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HND in Applied Social Studies

Course Code: SHND

Duration: 2 Years


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

  • Psychology for Social Care Professionals
  • Applied Sociology for Social Care Professionals
  • Social Care Procedure
  • Introduction to Academic Research Skills
  • Law for Social Care Practitioners
  • Mental Health and Disability
  • Practice Placement in a Social Care Setting

Year 2

  • Creative Skills in the Social Care Sector
  • Social Care Procedures
  • Health, Nutrition and Safety in the Care Sector
  • Supportive Relationships in Social Care
  • Social Policy and Social Administration
  • Research Study
  • Work Experience in a Social Care Setting.


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 and is not, at present, placed on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). A Higher National Diploma is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6.

QQI Comparability Statement


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.