Course Outline:

There is a recognised need for a variety of qualified practitioners in the Social Care sector. This course is the ideal stepping stone to help you get to a 3rd Level qualification. A significant number of students have also gained employment in settings such as Residential Care Centres, Community Projects, Youth Centres, Centres for the Elderly/Aged, or assisting people with disabilities. All students complete a two week work experience placement as part of their studies on this course. Successful students will be awarded a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Applied Social Studies. Extra courses/workshops may be provided such as Occupational First Aid (OFA 5N1207), Child Protection Guidelines & Drama

  • Social Studies 5N1370
  • Intercultural Studies 5N0765
  • Psychology 5N0754
  • Work Experience 5N1356
  • Communications 5N0690
  • Human Growth and Development 5N1279
  • Community Addiction Studies 5N0764
  • Equality & Disability 5N1273

Course Duration:

This is a one-year full time course and runs from September to May.

Entry Requirements:

  • Leaving Certificate/LCVP or Leaving Cert Applied
  • A FETAC/QQI Level 4 qualification
  • Mature students (age 23+) welcome
  • Interview
  • Garda vetting must be successfully completed.

Student Testimonial:


The dedicated staff are very student focused and ensure each student reaches their full potential. As a mature student I was hesitant returning to education but CFE was the perfect place to begin my journey. Surrounded by passionate and dedicated staff, the variety of courses and individual modules are perfect for anyone looking to pursue further education. CFE gave me the confidence that I needed to return to education and pursue third level studies. I look forward to the next chapter in my life at third level… something I couldn’t have done without CFE.


Christina Social Studies Student

Testimonial of my time at CCFE My experience at Castlebar College of Further Education was amazing! I decided to apply for the Social Studies with Psychology course that commenced last September because I have always wanted to work in the social care sector. I grew up in a situation where there were social workers supporting myself, my siblings and my mother. When I was in my teenage years, I was also a committee member in my local youth centre, so with those two factors and also having worked in a nursery when I lived in Scotland back in 2016-2017 all helped me on my path to going back to education. When myself and my (now) husband moved home very abruptly from Edinburgh due to mental health issues I was still feeling quite low. I’m a busy body so I worked from 2018 before finding myself – like many others – unemployed early last year. Finally, I decided to apply for the course when we lost my husband’s grandmother passed away unexpectedly in June of last year. She always taught us to live each day as if it is our last and so at this time, I decided I wanted to start the journey to my dream career. I felt that the course was overall very informative and that there was lots of support from fellow students and the teachers. The lecturers were available for support and help at all hours of the day. They always gave their all into making certain that us students were fully equipped to complete and put their all into their assignments and exams. It was a strange year to be attending college because due to the pandemic the entire social aspect of the experience was lost so it was difficult, however I felt my fellow students were all very approachable and that I could contact any of them in search of help if I missed a class or forgot the deadline for an assignment. In saying that, I was very aware that not only was it a hard year for the students of CCFE but also for the lecturers and staff too! In my opinion, each one of them that I dealt with throughout the year were helpful and informative when it came to classes and help with career guidance. They are all just lovely people overall and I feel grateful to have met them all. I would recommend that anyone wanting to further their education consider applying for a course at CCFE because I can assure them that they would have an amazing experience and be supported throughout their journey in every aspect.



The decision to attend Applied Social Studies with Psychology was one of my best ones. I have gained skills and knowledge to work within the social care sector but also, I have gained a good foundation to continue with my studies. As a mature student, I was worried that I might not be able to adapt as I got back to education after many years. However, kind, supportive and helpful staff and teachers at CCFE made my return to education easy. My experience, at CCFE has been nothing but great and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering continuing with their education.



My name is Lovemore Gwenzi. I migrated from Zimbabwe in 2015 and commenced my studies in Applied Social Studies with CCFE barely three months after my arrival. I am grateful that being part of the CCFE family was the wisest decision I ever made. The college was a solid foundation that equipped me knowledge about the important social, educational and legal issues to safeguard the wellbeing and health of children and vulnerable people. Through the studies, I gained vital practical skills that made it easier for me to find employment in the very same year that I graduated. The course content is very relevant both for the purposes of career development and in my personal life as a parent/community member. The support I got from the teaching staff was encouraging, highly motivational and boosted my confidence through the regular feedback that was given. As an immigrant, I found the college a safe place where diversity and social inclusion are respected. The studies were quite interesting mostly because of the blending of different learning methods encompassing, class presentations, videos, group discussions, role play, case studies, visits to institutions and work experience. This practically enhanced learning in a very big way. To this day, I continue to cherish being part of the CCFE community

Course Progression

Access to Post-Primary Teaching Project (APT)

The Access to Post-Primary Teaching (APT) Project is a joint initiative with St. Angela’s College, Sligo, now part of the Atlantic Technological University.  The APT Project has developed a direct entry route into St. Angela’s Home Economics Teaching programme for individuals from under-represented groups who are interested in becoming post-primary school teachers.   Several places are reserved for eligible FE students.  In addition to the opportunity to study post-primary teaching, APT entrants also receive a range of financial and other support on entry to the programme and throughout their studies.

There is more information available here APT Information for FE Colleges and here St. Angelas College APT Project


There are no fees to study this course.

Detailed Course Outline:


The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to link an introductory understanding of psychological perspectives with practical therapeutic applications and the development of psychology as a discipline.

Work Experience:

Development of skills for work, interview skills etc. Work Placement of 10 days in a Social care setting.

Human Growth & Development:

Study of how humans change and mature from conception to death.

Young People & Society:

Learning to understand youths 12 – 24 yrs and the issues affecting them.

Intercultural Studies:

Exploring issues of identity and diversity in interacting communities.


Enhancing your reading, writing and speaking skills.

Equality and Disability:

Students will be introduced to many aspects of disability. It aims to provide learners with an awareness of the importance of equality for people with disabilities in all areas of society

Social Studies

Students learn research skills and develop an understanding of how society is structured, while examining current social issues.

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