BA in Social Care -Level 7

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)


The programme is designed for people who want to attain the standards of proficiency for social care workers as defined by CORU and engage in value-based education to empower service users. The learner will engage with 18 modules that explore social care practice and how it applies in various social care settings. The student will complete over 800 hours of supervised practice placement, in a social care setting. The qualification is designed to lead to social care registration subject to CORU approval.

This programme is making an application for approval by CORU.

Professional Social Care Graduates in Ireland
Professional Social Care Graduates in Ireland

At a Glance

  • AudienceAny person interested in becoming a social care worker; Person with a relevant L5 qualification.
  • AwardBachelor of Arts in Social Care
  • FormatBlended Learning
  • ModelFull-Time/Open Learning
  • Duration 3 Years
  • Award Type QQI/HET Level 7 (Major Award)
  • Credits 180 credits overall (60 Credits per year)
  • Location of workshopsMarino Institute of Education, Dublin 9
  • Location of practice placementsThe location of practice placements can vary.
  • Apply ByContact the College
  • Informal InterviewsJuly 19th, 2019
  • Start DateSeptember 2019
  • Workshop (no. of days)First Year – 21 plus one exam day
  • Fees €3,480 per annum – inclusive of Protection of Enrolled Learner (PEL) insurance cost (Instalment plan available)

What Will I Learn?

The main objective of this social care qualification is that on completion students leave with a set of skills and knowledge that enables them to engage in and manage the everyday responsibilities of a social care worker; professionally, efficiently, effectively and ethically.

The 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.

Course Aims:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
Professional Social Care (Disability) learning objectives

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.

Entry Requirements

Access – Entry Criteria

  • 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.

Course Details

Year One

Introduces the novice learner to a broad understanding and the context of social care. The 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.


1. Learning and Development in Higher Education (5 credits)
2. Introduction to Social Care (10 credits)
3. Contemporary Issues in Social Care (10 credits)

4. Legal and Policy Framework in Social Care 1 (10 credits)
5. Communication in Social Care (10 credits)
6. Creative Approaches to Social Care (10 credits)
7. Responding to Behaviours that Challenge (5 credits)

View the provisional  Course Calendar – Year 1: 2019-20.

Year Two

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. The student demonstrates the ability to use theory in practice. Regular guidance and support is provided to the student through the supervision process with the practice educator


1. Psychology and Human Development across the Lifespan (5 credits)
2. Collaborative Practice and Teamwork in Social Care (5 credits)
3. Legal and Policy Framework in Social Care 2 (10 credits)

4. Professional Development for Social Care (10 credits)
5. Social Care Assessment and Planning (10 credits)
6. Supervised Practice Placement 1 (20 credits) – CAPSTONE

View the provisional  Course Calendar – Year 2: 2019-20.

Year Three

The final year 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.


1. Wellbeing, Health and Behaviour (10 credits)
2. Social Research (10 credits)
3. Advocacy and Rights in Social Care (10 credits)
4. Quality Interventions in Social Care (10 credits)
5. Supervised Practice Placement 2 (20 credits) – CAPSTONE

Professional Social Care Students

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

  • 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

Meet Dr Noelín Fox – Course Director

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 develops.
  • 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 will support that will lead to a better quality of life for the people they  work with.

The Learner’s Experience

From day one, our goal is to encourage students to begin to think about applying what they learn to practice. We place particular emphasis on helping people to develop the ability to analyse and learn from the theory and think about how this impacts on people who use social care services.

As well as demonstrating the practical relevance of the course, this is a really important step in building student’s confidence and you can see the changes as people realise just what they are capable of.
Encouraging students to take control of their education is one of the fundamental principles we embraced when we created the course materials. They are designed to allow people organise and plan their study around their 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 all the competing demands on adults learners.

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.

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.

Professional Social Care Graduates in Ireland

The tutors are extremely knowledgeable and they also have direct experience within the field.  Their practical examples are excellent teaching tools.

I would definitely recommend the college’s social care programmes to anyone who is considering furthering their education.

How Will the Course Enhance My Career Prospects?

Over the years the OTC social care programmes have proved to be very valuable qualifications for graduates and to the employing agencies and service users, as determined by regular student, graduate and agency surveys. Practice placements are part of years two and three of the programme to enhance the student’s learning experience and to ensure a better educated, skilled and competent professional on completion of the programme.

This programme is making an application for approval by CORU. 

Next Steps

  • Workshop Dates: Please refer to provisional course calendars above
  • Placement Schedule: Both supervised placement modules are 20 credits and run for 26 weeks each (52 weeks in total). Each week the student will attend their placement for two eight hour periods. In addition before the placement starts, during the placement and after the placement the students will attend lectures/seminars for preparation and debriefing in relation to their placements.

How Do I Apply?

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
  • Prospective students will be invited to an interview to assess suitability for the course
  • Pay an application fee of €95

Applications for this course are accepted through our Online Application Centre.

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 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.

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.

A Special Note About Protecting Enrolled Users

 The Open Training College (OTC) has approval to offer students learner protection insurance in respect of Protection of Enrolled Learners (PEL) for this course. Find out more about PEL here.

How Can We Help?

Contact us if you want to know more about the course.

Your Name

Your Email (required)

Your Message

Confirm you are a real person before sending your message!


Call or eMail

Call: (+353 1) 298 8544
Mail: Click Here


All Social Care Courses

Certificate & Degree

Professional Development

Back to Top