Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 301*
  • Course Code SG243
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary


Ireland, among other countries, continues to face many social challenges, do you want to work to address and respond to these challenges? Are you interested in the future of our society and those who live within it? A career in social care practice is challenging and also uniquely rewarding – you can make a real difference!

Throughout this Honours Degree programme, you will be involved in questioning how societies work and how people relate to one another.  You will develop skills, proficiencies and competencies to support you to become a professional social care practitioner.

You will explore fields such as psychology, sociology and law that will allow you to critically understand the social world around you and how to apply this to social care professional practice.


Social Care Practice is a dynamic and continuously developing field that is now a professionally regulated career under CORU, along with other health and social care professions. Students will develop their critical thinking skills, have a greater understanding of human interaction and how to respond in a professional and informed way to the needs of people who use support services. 

Professional practice placement is an integral part of this programme where students complete two 13-week blocks in professional social care practice settings. Here, students are supported to apply and develop their skills and competencies  in the field, thus emerging as confident, self- aware, experienced and professional social care practitioners.

Role -Play is an active and engaging learning strategy within the IT Sligo Social Care Practice Programme. It is used in teaching, learning and assessment opportunities. In order to meet the requirements of the approved programme students are required to take part in this learning activity.

Below are the modules you will study. Please view Course Format for a more in-depth look at these varied modules.


Professional Practice, Sociology, Creative Practice, Research- based Study Skills, Introduction to Lifespan Development, Interdisciplinary Care, Social Policy and Communicative Practice.


Professional Practice, Creative Practice, Psychology, Social Care and Social Policy, Principles of Law, Practice Placement are studied in second year.


Professional Practice, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, European Social Policy Analysis, Sociology, Social Science Research Methods and Social Science Law are studied. Students also take up a practice placement in this year.


Professional Practice, Management and Leadership for the Social Care Sector, Social Care Practice, Ethics Practice and Policy, Welfare and Protection in Social Care, Practice, Policy and Evidence, Building Relationships & Resolving Conflict. Elective modules available.


A mixture of practical, theory and work placement will equip you with the skills employers want.

  • A thorough understanding of key social sciences such as sociology,  law, psychology, and social policy
  • Creativity and communication
  • Ability to apply ethical and legal principles to complex situations
  • Ability to reflect on your own knowledge and understanding
  • Research and analysis
  • Professional practice

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:


You should note that all entrants to this course will be required to undergo vetting by the Garda Síochána. If you have a criminal conviction in Ireland or elsewhere, this may adversely impact on your ability to undertake a professional placement or to secure employment in the field of social care practice.


As all lectures, tutorials and practical work are delivered through English, it is vitally important all incoming international students (who are not English native speakers) have the required standard on entry to ensure they gain maximum value from their time at IT Sligo.

The required minimum proficiency score in English required for entry to IT Sligo is:



















Cambridge Exam

















The English language test must be taken within two years from the date of application.


A student on the BA Honours in Social Care Practice must be Fit to Practice. IT 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.

Agencies may require students to be immunised against specific infectious diseases.
The Department recommends that Social Care students are protected against Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis (TB), Mumps, Measles & Rubella (MMR) and Varicella (Chicken Pox).


Teaching and Learning

Role-play is an active learning strategy within the IT Sligo Social Care Practice Programme that is used in teaching, learning and assessment opportunities, consequently, in order to meet the requirements of the approved programme students are required to take part in this learning activity and opportunity.

Professional Practice Placements

A key part of this programme is professional placement learning. This gives our students the opportunity to get real life experience in the field they have chosen to study and have a future career. We have huge support from our placement learning environments, who offer us quality placements each year and are part of our approved registry of placements.

It is the policy of IT Sligo to place students in agencies and organisations based on learning need only and not on any other factors. This is to ensure a quality learning experience to enable students meet the requirements of the programme.

Placements are dispersed all over Ireland and students are allocated to these based on the learning needs and requirements of the programme. Students are expected to commute distances and/ or relocate for this learning experience. This is normal, and to be expected, in professional training programmes.

Career Opportunities

As a social care practitioner, now qualified under the professional regulator CORU,  you will be sought after by employers in a range of areas.

You will have the skills, competencies to work with marginalised and excluded people, such as, disabled, homeless, experiencing addictions or whom, for a variety of reasons, may require assistance and support. You may also engage in further specialised study, work in policy or research areas or establish your own business in a relevant area

Social care practitioners may be employed in the health services, voluntary organisations, in community-based bodies and the private sector. 

Further Study

You will be eligible to undertake further studies at Masters and PhD level. Graduates of this programme can progress to Masters Programmes in social work, addiction studies, equality studies, social research practice and other areas.

We have a number of Postgraduate Programmes in these areas at IT Sligo

Postgraduate Studies at IT Sligo


Graduate Louise McCabe Gorman tells us about her experience studying Social Care Practice at IT Sligo

Did you know?

This programme is the first Social Care Practice programme in Ireland to secure its (Professional Regulator) CORU approval.

A key element of the programme is the two 13-week periods of professional placement. These take place in years 2 and 3 and will see you actively involved in a relevant organisation under expert supervision. Professional Practice Placements will be organised based on student learning needs. Consequently, students can expect to travel or may choose to relocate for professional practice learning.

Roleplay is an active learning strategy within the IT Sligo Social Care Practice Programme and is used in teaching, learning and assessment opportunities.

This is a dynamic field to to work in and past graduates have graduated with job prospects awaiting them as a result of the integral professional practice placement modules in year two and year three.



Course Format

Semester 1

Introductory Sociology05
RBSS 1: Academic Writing: Supporting the transition of literary skills to higher education05
Professional Practice 105
Introduction to Lifespan Development05
Creative Practice for Social Care 1: Introduction10

Semester 2

Social Care and Social Policy 105
Interdisciplinary Care05
Health, Safety and Wellbeing in Social Care Practice05
Communicative Practice in Social Care05
Introduction to law 05
RBSS 2: Supporting the transition of research based study skills to higher education05

Semester 3

Principles of Law 05
Sociology 2: Making Sense of Society05
Professional Practice 210
Creative Practice for Social Care 2: Facilitation05
Adult Mental Health: A Psychological Perspective05

Semester 4

Practice Placement SCP (year 2)30

Semester 5

Sociology 3: An intersectional approach05
Child and Family Law 05
Social Care and Social Policy 205
Practice, Policy and Evidence05
Professional Practice 305
Child and Adolescent Mental Health05

Semester 6

Social Care Practice Placement 2 (year 3)30
Supervision Theory and Practice05

Semester 7

Professional Practice 405
Management and Leadership for the Social Care Sector 05
Social Science Research Methods05
Welfare and Protection in Social Care05
Inclusive Arts [E]05
Equality and Diversity in Social Care [E]05
Psychological Resilience in Practice [E]05
Gender and Sexuality [E]05
Counselling Psychology: Theoretical Perspectives  [E]05
Social Policy and Social Justice [E]05
Health, the Body and Society [E]05

Semester 8

Dissertation/Research Project10
Research-based product10
Ethics for Social Care05
Social Care Practice - Building Relationships and Resolving Conflict05
Social Care Law [E]05
Child law [E]05
Introduction to Social Robotics for the Social Professions [E]05
Children, Culture and Society [E]05
Working with Nature: Social Pedagogy and Engaging with the Natural Environment [E]05
Disability Studies [E]05
Markets, Audits and Affective Relations in Social Care  [E]05
Addiction Studies [E]05
Respecting Diversity: Cross-cultural Perspectives and the Social Professions [E]05
Cyberpsychology [E]05
Youth and Community Work in Ireland [E]05

[E] = Elective Module. Modules subject to availability.