Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma Advanced Social Care Practice

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

Course Overview

  • 3

    Years P/T

  • 9


Why take this course?

The social care profession is dedicated to protecting and assisting the most vulnerable in our society. Social Care Workers are on the front line in attempting to address pertinent social issues like: child welfare and protection; domestic violence; mental health; promoting equality of opportunity for those with special needs, and the rights and social inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society.

Such a profession requires highly competent, confident and qualified persons with specialised training and knowledge of national and international best practice. The MA/PgDip in Advanced Social Care Practice is designed to support professionals to develop specialised knowledge and skills, linked to evidence-based practice. It will encourage Social Care Workers to keep themselves well-informed on current policy, strategy and quality considerations that impact on their work. This innovative programme was developed following extensive consultation with the social care sector and new modules will be designed as necessary, to reflect the changing needs of social care work.

What will I experience?

The overall aim of the Master of Arts in Advanced Social Care Practice is to facilitate the professional and intellectual development of the student and her/his capacity to critically evaluate, analyse and synthesise information and to engage in further research into emerging issues in Social Care.

On completion the learner will be expected to:

  • evaluate, contrast and criticise the fundamental and advanced theories, concepts, principles and methods associated with social care practice.
  • develop and enhance skills of analysis, interpretation, and strategic thinking as appropriate to social care research.
  • critically assess current social care standards in light of evidence based practice with particular reference to ethics and social responsibility.
  • appraise and criticise current practices and issues in the field of social care in light of comparative and international best practice.
  • independently engage in further research relevant to the advancement of the social care profession.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The future of social care focuses on promoting high standards of: professional conduct, education, training and standards of proficiency, as outlined by CORU. In line with this, the MA in Advanced Social Care Practice will help professionals to develop their skills and competencies in providing the relevant supports and care to those within the social care sector. It aims to support the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), knowledge and skills of Social Care Workers through the pedagogies of Continued Professional Education (CPE).

Additional Information

Study pathways

A student will have three study pathways open to them as follows:

  • Master of Arts in Advanced Social Care Practice (Level 9): Completion of designed modules worth 40 credits plus Research Methods and Dissertation (total 70 credits);
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Social Care Practice (Level 9): Completion of designed modules (total 60 credits) of choice, excluding Research Methods and Dissertation;
  • Minor Award (Level 9) associated with the Master of Arts in Advanced Social Care Practice: Completion of one designed module.

Students may join the programme in September or January in any given year. Applications and expressions of interest in particular modules should be submitted in the semester prior to the module(s) commencing e.g. semester one (Sept-Dec) for a January start date, semester two (Jan-June) for a September start date. Modules will run one evening per week (6pm-9pm) over the course of each semester.

*Please note that modules will be offered subject to demand.

Course Details

Course Fees:
€750 per module
Course Duration:
3 Years P/T
Registration Closing Date:

How to apply to this programme at TUS Athlone Campus:


Course Award:
Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma
Course NFQ Level:
Level 9
Dept of Social Science
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Applicants should hold an honours degree (Level 8) in Social Care. Applicants with an honours degree (Level 8) in a cognate discipline may complete a Minor Award in a single module.

Please contact:

Admissions Office or phone 090-6468130.

Lecturer Testimonial

Oliver Hegarty Profile Image

Oliver Hegarty

This programme provides students with the professional knowledge, real-life work experience, self-awareness and interpersonal skills appropriate for a career in a variety of Social Care settings

Student Testimonial

 Profile Image

Ann Marie Crehan

I found all of the modules very practical and very useful in my work and I loved going into class. We learned so much and it really broadened my thinking. All of what we had studied left me in a really good position to do an interview and I got a new job.

Course Structure

Year 1

Duration: This programme is delivered on a part-time basis, each module is run over a semester 12/13 weeks in duration as per the TUS academic calendar. This flexible mode of delivery includes one evening per week (Wed/Thurs respectively) from 6pm-9pm. The course also requires students to attend one Friday 10am-4pm (per semester). The programme aims to facilitate two modules each semester pending modular demand.

The following designed modules are currently available:

  • Behaviours that Challenge (10 credits).
  • Contemporary Approaches In Intellectual Disability Practice (10 credits).
  • Mental Health, Law and Policy (10 credits).
  • Approaches to Supporting Families (10 credits).
  • Interpersonal Conflict: Prevention & Resolution (10 credits).
  • Approaches to Care with Older People (10 credits).
  • Managing for Professional Social Care Practice (10 credits).
  • Contemporary Developments In Social Care Practice (5 credits).
  • Academic Writing for Post-Graduate Study (5 credits).
  • Research Methods (10 credits).
  • Dissertation (20 credits).

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

Graduates of the programme can reasonably expect to rise to advanced positions within the social care sector and to be in a position to consider a more diverse range of career opportunities. Graduates of this course may be eligible to pursue further postgraduate training and research leading to a PhD (NFQ Level 10) qualification.

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