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Social Policy

HDip Social Policy

Graduate Taught (level 8 nfq, credits 60)

This Higher Diploma is a transition course providing a foundation in Social Policy for graduates of other disciplines.

- regular access to academic staff who specialise in a wide range of areas within Social Policy and Social Work

- regular seminar meetings which provide academic support through the year of study

Entry requirements

The minimum standard for entry is a minimum grade of 2.2 Honours in a Bachelors degree. If the degree grade is given as a GPA, the standard for entry is the GPA equivalent of a Second Class Honours, Grade 2 in the institution which awarded the degree. It should be noted that this may vary from institution to institution. For degrees awarded by UCD it is a GPA of 2.48.

International Students
To be eligible to apply for the programme, primary degrees must be the equivalent of an honours level Irish Bachelor's degree. Such degrees are defined as Level 8 qualifications in the Framework of Qualifications for the European Higher Education Area (also known of the Bologna Framework – for further information, see

For graduates of UK universities, grading of undergraduate degrees is similar to that used in Ireland and the academic requirements defined in the initial screening criteria set out above apply directly.

For North American students, the minimum academic standard for entry equates to a GPA of around 3.0 on undergraduate degrees from most universities. To be competitive for entry, North American applicants would normally require a GPA of at least 3.5.

For graduates of other university systems, our international office or the UK National Association for the Recognition of International Qualifications, UK NARIC should be able to help. E-mail: or visit

English Language Requirements
If your primary language is not English, and your primary degree was not undertaken in the English language, you will be required to show evidence of English language ability. You will normally be required to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a score of 6.0 or above on all individual bands.

International students wishing to pursue a career in Social Work
The Higher Diploma in Social Policy can be used as a transition course for those who need to fulfil the Social Policy credit requirements for access to postgraduate training in Social Work.

Supporting documents required:
A photocopy of the transcript of your degree (if a non-UCD graduate) and a photocopy of your birth certificate or personal details page from passport (if a non-UCD graduate). These must be scanned and uploaded by you to your online application or sent by post to Online Applications, UCD Admissions Office, Tierney Building, UCD, Dublin 4, prior to the closing date. Please ensure that your name and applicant number are clearly marked on all documents sent by post.


1 year full-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
The Higher Diploma in Social Policy can be used as a transition course for those who need to fulfil the Social Policy credit requirements for access to postgraduate training in Social Work.

Related Programmes
MSocSc Social Work FT

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Dominic Shellard
Contact Number: +353 (0)1716 8682

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Social Policy Theories and Concepts I
Contemporary Irish Welfare State
Understanding Social Problems and Policies
The Economic Analysis of Social Problems
Social Protection: Security, Work and Poverty
Policy-making, Implementation & Evaluation
Inequality and Social Justice in Irish Society
Global Crisis & Social Justice

Stage 1 - Option
History of Irish Social Policy
Gender, Social Policy and Inequality
Investigating Social Services
Housing Policies, Neighbourhoods and Homes
Social Work in Practice
Crime, Social Services & the Justice System
Understanding Irish Modernisat
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Comparing European and Asian
Child Abuse, Sexual + Domestic


Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The course is designed to enable students to have the opportunity to pursue further training and careers in Social Work or Social Policy. Successful completion of the programme to good honours standard may confer eligibility to apply for programmes such as the MSocSc (Social Work) and the research degree in Social Policy, or the Masters degree in Public Policy. There may, in addition, be non-academic entry requirements for these programmes which must also be met.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!