Our Master of Social Work (NFQ Level 9) programme is a two-year full-time course that combines academic study with fieldwork placements. This programme is approved by CORU. When you finish this MSW you will have a qualification that enables you to register as a social worker with regulatory bodies in Ireland (CORU) and abroad.
Prospective applicants should also visit our School of Applied Social Studies website at: http://www.ucc.ie/en/msw. This website has been designed to answer questions you may have about our social work programmes.
The MSW/Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work Studies (PGDSWS) is a full-time professional course that involves five full days in college or five full days in practice. Practice placements are an integral part of the course. You are required to complete two 14-week fieldwork placements, for at least one of which you will be required to move outside Cork. The course is split roughly 50/50 between college academic work and practice placements. Students on the PGDSWS go on placement to a wide variety of practice contexts all over Ireland and in year 2 have the option to do an international social work placement.
This MA is a full-time professional training programme running for 21 months over two academic years from the date of first registration for the programme.
As part of this MA you will take modules in social work theory, skills, social policy and topics specific to social work settings such as child and family welfare and mental health.
Students take 60 credits in each year of the programme (a total of 120 credits). The programme is divided into six thematically-based combinations as detailed below.
Social Work, Counselling and Development Issues
SS6101 Social Work Approaches 1: Theory and Practice (10 credits)
SS6102 Human Growth and Development (5 credits)
SS6108 Child and Family Welfare I (5 credits)
Social Work Practice and Fieldwork Placement I
SS6112 Practice Skills and Fieldwork Placement 1 (20 credits)
Social Science, Law and Social Work Settings
LW6005 Social Work and the Law (Child Law) (5 credits)
SS6105 Social Policy and Social Exclusion (5 credits)
SS6106 Applied Social Research (5 credits)
SS6107 Social Work Settings 1 (5 credits)
Social Work, User Groups, and Law
LW6003 Social Work and the Law (The Rights of Vulnerable Persons) (5 credits)
SS6200 Social Work Approaches II: Theory and Practice (5 credits)
SS6201 Child and Family Welfare II (5 credits)
SS6202 Social Work Settings II (5 credits)
Social Work Practice, Counselling Skills, and Fieldwork Placement II
SS6207 Practice Skills and Fieldwork Placement II (20 credits)
Dissertation and Practice Research Presentation
SS6206 Dissertation in Social Work (20 credits)
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Admission to the Masters of Social Work (MSW) is open to a limited number of students holding at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours (NFQ, Level 8) BSocSc Degree (or its equivalent), or graduates who have successfully completed an approved conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I (or its equivalent).
There is a selection process based on the following combined elements: academic performance and research capacity; certified social work-related experience and initiative; knowledge of social work and motivation, commitment and suitability.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants should NOT apply for both the Masters and Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies options as there is ONE selection procedure for both options.
Requirements for MSW applicants:
1) Applicants have already graduated with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours (NFQ, Level 8) BSocSc Degree (or its equivalent);
2) Applicants have already graduated with at least a Second Class Honours Grade I in an approved level 8 conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (or its equivalent);
3) Applicants are current final year students in BSocSc (level 8) (or its equivalent) pending their final results in Summer 2023; or
4) Applicants are current students on an approved level 8 conversion programme, i.e. the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (or its equivalent) pending their final results in Summer 2023.
Current final year students/current Higher Diploma in Social Policy students who are successful at interview will be allocated places on the MSW, conditional on achieving a minimum 2nd Class Honours Grade I in their final degree/Higher Diploma in Social Policy exams. Should they not obtain a 2nd Class Honours Grade I but at least a 3rd Class Honours, they will then be allocated a place on the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies on confirmation of their results.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option is aimed at graduates who have already completed their BSocSc level 8 degree (or equivalent) but achieved an overall 3rd Class Honours result. BSocSc Graduates (level 8) (or its equivalent) who have already completed their degrees and did not achieve at least a 2nd Class Honours Grade 1 but achieved at least an overall 3rd Class Honours result can apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies option.
Please see http://www.ucc.ie/en/CKC06 for more details of the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Studies and https://www.ucc.ie/en/cka50/ for its online option entry requirements.
Please note that as part of this programme students will require Garda Vetting as they will take part in a placement or UCC related activity where they will be working in an unsupervised capacity with children and/or vulnerable adults. For more information on this process please read the UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy
FITNESS TO PRACTISE
This programme is subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found here.
All applicants should also consult with the Frequently Asked Questions about the Selection Process: FAQs.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.
In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 6 February 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
The closing date for submitting an online application for the Master of Social Work is 6th February 2023.
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
Social Work Experience - Paid/Voluntary and Student Placements
To be eligible for this programme you need to have completed at least 420 hours of social work or social work-related experience. Your experience will be used as one criterion to rank candidates for an interview should there be a large number of applicants. However, we may interview candidates who have 250 hours by the application closing date if you state in the application additional/supplementary questions how you will make up the balance of the hours by the interview date (March).
You must outline briefly:
Social work practice related experience (paid or voluntary) and
Relevant student placements, if applicable.
Please list newest to oldest and specify in the duties and responsibilities box for each position whether it is:
You must also include your duties and responsibilities and the number of hours completed for each agency.
Other additional questions:
Social Work Practice Related Experience (Paid/Voluntary) Total Hours.
Student Placement Total Hours (if applicable).
Summary of all social work-related experience hours combined.
Proposed work experience you will complete before your interview to make up the required 420 hours (if applicable).
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please provide the details of one academic referee and one professional referee (this can be from a voluntary role). Both referees will be contacted at shortlisting stage by the review panel.
All additional supporting documentation for application to the Master of Social Work needs to be submitted by 20th February 2023. If not, the application will be considered incomplete and not processed further.
There is a selection process based on the following combined elements: academic performance and research capacity; certified social work-related experience and initiative; knowledge of social work and motivation, commitment, and suitability.
Your experience will be used as one criterion to rank candidates for an interview should there be a large number of applicants. However, we may interview candidates who have 250 hours by the application closing date if you state in the application additional/supplementary questions how you will make up the balance of the hours by the interview date.
Group and individual interviews take place in March and candidates are advised of the outcome in April.
Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.
You will undertake a wide variety of academic and practice assessments. You are assessed through group projects, enquiry-based learning assignments, reflective portfolios and learning journals, essays, research presentations, and a minor dissertation.
2 years full-time.
Start Date: 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
On graduation, you will have been prepared for professional registration and be in a position to demonstrate the core social work practice proficiencies (as prescribed by CORU) in the areas of professional autonomy and accountability, interpersonal and professional relationships, effective communication, personal and professional development, provision of quality services, knowledge, understanding and skills. You will be able to exhibit a good knowledge of theory, legislation, policy, official inquiry reports and international conventions, and apply it to assessment and intervention planning in social work practice. Consequentially, you will be well prepared to respond reflectively and reflexively to a variety of social work situations in a diversity of social work settings, including multi-disciplinary contexts.
The variety of social work fields that have attracted and employed our graduates to date include medical, mental health, child protection, probation, physical and intellectual disability, community social work and primary care.