Next intake: September 2021. Application Centre opens late March 2021.
This course is designed for people who want to attain the standards of proficiency for social care workers as defined by CORU.
The learner will engage with 18 modules that explore social care practice and how it applies in various social care settings. Students will complete over 800 hours of supervised practice placement, in a social care setting. This qualification is designed to lead to social care registration subject to CORU approval.
This programme is making an application for approval by CORU.
What do Social Care Workers do?
Social Care Workers plan and provide professional care to vulnerable individuals and groups of all ages who experience marginalisation, disadvantage or special needs. As well as protecting and advocating for such individuals and groups, Social Care Workers professionally guide, challenge and support those entrusted to their care toward achieving their fullest potential.
(Social Care Ireland 2018)
Read more on what is social care work here.
Why Study This Social Care Course?
The aim of the BA Social Care is that on completion students leave with a set of skills and knowledge that enables them to engage in and manage the everyday operations of a social care area of responsibility. Professionally, efficiently, effectively and ethically.
Focus is not only on meeting goals/outputs, but on a deep appreciation of social, community, ethical and current issues impacting on vulnerable groups of people.
- To equip students with the range of skills and knowledge to enable them fulfil the role of Social Care Worker across a variety of sectors within the broad social care field.
- To embed the values of human rights, inclusiveness, empowerment, advocacy, social justice and person-centred services and supports so that graduates can bring these values to their work across the social care sector.
- To ensure competence to practice as a skilled and professional Social Care worker in a variety of settings by provision of high quality practice placements
Programme Learning Outcomes
- The aim of the Level 7 B.A. in Social Care programme is to provide a qualification which is recognised nationally and internationally in the area of Social Care.
- The programme aims to provide participants with in-depth key knowledge, skills and competencies based on the five domains and 80 standards of proficiency for social care workers as defined by CORU.
- In addition, the programme aims to provide the student with the clear values of empowerment, advocacy, person-centredness, inclusion and social justice to support their practice in the future.
- The programme will provide the student with two supervised practice placements in social care agencies that will measure the student’s understanding and application of the standards of proficiency in a real world setting.
- The programme is designed to ensure that subject to CORU programme approval the student will be able to access registration.
Course Entry Requirements
- All potential applicants who are aged at least 23 years at time of application OR have successfully completed a FET (120 credits) /QQI Level 5 Certificate or Leaving Certificate* OR HET (60 credits)/QQI Level 6 Certificate.
- All applicants must also satisfactorily pass an entry interview
- All applicants must be able to gain Garda clearance.
- International Applicants whose first language is not English must provide appropriate documentary evidence of proficiency in English, i.e. Minimum CEFRL B2+ (=IELTS 6.0) or equivalent.
- *Leaving Certificate applicants will require a grade O6/H7 in five subjects; these subjects must include Maths and English or Irish. (Foundation level mathematics will meet the minimum entry requirement where a grade F2 or higher is achieved.)
All candidates must meet the requisite criteria of the Garda/Police Vetting process. Students will be required to undergo Garda Vetting. Students must complete the required documentation, including a full list of all previous addresses, in order for clearance checks to be made. Currently Irish addresses are vetted by the Garda Vetting Bureau at no cost to the student.
What Will I Learn on the Social Care Degree?
The course content is based on:
- Our expertise in the disability and broader social care area
- International best practice
- Current legislation and policy
- Ongoing feedback from course participants
- Input from graduates, professional bodies, regulatory bodies and service users
This is reflected in the choice of learning objectives, course materials and the award winning approach that has been developed to deliver the course
The first year of this course introduces the novice learner to a broad understanding and the context of social care. Key values are explored along with the relevant legislation and policies. The student starts to develop their skills in the areas of communication and responding to challenging behaviour. In relation to practice, the student commences to develop their personal and professional boundaries and develop their autonomy and accountability as a social care worker.
- Learning and Development in Higher Education (5 credits)
- Introduction to Social Care (10 credits)
- Contemporary Issues in Social Care (10 credits)
- Legal and Policy Framework in Social Care 1 (10 credits)
- Communication in Social Care (10 credits)
- Creative Approaches to Social Care (10 credits)
- Responding to Behaviours that Challenge (5 credits)
Second year develops the understanding of the learner in social care and practice supported by a supervised practice placement. The student displays practice that is safe and effective and the ability to use theory in practice. Regular guidance and support is provided to the student through the supervision process with the practice educator.
- Psychology and Human Development across the Lifespan (5 credits)
- Collaborative Practice and Teamwork in Social Care (5 credits)
- Legal and Policy Framework in Social Care 2 (10 credits)
- Professional Development for Social Care (10 credits)
- Social Care Assessment and Planning (10 credits)
- Supervised Practice Placement 1 (20 credits) – CAPSTONE
Year 2 and Year 3 include a mandatory Work Placement element of 408 hours each year. You can learn more about Work Placement by following Patrick Kiernan's journey on this series of short videos:
The final year of the programme offers opportunity for the learner to acquire advanced social care knowledge and skills for their practice supported by a supervised practice placement. The student is skilled in the use of evidence-informed practise. They have integrated responsibility for their practice actions, engage in reflective practice, seeking assistance and advice when necessary. The student engages in supervision, where they demonstrate a growth in practice confidence and openness to Continuing Professional Development.
- Wellbeing, Health and Behaviour (10 credits)
- Social Research (10 credits)
- Advocacy and Rights in Social Care (10 credits)
- Quality Interventions in Social Care (10 credits)
- Supervised Practice Placement 2 (20 credits) - CAPSTONE
How Will I Be Assessed?
The course is assessed through a combination of continuous assessments, projects and written examinations. Continuous assessments may consist of assignments (i.e. essays), project work, group activities, online activities, in-class assessments, reflection and placement.
What supports are provided on the Social Care degree?
We Are All Part of a Learning Community
- Dedicated tutor throughout
- Online international award winning learning resources developed for online learning
- Access to learning technologies such as a virtual environment.
- Tools to support virtual learning and off campus learning
- Online activities to support assessment.
- Face to face lectures, seminars, tutorials.
- Assessment submitted, marked and returned to learners with feedback through electronic or other media.
- Supervised practice placement
- See more on our unique, award winning learner supports here
Meet Dr Noelín Fox – Course Director
Making the decision to embark on a degree, particularly when you are an adult learner, can be a difficult one. What concerns do people generally have?
From talking to our students, their concerns usually come down to one, or more, of three things:
- They worry about the value of starting a course. Courses have to be practically relevant to their current role but it also has to provide a platform for future developments.
- They have concerns about the level of support they will receive when they go to college and that doesn’t mean just academic support either. They want to know they will have the personal support that is particularly important for adults to get though a course.
- They worry about being able to balance work, life and learning commitments because it can seem overwhelming.
How do you help deal with this?
The OTC encourages students to take control of their education. The course materials are designed to allow people to organise and plan their study around their work and life commitments. That doesn’t mean it’s easy (!) but we do make a real effort to make it as simple as possible to balance work, life and learning.
We are obviously there to support our students every step of their academic journey but I believe understanding and helping with the personal challenges of taking on a course are in many ways as important as the academic support. That is why we believe so passionately in our learning being student-centred and put so much effort into building a learning community for our students. We support and learn from each other.
How do you think students benefit most?
They become more aware of their critical importance to delivering a person centred service. They become more innovative in meeting the individual needs of people they support which leads to a better quality of life for the people they work with.
Meet Michelle Coe – Social Care Graduate
Why did you choose to study with the College?
The College was recommended to me by a colleague so I attended the Open Day event. I immediately knew the College’s approach to social care education was for me; it has been designed specifically around social care services and the teaching is current and relevant.
What has your experience of the College been like?
It has been pleasantly surprising in how much I have embraced learning and, right from the beginning, I’ve found it useful in my day to day work.
The tutors are extremely knowledgeable and they also have direct experience within the field.
I would definitely recommend the College’s social care programmes to anyone who is considering furthering their education.
How Will the BA in Social Care Enhance My Career Prospects?
Successful completion of this course will allow you to apply to register as a social care worker with CORU. The registration board has been formed for Social Care and the consultation over the processes and mechanisms for registration as a social care worker are at an advanced stage. Click here for more details.
Successful completion of the 3-year course will lead to a BA in Social Care. This is a QQI approved major award at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
How Do I Apply?
Applications for this course are accepted through our Online Application Centre. To apply for the degree, you will need to:
- Satisfy the entry requirements for the programme
- Provide a range of documents to support your application
- Submit a personal statement explaining why you want to apply
- Pay an application fee of €95
What Supporting Documents Will I Need?
You will need to provide us with a range of documents as part of your application. These are:
- Proof of identity. Common examples included scanned copies of a driving license or passport (for international applicants).
- Educational Transcripts: These are copies of previous educational achievements that confirm you satisfy the course entry requirements. They could, for example, include a copy of your leaving certificate or a scan of a level 5 certificate. It is particularly important that applicants wishing to transfer from another course, or be considered for Advanced Entry, provide transcripts confirming they have completed a Level 6/7 course worth at least 60 credits (NFQ) or more in Social Care or Social Studies within the last 10 years.
- Personal Statement: This document essentially explains why you want to take the course and how you see it helping you achieve your professional and personal goals. You can learn more about it below and download a simple document that will help you write it.
- International Applicants: International applicants are required to provide documentary evidence of proficiency in English and eligibility to study in Ireland before beginning an accredited course. A document explaining why it is necessary and what documents are required for a successful application can be found below
What is a Personal Statement and Why is it Important?
A personal statement briefly describes:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you hope to achieve in your career on both a personal and professional level
- How you think the course will help you achieve your goals
Personal statements are particularly important for us when assessing individual applications. We believe in selecting students not just based on their previous academic achievements but on how a particular educational programme can help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Personal statements help us understand why you want to take the course and if it is the right one for you.
PLEASE NOTE: We’ve also provided a checklist to help with your application. We generally recommend you gather together all the documents you will require to support your application before you begin but our online application system will allow you add documents as and when you have them once you’ve begun submitting your application. You can learn more by visiting the Online Application Centre.
At a Glance
Any person interested in becoming a social care worker; persons with a relevant Level 5 qualification.
BA in Social Care
Online during Covid-19 restrictions
LEVEL ON NFQ
1. All candidates must meet the criteria of the Garda/Police Vetting process.
2. The OTC is not registered with the Department of Justice on the ILEP (Interim List of Eligible Providers) and therefore cannot accommodate any international applicants seeking an education visa.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
International Applicants must provide appropriate documentary evidence of proficiency in English (i.e. IELTS 6.0).
FEES PER YEAR*
*The fees amount is inclusive of:
- Tuition Fees (€3,500)
- Administration/Online Subscriptions Fee - €550
- QQI Registration Fee - €150
A fees instalment plan is available.
Start Making Your Application
All applications are processed through our application centre where you can:
- Submit your application
- Learn about what happens after you’ve made your application
- Monitor the progress of your application
Visit the Online Application Centre.