Bachelor of Arts in Social Care

Course Description

From 1st January 2019, this programme shall be offered by the new Technological University Dublin at our Grangegorman campus, Dublin 7.

The Bachelor of Arts 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 2018 were 377 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)

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.

  • National Certificate in Applied Social Studies or equivalent, including QQI level 6 in Social Care, or equivalent (QQI Level 6 applicants should have at least 9 distinctions across the two years of their level 6 qualification) and relevant experience and/or practice placement in a social care area.
  • Year 1 of BA in Social Care with a satisfactory supervised practice placement.
  • Year 1 of BA in Early Childhood Care and Education with a satisfactory supervised practice placement.

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.

Applicants will normally hold a minimum 2.1 (merit upper) Level 7 qualification in social care or equivalent and have successfully completed a minimum of 400 hours on supervised practice placement.

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, in the greater Dublin area. 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
Specialist module 1: Unit 1 - Social Care Work with Older People. Unit 2 - Social Care Work with Intellectual Disabilities
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 Placement (incl. pre-placement seminars & tutorial support)
Skills development: Unit 1 - Introduction to Academic and Research Skills. Unit 2 - Communication and Groupwork Skills
Year 2
Social Theory & Contemporary Themes in Society
Irish Social Policy in Context
Specialist module 2: Unit 1 - Managing and Understanding Challenging Behaviour. Unit 2 - Drugs Problems, Policies and Approaches
Safeguarding Children and Young People
Psychological Perspectives on Mental Health
Principles of Professional Practice
Research Methods 2
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 (Unit 1);  Portfolio: Integrated Learning and Critical Reflection (Unit 2)
Research Methods 3
Supervised Practice

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

  • At a glance
  • Level 8, Bachelor of Arts
  • 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 Bachelor of Arts 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.