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Course Structure & Content

The degree is designed as a pyramid, introducing a range of social science as well as social work modules in first year, increasing the ratio of social work to social science modules in second and third years, and concentrating on social work modules in final year. Social work placements also become longer each year. This progressive structure enables students to become academically and professionally confident in their social work identity over a period of time. Teaching methods and forms of assessment are varied and aim to develop a wide range of skills.

Year One: Introductions to: Social Work, Psychology, Social Policy, Sociology and Economic Policy; also Politics and Irish Society. An optional course is available in French or German.

Year Two: Social Work Theory and Practice, Law for Social Workers, Social Policy, Psychology, Social Research and one elective course selected from Economics / Social Policy / French or German / Trinity Electives.

Year Three: Social Work Theory and Practice, Family and Child Care Studies, Social Policy, Mental Health, and Sociology.

Year Four: Social Work Practice, Mental Health, Groupwork, Contemporary and Human Rights Perspectives on Social Work, Social Work Organisation & Systems, Child Care, Equality Issues; Professional Practice.

In each of the four years, students undertake a placement in a different social service agency under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. These placements provide practice experience and an opportunity to develop and apply the skills and knowledge acquired in college. Placements in the first two years take place in the summer vacation. Placements in the final two years run in the first semester of each year. For more information, see Fieldwork Education Unit page.

Module Outlines 2019–20 are available in Student Handbooks:

2019/20 BSS Year One Handbook (PDF, 2 MB)

2019/20 BSS Year Two Handbook (PDF, 3 MB)

2019/20 BSS Year Three Handbook (PDF, 1,703 KB)

2019/20 BSS Year Four Handbook (PDF, 2 MB)

Bachelor in Social Studies Examination Regulations

The BSS Progression and Award Regulations 2019 - 2020 (PDF, 289 KB) contains information about the regulations governing examinations, as well as the conventions determining the award of grades in examinations, in the Bachelor in Social Studies degree programme.

Tutorial Support

Social Work students are supported in their professional development by social work course tutors on a one-to-one basis from year three onwards. Tutors visit students on placement and act as mentors.