Social Work

Course Summary
The aim of this programme is to allow individuals to become professional and competent social workers who are knowledgeable, reflective, research-focused practitioners, able to work critically and ethically in a variety of different sectors.


To provide students with the knowledge, skills and competencies to become professional social workers in a variety of settings within the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

To support students in developing a critical awareness of current issues facing society and generate innovative ideas to support the resolution of such issues.

To facilitate students to develop an understanding of professional accountability and the legal and regulatory framework within which social work operates.

To equip students to reflect, practise ethical, innovative and effective social work practice that actively promotes social justice in a diverse society.

To develop learners who not only recognise and understand the importance of evidence and research in and to practice but who can contribute to this debate and apply to social work practice.

To develop civic and social responsibility as an informed learner.

Subjects taught

Semester 1
Title Credits
Social Policy for Social Work 05
Social Work Theory to Practice 05
Social Work Skills and Competencies 10
Preparation for Placement 05
Lifespan Developmental Psychology for Social Workers 05

Semester 2
Title Credits
Fieldwork Placement 120
Sociological Perspectives for Social Work 05
Research Methods and Evaluation 05

Semester 3
Title Credits
Professional Ethics in Social Work Practice 05
Interprofessional and Interagency Collaboration (IPIAC) in Social Work 05
Group Work -Theory and Practice 05
Professional Development 05
Social Work Research Project 10

Semester 4
Title Credits
Fieldwork Placement 2 20
Law and Social Work 05
Traumatic Experiences: Psychological impact across the lifespan 05

Entry requirements

Admissions and Selection Criteria

To be considered for an interview and selection for this programme applicants:

Require a grade of 2.1 or above in Social Sciences i.e. B.Soc.Sc, Community Development, Early Childhood Care and Education, Psychology, Social Policy, Social Science, Social Care Practice, Sociology, Social Policy, Youth and Family Studies. If an applicant has a level 8 award in a discipline that is not social sciences, they must hold a postgraduate award in social sciences (minimum 2.1 grade). If an applicant has a level 8 award in a discipline that is not social sciences, they must hold a postgraduate award in social sciences (minimum 2.1 grade). Students with grade of 2.2 with greater than five years of relevant experience may be considered as suitable applicants to the programme.

Following registration of your application on the system, you will receive further guidance and documentation for completion from the admissions team.

English Proficiency: As all lectures, tutorials and practical work are delivered through English, it is vitally important all students (who are not English native speakers) have the required standard on entry to ensure they gain maximum value from their time at ATU Sligo. The required minimum proficiency score in English required for entry to ATU Sligo to an MA Programme is IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Further information on English proficiency requirements can be found here. Where this is relevant to an applicant's submissions Certified Evidence must be submitted during the application process.

Students must have complete 420 hours (min of 200 at interview) of non-study related practice experience before they commence the programme.

Garda Vetting
Garda Vetting is a requirement of this programme and will compliant with ATU Sligo`s Policy and Procedure Titled: Student Vetting. ADM/017/ Revision No 02. During the Garda Vetting Process issues that may emerge which were not declared by the student on the initial Vetting form may result in immediate termination of participation on the Programme. Offences that are disclosed through the process that is considered a serious risk to children and vulnerable persons, may also result in a student's discontinuation from the Programme.

Fitness to Practice
A student on the Masters in Social Work must be Fit to Practice. ATU Sligo guidance on Fitness to Practice can be found within its policy. Students will be required to read this Policy and acknowledge that they have read and understood this requirement.

Immunisations & Vaccinations
Placement agencies may require students to be immunised against specific infectious diseases.

The Department recommends that Social Work students are protected against Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis (TB), Mumps, Measles & Rubella (MMR) and Varicella (Chicken Pox).

Application dates

Application Process

Stage One:

Students will apply for the programme online. All applicants will be reviewed and those who demonstrate that they meet application criteria will be shortlisted for the next stage of the selection process. If a large number meet the criteria, exceeding places available, shortlisting for the next stage based on the highest overall GPA will occur. It is the student's responsibility to ensure all documents, including references, are received before the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be processed. No late applications will be considered.

Stage Two:

Shortlisted applicants will attend for a full day of interview and selection.

There are two components (1) Written Assessment, (2) Individual Interview, all of which will be graded.

Written Assessment. Candidates will be given and topic to respond to within a specific timeframe.

Individual Interview

The highest scoring applicants will be awarded the places.


2 years full-time.


MA Social Work- €4,750 fee per year.

Enrolment dates

Intake: September

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Upon qualification graduates are eligible to register with CORU (regulator) to practice in the profession of Social Work It is anticipated that the majority of graduates of this programme will enter the many vacancies in the social work field. Consequently, the programme has been developed to provide academic knowledge, and skills to work in a variety of social work environments.

This programme is approved by CORU.

Further Study
Graduates of the MA will be able to continue to further study at postgraduate level (NFQ levels 10) at ATU Sligo and other institutions.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider