DT576 (f/t) & DT577 (p/t)

MA in Child, Family and Community Studies

Course Description

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

[Click here] for a digital brochure for this programme.

The MA Child, Family and Community Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that has been running successfully since 2007 and attracts graduates from the broad social science disciplines and those working in the fields of social care/education.

This  programme will be of interest to graduates of early education, social care, psychology, sociology, community studies and related disciplines, as well as professionals in the broad social services delivery area (for example, social work, youth work, teaching, community work, early education, family support work).

Its overall aim is to examine how human capacity can be enhanced across the lifespan in the socio-educational sector. It will provide participants with a critical understanding of concepts and approaches to enabling individuals and groups to realise their potential. The programme aims to educate students to high levels of contemporary theoretical awareness and to create an atmosphere of rigorous academic enquiry and writing.

Please note that this programme allows students to examine concepts, topics and theoretical perspectives relating to children, families and communities in depth, in an environment of academic enquiry.  It does not lead to a professional qualification in social care or social work.

See recent MA Child, Family & Community Studies theses: New Irish Research in Criminology, Law, Childhood, Family and the Community.

Dissertation research  

Students on this programme are required to undertake a dissertation, which gives an opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a topic of your choice.  To see examples of research conducted by MA students across the School [click here]

Admission criteria

Applicants must normally hold a second class honours degree, higher division (2.1), or higher, in the area of social care, early education, social sciences, psychology, sociology, youth and community studies or cognate discipline.  In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score minimum of 6.5 overall, with nothing less than 6 in each component.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic requirements, but who have significant professional or vocational experience in child, family and community services shall also be considered. In addition to an application form, this latter category of applicants may be asked to present for interview. The Programme Committee will work to ensure a balance of recent graduates and professionals among the student intake.

Note: Due to the considerable competition for this programme, satisfying the minimum entry requirement may not guarantee applicants a place.  Applications will be assessed based on prior academic attainment and relevant work/voluntary experience.

Programme document

The Programme document (which details syllabi, assessments, reading lists for all modules) is available [here].


Applications should only be made on-line: [click here] (this page also includes Fees information).

This programme is eligible for tax relief in 2011/12 under Section 473A Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 [details].


Programme content and structure

The programme commenced in 2007. It is organised to facilitate full-time students and those working in full-time employment.  Consequently, modules are generally delivered in the late afternoon and evenings, generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Students take core modules in:

  • Perspectives on Child, Family and Community
  • Equality, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • Transitions across the lifespan
  • Management issues in child, family and community work
  • Research Methods & Dissertation

In addition, students shall select two from the following optional modules (which shall run subject to a viable cohort)

  • Interventions in child and adolescent mental health 
  • Intergenerational Practice and Learning
  • Contemporary issues in the early years
  • Youth Offending & Youth Justice Perspectives
  • Risk, protection and resilience of children and vulnerable adults
  • Perspectives on ageing
  • Intergenerational practice and learning

The programme is a taught modularised programme, delivered in semesters of 15 weeks duration. It is offered in both full-time and part-time modes. Students may take the taught programme on a full-time basis over two semesters and complete a dissertation in the third semester. Part-time students complete coursework over four semesters and complete a dissertation in the fifth semester.

  • At a glance
  • Level 9, MA
  • Duration One year (f/t); Two years (p/t)

  • Contact
  • Dr. Ann Marie Halpenny
  • 01 402 4255
  • DIT Grangegorman campus, Dublin 7.
  • Follow us on

Many participants on the MA in Child, Family and Community Studies already have practice experience and use the MA to develop their careers in different directions or to move in to management roles. Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of sectors including development and policy work in social care, early childhood education and the voluntary care sector. It is not necessary to have prior professional experience, however, to find the programme beneficial for career development.

Graduates of the MA Child, Family and Community Studies may progress to doctoral studies.