Ballyfermot College of Further Education BCFE

See all courses

HND in Social and Community Work

Course Code: SHND

Duration: 2 Years

This 2-year HND in Applied Social Studies includes sociology, psychology, therapy, stress management, law, ethics, and ten weeks of work placement.



Designed and developed by the experienced staff of the Social Care Department the Higher National Diploma is a comprehensive and challenging course comprising both academic and practical modules. Art, drama and music therapy is an innovative and creative module on the programme while stress management and relaxation therapy further enhances the students’ skillset. Work experience is an essential part of the programme. This practical component enables students to develop the skills and qualities required of workers in the field. There are two placements of five weeks during the course. Students work with vulnerable groups such as those who experience mental health issues, people with intellectual disabilities, the travelling community, homeless people, substance abusers and early school leavers. Special schools and residential centres, hospitals and rehabilitation workshops, day care and training centres feature on our wide range of work placement options. The academic component involves a comprehensive study of the sociological, psychological, legal, ethical, practical and procedural aspects of social care work. Students develop strong research, presentation and analytical skills which are necessary for further studies.


Year 1

  • Law, Policy & Ethical Practice in Health & Social Care
  • Demonstrating Professional Principles and Values in Health and Social Care Practice
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing: a whole person approach
  • Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Practice
  • Applied Understanding of Human Development and Behaviour
  • Sociological Approaches in Social and Community Work
  • Contemporary Social Issues

Year 2

  • Reflective Approaches In Implementing Person-Centred Practice
  • Investigating Innovative Approaches to Practice in Social & Community Work
  • Assessment & Care Support Planning
  • Mental Health: Distress & Disorder
  • Developing Effective Helping Relationships
  • Contemporary Approaches to Disability
  • Creative Skills in the Care Sector


Leaving Certificate/LCVP with a minimum of two H5/O1 and three O6/H7 grades or equivalent or QQI Level 5 award with a merit profile or BTEC National Diploma with a merit profile. Suitable QQI Level 5 awards include:

The academic entry requirements may be waived for mature applicants (21+). All applicants are required to bring two written references to interview.


HND in Applied Social Studies

This award is made by the UK awarding body BTEC Pearson.  A Higher National Diploma is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6.

QQI Comparability Statement

sociology, psychology, therapy, stress management, law, ethics, and ten weeks work placement.


Suitably qualified graduates have been eligible to apply for advanced entry to 2nd or 3rd year of cognate degree programmes in Institutes of Technology in the Republic of Ireland.

Graduates may also apply for Degree courses in Universities in Britain and Northern Ireland and may gain exemption from the first year of such courses.