Course Overview

This distance learning programme is a four-year, part-time programme in Community and Family Studies. Students are awarded an NUI Diploma in Arts (Community and Family Studies) upon successful completion of the first two years of the programme and a Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies on completion of the four-year cycle. This programme is designed to enable participants to further develop and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to Family and Community work practice and policy in Ireland or abroad. The main focus of the Degree programme will be on Community and Family studies, but will broadly incorporate community development, family support, adolescence, childcare, health, political and general socio-economic studies.

BCF 1st year timetable 2015-2016

Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

The modular structure of the programme allows students to proceed at their own pace. A series of one- to two-day workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year (September to May) which students must attend – this equates to approximately one workshop per month.

Students must attend workshops and submit an assignment for each module. Students must also submit a project at the end of each year of study. A proportion of marks are also allocated to written examinations.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the programme should meet the University’s requirements for mature students. Formal academic qualifications are not required to commence the BA in Community and Family Studies.

Additional Requirements


4 years, part-time

Next start date

Please contact the Programme Administrator

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

30 per venue

Closing Date

Next start date

Please contact the Programme Administrator

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting




PAC code

Course Outline

This programme was developed in response to the continuing education needs of personnel working in community/voluntary and state sectors actively supporting Community and Family life in a rapidly changing society. It is an interdisciplinary programme drawing upon selected components of Sociology, Politics, Community Development, Family Studies and Law. It is a broad educational programme which places specific emphasis on knowledge and skills for personnel working within a broad range of sectors which seek to support and enable families and communities to function effectively within society.

This NUI Diploma/ BA programme is designed specifically to create accessible, student centred learning opportunities within the Social Sciences. Core open learning materials, developed by NUI Galway practitioners and experts in the field of Community and Family support, will be provided to students at the start of the programme. The cost of learning materials and the tuition is included in the programme fee. Each programme consists of a combination of learning materials, workshops and assignments.  The workshops will be held at a number of geographic locations throughout Ireland.

An NUI Diploma in Arts (Community and Family Studies) is awarded on attaining 90 credits and a Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies degree on attaining 180 credits. 

The BA programme is devised on a modular, credit basis. Each module carries a specific number of credits. The maximum number of credits that a student can attain each year is 45 credits.   


  • Introduction to Sociology  
  • Social Research Skills
  • Elective Module (See electives listing)  
  • Understanding Communities  
  • Family and Society  
  • Community & Family Studies: Independent Research Project 1  


  • Elective Module (See electives listing)  
  • Politics and Policy Making  
  • Issues in Contemporary Family Life
  • Group work and Community Leadership
  • Community & Family Studies: Independent Research Project 2  


  • Elective Module (See electives listing)  
  • Research Methodology in the Social Sciences
  • Childhood and Adolescence
  • Family and Societal Interactions  
  • Community & Family Studies: Independent Research Project 3


  • Life Long Learning: Policy and Practice  
  • Community and Family: Project Planning & Development
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Research Project

*Alternative modules may be offered


  • Community Enterprise Business and Legal Issues
  • Community Health
  • Development and Change
  • Micro Finance
  • Understanding Conflict
  • Youth and Society
  • Critical Thinking
  • Community Management
  • Comparative Themes in Society, Politics and Culture
  • Social Exclusion, Citizenship and the Modern State
  • Information Technology: Family and Community
  • Adulthood and Ageing
  • Families and the Law
  • Community and the Environment
  • Racism and Interculturalism
  • Community Consultation and Decision-making

Note: Other elective modules may be offered in addition to, or in substitution of, the modules listed above. Not all of the elective modules may be offered every academic year

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities open to graduates of the B.A. in Community and Family Studies degree programme as it offers a solid foundation and understanding of the social science discipline. Some graduates have progressed onto postgraduate study in Social Work and Life Course (Family Support) studies while other graduates of the B.A. programme have gained employment as community development and family support workers.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,900 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€3,400 p.a. 2016/17
A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance, One-parent family allowance, Disability allowance, Community Employment Scheme or signing for social insurance contribution credits. Please download the 2016_2017 Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Programme Administrator, Community Education 
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island

Tel: 091 495472 

What Our Students Say


Mark Wilde |   Third Year Student

Having worked in the area of social care for several years, I felt it was time to begin seeking formal qualifications to further my career. I was very nervous about entering the world of academia as I felt I would have difficulties writing essays and meeting deadlines for submissions. I chose the Community and Family Studies B.A. primarily because of its broad subject matter, which allows a choice of several academic and career paths to be undertaken further down the line. The tutors delivering the modules all have vast experience of the content on both a practical and theoretical level, showing a genuine passion for what they were teaching us. I am now in my second year and am very happy I took the tough decision to go to college; it has been a very rewarding experience.

Anthony Wyse |   Past Student

...I chose this BA because I am involved in voluntary work and at some point would like to do some kind of community work on a full-time basis. The structure of this course allows me to work full time without any difficulty and there are options on workshop dates if required. I was a bit apprehensive about starting the course, having had no formal education since Leaving Certificate and in particular, no experience of third level education. However, after the first workshop I was confident that with the support of tutors the content of the course was well within the groups’ capabilities. The tutors are excellent in explaining modules but also show an abundance of patience, enthusiasm and willingness to help. Course administrators are also well organised and supportive. The constant requests for feedback showed genuine interest for students’ views and a number of suggestions were taken on board. Overall, an excellent programme...