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Service-learning occurs where, as part of their academic studies, a student engages in a project/programme that meets the needs of a community partner organisation and reflects on this learning experience in relation to the curricular learning objectives. The employment of service-learning as a pedagogy in University serves to enhance teaching and learning, to benefit the community and to provide students with an understanding of the social context of their academic disciplines and of the value of civic engagement. In addition to the advantages of problem-based learning, service-learning has the added qualities of authenticity and accountability.

Members of staff who wish to provide information on service-learning which is not included on this site should contact the Civic Engagement Officer.

For more about service-learning, click here.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

In the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), service-learning forms a significant component of the M.Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation. Assessment of the credit bearing service-learning module is based on a substantial piece of written work, such as a piece of research for the organisation, an essay evaluating the organisation, or an essay on reflective practice. Read more about service-learning an the ISE.

Within the MSc in International Management offered by the School of Business, student undertake a research dissertation. A number of students carry out their methodological component through a service learning experience in a community organisation. Read more about service-learning in the MSc in International Management.

Other service learning programmes include:

  • Three modules on drama and community within the BA in Drama and Theatre studies: an introduction to the socially-engaged theatre, a placement module in which the student observes the work of an experienced drama/theatre facilitator and in the third module, students design and carry out an independent community-based project for a willing host organisation. Reflection is a core part of the assessment.
  • A new Semester in Northern Ireland for Visiting Students programe module which is under development within the Irish School of Ecumenics.
  • A service-learning programme for trainee sign language interpreters in partnership with Deaf advocacy group Deaforward which is under development in the Centre for Deaf Studies and due to come on stream in the academic year 2011/2012
  • The Conversation Partner Scheme whereby Junior Freshman students of the BSc (Clinical Speech and Language Studies) engage in weekly visits with people with aphasia in the community and the conversation partners are supported to facilitate student learning and provide constructive feedback on students' communication skills. Read more about CONNECTing with the Community (DOC 152 KB).
  • Students of Social Work also engage in considerable credit bearing service to the community and assessment includes critical reflection on their experience.

Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science

As part of the Dublin Chemistry postgraduate activities, a new outreach module (2.5 Credits) is available to PhD candidates from both TCD and UCD. Small teams of 1-3 PhD students give brief presentations on their research and career in science to fourth and fifth year students in secondary schools. Read more about service-learning in Chemistry.

Faculty of Health Sciences

The Discipline of Occupational Therapy has been using service-learning in the education of students since 1995. All first and second year Freshman students are involved in shared learning as part of a taught module on ‘The Study of Occupation' (10 Credits). The underlying theme is that ‘We are all learners and we are all teachers'. Read more about service-learning in Occupational Therapy.

Last updated 5 October 2011 Civic Engagement (Email).