Course information


Provider: UCD School of Applied Social Science

Address: University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4


Contact: Mr Dominic Shellard


Email: n.a.

Telephone: 01 716 8682

Category C : Courses leading to a professional or academic qualification (NFQ level 6 and higher)

This Higher Diploma is a transition course providing a foundation in Social Policy for graduates of other disciplines. regular access to academic staff who specialise in a wide range of areas within Social Policy and Social Work regular seminar meetings which provide academic support through the year of study. The Higher Diploma in Social Policy can be used as a transition course for those who need to fulfil the Social Policy credit requirements for access to postgraduate training in Social Work. Additionally it provides a background in Social Policy for students interested in careers in Social Policy or Public Policy.


This Higher Diploma provides a selection of modules from the BSocSc undergraduate Social Policy programme which students cover in a single year. Students attend classes with Level 1, 2 and 3 undergraduates.

There are a number of core modules which all Higher Diploma students must take, in addition to the optional modules which they choose. Students who wish to apply for the Master of Social Science (Social Work) programme are strongly advised to take optional modules in 'Introduction to social work’ and ‘Social work in practice’.

Core modules for previous years include the following:
* Comparative social policy
* Gender and social policy analysis
* Family, demography and social policy
* Theories and concepts
* Contemporary Irish social policy
* Exploring contemporary social policy

Optional modules for previous years included the following:
* Introduction to social work
* Social work in practice
* Policy making, implementation and evaluation
* Sustainable development, community development
* Alcohol and drug policy
* Development of social policy
* Housing and social cohesion
* Crime, social services and the justice system
* Economics of social policy
* Sexual and reproductive health research

Students will be given full details of the current core modules and optional modules at the beginning of the academic year. Detailed module outlines and booklists for individual modules will be made available by individual lecturers.

Target Group

Graduates wishing to pursue further training and careers in social work and social policy.

Entry Requirement

Applicants to the HDip programme who intend to apply for the MSocSc(Social Work) should note that they will be expected to have a minimum of 420 hours relevant paid or voluntary work experience by the closing date for applications to the Masters programme, in addition to the academic requirements. (Placements do not count towards these but may be drawn upon at interview should you be shortlisted).
Applicants with fewer hours may still be considered at the discretion of the school.

Selection Procedure

The minimum standard for entry is a NFQ level 8 degree in any subject. However, students are normally expected to have achieved a minimum grade of 2.2 (second class honours, grade 2).
If the degree grade is given as a GPA, the standard for entry is the GPA equivalent of a second class honours, grade 2 in the institution which awarded the degree. This may vary between institutions. For degrees awarded by UCD it is a GPA of 2.48. Applicants whose degree was awarded outside Ireland should contact the school office to check the equivalency of their qualifications.

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Higher Diploma in Social Policy (HDipSP)
Submission of written work throughout the year, in addition to examinations.
University College Dublin


Dates / Availability
September each year. A full-time course lasting one academic year.
UCD Dublin
The course will be held only if a sufficient number of suitably qualified candidates apply. Once the course has filled, applicants may be placed on a waiting list or advised to re-apply the following year.
EU fee per year - €6,980; non-EU fee per year - €13,670. Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 upon acceptance of a place.