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BA in Social Care Work

Course Code: LC602


Level

07

Duration

3 years

Department

Applied Social Sciences


CAO Points

260

Course Type

Undergraduate - CAO

Location

Ennis

This programme emphasises the personal and professional development required to work in this challenging field. Social Care is the professional provision of care, protections, support, welfare and advocacy for vulnerable or dependent people, individually or in groups. Students will undertake practice placements in different work settings. This will enable the student to engage in the practical application of the knowledge and skills acquired during the academic year.

 

What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 5 O6/H7 grades in Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English or Irish. Foundation Level Mathematics at grade F2 or higher is acceptable as meeting the Mathematics requirement for this programme.                                         

Mature, International amd Transfer Applicants

There are a number of places on this course available to mature and non-CAO applicants. Selection for these places is by way of competitive interview, which is informed by equality legislation and equal opportunities.

 

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1

    Title: Digital Literacy, Research and Writing Skills

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner into a higher education learning environment. Students will require support in the development of appropiate research, writing and information technology skillsets, thereby enabling successful progression in higher education. An abaility to communicate effectively is critically important within both academia and social care profession. A strong emphasis will be placed on developing robust, clear, concise, accurate and objective arguements within both written and oral assessments. This module will also equip students with key skills in referencing sources within assignments; and the procedures for obtaining robust and relaible sources from academic libraries; and on-line data bases. This will provide an initial grounding in the principles and application of scientific enquiry. Furthemore, students will develop digital literacy skills appropiate to the social care progession, with a special emphasis placed on Microsoft Word; PowerPoint; and Excel.


    Title: Teamwork and Communication in Practice Settings

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module introduces learners to the theory and techniques of teamwork, groupwork, relationships, effective communication and interpersonal skills necessary for professional social care workers. Learners will become aware of and gain a good understanding of the relevant professional frameworks which emphasise teamwork and communication to ensure a professional duty of care is maintained consistently. Learners will be provided with opportunities to develop and improve verbal, non-verbal, digital and written communication techniques which will support them to present and articulate their practice to and with service-users, colleagues and policy makers. It explores the theoretical and professional application of models of group and team development, with a specific focus on empowerment of the service’s user needs. Learners will identify issues of boundaries, effective decision-making, confidentiality and conflict management in the social care setting.


    Title: Introduction to Social Care: Policy, Provision and Practice

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module introduces learners to the underpinning values, relevant policy and overarching principles guiding professional and ethical social care provision and practice. The evolving profession of social care, an introduction to ethics and the social care worker's role is examined and discussed with learners in relation to its development and current professional frameworks, and how these support practitoners to undertake professional practice, guided by the Code of Professional Practice, Human Rights and Social Justice, whilst always ensuring the needs and welfare of service users remain central to their practice. The learner is introduced to and will understand important areas for their practice, namely; confidentiality, principles of ethical practice and whistle-blowing, responsibility and accountability, management of professional boundaries and key concepts from relevant domains of knowledge. Additionally, the learner will demonstrate skills in evidence informed practice, an understanding of individual and social development across the life span along with safe and effective implementation of a range of practical, technical and professional practice skills. Finally the learner will be able to identify and understand how social care history and the external context has and continues to impact ongoing provision and they will be introduced to the various social care settings in existence.

     

     


    Title: Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and Child Protection

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module aims to provide the student with a thorough understanding of current legislation, policy and practice in relation to protecting vulnerable children at risk and vulnerable adults in professional social care settings. A central focus of the course is to ensure that students understand their statutory obligations to assess risk for vulnerable adults and children and, to be confident in terms of recognising abuse, recording allegations of abuse and referring allegations of abuse on to appropriate relevant services. A secondary aim of the module is to equip students with basic assessment competencies so that they can work effectively with individuals and families where there are safeguarding concerns. A key principle of the module is to understand current safeguarding guidelines and legislation relating to candour and disclosure.


    Title: Personal Development for Social Care Work - Exploring Personal Identity

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    In semester one the aim of the module is to introduce the student to the main theories underpinning the knowledge of the 'self' and thereby facilitate them in obtaining a deeper understanding of the 'self' as a multifaceted entity. Through the continued use of weekly experiential, group work sessions and the process of reflective writing, the student will be afforded the opportunity to further explore the themes of self-identity, self-awareness, self-in-relationship and the concept of 'self' in social care practice.

     


    Title: Personal Development for Social Care Practice: Beginning Experiential Group Work

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The overall aim of this module is to introduce students to the process of engaging with and reflecting upon their personal growth and development. The module introduces the student to the general concepts underpinning the process of personal development. The student's learning is facilitated by their participation in weekly, experiential group-work sessions and engagement in personal reflection exercises providing them with the opportunity to explore both the personal and professional self. Students will be introduced to the process of reflective writing and maintaining a reflective journal as an aid to increasing self-awareness. Personal reflection exercises and activities. While engaging in experiential group work, students will be introduced to meditative practice and mindfulness.

     


    Title: Health, Advocacy, Equality & Safety in Social Care Practice 1

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    An introduction to health issues, advocacy, equality & safety in Social Care Practice. This module will introduce participants to concepts of health and disease and explore social determinants of health & health inequities. It will also explore Health as a Human Right and advocacy, before addressing safety issues.


    Title: Health, Safety & Risk in Social Care Practice 2

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    An introduction to health, safety, risk & risk management in Social Care Practice.


    Title: Psychology, identity and development

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module will provide students with specialised knowledge in the area of psychology and the development of the self. It will explore the theoretical underpinnings of perspectives within psychology and allow students to explore the varied and often contradictory ways in which identities, development and selves are understood, researched and evidenced within the discipline of psychology. This module will form the basis of a broad understaning of how the discipline of psychology is understood and applied in care contexts.


    Title: Sociology & Diversity in a Policy Context

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module challenges students to reflect on diversity in themselves, their colleagues and the people they support and work with in their professional practice. The module will build on the students understanding of sociological theory to understand change as it relates to the concept of diversity in modern Ireland. Students will engage with contemporary sociological theory to provide a framework for understanding emerging trends in social interaction, societal change and the need to address diversity and equality through social justice.


    Title: Introduction to Sociology Stage 1 Sem 1

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce students to Sociology as a discipline and to the; three sociological lenses (symbolic interactionism; structural functionalism; and conflict approaches). The module will explore key sociological concepts from key theorists (Auguste Comte, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim & Karl Marx). The module will enable Social Science students to understand how Sociological theory applies to their own socialisation processes and ongoing identity formation. Key themes will include an introductory exploration of: beliefs, norms and values, family socialisation processes, social class, culture and identity, social media and gender and sexuality.


    Title: Introduction to Creative and Recreational Skills

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The purpose of this course is to introduce learners to the concept of using creative studies as a tool for social care. It will predominantly be an experiential course, explaining the benefits of using the creative activities of art, drama, creative play, adapted physical activity, photography, clay work, film/video, role play, storytelling/narratives, dance, music and mime in social care through practical tutorials. This will invite the learner to partake in a personal journey of creativity, which will also enhance their practical creative skills. This course is also designed to provide an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of the benefits of using creative arts in social care.


  • Year 2

    Title: Assessment, Intervention and Challenging behaviour

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    This module will introduce the learner to essential areas for professional social care practice, namely; assessment and intervention whilst also acquainting them with the term challenging behaviour. The learner will gain insights into professional decision making and reasoning as well as their legal and ethical responsibilities in relation to using assessment and intervention with young people, adults and families, and dealing with challenging behaviour. The learner will attain necessary skills supporting them in the delivery of evidence informed, safe and effective practice which is underpinned by Human Rights and Social Justice to ensure the rights, dignity and autonomy of every service user, including their role in the diagnostic, therapeutic and social care process are central at all times.

     


    Title: Social Psychology: interactions and groups.

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    This module will provide students with specialised knowledge across a variety of areas of psychology relating to social interactions, social issues, and groups who perform activities towards accomplishing common goals. The focus will be on studying the effect of social relationships between individuals and groups using the principles of psychological science to underpin this knowledge base and address the challenges that occur. Students will integrate theory and research from a range of perspectives in psychology in order to develop an understanding of the ways in which the presence of other people impacts profoundly on human behaviour. Students will also examine the ways in which emerging findings from social and occupational psychology may be relevant to social care practice.

     


    Title: Key Issues in Contemporary Sociology

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module introduces the learner to key ideas from the contemporary sociological canon on the topics gender, social class, deviance, mental health, and disability. Learners will be introduced to theoretical perspectives from critical theory, symbolic interactionism, and structuralism to understand how power, cultural, economic and social factors impact upon: (1) learner's work as practitioners and (2) the lives of their clients. This module prepares the learner for practice placement by enabling them to identify the sociological conditions that shape the professional and social context where they will operate as professionals.


    Title: Personal Development for Social Care Practice: Understanding Families and therapeutically related i

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    The aim of this module is to provide learners with the materials, environment and opportunities necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the role of family of origin through this personal development module. The primary focus of this module is on the theory of family based therapeutic interventions from a systems perspective. The systems theory focus is balanced with contemporary developments that highlight the ways in which culture, race, social class, and gender frame our personal and family identities. Over the course of the module students will gain the knowledge in key issues related to the family such as trauma, alcohol and drugs and adoption.

     

     


    Title: Introduction to Child and Family Law

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the Irish legal system and to Irish Family and Child Law.


    Title: Practice Education Placement 1

    Credits: 30 Credits

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    Practice Education Placement is an essential element in the BA. (Social Care Work), there are two practice education placements comprising each of 400 hours in the Programme. During this first practice education placement, learners will be allocated placements in a range of professional social care settings.

    This first placement focuses on developing the competencies, skill and knowledge of:

    • Professional Autonomy and Accountability
    • Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working
    • Safety and Quality
    • Professional Development
    • Professional Knowledge and Skills

     

    During placement, learners will develop their knowledge, skills and competence of the five domains above and build on the theoretical models covered in the first three semesters of the programme.

    Learners will learn under the guidance of a designated Practice Educator in the professional social care placement(see Appendix Practice Education Placement Handbook for further details). Learners will also have an Academic Supervisor to support the learning process. There will be four points of contact during placement, two planned tripartite meetings between the learner, the practice educator and the college placement supervisor and two telephone / e-mail contacts during each placement. Academic Supervisors will be teaching on the Social Care programme, in accordance with CORU requirements (Criteria for Education and Training Programmes 2017) to ensure an effective feedback loop in to the classroom and the programme. The LIT supervisor will ensure prior consultation with the host organisations and clarify expectations, requirements and learning outcomes for the learner. It is vital that we foster positive relationships with placement providers as they are integral to the success of our programme.

     

    The learning goals for the placement are agreed between the learner, the practice educator and the academic supervisor and are outlined clearly in a 'placement contract' ( See Appendix Practice Education Placement Handbook)

    Formal supervision meetings between the learner and the practice educator take place each week in order to offer support, guidance and feedback to the learner on placement performance. In this first practice education placement the objective is to facilitate your development and confidence as a Social Care professional. (full details in Practice Placement Handbook)

    Learners must successfully complete Professional Development 1:Preparation for Placement module before they can progress to this Practice Education placement.

     


    Title: Professional Development 1: Preparation for Practice

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    This module aims to prepare students for a practice education placement in a professional social care setting. The concept of professional identity and its implications for professional development will be explored. Learners will engage in and take responsibility for professional development, be aware of professional regulation requirements and be able to identify learning and development needs. A critical component of the module examines the importance of supervision and feedback in order to develop a learners professional practice skills and knowledge.

    This module is a pre-requisite for the two Practice Education modules. Learners must successfully complete this module before they can progress to their Practice Education placements. 80% attendance is required for the successfully completion of this module.

     


  • Year 3

    Title: Law and Social Care Regulation

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to Irish Criminal Law, as well as a study of Disability, Capacity and Mental Health Law, and a study of Social Care Regulation


    Title: Research Methods

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to provide learners with the knowledge, skills and competencies to interpret, conduct and design research for social care. This module will introduce the forms of research used within social and academic research presenting exemplars of published research, quantitative and qualitative research methods, methodological design considerations and analytical techniques. Learners will be given the opportunity to interpret research, apply quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and design methodological approaches appropriate to research design needs.


    Title: Professional Development 2: The Reflective Practitioner

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The module enables the learner to evaluate and reflect critically on their own professional and personal development upon completion of two practice education placements. It aims to consolidate the ability of learners to work as reflective practitioners. Learners will advance their understanding and demonstrate evidence of ongoing continuing professional development and education. It encourages learners to explore the meaning of professionalism and reflect on their knowledge, theory, research and practice skills in the professional social care setting.

    In summary, learners will demonstrate a critical approach to reflective practice and demonstrate the capability for deep learning based upon critical self-evaluation. They will demonstrate capacity to reflect on the complexities of uncertainty in professional social care practice and initiate change based upon sound professional judgement and decision-making.

    Students must succesfully complete Professional Development 1: Preparation for Placement and Practice Education Placement (1) and Practice Education Placement (2) before commencing this module.

     


    Title: Ethics and Leadership for Social Care Practice

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is provide students with the opportunity to explore the concept of leadership and quality management in ethical and profession al social care practice, especially in understanding the role and place of supervision, workplace identity and team working. Students will be given the opportunity to recognise the potential for ethical dilemmas in professional social care practice and gain an underrdtanding of how to attempt to resolve these conflicts. This module aims to build upon the students knowledge of the provisions of the current Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics issued by the Registration Board and in recognising the importance of practising in a non-discriminatory way to manage the potential conflict that can arise between confidentiality and whistleblowing. Finally, this module assists the student in interpreting personal responsibility and professional accountability for one's actions and illustrating the process and justification of professional choices and decisions made.

     


    Title: Social Policy: Theory & Practice

    Credits: 05 Credits

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    The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to social policy and view the Irish welfare state within a broader international context.

    It will also give students a grounding in political idealogy and explore the major historical developments of social policy relating to social care practice.


    Title: Personal Development for Social Care Practice: Managing Mental Health & Well Being

    Credits: 05 Credits

    read more »

    This PD module enables learner’s from different backgrounds and perspectives to work and learn together for the improvement of mental health and well being incorporating a Bio-psycho-social model and other relevant theories prevalent to mental health and well being in addition to assisting learner’s form an appropriate attitude towards the subject and an ability to identify, interpret, record and respond appropriately to patterns of behaviours displayed by both themselves and the people encountered in practice in a variety of settings.


    Title: Practice Education Placement 2

    Credits: 30 Credits

    read more »

    Practice Education Placement is an essential element in the BA. (Social Care Work), there are two practice education placements comprising each of 400 hours in the Programme. This second placement occurs during Semester 1 of 3rd Year. Students are expected to build on the learning that they have experiences in professional social care practice in the previous semester. A focus on the development of the core competencies of Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working, Safety and Quality, Professional Development, Professional Knowledge and Skills and Professional Autonomy and Accountability will continue in this placement. In this practice education placement, learners will complete documentation to evidence the knowledge,competence and skills development over the placement. In this second practice education placement, learners will also be expected to be proactively involved in the work of the agency.

     

    During placement, learners will develop their knowledge, skills and competence and build on the theoretical models covered in the previous semesters.In this second practice education placement, learners will also be expected to be proactively involved in the work of the agency.

     

    Learners will learn under the guidance of a designated Practice Educator (see Appendix Practice Placement Handbook for further details) and will also have an Academic supervisor to support the learning process. There will be four points of contact during placement, two planned tripartite meetings between the learner, the practice educator and the college academic supervisor and two telephone/ e.mail contacts during each practice placement. Academic Supervisors will be teaching on the Social Care programme, in accordance with CORU requirements (Criteria for Education and Training Programmes 2017) so as to ensure an effective feedback loop in to the classroom and the programme. The LIT Academic supervisor will ensure prior consultation with the host organisations and clarify expectations, requirements and learning outcomes for the student. It is vital that we foster positive relationships with placement providers as they are integral to the success of our programme.

    The learning goals for the placement are agreed between the learner, the practice educator and the college placement supervisor and are outlined clearly in a 'placement contract'. Formal supervision meetings between the learner and the practice educator will take place at least once every two weeks in order to offer support, guidance and feedback to the learner on placement performance.

    Students must succesfully complete Professional Development 1: Preparation for Placement and Practice Education Placement (1) before commencing this Practice Education Placement (2) module.

     


Are there opportunities for further study?

Graduates can progress onto a one year, add-on Level 8 Honours degree at LIT. Graduates on similar programmes in this area have also gone on to postgraduate studies in Ireland, UK, Australia in areas including: speech and language therapy, equality studies, legal studies, child and family community studies, applied behaviour analysis, Montessori and adult and community education.

What are the career prospects?

Positions that graduates work in include:                                                                

• Social Care Worker

• Community Project Worker

• Family Support Worker

More Information

Work placement is a mandatory component of this course in year 2 and 3. Applicants should be advised that a criminal conviction may be a challenge to securing work placements. Contact LIT Careers and Employability Office (careers@lit.ie) for further details.