Skip to main content

Higher Certificate in Community Development

Course Code: LC390




2 Years


Applied Social Science

CAO Points


Course Type

Direct Entry



The Level 6 Higher Certificate in Social and Community Studies has been designed in consultation with employers, so its content is relevant to employment in the development sector in Ireland. There is a substantial practical component to this programme so students will develop the real skills and competencies required for the workplace. The practical placement in year two is a key element of the programme which will allow students apply their learning in a real-life environment.

Students on this programme will develop competencies and skills that will enable them to enter a career in development and social inclusion work. Through practical learning experiences, students will learn how to communicate effectively verbally and in written reports; conduct basic research and analysis and work as part of a team.

The focus of the course in on helping community groups to analyse issues affecting them and identify solutions to problems; support voluntary organisations and volunteers to work effectively; challenge discrimination and inequality in communities.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must have 5 O6/H7 grades or higher at Ordinary Level in 5 Leaving Certificate subjects. Two of these subjects must include *Mathematics and a Language (English or Irish).

*Foundation Level Maths at Grade F2 or higher is acceptable as meeting the Mathematics requirement for this course.

Applicants presenting QQI FET/FETAC qualifications must hold a Full Level 5 Award totalling 120 Credits.

Applicants presenting qualifications other than those mentioned above will be assessed on an individual basis.

Mature Applicants (i.e. over 23) are exempt from the normal entry requirements.

What modules will I study?

Year 1   

Semester 1:

  • Introduction to Community Work
  • Introduction to Homelessness
  • Introduction to working with vulnerable young people
  • Applied Research & Writing Skills
  • Active Citizenship and Volunteering
  • Interpersonal Communication

Semester 2:

  • Introduction to Community Work 2
  • Politics in Ireland
  • Psychology, identities and the person
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Creative Studies
  • Introduction To Group work

Year 2   

Semester 3:

  • Models of Community Work 1
  • Social Policy
  • Poverty & Policy
  • Psychology: interactions, families and social issues
  • Groupwork 2
  • Organisation Behaviour in the Community Sector

Semester 4:

  • Models of Community Work 2
  • Social Policy & Provision
  • Facilitation Skills in Community Work
  • Management in the C&V Sector
  • Equality & Policy
  • Work Placement (C&V)

Are there opportunities for further study?

Graduates of this programme will be eligible to apply for the Level 8 BA (Honours) in Social and Community Studies.

What are the career prospects?

There are increasing opportunities for paid professional work and career progression within the community and voluntary sector in Ireland. Graduates of this programme will be eligible to work in various roles and in a range of development organisations.
An example of positions available in the development sector include:

  • Community Development Worker/Coordinator
  • Community Youth Worker
  • Policy Worker
  • Community Project Supervisor
  • Social Researcher/Research Assistant
  • Group Worker/Facilitator

Organisations offering development employment opportunities include:

  • Public and Local Development Sector Organisations such as Local Authorities, VECs, Health Services Executive, LEADER and Community Development Regional Support Agencies.
  • Voluntary Sector Organisations such as Youth Work Organisations, Community Development Projects, Family Resource Centres and a wide range of voluntary local organisations and projects.
  • Also, given the broad based nature of this programme, graduates may gain entry to a wide range of other occupational areas, for example, the GardaĆ­ and the Public Service.


More Information

This programme will be of interest to people who wish to learn more about contemporary Irish society and the issues impacting on local communities. In addition to Leaving Cert. applicants, we also welcome applications from mature persons, FETAC students, members of the travelling community or other ethnic minority groups, persons with a disability, those who may be unemployed or in receipt of social welfare assistance.

The programme may be of particular interest to people who are currently involved in community work as volunteers or paid workers and who are interested in gaining qualifications to enhance future work opportunities. It may also be of interest to people who have previously undertaken short courses in Youth and Community Work, Community Development, Women’s Studies or Social Studies.

Potential Applicants please note:

This programme specialises in Community Development and as such it does not offer a specialisation or qualification in Social Care. All Applicants accepting a place on this programme will be required to obtain Garda Clearance prior to full registration on the programme.

Programme has been designed in consultation with employers. Substantial work placement component to this programme enabling learning in a practical environment.