For more information about Social Work Studies at University College Cork, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
PG Dip

How long you will study
2 Years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Social Work Studies at University College Cork


The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies (PGDSWS) is a two-year full-time course that combines academic study with fieldwork placements.The PGDSWS course is accredited by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU). The course leads to an academic qualification and will make you eligible to register as a social worker with regulatory bodies in Ireland (CORU) and internationally.

N.B. Applicants should check the entry requirements below to ascertain if they should apply for the Masters in Social WorkOR the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option. N.B. Applicants should ONLY apply for ONE of these options as it is the same selection procedure for both options (FINAL YEARSTUDENTS) or current Higher Diploma in Social Policy students should apply for the Master's level (MSW) programme).

Course Details

Students on the PGDSWS take modules in social work theory, skills, social policy and courses specific to social work settings such as child and family welfare and mental health.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • apply knowledge of social systems and human behaviour to promote social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment of people to enhance their well-being
  • apply knowledge of social policy to critically examine and respond to the impact of social and political contexts on service users and social workpromote principles of social justice, human rights and anti-oppressive practice as intrinsic elements of social work practice
  • demonstrate core social work practice proficiencies in the areas of: professional autonomy and accountability, interpersonal and professional relationships, effective communication, personal and professional development, provision of quality services, knowledge, understanding and skills
  • demonstrate knowledge of theory, legislation, policy, official inquiry reports and international conventions, and apply it to assessment and intervention planning in social work practiceillustrate a reflective approach to learning that is self-directed, strengths-based and reflective.

For further curriculum details seethe Postgraduate College Calendar

ALL prospective applicants should also check theSchool of Applied Social Studies website at:

This website has been designed to answer most of the questions you may have about the PGDSWS, social work and applying for the MSW/PGDSWS.

Fitness to Practise

This programme is subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found Postgraduate Studies in Social Work Fitness to Practice details (439kB)

Fact File

Course Code: CKC06 Full-time

Course Title: Social Work Studies

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Duration: 2 years Full-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: PG Dip

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: EUR 6,835 per year;

2016 Entry Requirements: BSocSc Graduates (or its equivalent) who have already completed their degrees and achieved an overall PASS or 3H (see detailed entry requirements)

Closing Date: 20 January 2017 (Applics now open)

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Course Practicalities

The PGDSWS is a full-time professional course that involves five full days in college or five full days in practice. Practice placements are an integral part of the course. You are required to complete two 14-week fieldwork placements, for at least one of which you will be required to move outside Cork. The course is split roughly 50/50 between college academic work and practice placements. Students on the PGDSWS go on placement to a wide variety of practice contexts all over Ireland and in year 2 have the option to do an international social work placement.


You will undertake a wide variety of academic and practice assessments. You are assessed through group projects, enquiry-based learning assignments, reflective portfolios and learning journals, essays, research presentations, and a minor dissertation.

Application Procedure

Prospective applicants should apply as early as possible to ensure all application steps are completed in time.

The application process for CKC06 - Postgraduate Diploma in SocialWork Studies (PDSWS) involves:-

1) Submitting an ONLINEapplicationat (Course Code CKC06). The closing date for submitting an online application is 20th January 2017.Please click herefor How to Apply.

2) COMPLETING/ANSWERING specific online additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these onlineCKC06 supplementary form guidelines and CKC06 supplementary/additional questions are available to view here: (i)CKC06supplementaryquestionsguidelines (233kB) and (ii) CKC06AdditionalQuestions (241kB)

3) DOWNLOADING ANDPRINTING (during the online application process) a hard copy ofthe Referees Report Forms. Please click here to see a copy of theREFEREES REPORT FORMS:CKC06ReferenceForms (498kB)CKC06 Reference Form (Word Version) (594kB) two Referees Letters and Referees Reports must be sent to your Referees. One reference must be a third level academic reference and a second reference must be a supervisor/manager of your practical work experience (either paid or volunteer) who will complete the Referees Reports on your behalf and return directly by POST to Mr. Ger Mannix, Social Work Secretary, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Donovan's Road, Cork AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER APPLYING ONLINE and NOT LATER than 10th February 2017.

4)AFTER COMPLETING THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM, all applicants must include official CERTIFICATION of your social work/social work related experience to date. This should be a signed letter on headed notepaper from each employer/voluntary organisation specifying your duties and responsibilities and the number of hours completed. (These letters are separate and in addition to the two complete Referees Reports).These letters of certificationmust also either be UPLOADED via the PAC 'My Account' link or posted to the Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway by 10th February 2017.

5) NON-UCC APPLICANTS MUST also submit evidence of any qualification(s) (academic results and certificates/parchments) that were not completed in University College Cork and evidence of English language proficiency (if applicable). N.B. Non-UCC Applicants who are currently completing undergraduate/postgraduate programmes and have not as yet completed final exams/graduated should submit PHOTOCOPIES of academic transcripts/statements with details of subjects studied and results to date. Applicants who are currently registered on a Higher Diploma in Social Policy/Administration programme in other University must also provide a statement from their University confirming they are attending the programme. Photocopies of academic results to date, certificates/parchments, evidence of english language proficiency must either be UPLOADED via the 'PAC My Account' link or posted to the Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway (marked with your PAC application number) by 10th February 2017.

6) Please click on this link to view a CHECK-LIST of the supporting documenation requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in SocialWork Studiesto be submitted after completing the online application: CKC06AdditionalDocumentationChecklist (328kB)

There is a selection process based on the following combined elements: academic performance and research capacity; certified social work related experience and initiative; knowledge of social work and motivation, commitment and suitability'

On receipt of the online application,Written Certification of social work related experience, Referees Report Forms and evidence of non-UCC qualifications (where applicable) applicants will be shortlisted for interview by the School of AppliedSocial Studies, University College Cork.

Group and individual interviews take place in early March and candidates are advised of the outcome sometime in April.

Please note that if your application is successful, deferrals are not permitted on this programme

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardPG DipHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: EUR 6,835 per year;

2016 Entry Requirements: BSocSc Graduates (or its equivalent) who have already completed their degrees and achieved an overall PASS or 3H (see detailed entry requirements)

Closing Date: 20 January 2017 (Applics now open)

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Entry requirements for this course

Contact University College Cork to find course entry requirements.

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