Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Courses > Postgraduate > Postgraduate Diploma/M.Sc. in Social Policy and Practice > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I gain access to the course?

Entry to the course is based on your application form and additional documentation. You should ensure that your application form is completed in full and contains all the information that you would like the course admissions team to take into account when assessing your application. You are required to attach additional documentation with your application form:

  • transcript of your qualifications
  • 2 reference letters, at least one of which is academic
  • A complete curriculum vitae

You should ensure that the information on your application form matches the information on the additional documentation e.g. the level and title of your qualifications are the same in both places. You will be offered a place on the course when all documentation relating to your application is submitted and you have demonstrated that you meet the entry requirements. Places are offered at the end of each month. When the course is full, any eligible applicants offered a place will be put on a waiting list for the course.

Can I be accepted on to the course if I do not have a 2.2 in a level 8 degree?

The minimum entry requirement for this course is a 2.2 in a level 8 degree. On very rare occasions this requirement can be waived for applicants with an extensive work background in a relevant area. Students who wish to apply without the minimum entry requirements should complete the application form as normal and submit a supporting personal statement outlining the reasons that they feel they can be successful on this course and a complete curriculum vitae.

What references do I need to supply with my application?

You will need to supply two references, at least one of which is an academic reference.

What are the fees for the course?

The fees for the course can be found on the Academic Registry website.

How do I know if I am an EU or non-EU student?

An EU application is one made by a person who fulfils one or more of the following criteria: 1) who is ordinarily resident in the EU and who has received full-time further or higher education in the EU for three of the five years immediately preceding admission; or 2) who is ordinarily resident in the EU and has worked full-time in the EU for three of the five years immediately preceding admission; or 3) who holds a passport from an EU State and has received full-time further or higher education in the EU for three of the five years immediately preceding admission. For more information on fee statuses please see Part Three of the College Calendar or contact Academic Registry.

Is there a January admission?

There is no admission in January. Admission is once a year, in September, and applications open the previous November.

Can this course be done on a part-time basis?

This course earns 60 ECTS credits over one academic year which is the equivalent of full-time study. However, the nature of online learning allows students to engage with the course materials in a flexible manner studying at a time and in place that suits them. Many of our students have full-time work or caring responsibility and still engage with the course successfully.

What is the workload?

This is a postgraduate, level 9 programme which earns 60 ECTS credits over one academic year. Accordingly the workload is high and it’s wise to apply for this course when you are confident you have the time and the support to participate fully. The course is both highly structured with weekly tasks and highly flexible being delivered entirely online with no requirement to attend in person on campus. Student workload varies across the term and from person to person. To stay on top of the material released each week including participation at tutorials takes approximately 10-15 hours per week. While preparing assignments, this workload increases. There are 2-3 assignments per term, large assignments are generally scheduled at the end of a term with smaller assignments scheduled during the term. Notification of assessment dates is given at the start of each term so there is plenty of time to arrange your schedule. For more information on the course structure please see the course handbook.

Is the entire course online or will I need to attend the Trinity campus?

The entire course is online. To find out if online study is right for you please take our online readiness survey.

Do I need to attend all of the live tutorials?

Participation in tutorials is beneficial to student learning as it provides a platform to ask questions and join in discussions with fellow students. For these reasons absence at the tutorials is not desirable, however, we do not require 100% attendance. When absence is unavoidable we ask students to ensure that they engage with the tasks and readings for that week.

What type of technology do I need access to in order to view the live sessions?

The required equipment includes:

  • Internet access: It is highly recommended that students have broadband access when attending tutorials.
  • Headset: A USB headset has proven to be the most effective means of communication in tutorials.
  • Webcam: this is not essential but you might find it useful.

Are there any supports for students with a disability?

The Trinity Disability Service provides support for students with disabilities.

Does this course allow me to enter the Social Workers Register?

This course is not designed to prepare students for entry to the Social Workers Register and does not qualify you to work as a social worker. For students who wish to undertake a postgraduate qualification in social work such as a Masters in Social Work but do not have a required qualification in social policy, this programme may help address this deficit and enhance your application to a postgraduate social work course. Applicants are advised to check the entry requirements for further study carefully and be aware that they will have to follow the normal admissions procedure for all courses, whether at Trinity College Dublin or elsewhere.

Does this course allow me to enter the Social Care Workers Register?

This course is not designed to prepare students for entry to the Social Care Workers Register and does not qualify you to work as a social care worker. The course may be suitable as career development for those already working in social care.

How do I apply for the Masters in Social Policy and Practice?

Students who receive an average of 60% or more in the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Policy and Practice will be invited to apply for Maters in Social Policy and Practice. Application is by means of a research proposal. An online session will be held for interested students during the final term.

What type of career paths do graduates of the course follow?

Some graduates already working in the delivery or management of social services or in social policy design, funding or advocacy use the programme for career progression for example as team leads, supervisors, programme managers. Some graduates working in the private sector use the programme for career change into social policy and services for example as support workers. A number of graduates have used the programme to facilitate further study in a specialised area and have progressed onto masters study for example in social work. A small number of graduates working in the private sector use the programme for career development in relation to corporate social responsibility.

Will there be an Open Evening?

There will be an online information session May 1st, 2019. Interested people will need to register for this event.