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Fieldwork Unit

Fieldwork placements are an integral part of the Bachelor of Social Studies, the Masters in Social Work and the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work courses. Placements are offered in partnership with agencies providing social work services in Ireland and abroad.

Practice Teacher Application

If you are interested in providing a placement to a Social Work Student please complete the Practice Teacher Register form (download here) and return to For a schedule of upcoming placements please see our Placement Calendar (download here)

Allocation of Placements

Students are assigned to work with social work practitioners who in their role as practice teachers determine the parameters of learning opportunities within their agency. The fieldwork coordinators arrange placements in accordance with students learning needs and areas of interest. Fieldwork placements provide students with diverse learning opportunities across a range of placements.

Calendar of Placements

Bachelor of Social Studies students undertake a residential placement at the end of their first year followed by a social work placement in each successive year of their four year undergraduate programme. Students on the two-year Masters or Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work course complete a fieldwork placement each year.

Student Participation

Placements are based on a learning philosophy in which the student is an active participant in the learning process, reflecting on and learning from practice experience. On placement, students are required to use social work theory and research findings in their practice and to demonstrate a commitment to professional values and ethics. Students, practice teachers and tutors work together to produce and review a learning agreement (word document) for each placement, which sets out what the student hopes to learn and how this learning is facilitated and evaluated.

Supporting Practice Teaching

The Fieldwork Unit in the School of Social Work and Social Policy work with social workers to develop placement opportunities for students. Ongoing support is provided to practice teachers by college tutors and in a range of other ways, including introduction to practice teaching workshops (in collaboration with U.C.D), placement induction seminars, practice teacher peer support meetings, conferences on aspects of practice teaching and learning and seminars presented by visiting lecturers on a range of social work topics. Current practice teachers can also avail of a reduced fee for our continuing professional development evening course, which takes place every autumn.

Contact us

For further information please contact the following:

Ms Emma McConkey, Executive Officer,
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Tel: +353-1-896 4579

Ms Erna O’Connor / Mr Paddy O'Dea
Fieldwork Co-coordinator,
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Phone: +353-1-896 2627 / 2991


Last updated 29 January 2016 Social Work & Social Policy (Email).