Course Overview

The Certificate/Diploma in Community Development Practice are part-time courses, designed to enable community activists gain a thorough understanding of community development combined with the practical skills necessary to work effectively in development work.

Mode of Study: Blended Learning

The courses will run concurrently and classes will be delivered via blended learning including a series of monthly workshops on Saturdays throughout the academic year September to May. The specific timetable for the academic year 2021-22 will be issued to all applicants in due course.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.


Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

 A minimum of 75% attendance per term/overall is mandatory in order to successfully complete the course.

In addition to the attendance requirement, participants will submit assignments for each module (including a profile and a project) and will be required to reach a pass standard in all relevant coursework. Each aspect of the course will be monitored by the programme board and will be delivered by course tutors who are based locally.

*To be considered as an adult student and therefore eligible to participate on these courses, applicant must have reached 21 years of age on or before 1st January of the year of proposed entry. 

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have good reading and writing skills, as well as basic IT skills, as independent home study is required. Ideally, applicants should also have some experience (either in a voluntary or professional capacity) of working in a community or voluntary organisation.

There are no special educational requirements for entry to either the Certificate or Diploma course.

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). 

Additional Requirements


8 months, part-time (Certificate); 1 academic year, part-time (Diploma)

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date


NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting

15 (Certificate); 30 (Diploma)



Course code

Course Outline

Students completing the Certificate course study three modules which involve a minimum of 120 hours of instruction and assignments.


  • Community Development Theory and Practice
  • Social Analysis 
  • Communication, Group Work and Leadership Skills

Students completing the Diploma course study six modules and complete a project. The Diploma course involves a minimum of 240 hours of instruction and project work.


  • Community Development Theory and Practice
  • Communication, Group Work and Leadership Skills
  • Research Techniques
  • Social Analysis
  • Public Policy
  • Project Planning, Development and Evaluation

A number of special interest workshops and field trips will be organised during each course throughout the year, reflecting the needs and interests of the course participants. These visits to other community development projects will give participants opportunities to make contact with the practice of community development in other locations.

Module details for the Diploma

Module details for the Certificate

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

There are many career opportunities open to graduates of the Certificate and/or Diploma in Community Development Practice course as it offers a solid practical and theoretical understanding of the community development sector. Some graduates have progressed onto further studies such as the B.A. in Community and Family Studies while other graduates of the Diploma in Community Development Practice have improved their employment prospects in the field of community development.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€515 (Cert); €825 (Diploma) p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1,015 (Cert); €1,325 (Diploma) p.a.

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
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2021_22 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Course Administrator
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 495241
For any academic (course content) queries, please contact:
Dr. Helen Casey
Tel: 091 493110
Dr. Deirdre Hardiman
Tel: 091 495203

What Our Students Say


Siobhan Carroll |   Graduate

In my role as founder and CEO of the national charity ACT for Meningitis, I felt this was the perfect course for me to broaden my knowledge of community development and combine this with the practical skills required to work effectively in this line of work. Not having had the opportunity to attend third level education, I can honestly say this course, and indeed this whole experience, has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me. It has allowed me to be more educated and informed, and in turn, more confident in my own position within my organisation and within my community.

Tony Hogan |   Graduate

As I work part-time and also volunteer at a Youth Café, I thought this course would help me in my daily activities. As the course progressed, I realised that I would really like to do community work full time, and that this course suited me ideally. I find the workshops and modules easy to understand, and the tutors more than helpful. As I have never attended Third Level education, this is a great way for me to achieve a level of education that, previously, I could only aspire to.


  • Adult Learning Prospectus

    Adult Learning Prospectus PDF (3.4 MB)

  • Short Courses Series 2021

    Short Courses Series 2021 PDF (4.5 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)