Social Science - Social Work

Why Study Social Work at Maynooth University?
The Department of Applied Social Studies (DAPPSS) at Maynooth University is the longest established provider of professional education and training in youth work and community work in the Republic of Ireland. Since 1981, building on a mission “to contribute to human rights, social justice and equality nationally and internationally”, it has earned an unrivalled reputation for teaching, research and public contributions in these areas (which, like social work, require external professional accreditation), as well as in the academic discipline of social policy.

The introduction of social work complements the Department’s existing suite of programmes in the social professions.

The MSocSc Social Work programme shares a focus on social justice and human rights with other programmes in the Department of Applied Social Studies (the MSocSc Community and Youth Work and the MSocSc Rights and Social Policy) and like them will include classroom and field visit opportunities to learn about and meet practitioners at the forefront of human rights activity both in Ireland and internationally. For example, in the current academic year, postgraduate students registered on courses in the DAPPSS have had the opportunity to visit national and international justice and rights institutions, including the United Nations in Geneva.

All modules on the MSocSc Social Work are led by experienced academics and social work practitioners with a focus on small group teaching and experiential learning.

Fieldwork placements will take place in each of the two academic years and there will be a range of placements available both in Ireland and internationally. The programme team will work with each individual student to identify with them the most appropriate placements available in each of the two years.

CORU Programme Approval
Social work qualifications in the Republic of Ireland are approved by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, CORU

Graduation from an approved programme is one of the entry criteria for application to join the Social Workers Register.

The Master of Social Science (Social Work) programme from Maynooth University was granted programme approval in 2021 as one of the qualifications recognised for entry to the Social Workers Register. In order to become approved the programme must demonstrate that it meets the Social Workers Registration Board's Criteria for Education and Training Programmes and the Standards of Proficiency for the profession.

Subjects taught

The MSocSc Social Work programme is two years full time and combines academic learning with fieldwork education and training. The programme reflects CORU Standards of Proficiency for Social Work Education.

Entry requirements

Application for entry to the MSocSc Social Work programme is open to graduates who can demonstrate that they possess the following:

- A minimum Second Class Honours (2H2) primary degree (NFQ Level 8) in social science or equivalent, with social policy as a major component. Graduates with a Level 8 degree in other disciplines who have completed a relevant conversion programme e.g. Higher Diploma in Social Policy may also apply. A Higher Diploma in Social Policy is offered by Maynooth University

- A minimum of 420 hours of relevant and verified social work/social service experience, paid or voluntary, by the time they commence the programme

- Minimum English language requirements:
IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850
- Suitability and readiness for entry to the social work degree programme. Applicants will be required to provide a minimum of two references including an academic reference and a practice experience-related reference which will be checked during the selection phase. In addition, admission to the programme will involve a routine police vetting procedure for all students. All students registered on the MSocSc Social Work will be required to confirm that they are adequately vaccinated before commencing field work placements. If any applicant has a query about any of these suitability checks, please contact Dr Brian Melaugh at

Application dates

Closing Date : 11 February 2024.


2 Years Full Time

The MSocSc Social Work programme is two years full time and combines academic learning with fieldwork education and training. The programme reflects CORU Standards of Proficiency for Social Work Education.

Outlined modules are subject to change as the curriculum is revised and reviewed annually. Please check periodically for updates.


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Post Course Info

Career Options
Social workers are employed in a range of settings including child welfare and protection, criminal justice, mental health, addiction and health-related social work. The Department of Applied Social Studies offers opportunities for postgraduate study at doctoral level including the PhD - PAC code MHB02 (FT), MHB03 (PT) - and Doctor of Social Science (DSocSc) –PAC Code MHB06.

Information on social work at an Irish and international level can be gained by accessing the following:

Irish Association of Social Workers -

International Federation of Social Workers-

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MSocSc (Social Work)

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to