Master of Arts in Community and Family Studies

Course overview

This blended - learning programme is a two-year part-time Master’s in Community and Family Studies 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 Masters programme will be on Community and Family studies, but will broadly incorporate community development, family support, sociological and political perspectives and practice-based applications which complement the interdisciplinary nature of the programme.


Intended for:

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.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Students are normally required to have a minimum of a 2.2, level 8 primary degree award in the social sciences or a related discipline.  Numbers are limited satisfying the minimum criteria may not guarantee a place.

Duration: 2 academic years, part-time (Sept.-May)

Next start date: September 2014

ECTS weighting: 90

Awards: A Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Community and Family Studies may be awarded on successful attainment of 60 ECTS in the event a student may not be in a position to proceed with the chosen Master’s programme. A Master of Arts in Community and Family Studies will be awarded on the successful attainment of 90 ECTS.

NFQ level: 9

Mode of study: Blended learning

Course outline

The programme will be conducted on a modular basis over 2 years through a combination of open learning methods. The programme is innovative in its approach to outreach and distance education in the material covered, format and style of flexible learning methods of teaching, student support and assessment. The dynamic nature of this area of study places particular importance on the skills of inquiry and investigation and on this basis research is an integral component of this programme.



Year One:

-Advanced Learning Skills

-Critical Reflection Policy and Practices in the Social Sciences

-Advanced Theory and Practice in Social Research 1 (research proposal)

-Foundations and Transformations of Social Thought

-Understanding the Life Course

-Community and Family Studies: Understanding Vulnerable Cohorts

-One Elective Module


Year Two:

-Advanced Theory and Practice in Social Research 2 (research thesis)

-Critical Reflection Policy and Practices in the Social Sciences 2

-Social Policy Analysis

-One Elective Module

Applications and selections

Online applications will open from summer 2014.


Further enquiries

Programme Administrator

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway

Phone: 091-495241


Requirements and assessment

This programme is provided on a modular basis. A series of 1 to 2 day workshops are scheduled throughout the academic year (Sept-May) which students are required to attend.


Assessment shall be by means of a combination of written assignments, online learning activities, practical assignments, presentations and a minor dissertation.

Find out more

Programme Administrator

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway

Phone: 091-495241


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €3,900 per year

The fee for this programme is €3,900 per year. An application fee of €30 must accompany the application form and a deposit of €500 must be paid on acceptance of a course place. The remaining €3,400 course fees may than be paid over three installments. In the event that course fees are being sponsored on behalf of a student (e.g. by employer) an appropriate payment arrangement will be agreed with the student involved. Under existing legislation, students in employment may be eligible for income tax relief at the standard tax rate. Students may also qualify for a programme scholarship.