Course Overview

If you are currently working in social care or have one year's full-time (or equivalent) social care experience, then the BA Social Care may be the course for you!

The Bachelor of Arts (Social Care) provides teaching of theoretical concepts applied to social care practice. It was developed in response to the continuing educational needs of social care workers in the context of the professionalisation of social care work and includes both theoretical and practice components.

The BA Social Care reflects the depth and breadth of social care work both in terms of service users groups, such as children, individuals with disabilities, adults or older people and in terms of service diversity, such as residential, community or independent living services. Current students and graduates of the BA Social Care work in a vast array of statutory, voluntary and private services and settings including independent and residential services for individuals with disabilities, residential and aftercare services for children, homeless services, services for older people and community support services.

Applications and Selections

Applications closed for 2019.

Applications will be assessed solely on the information provided within the online application form and interviews do not form part of the selection process. Applicants are therefore advised to complete the application form fully and thoroughly, as incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please contact the course administrator for further information.

Practice Placement
Practice placement is an integral component of the BA Social Care and provides the opportunity for learners to integrate theory and practice. In line with current CORU guidance, the practice placement component of the BA Social Care is comprised of 800hrs of placement in a variety of settings over the 4 years of the programme, as such each annual placement consists of 200hrs. As the BA Social Care has been designed to meet the needs of adult learners, practice placements are organised in partnership with students and commonly operate on a continuous rather than ‘block’ basis. Nonetheless, block placements can be accommodated where preferred and possible.

Exemptions and Advanced/Direct Entry
Applicants with existing academic qualifications can apply for exemptions from modules (post-registration only), where direct comparability can be demonstrated. Applicants with appropriate prior academic qualifications can apply for advanced/direct entry to years 2 or 3 of the course. Advanced entry applications must be approved prior to registration on the course. It is not possible to enrol directly into year 4.

The closing date for applications for advanced/direct entry is 5pm Friday 16thAugust 2019.

Please note, applications for advanced/direct entry will be assessed solely on the information provided in the application documentation and applicants are therefore advised to complete the documentation fully and thoroughly. Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please contact the course administrator for further information.


Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment of course modules, seminars and work placements is based on a combination of written assignments, practical work, work placement supervisor’s reports, online work, project work and examination (or any combination of these) in each year of the course.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). Formal academic qualifications are not required to commence this BA. Candidates are expected to have good reading and writing skills, as well as basic IT skills, as independent home study is required.

Additional Requirements

Students must satisfy Garda/Police clearance requirements. Garda clearance must be applied for through NUI Galway, regardless of whether an individual currently hold Garda clearance with another organisation.

4 years, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended learning

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Year 1: The first year of the course provides a general introduction to the field of social and health studies through three course components: course modules, a seminar and work placement. Students receive interactive materials for home study and attend a workshop for each module. Students also attend one weekend seminar, which normally takes place in mid-November. In addition, students complete supervised work placement in a social care setting. Students who successfully complete these course components may leave the programme at the end of this first year and be awarded a Certificate in Social Care or they may continue to the second year of the programme.

Year 2: This second year develops the skills and understanding gained in year 1 as well as developing on the theoretical ideas that underpin social care practice and service provision. On successful completion of year 2 students may leave the course and graduate with a Diploma in Arts (Social Care).

Year 3: This year builds on years 1 and 2 with further theoretical exploration of social care work and service provision through interactive distance education materials, workshops and work placement. The core competencies required for working in the social care field are further developed and linked to their application in a workplace setting. Years 3 and 4 form the degree cycle of the course.

Year 4: This final year of the BA in Social Care is comprised of workshops, work placement and self-directed study components. In addition, learners complete a dissertation on a particular area of social care work, with the support of a named individual supervisor.

Classes days and times
Workshops normally take place on Fridays and/or Saturdays (or a combination of both) and, will run generally from 10am to 4pm. The Seminar in years one and two normally runs from approximately 9:30am to 5pm. All workshops will be held at NUI Galway, unless otherwise advised. Provisional timetables for year one will be available from 31st May 2019  and can be requested from the course administrator.

Mandatory induction for 1st years for 2019/20 will be held on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of September 2019.


Year One: Certificate in Social Care

  • Introduction to integrated and experiential learning
  • Introduction to social care practice and care skills
  • Seminar 1 (at NUI Galway)
  • Introduction to legal, ethical and professional practice in social care
  • Health and health promotion in the social care context
  • Introduction to communication skills for social care
  • Social and health services: history, systems and context
  • Work-placement 1

Year Two: Diploma in Arts (Social Care)

  • Sociology: social care in context
  • Psychology across the lifespan in the social care context
  • Seminar 2 (at NUI Galway)
  • Health promotion model of social care
  • Introduction to care planning for social care
  • Communication and relationship skills for social care
  • Legal, ethical and professional practice in social care
  • Introduction to research for social care
  • Work-placement 2

Year 3: Bachelor of Arts Social Care

  • Experiential learning and evidenced based practice in social care
  • Care planning in social care practice
  • Professional autonomy and accountability in social care practice
  • Social care across the lifespan - working with children and young people
  • Health promotion strategies and approaches in social care
  • Research methods and methodology for social care
  • Work-placement 3

Year 4: Bachelor of Arts Social Care

  • Social care across the lifespan - working with adults and older people
  • Management and leadership in social care settings
  • Research project
  • Social care and health promotion - national and international professional perspectives
  • Work-placement 4

Please note that this outline is for guidance only and alterations may be made as required.


Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the course are employed by statutory, private and voluntary bodies and work with a variety of groups including young children, young people, older people and individuals with disabilities. In addition, graduates of the course have gone on to pursue study on both taught and research postgraduate courses.

Who’s Suited to This Course

It is designed to meet the needs of adult students returning to education and to enable those working in the social care field to further develop and enhance their understanding, knowledge and skills. The course aim is to provide students with a professional education and training in the principles and practice of social care.

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€2,740 p.a

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

€168 p.a.

Fees: Non EU

€3,240 p.a


A €500 deposit is due on acceptance of an offer of a place, with the €870 remaining Semester 1 fees due by the 31st October; €1,370 Semester 2 fees due by 31st January. A student levy of €168 to be paid in full by all students by the 31st October. Scholarships will constitute a discount between 10 - 30% contribution towards course fees for eligible applicants. See Social Care Fees Scholarship Form for further details.

Find out More

Social Care Course Administrator
Room 204 Aras Moyola
National University of Ireland Galway
Tel: 091 493874
Fax: 091 494577

What Our Students Say


Michael Quinn |   Graduate

This course has been the greatest experience in my adventure, back to education as a mature student. It has given me new perspectives in which I view people and the world. It has been very challenging and rewarding. I am excited and nervous about my dissertation – but I see this as a springboard to more adventure. My tutors are very supportive and I would personally recommend this course to any prospective care worker.

Leora Monaghan |   Graduate

10 years after leaving formal education I never thought I would be back. Changes in circumstances lead to the opportunity of returning to university. I chose Social Care as it is a profession I have always wanted to get in to. The course content and modules were reflective of everyday situations and made learning easy. I was concerned about returning to university after so many years but need not have been. The lecturers were supportive and extremely approachable. As part of this course, I was required to complete 200 hours work experience. I cannot stress how beneficial this turned out to be. My communication skills and confidence grew as a direct result of my work placement. It also helped me develop a network of people and outreach services which I never knew existed. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in social care.


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