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Online Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies

Course Code: DPDSP-ASST-1O09
Duration: 1 year
Next Intake: September 2015
Maximum Intake: 25 students
Applications: Now taking applications
Closing Date: 31st May 2015

Course Details

The objective of this online programme is to provide graduates from all disciplines with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role and function of social policy. Who is it for? Whether you are interested in social care, social work, social policy or social change this course will provide you with in-depth knowledge.

This online programme will give students an understanding of the role of social policy in engaging with some of the ‘wicked problems’ that contemporary societies face. These are complex interdependent problems such as responses to crime and poverty, policy issues which are often resistant to the solutions put in place by governments.  Students will be exposed to the arguments for developing policy interventions in areas such as social security, health and housing, and the challenges of implementing and changing policy in these areas.

This course provides students with a stimulating online learning experience by creating a structured yet flexible learning approach. The place of study is flexible as online delivery allows students to engage in learning activities at home or in the workplace and there is no requirement to attend at the Trinity campus in Dublin.  Students will have access to weekly materials using a virtual learning environment and the opportunity to engage with other students and lecturers using discussion boards.

The programme will be of particular interest to graduates with an undergraduate qualification outside of the social science and social studies field wishing to pursue a Masters programme in that field. This online Postgraduate Diploma will also act as a conversion course for graduates who wish to pursue further study on a specialised programme such as the Master in Social Work; and applicants from outside the EU, in particular North America, who wish to study in Ireland’s leading university with excellent facilities and expertise in Irish, EU and international social policy.

Module Delivery and Assessment

The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies is a level 9 postgraduate diploma offered as a one year online programme. The course consists of the following seven modules and runs from September until June.

  1. Principles of Social Policy (10 ECTS)
  2. Managing Change in Social Systems (10 ECTS)
  3. Criminology (10 ECTS)
  4. The Family and Society (10 ECTS)
  5. Contemporary Social Policy Debates and Analysis (10 ECTS)
  6. Introduction to Disability Studies (5 ECTS)
  7. Introduction to Social Work (5 ECTS)

There are no terminal examinations on the course. A range of continuous assessment methods are used including projects, blogs, reflective journals, essays and case studies.

Admissions Requirements

The programme is open to graduates from all disciplines who are interested in converting to the field of applied social studies. Successful applicants will hold a level 8 degree in any subject at a minimum of Upper Second Class Honours degree (2.2).

How to Apply

We are now taking applications for the 2015 intake. Click here to apply.

Applications are completed electronically. Required Documentation:

  • Application Form
  • 2 Reference Letters (It is preferable that references are either academic or professional)
  • Official Transcripts (This includes undergraduate transcripts and graduate transcripts if applicable)
  • Curriculum Vitae


Tuition Fee:
EU students: €5,500
Non-EU students: €10,500

Application Fee: €35 (to be paid online)

Fees may be subject to change

For further information contact:

Laura Cusack
Course Administrator
+353-1-896 3593

Last updated 27 February 2015 Social Work & Social Policy (Email).