Students Learning with Communities

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Welcome to Students Learning With Communities.

The DIT Programme for Students Learning With Communities supports staff and students across DIT engaging in community-based learning and research (also known as service-learning, or Science Shop), and builds links with communities.

Students Learning With Communities involves DIT staff and/or students collaborating with underserved community partners (local groups, not-for-profit organisations, charities etc) to develop real-life projects for mutual benefit. Learning comes alive for the students as they work on these projects with community partners, developing professional transferable skills, and enhancing their understanding of their specialist subject skills and of the community they work with. Students receive course credits for their work, as these projects are embedded into their studies. Community partners become part of the teaching process through the collaboration, contributing to the education of students, and increasing the relevance of DIT's programmes of study. The processes and outcomes of the collaborative projects are designed to further the community's goals. These projects give all participants the opportunity to engage in critical thinking, and ultimately aim to energise participants to work for social change.

The Programme has supported projects involving over 10,000 students in collaboration with over 110 Community Partners, since it started in 2008. Approximately 1 in 3 DIT undergraduate programmes offer students opportunities to become involved in collaborative projects with communities. 

Our Vision:

To be a vibrant, professional hub connecting DIT students and staff to local, national and international communities, by linking learning with real life application, for mutual benefit.

Our Mission:

  • To encourage, support and develop the practice of community-based learning and community-based research within programmes across DIT.
  • To produce socially conscious graduates with applied and transferable professional skills.
  • To build sustainable relationships with community and voluntary organisations.
  • To create appropriate links with industry in support of community-based learning and community-based research. 
  • To collaborate with national and international educational institutions to advance best practice in the area.


You can read more here about the principles for our collaboratively designed projects with community partners. The principles which guide our programme staff can be found here.


You can follow our tweets and retweets relevant to community engaged research and learning on our twitter page, including funding and publication opportunities:



You can also see occasional updates on the Programme's activities on our facebook page:

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