Sociology - Conversion Course

Course Outline
The Higher Diploma in Arts (Sociology) is a conversion course for students who have already completed an undergraduate degree. The course is ideal for anyone who wants to study an intensive course in sociology in one year and apply for further studies at MA level in Sociology. Alternatively, you may simply wish to add a higher diploma to your existing qualifications.

The Higher Diploma in Arts (Sociology) is intended to give students a solid foundation in sociology. The course has a strong emphasis on independent, critical thinking, helping you to understand and analyse events in wider society.

Who teaches this course

In the most recent research quality review in UCC, the Department of Sociology has ranked among the top 15 per cent of sociology departments in the UK and US for the quality of their research.

Our staff are recognised for their outstanding research and publications record. Five members of staff have been awarded UCC CACSSS Research Achievement Awards. Members of staff in Sociology are currently conducting research projects funded by the European Union, the Irish Research Council and other research bodies.

Why Choose This Course
A Higher Diploma in Arts (Sociology) is of interest to those who are looking for professional growth and new career directions. This degree prepares you for the pursuit of further studies in sociology. If you have an undergraduate degree, this course will help you to expand your repertoire of knowledge and skills.

Entry requirements

-You should already have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences
-Applications will be assessed by the Sociology Postgraduate Committee
-Applicants to the Higher Diploma in Arts (Sociology) would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

Non-EU Candidates
Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.


Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years by day
CKA22 Full-time; CKA34 Part-time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

The mandatory aspects of the course run throughout teaching period 1 and 2. Most lectures are 1 hour in duration, however, some of the optional courses have 2-hour lectures. Typically, the courses are timetabled between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.

Number of credits

Higher Diploma 60 ECTS credits

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
The course will help you to develop a range of analytical and critical-thinking skills as part of a lively academic community. Throughout the year, the Department of Sociology hosts visiting lecturers from universities both nationally and internationally. The research component of the course provides you with the skill-set needed to plan and conduct project work that can be transferred across a range of professional and academic careers.

Further enquiries

Dr. Myles Balfe
+ 353 21 490 5144 / 490 2318

Subjects taught

Mandatory modules:
SC2001 Foundation in Sociological Theory (5 credits)
SC2002 Research Project 1 (5 credits)
SC3001 Social Theory II (5 credits)
SC3055 Research Project II (15 credits).

You can combine a wide range of modules (each worth 5 credits) to make up your remaining credits. Topics include:
• politics
• social class
• crime and deviance
• education
• learning and work
• culture and art
• economic sociology
• health and illness
• family
• cultures of cities
• development and globalisation
• community
• planning and sustainable development
• religions and civilisations
• media
• law
• environment
• living spaces
• philosophy of social science.

The modules and topics studied will differ for each individual student. Modules will be chosen in consultation with members of staff in the Department of Sociology depending on your preferred area of specialisation.

The online College Book of Modules contains descriptions for all modules offered in the University's modularised programmes for the current academic year.

If you are applying for this course to gain a teaching subject please consult with the Teaching Council Subject Declaration Form to view specific requirements for this subject.

If you are applying for this course for future eligibility into the Profession Master of Education, further information is available via link on course webpage.


Registration with the Teaching Council: For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration in Civic Social and Political Education, in general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.

Additional Teaching Mode Information
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Assessment method

The course is assessed through a combination of continuous assessment (e.g. essays), project dissertation and written examinations.

Application date

Applications for 2019 start dates will open on November 1st 2018.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means we offer places four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds EU application system closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. We advise applicants to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications:

For all completed applications received by January 11th 2019
Offers will be made:Offers will be made by January 25th 2019

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by March 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offers will be made by May 15th 2019

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2019
Offers will be made: Offer will be made by July 15th 2019

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

While there is no official closing date for Research courses applicants are advised to submit their application at least two months ahead of their proposed start date. There are four official Research start dates – September/October, January, April and July.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 9 September 2019

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