and applying for the MSW/PGDSWS.
You will take modules in social work theory, skills, social policy and topics specific to social work settings such as child and family welfare and mental health. When you have completed this course, you will be able to:
- apply knowledge of social systems and human behaviour to promote social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment of people to enhance their well-being
- critically examine and respond to the impact of social and political contexts on service users and social work
- promote principles of social justice, human rights and anti-oppressive practice as intrinsic elements of social work practice
- demonstrate core social work practice skills in the areas of: professional autonomy and accountability, interpersonal and professional relationships, effective communication, personal and professional development, provision of quality services, knowledge, understanding and skills
- demonstrate knowledge of theory, legislation, policy, official inquiry reports and international conventions, and apply them to assessment and intervention planning in social work practice
- illustrate an approach to learning that is self-directed, strengths-based and reflective.
Further details on the curriculum and module descriptions are in the Postgraduate College Calendar
Fitness to Practise
This programme is be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found Postgraduate Studies in Social Work Fitness to Practice details
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
The MSW/PGDSWS is a full-time professional course that involves five full days in college or five full days in practice. Practice placements are an integral part of the course. You are required to complete two 14-week fieldwork placements, for at least one of which you will be required to move outside Cork. The course is split roughly 50/50 between college academic work and practice placements. Students on the PGDSWS go on placement to a wide variety of practice contexts all overIrelandand in year 2 have the option to do an international social work placement.
You will undertake a wide variety of academic and practice assessments. You are assessed through group projects, enquiry-based learning assignments, reflective portfolios and learning journals, essays, research presentations, and a minor dissertation.
Who teaches this course
Dr Kenneth Burns
Professor F.W. Powell
Professor Alastair Christie
Dr Eleanor Bantry White
Dr Simone McCaughren
Ms Lydia Sapouna
Dr Carmel Halton
Dr Fiachra O Suilleabhain
Ms. Rachel Rice
Ms Caroline May Shore
Mr Pat Leahy
Ms Hilary Jenkinson
Ms Mairie Cregan
Dr Aisling Parkes
Ms Katie Power
Ms Evelyn Finn
Ms Andrea Nagy
Ms. Mary Hurley
And practicing social workers and community contributors
For Staff Research profiles, click HERE
Why Choose This Course
The staff on the Master of Social Work/Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies provide a very successful and much sought-after course of professional education and training in social work. It is a leader in social work education in Ireland where it was one of the first courses to adopt a reflective approach to teaching and learning throughout the course, with the aim of supporting the development of skilled, reflective practitioners. The course has been accredited and commended by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) for its delivery of a coherent, well-constructed and successfully executed course of professional social work education. The teaching and learning methods on the course are centrally concerned with building on students’ prior knowledge and experience, and with developing and extending skills and competencies. Preparing you to meet the requirements for professional registration under (CORU) is a central objective of the course. Our graduates are much sought-after by the major national and international employment agencies.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
A limited number of placement opportunities outside of Ireland are available each year. The School has links with placement agencies in the US, India, South Africa and some European countries. Students are advised that international placements are more suitable in year 2 than year 1. These placements bring important comparative opportunities into the whole student group when placement experiences are deconstructed on return to college. It is School policy that all social work students should do at least one placement in Ireland.
Skills and Careers Information
On graduation, you will have been prepared for professional registration and be in a position to demonstrate the core social work practice proficiencies (CORU) in the areas of: professional autonomy and accountability, interpersonal and professional relationships, effective communication, personal and professional development, provision of quality services, knowledge, understanding and skills. You will be able to exhibit a good knowledge of theory, legislation, policy, official inquiry reports and international conventions, and apply it to assessment and intervention planning in social work practice. Consequentially, you will be well prepared to respond reflectively and reflexively to a variety of social work situations in a diversity of social work settings, including multi-disciplinary contexts. Fields of social work which have attracted and employed our graduates to date include medical, mental health, child protection, probation, physical and intellectual disability, community social work and primary care.
Admission to the Masters of Social Work (MSW) is open to a limited number of students holding at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours (NFQ, Level 8) BSocSc Degree (or its equivalent), or graduates who have successfully completed an approved conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I (or its equivalent).
There is a selection process based on the following combined elements: academic performance and research capacity; certified social work related experience and initiative; knowledge of social work and motivation, commitment and suitability.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants should NOT apply for both the Masters and Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies options as there is ONE selection procedure for both options.
Applicants who should apply for the Masters of Social Work option
1) have already graduated with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours (NFQ, Level 8) BSocSc Degree (or its equivalent)
2) have already graduated with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in an approved level 8 conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (or its equivalent)
3) Current FINAL year students in BSocSc (level 8) (or its equivalent) pending their final results in Summer 2021 OR
4) current students on an approved level 8 converstion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (or its equivalent) pending their final results in Summer 2021
Current FINAL year students/current Higher Diploma in Social Policy students who are successful at interview will be allocated places on the MSW, conditional on achieving a minimum Second Class Honours Grade I in their final degree/Higher Diploma in Social Policy exams. Should they not obtain a Second Class Honours Grade I but at least a Third Class Honours, they will then be allocated a place on the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies on confirmation of their results.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option is aimed at graduates who have already completed their BSocSc level 8 degree (or equivalent) but achieved an overall Third Class Honours result. BSocSc Graduates (level 8) (or its equivalent) who have already completed their degrees and did not achieve at least a Second Class Honours Grade 1 but achieved at least an overall Third Class Honours result can apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option. Please see http://www.ucc.ie/en/CKC06 for more details of the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option entry requirements
All students on this programme will require GARDA CLEARANCE in order to attend student placements. University College Cork has made arrangements with the Gardaí in relation to Garda Clearance procedures. All candidates who accept places on this programme must complete and sign GARDA CLEARANCE FORMS and return them to UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, CORK.
Please note: All students must have GARDA CLEARANCE. Should matters arise in the Garda check form, a student may be asked to delay taking up a placement until a clearance is confirmed or, alternatively, they may be requested to leave the course. A further Garda clearance and fit-person’s test will be undertaken by the professional registration body CORU upon successful completion of the course, should a graduate apply to use the title of social worker.
Click Postgraduate Studies in Social Work Fitness to Practice details for information on the Fitness to practise policies and procedures.
All applicants should also consult with the Frequently Asked Questions about the Selection Process: FAQs
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
Fees and Costs
The EU fee for this course is €7,965 (Year 1); €7,965 (Year 2).
The Non-EU fee for this course is €18,080.
If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU student fee payment:
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International student fee payment:
Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.
How can I pay?
By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.
How Do I Apply
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
The closing date for submitting an online application for the Master of Social Work is 5th February 2021. Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
Social Work Experience - Paid/Voluntary and Student Placements
To be eligible for this programme you need to have completed at least 420 hours of social work or social work related experience. Your experience will be used as one criteria to rank candidates for interview should there be a large number of applicants. However, we may interview candidates who have 250 hours by the application date (5th February 2021) if you state in the application additional/supplementary questions how you will make up the balance of the hours by the interview date (early-March).
You must outline briefly:
- Social work practice related experience (paid or voluntary) and
- Relevant student placements, if applicable.
Please list newest to oldest and specify in the duties and responsibilities box for each position whether it is:
You must also include your duties and responsibilities and number of hours completed for each agency.
Other additional questions:
- Social Work Practice Related Experience (Paid/Voluntary) Total Hours
- Student Placement Total Hours (if applicable)
- Summary of all social work related experience hours combined.
- Proposed work experience you will complete before interview to make required 420 hours (if applicable).
- Please upload official certifications of experience in work, career, placement or voluntary sector.
- In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
- Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
- Please download the following reference forms and email to your two Referees: Reference Forms MSW PDSWS
All additional supporting documentation for application to the Master of Social Work needs to be submitted by 17th February 2021. If not, the application will be considered incomplete and not processed further.
There is a selection process based on the following combined elements: academic performance and research capacity; certified social work-related experience and initiative; knowledge of social work and motivation, commitment and suitability’
Your experience will be used as one criteria to rank candidates for interview should there be a large number of applicants. However, we may interview candidates who have 250 hours by the application date (5th Feburary 2021) if you state in the application additional/supplementary questions how you will make up the balance of the hours by the interview date (early-March).
Group and individual interviews take place in early March and candidates are advised of the outcome in April.
Deferrals are not permitted on this programme
The closing date for non-EU applications is 5 February 2021Apply Now