Leadership in Therapeutic Child & Social Care

Carlow College - St. Patrick's

Leadership in Therapeutic Child & Social Care

Course Outline
This M.A. in Leadership in Therapeutic Child and Social Care course has evolved from 2006, originally conceived to effect progressive change in social care practice. It attracts experienced and qualified workers who wish to reflect on and enhance their practice. The course day is designed to match a social care setting working towards excellence and the experience for students is probably closer to a psychotherapy course than the average taught Masters. However, students are also provided with a comprehensive theoretical base and the opportunity to develop original research. The day begins and ends with check-ins and the working day provides many opportunities to experience and practice leadership. It is taught over two years, on Thursdays, and has a maximum intake of 16 students.

Who is this programme for?
This programme is for qualified practitioners in Social Care (and similar professions) who wish to work therapeutically and at a deeper level. They may be leading or intending to lead and want to make a difference. They may already suspect that, 'home is where we start from'.

Work Placement
Residential Community Experience
During the course students have the opportunity to experience living together as a community. This experience deepens the learning process and has been a huge contribution to the success of the students on the course.

Visit of Observation
The Visit of Observation provides a unique opportunity for students to be a participant observer for 5 days at a work setting of their choice. Students get the opportunity to see and experience how a world-class therapeutic community works and operates. Students choice may be informed by their professional interest or the focus of their dissertation. The Visit in undertaken during the summer break and is a bridge between Year 1 and Year 2.

Subjects taught

What will I study?
Year 1: Mandatory Modules
• Advanced Therapeutic Child And Social Care 1: The theories and theorists that inform therapeutic practice

• Philosophy and Ethics of Leadership in Therapeutic Child and Social Care

• Observing and Understanding Organisational Life

• Experiential Group 1: Leading Self

Year 2: Mandatory Modules
• Advanced Therapeutic Child and Social Care 2: Applying the theories to practice

• Research Methods and Dissertation

• Leadership and Management Issues in Therapeutic Child and Social Care

• Experiential Group 2: Leading Self with Others

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements & Selection Criteria
Eligibility for this course includes:
1. Hold a primary degree (Honours Bachelor) in Applied Social Studies or equivalent*;

2. Be registered or eligible to register as a professional Social Care Worker**;

3. Be in employment in a human services agency as a manager, team leader or front-line practitioner;

4. Satisfactory pass at interview.

*Applicants who do not satisfy the academic criteria may be accepted onto the course if the Course Selection Board is satisfied that they have the ability to complete the course and are well placed to make good use of it.

**Applications are welcome from those professionally qualified in a discipline other than social care who have at least two years' professional practice experience. Please note, that this programme is not a professional award for registration as a Social Care Worker.

Application dates

Application forms can be downloaded from the Carlow College website at: www.carlowcollege.ie


2 Years part-time. It is taught over two years, one day a week.

Enrolment dates

Application forms can be downloaded from the Carlow College website at: www.carlowcollege.ie

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
This unique Postgraduate course began in 2004 in order to bring about significant positive changes in Social Care practice. A recent survey of our graduates revealed that the majority of them were working in key positions to drive change and influence this practice. They were Directors of Services, Managers, Team Leaders, Consultants to Staff Teams, Therapists, and Social Care Lectures.

Further Study
Graduates may choose to advance to further study in areas of psychotherapy and research or to continue their studies to Ph.D. level.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
There are opportunities to engage in bespoke CPD courses which have evolved from this M.A. programme. For example, a Certificate in Therapeutic Foster Care Course is run in partnership with TUSLA. For more information and to discuss your training needs, contact Damien McLellan, Course Leader.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider