BA (Hons.) in Social Care

Course Description

The BA (Hons.) in Social Care is a three year honours degree programme (Level 8) which qualifies graduates to work as social care workers. It is located in DIT Grangegorman, Dublin 7.  DIT was the first provider of social care education in Ireland and this programme traces its roots to 1974.

Admission criteria

Admission to Year one is via the CAO. The Entry Requirements are six Leaving Certificate subjects, including minimum grades of 2 H5s, O6/H7 in Maths and O6/H7 in English or Irish. Fetac level 5 applicants must have a minimum of five distinctions. More detail for Fetac level 5 applicants can be found [here]

The CAO entry points in September 2017 were 388 points.

A number of places are reserved for mature and non-standard applicants, disability and access applicants and international applicants. Non-standard applicants and mature applicants should show evidence of voluntary or paid experience in the social care sector. Cognisance will be taken of former academic attainment.

Advanced entry (to Years 2 and 3)

A small number of vacancies may arise each year for advanced entry to Year 2 or Year 3.

Year 2

Students with the following academic background may be offered Advanced Entry to Year 2, subject to space availability. Cognisance will be taken of former academic attainment, particularly that in a relevant area.

  • National Certificate in Applied Social Studies or equivalent, including BTEC in Social Care, or equivalent (BTEC applicants should have at least 9 distinctions)          
  • Year 1 of BA (Ord.) in Social Care with a satisfactory practice placement; or equivalent
  • Year 1 of BA in Early Childhood Care and Education with a satisfactory practice placement; or equivalent

Year 3

Students with the following academic background may be offered Advanced Entry to Year 3, subject to space availability.  Cognisance will be taken of former academic attainment, particularly that in a relevant area.

  • Applicants will normally hold a Level 7 qualification in the social care area (with merit or distinction), 
  • Applicants with a Level 8 qualification in a related area. Candidates from both levels of qualification are expected to have considerable work experience in the social care sector.

Practice placement, Garda vetting & First Aid

Each year has a practice placement component (30 days in Year 1; 60 days in Year 2; 60 days in Year 3). Social care students may be placed in a wide variety of statutory and voluntary agencies. Examples are: residential centres for children and youth, special schools, high support care, special care units, community development projects, day care and residential services for people with intellectual disabilities, community care work with children and families and family support projects.

Garda vetting will be required for all students. Applicants must fully and honestly complete the Garda vetting form. Failure to disclose a criminal conviction automatically renders what may appear to be a very minor offence, unrelated to children or minors, to be a serious breach of DIT regulations. The Department of Social Sciences policy on Garda vetting can be found on our Student Resources page.

First Year students shall be required to undertake certified First Aid training, which shall be arranged by the Institute.  An extra cost (currently approx. €100) to cover the compulsory three day occupational first aid course will be included in the course fee.  For students in receipt of a SUSI grant, please note that this covers only the Student Contribution Charge (formerly known as the Student Capitation or Registration Charge).  It does not cover the cost of First Aid Training. 

Programme description

This programme is designed to provide a comprehensive grounding in theoretical and practical modules, to qualify graduates as professional social care workers. Specifically,

Year 1
Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives on Irish Society.
Social Care Work with Intellectual Disabilities/ Social Care Work with Older People.
Introduction to Social Policy.
Psychology and Human Development.
Principles of Professional Practice.
Health and Well-Being.
Drama in Education.
Introduction to the Art Process in Education & Development.
Supervised Practice (incl. pre-placement seminars + tutorial support).
Skills development.
Year 2
Social Theory & Contemporary Themes in Society.
Irish Social Policy in Context.
Managing and Understanding Challenging Behaviour/ Drugs Problems, Policies and Approaches.
Safeguarding Children and Young People.
Psychological Perspectives on Mental Health.
Principles of Professional Practice.
Research Methods.
Working with Communities.
Drama in Education OR Understanding and Facilitating the Art Process in Social Care.
Supervised Practice.
Year 3
Social Policy and Social Justice.
Law and Critical Social Care Practice Perspectives.
Social Psychology.
Skills and Approaches to Professional Helping.
Principles of Professional Practice.
Management in Social Care Portfolio: Critical Reflection & Integrated Learning Portfolio.
Research Methods.
Supervised Practice.

The 'Programme document' details all module content, assessments, learning outcomes and indicative reading lists [available here]

  • At a glance
  • Level 8, BA (Hons.)
  • Duration 3 years

  • Contact
  • Dr. David Williams, Programme Chair, BA (Hons.) in Social Care.
  • david.williams@dit.ie
  • 01-4024107
  • Rathdown House, DIT Grangegorman, Dublin 7.
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There is a demand for Graduates of Social Care in a variety of social care settings.  These include: residential group homes, juvenile detention centres, special schools, women’s refuges, drug treatment and rehabilitation units, youth work settings,  family and community projects,  agencies for people who are homeless and centres for persons with intellectual disability.

Graduates can undertake postgraduate studies in a broad spectrum of areas such as the Masters in Child, Family and Community Studies in the Department of Social Sciences here in DIT.  They may apply for a Masters in Social Care or Social Work in other colleges and universities.

The BA in Social Care has strong partnerships and links with a number of social care organisations and settings. Students spend considerable time undertaking supervised professional practice in at least three different practice settings during their 3 years. Following this many students are offered work in theses setting either on a temporary or permanent basis.