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MA/Postgraduate Diploma (Life Course Studies)

Key facts

Entry requirements

Participants will have a third-level qualification or a recognised professional qualification in a field related to service delivery in Family Support/ Ageing / Disability. In addition, as the programme is not geared towards individuals coming out of undergraduate programmes, a minimum of three year’s work experience in the health and social services area will be required of candidates. As there currently exists a set of practitioners working with children and families who despite a wealth of skill, have not attained a formal recognised undergraduate qualification, two places may be offered on the programme at the PgDip (Life Course Studies) level

Closing date: You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates.

ECTS weighting: 90
Duration: 2 years, part-time
Mode of study: Taught
Available places: 15

Next start date: September 2011

Course overview

In recent times, there has been a shift towards a more pro-active stance in relation to overall wellbeing of populations across the life course.  Issues in relation to rights, and efforts to develop, compensate for, enable and strengthen functioning across the life course.  It includes an explicit recognition of the need to refocus interventions with the life course populations so that professionals and agencies become preventative rather than reactive, and holistic rather than compartmentalised.  
The PDip / MA in Life Course Studies is a two-year part-time programme and students are required to attend college two days every second week with the agreement of their employers. Core modules include;   Introducing the life course: theoretical perspectives, The life course: issues for practice and research. Social and policy perspectives on the life course, Support and protection across the life course, Inclusive community development, Contemporary practice issues and the life course, Legal perspectives on the Life course, Health, independence and wellbeing across the life course, Applied research thesis.

Course outline

Assessment of candidates will be on a continuous basis, will vary from course to course and involve a combination of essays, project work and written assignments. Central to students' assessment will be their 'on site' Family Work Placement and associated Practice/Research Project (Minor dissertation). In Year Two, students will submit a dissertation (20,000 words) as part of this programme which will be based on their work environment, the research requirements of their employer, and critical themes in Family Support theory and practice.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to enhance their careers in a wide range of services areas at both practitioner and manager level working in state and voluntary services on behalf of families across the life course in their particular area of interest (Family Support, Ageing or Disability) In the main, graduates will come from the health and social services sector including Social Workers, Residential and Community Social Care Workers, Public Health Nurses, Advocacy Workers among others. Reflecting the inter-disciplinary nature of the area, the course will also include those working in community work, education, justice, social welfare, and other fields.

Who teaches this course

Ms. Carmel Devaney, BA, MA, Course Director
Dr. John Canavan, Associate Director, Child and Family Research Centre,
Professor Pat Dolan, Director Child and Family Research Centre
Dr. Bernadine Brady, BA, MA, PhD
Dr. Brian McGrath, BA, MSc, PhD

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). www.pac.ie

Find out more

Dr. Carmel Devaney,
Course Director, Child and Family Research Centre,
School of Political Science and Sociology,
NUI Galway.
T 353 91 495 733