MA (Social Work)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The primary aim of this course is to equip students with the skills and knowledge to be registered as social workers by the Irish registration body CORU. It provides both university based learning and practice based learning to students. It offers opportunities to learn about contemporary social problems, their causes and policy solutions. Also, to develop practice skills in working with individuals and their families, group work and community based approaches to social work.n


Social workers are much in demand in contemporary societies and deal with a range of issues that impact upon people including those due to poverty, violence, abuse, mental health issues, addiction and disability.  The programme has received full accreditation and enables successful graduates to work as a social worker in a variety of statutory and non-governmental social work organisations.

Key facts

Entry requirements

A primary undergraduate degree (minimum of Second Class Honours, Grade 2) in one of the following: BA with a major in Social Work, Sociology, Psychology Social Policy, Public and Social Policy, Youth and Family Studies or B. Soc.Sc or qualifications deemed equivalent by NUI Galway.  A minimum of six months experience in a social work or social care setting is compulsory. 

Garda Vetting/Police Clearance is required for this programme.

Additional requirements

Garda Vetting/Police Clearance is required for this programme.

Duration: 2 years, full-time

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 120

Average intake: 20

Closing date: 13th February 2015

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Students will be expected to pass all modules, including the practice component of the first year before progressing to the second year. Each module will be assessed through continuous assessment procedures comprising assignments, seminar presentations, and written examinations. The composite mark will be based on the total number of tasks allocated for each module and students will require at least a 50% pass in each module to continue to the next phase. The minor dissertation will comprise of a practice-based research project.

Students complete two practice placements as well as a range of modules such as Social Work Practice and Theory; Law and Human Rights; Social Policy; Mental Health and Health Promotion; Working with Vulnerable Children and Adults; Crime Reduction and Probation Work; Human Behaviour and the Social Environment.


Practice placements are carried out in a variety of areas including child protection, domestic violence, mental health, disability, older people.


All students on completion of the programme must be regarded "fit to practice".

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

The current Director of Social Work is Prof. Caroline McGregor.

The Practice Learning Co-ordinator is Ms. Marguerita McGovern.

Other members of the School of Political Science & Sociology, and practitioners also assist with the teaching.

Requirements and assessment

Students will be assessed through assignments, presentations and written examinations, research dissertation and placement portfolios. All students must pass both university based work and the practice placements. The practice placements are assessed by practice teachers in the agencies using direct observation of practice alongside assessment of report writing and case notes.

Find out more

Academic curriculum queries:

Prof Caroline McGregor
T: +353 91 492 027

Practice placement queries:

Ms Marguerita McGovern

PAC code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2015/16

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Graduate profile

Graduate profile

Student details/course

"...Student quote..."