Social Policy and Practice (Online) (P. Grad. Dip.)

NFQ Level 9/60 ECTS credits
1 year online
60 Places


Course Overview

The overall objective of this programme is to provide graduates from all disciplines with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role of social policy in developing healthy functioning societies. Student will get to grips with some of the ‘wicked problems’ that contemporary societies face. These are complex interdependent problems such as crime and poverty which are often resistant to the solutions put in place by governments. Students will understand the arguments for developing social policy in areas such as social security, health, housing and personal social services, and the challenges of implementing and changing policy in these areas.

This course will provide students with a stimulating online learning experience by creating a structured yet flexible learning approach. The place of study will be totally flexible as online delivery allows students to engage in many learning activities at home or in the workplace.

The Postgraduate Diploma will act as a conversion course for such graduates and would enhance their application to pursue further study on a specialised programme such as the Masters of Social Work. The programme will also appeal to applicants from other countries, especially outside the EU, and in North America who will have the opportunity to study in Ireland’s leading university with expertise in Irish, EU and international social policy.

Is This Course For Me?

The programme will appeal to those responsible for developing, delivering and administering social policies and social services as well as those involved in advocating for policy and service change. It will be or particular interest to graduates with an undergraduate qualification outside of the social science and social studies field wishing to pursue a Masters programme in that field.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates have found employment as social workers in Ireland and internationally, in sectors including TUSLA, Child and Family Agency, Probation Service, Health-Related Social Work, Mental Health Services, Disability Services and Community Development. Others have chosen careers in research, advocacy, service management, and education and training.

Course Structure

The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Policy and Practice is a level 9 academic, postgraduate diploma offered as a one-year online programme. With 60 ECTS credits, the workload is high, however, as students are not required to be on campus they have a lot of control over when they learn, allowing them the flexibility to combine work and study.

Course Content

The programme consists of the following seven modules and runs over three 10-week terms from September-June: Principles of Social Policy; Contemporary Social Policy Debates and Analysis; Leading Service Human Organisations; International Criminology; The Family and Society; and Human Rights in Practice.

Click here for further information on modules/subjects.

Study Social Policy and Practice (Online) (P.Grad.Dip.) at Trinity

An introduction to the postgraduate programme in Social Policy and Practice by Dr. Edurne Garcia and Dr. Catherine Conlon at Trinity College Dublin.

Course Details


NFQ Level 9/60 ECTS credits

Number of Places

60 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Director

Dr Louise Caffrey

Closing Date

31st July 2024

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Admission Requirements

The programme is open to graduates from all disciplines who are interested in converting to the field of social policy and practice. Successful applicants will hold an NFQ Level-8 degree in any subject at a minimum of lower second-class Honours degree (2.2).

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 896 4579

Website Practice

Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

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