Course Overview

The Diploma in Employee Assistance and Social Support is a two-year, blended learning training programme for staff working or intending to work in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). The programme provides knowledge and basic training in the skills necessary to fulfil the role of an EAP practitioner. The programme is broadly based in recognition of the very different functions and responsibilities allocated to the EAP support role in different types of enterprise and organisations.

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the origins of Employee Assistance and differing national approaches to EAP policies, legislation and practice in the European Union.
  • Demonstrate in their work an ability to use a wide range of interpersonal skills appropriate to the needs of their clients.
  • Demonstrate the ability to respond with appropriate skills to a wide range of frequently occurring workplace problems.
  • Describe and advise on different ways of providing EAP services in a workplace.

The Certificate (Year 1) course focuses on the basic knowledge and skills for the practice of employee assistance. In the Diploma year (Year 2), the focus is on workplace problems that are encountered particularly frequently. Processes and procedures for managing and coping with these problems are explained and the interpersonal skills needed at the various stages of these procedures identified and practised.

Applications and Selections


Applications are closed for 2017

All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of English language during their two most recent years of study, must present one of the following qualifications in the English language: IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT): 92. Please see this webpage for further information:


Early application is advised as offers will be made on a rolling basis.

A limited number of applications may be accepted after the official application closing date, subject to the availability of places.


Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Students may take year 1 of this programme as a stand-alone course for which a Certificate in Employee Assistance and Social Support will be awarded. At the end of year 2, a Diploma in Employee Assistance and Social Support will be awarded.  

On completion of year 2 students who wish to can progress into year 3 of the Degree in Training and Education programme.

Participants are required to attend two, 2-day and four, 1-day workshops each year guided by tutors from NUI Galway. Workshop locations are selected to be geographically accessible to the majority of students. Attendance at workshops is a key programme requirement. A full set of self-instructional learning material is provided at the start of each module. 

Assessment is by means of a written assignment for each module plus an end of year project.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have reached 21 years of age by January 1 of the year of entry. Applicants should have appropriate experience in some area of Human Resources or Employee Assistance and should be in a position to undertake course assignments and projects relating to practical aspects of employee assistance.

Additional Requirements


Certificate: 1 year, part-time
Diploma: 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2017

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

25-August 2017

Next start date

September 2017

NFQ level

Certificate/Diploma - Level 7

Mode of study

 Blended learning.

ECTS weighting

90 ECTS (45 ECTS per each academic year)


Certificate in Employee Assistance and Supported Employment.
Diploma in Employee Assistance and Supported Employment.


PAC code

Course Outline

Students  attend 1-day and 2-day workshops throughout the academic year. This usually amounts to 8 days per year.

Modules - YEAR 1
ECTS   Workshops
Employee Assistance: Origins, Principles and Organisation 5 1 day
Individual Help in the Employee Assistance Process 10 2 days
Work-based Project 10 1 day
Negotiations and Negotiation Skills 5 1 day
The Legal and Policy Framework of EAP 10 2 days
Problem Management and Creativity 5 1 day
Modules - YEAR 2    
Introduction to Research in the Social Sciences 5 1 day
Responding to Substance Misuse in the Workplace 10 2 days
Work-based Project 10 1 days
Employee Assistance - Bullying and Harassment 5 1 day
Depression and Common Mental Disorders 10 2 days
Psychological Trauma 5 1 day

Note: Modules of equivalent status may be offered on each year of the programme.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Many public sector organisations have established EAP programmes and a number of private sector companies deliver confidential services to the business sector across Ireland.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,900 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€3,400 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 2017_18 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Pauline Dillon

Course Co-ordinator
Adult Training and Education Studies
Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island

Tel: 091 494059/4055
Email: /

What Our Students Say


Kevin McDonald |   Past Student

Excellent course and well presented, great support from NUIG at all times. It was a pleasure to return to Adult Education.

Niall O'Connor |   Past Student

I think NUI Galway have got the balance just right with the Employee Assistance and Social Support Diploma course. There is a great mix between academic and practical learning. The lecturers are excellent, drawing from a life time of practical experience. The journals are of a high quality allowing students to prepare for each 2-day workshop. The workshops are very relaxed which allows the students to draw on their experience of dealing with real EAP for the benefit of all in the class.

Dennis Farrell |   Past Student

I am thrilled with what I have achieved on this course as it stands to me in my present employment as Personnel Support Service Non Commissioned Officer, in the Irish Defence Forces. This appointment entails dealing with serving and retired soldiers and their family’s with social and domestic problems, and much more. I am actually thinking on the lines of a degree. If someone had told me that two years ago I wouldn’t have believed it.