Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Social Care Practice

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Social Care Practice

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 301


  • US921

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

This programme is approved by CORU - (Health and Social Care Regulatory Body)

The programme prepares you to become a professional social care worker. The role involves planning and providing care in partnership with vulnerable individuals and groups of all ages, who experience marginalisation, disadvantage or who have additional needs. Social care workers work with a range of service user groups including children and adolescents in care, young people considered at risk, people with disabilities, people who are homeless, people dependent on alcohol/drugs and families in the community.

Course spotlight: Lecturer Theresa Brown gives an overview of what you’ll experience, including work placement opportunities. This programme is ideal for students with an interest in advocacy, children’s rights, and family support among other areas.

What will I experience?

On completion of this programme, you will feel confident with the knowledge and skills to provide support, empower and advocate for service users, as well as demonstrate both leadership and management capabilities.

Practice placement is where a social care student applies their knowledge to practice, learns key skills and achieves the required competencies for registration. Two practice placements, amounting to a total of 800 hours, form an essential part of this four-year programme. Practice placements are undertaken in years 2 and 3. In these, you will use the knowledge, skills and approaches which are relevant to the role of a social care worker.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Social care graduates find employment with a diverse range of employers including the HSE, Tusla (Child & Family Agency), private healthcare providers and voluntary organisations. Graduates find employment with agencies, which provide care for children and young people facing social issues and challenges. Others find roles with agencies, which provide care for individuals experiencing social inequality, unemployment or with people facing family breakdown. Graduates may choose to work with agencies, which provide care for people with intellectual disabilities. Graduates can also proceed to postgraduate study.

Additional Information

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting is a requirement of this programme and will comply with TUS Student Garda Vetting Policy and Procedure ( Students participating in the course must be vetted in accordance with the provisions of this policy. Students must complete the National Vetting form(s) in an absolutely honest and truthful manner. Students must disclose any (and all) knowledge of a criminal conviction(s) or pending prosecution(s) in Ireland or outside the jurisdiction. Students who have resided outside of the Republic of Ireland for a period of 6 months or more (from the age of 18 years) shall also be required to furnish a Police Clearance Certificate from their country or countries of residence.

It is important to note that participation in or completion of this programme may be affected by subsequent disclosure/discovery. During the Garda Vetting Process, issues that may emerge which were not declared by the student on the initial vetting form, may result in immediate termination of participation on the programme. Offences that are disclosed through the process that are considered a serious risk to children and vulnerable persons, may also result in a student’s discontinuation from the programme.

The outcomes of the vetting disclosure will be shared with the placement provider. Students cannot progress to placement unless the Garda Vetting Process is complete.

Fitness to Practice

A student on the BA (Hons) in Social Care Practice must be fit to practice. The Technological University of the Shannon Midlands Fitness to Practice Policy will apply to all students on
this programme (, with special reference to the Dept of Social Sciences, Social Care Addendum. Students will be required to sign off on this, acknowledging that they have read and understood this requirement.


The BA (Hons) in Social Care Practice programme has a mandatory attendance policy. In order to have a clear record of attendance, class attendance records are kept. Attendance during practice placements is monitored by the agency. Before progressing to the next stage of the programme, students have to work additional hours to compensate for any absences during work placements, in order to fulfill the attendance requirement. Absences must be supported by verifying documentation.

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Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Social Science
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Grade H5 at higher level in two subjects, plus Grade O6/H7 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate. Two of these subjects must be mathematics and a language (English or Irish). Note: An FL2 in foundation level mathematics will be accepted as meeting the minimum mathematics requirements for entry to this programme.

Mature applicants are not required to meet minimum entry requirements. However, an interview may form part of the selection process.


Up to 15 places reserved for QQI students. QQI applicants to this programme must hold one of the following awards: Early Childhood Care (5M2009), Nursing Studies (5M4349), Community Care (5M2786), Community Health Services (5M4468), Applied Social Studies (5M2181). They are also required to have a pass in Social Studies (5N1370), and hold distinctions in 3 modules.

Language Proficiency

Instruction is through the medium of English and applicants who do not have school Leaving Certificate English must provide evidence of equivalent competence by way of recognised proficiency tests in English (e.g. IELTS). Those for whom English is not their first language, but who have been resident in an English speaking country for a number of years and/or those who have completed a QQI Award, are exempt from taking a proficiency test in English.

The minimum requirement for entry to undergraduate programmes (Level 6, 7, 8) at TUS is IELTS 6.0 or equivalent internationally recognised English exam. IELTS 6.0 indicates that the learner or test taker:

  • has competent level to study academic programme.
  • has an effective command of the language
  • can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

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Course Structure

Year 1

Professional Social Care Practice 1.1, Developing Academic Practice and Autonomy, Group Dynamics and Collaborative Practice, Introduction to Psychology, Fundamentals of Irish Law, Professional Social Care Practice 1.2, Principles of Sociology, Creative Approaches to Social Care 1.2, Applied Child Development Psychology, Placement Preparation 1.

Year 2

Professional Social Care Practice 2.1, Social Policy Perspectives, Creative Approaches to Social Care Art, Drama or Recreation 2.1, Disability: Concepts and Practice, Placement 1, Psychology of Mental Health and Mental Illness, Professional Social Care Practice 2.2, Applied Sociology, Introduction to Management, Placement Preparation 2

Year 3

Social Care Practice Placement 2, Introduction to Research Methods for Social Care, Creative Approaches to Social Care Art, Drama or Recreation 3.2, Professional Social Care Practice 3.

Social Psychology, Children’s Rights and Family Law, Conflict Resolution.

Year 4

Professional Social Care Practice 4.1, Sociology and Social Policy, Applied Research Project, Rights Based Law, Professional Social Care Practice 4.2, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Social Care Practice Law, Disability: Promoting Citizenship.

Introduction to Addiction Studies, Managing Social Care Environments, Introduction to International Development and Global Justice, Professional Practice with Older People.

Careers & Opportunities

Work Placement

Completion of two practice placements (800 hours) is a mandatory part of the programme. The relationship between academic learning, the use of self and practical application is central to the programme. Students will be guided in their practice placement choice. Allocation to practice placements is based on the need to integrate theory and practice, as well as to facilitate the student’s progressive learning towards achieving independence in practice.

Further Study

As a graduate of this honours degree, you may decide to pursue postgraduate training and research leading to Master’s and PhD (level 9/10) qualifications. TUS’s MA in Advanced Social Care Practice and MA in Child & Youth Studies are popular level 9 options. Full details of all postgraduate programmes are contained in the postgraduate prospectus.

Master of Arts in Advanced Social Care Practice / Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Social Care Practice

Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma

Master of Arts in Child and Youth Studies

Master of Arts

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