Social studies (social work)
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- Social Studies, 4 Year(s) Full Time, Closing Date: 08/FEB/2013
Mature Student - Supplementary Application FormRead the information about how to apply as a mature student, then select the link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.
- Social Studies, Closing Date: 08/FEB/2013
Advanced Entry ApplicationsRead the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.
This four-year programme admits students through a diverse range of routes. It is the only degree in Ireland that takes students straight from Leaving Certificate through to a social work qualification.
This degree offers you the advantage of achieving an honors degree in social studies (B.S.S.) which is also recognised as a professional social work qualification by the national Social Work Registration Board, which is under the auspices of CORU (The Health and Social Care Professionals Council). It is an intensive programme which aims to help you become a reflective and proactive social worker who will make a significant contribution across a broad range of statutory, voluntary and community services.
Is this the right course for you?
Social studies is the right course for you if you know you want to work in one of the caring professions, think social work is the one closest to your interests, and believe you have the personal qualities and motivation necessary for this line of work. Potential applicants are advised to find out what social workers do before they apply.
This course introduces you to a wide range of social science subjects in the Junior Freshman (first) year, and then increases the number of social work subjects in the following three years. Teaching methods are varied and interactive and draw on your personal and practice experience.
The Freshman years
Junior Freshman (first year) subjects include introductions to social work, psychology, social policy, sociology, economic policy and political science. Optional courses in either French or German are also available (see page 14). In first year, there are approximately 12-14 hours in lectures, 3-4 hours in tutorial classes and several hours in the library each week. If you have had no relevant practice experience before starting the degree, we ask you to do 30 hours (2-3 hours per week) volunteer work during first year to build your confidence and help you to apply what you are learning to a real-world situation. Junior Freshman students are also provided with the opportunity to undertake a six week placement related to the course (see below for further details).
In the Senior Freshman (second) year, core subjects are social work theory and practice, law for social workers, social policy, psychology and social research. In addition, you can either continue your language studies or choose one elective course from sociology, politics, or economics. Senior Freshman students can also avail of the opportunity to take a Broad Curriculum module in this year. The social work courses involve field trips to relevant organisations and services. In addition students undertake a ten week placement during this academic year.
The Sophister years
Junior and Senior Sophister (third and fourth) year subjects include:
- Family and child care studies
- Social policy
- Mental health
- Equality issues
- Human rights law
- Social work theory and practice, including counselling skills and practice workshops
Assessment includes essays, case studies, projects, examinations and placement reports.
In each of the four years you will have a placement in a different social service agency under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. These placements provide you with practice experience and an opportunity to apply and develop the skills and knowledge that you have acquired in College. Placements are arranged in settings such as health service community care teams, hospital social work departments, child and family centres, probation service, and community development projects. They account for approximately 50% of your course time (215 days) over the four years and take place at the end of each of the Freshman years and mostly in term time in the Sophister years. Overseas placements are possible (but not obligatory) within the course structure for those who are interested in gaining relevant experience in another country (e.g. Britain, North America, South Africa). You are supported in your professional development by an individual social work tutor who meets you regularly and visits you on placement from third year onwards.
As a social studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin, you are eligible to apply to register as a professionally qualified social worker with CORU (The Health and Social Care Professionals Council). Your qualification will also be recognised in many other countries. You also have a good social science degree which allows you to move into policy, media, research or NGO project work. As a social worker, you can continue your professional development through postgraduate courses and can move into management, research or training.
Did you know?
The B.S.S. degree is unique in
- offering a direct route to social work qualification for school-leavers in the Republic of Ireland,
- offering each student four placements in practice-related settings,
- offering each student the individual support of both a College tutor and a social work tutor.
Specific Entry Requirements
|GARDA VETTING||Students will be required to undergo Garda vetting. See Garda vetting for further details.|
I chose Trinity as a place where there was a widely appreciated value of creative academic and personal exploration. This space allowed for both critical thinking and innovative ways of learning about oneself and the course of study. In particular, personal development was strongly supported and the proximity between faculty and students facilitated very important learning during those crucial years.
Trinity lived up to its reputation and whilst it maintained a line of discipline and rigour both academically and socially, it also provided a safe space, which allowed for some grand exploration in every way. The confidence that this generated and the friendships remain valuable and precious 30 years later.
This openness supported my quest for a career where I could make a difference, albeit in the smallest of ways. It gave me the insight to realize that university was one step on a path of growth and that careers are based on the need for insights into oneself and an understanding of aspirations, skills and means.
Whilst I traveled and explored for a few years, I then worked as a social worker for two years before discovering what was to become my career in the humanitarian aid world. More than 25 years have passed since I started my work in this field, supporting victims of the wars and famines in Ethiopia. Since that time, I have had the privilege to work in Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda during the height of their conflicts and to bring assistance and relief to those societies. I have also worked in the Middle East, Balkans, and managed the emergency relief unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. More recently, my time has been spent working in Washington in the post 9/11 world, representing the ICRC to the US government in relation to its use of military and intelligence detention, including Guantanamo Bay Cuba and CIA detention.
Intermittently, I have been able to write about my experiences and the practice of aid as well as teach at a number of universities on the subject.