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Cavan Institute
BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care

This is a three-year, full-time level 7 degree programme. Students taking year one in Cavan Institute are registered as AIT students and study the same curriculum as students attending AIT. Cut off CAO points - 300.

BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care

AL765 (Cavan Institute students do not need to go through CAO at any stage)

Course Fees


This is an AIT degree programme delivered at Cavan Institute. You will study year one in Cavan and years two and three in Athlone.

Why take this course? 

If you would like to work in a profession that provides care, protection, support, welfare and advocacy for vulnerable or dependent individuals or groups, social care will be of interest to you. Social care workers are committed to the planning and delivery of quality care and other support services in partnership with individuals and groups with identified needs. As well as protecting and advocating for individuals and groups, social care workers guide, challenge and support those entrusted to their care toward achieving their full potential. 

What will I experience?

This programme offers a wide variety of learning opportunities. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to support society’s most vulnerable children and/or adults. We aim to deliver best practice in our teaching to support students to become competent and confident social care workers. Two practice placements (800 hours) are a central feature of the student’s experience during the three year programme.

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting is a requirement of this programme and will comply with AIT`s Student Garda Vetting Policy and Procedure ( Students participating in the course must be vetted in accordance with the provisions of this policy. Students must complete the National Vetting form(s) in an absolutely honest and truthful manner. Students must disclose any (and all) knowledge of a criminal conviction(s) or pending prosecution(s) in Ireland or outside the jurisdiction. Students who have resided outside of the Republic of Ireland for a period of 6 months or more (from the age of 18 years) shall also be required to furnish a Police Clearance Certificate from their country or countries of residence.

It is important to note that participation in or completion of this programme may be affected by subsequent disclosure/discovery. During the Garda Vetting Process, issues that may emerge which were not declared by the student on the initial vetting form, may result in immediate termination of participation on the programme. Offences that are disclosed through the process that are considered a serious risk to children and vulnerable persons, may also result in a student’s discontinuation from the programme.

The outcomes of the vetting disclosure will be shared with the placement provider. Students cannot progress to placement unless the Garda Vetting Process is complete.

Applicants should note that a criminal conviction or convictions (or pending conviction) may prevent them from securing access to the 800 hours of practice placement experience, which students on this programme are required to undertake in Year 2 and Year 3. Any applicant who has a criminal conviction or pending conviction is required to notify the Head of School for Business and Humanities in September of their first year so that Garda Vetting can be fast-tracked. The early results of the Garda Vetting process will facilitate an opportunity for the student concerned and the Head of School to discuss the potential risks involved for the student remaining on the programme. Students who do not notify the Head of School in a timely fashion may not be able to complete the practice placement requirements in Year 2 and Year 3. In this scenario, applicants are advised that they may have to leave the programme without achieving any award.

Fitness to Practice

A student on the BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care must be fit to practice. The Athlone Institute of Technology Student Fitness to Practice Policy will apply to all students on this programme, with special reference to the Dept of Social Sciences, Social Care Addendum. Students will be required to sign off on this, acknowledging that they have read and understood this requirement.


The BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care has a mandatory attendance policy. In order to have a clear record of attendance, class attendance records are kept. Attendance during practice placements is monitored by the agency. Before progressing to the next stage of the programme, students have to work additional hours to compensate for any absences during work placements, in order to fulfil the attendance requirement. Absences must be supported by verifying documentation.

CORU (Health and Social Care Regulatory Body)

AIT has submitted a programme application for CORU approval. There is no guarantee that the programme will be approved.

Work Placement

Students will be required to complete two periods of practice placements (800 hours) during the programme. Students will be guided in their practice placement choice. Allocation to practice placements is based on the need to integrate theory and practice, as well as facilitate the student’s progressive learning towards independence in practice.

About This Course

Course Content

Entry Requirements

Leaving certificate candidates, please refer to the AIT website for entry requirements. Students who have achieved a QQI level 5 award are also eligible to apply. QQI applicants should check with AIT to ensure that they present with the appropri­ate modules. Leaving certificate candidates, please refer to the AIT website for entry requirements. Students who have achieved a QQI level 5 award are also eligible to apply. QQI applicants should check with AIT to ensure that they present with the appropri­ate modules.

Grade 06 at ordinary level in five subjects in the Leaving Certificate examination. Two of these subjects must be Maths and a language (English or Irish). Note: An FL2 in Foundation Level Mathematics will be accepted as meeting the minimum Mathematics requirements for entry to this course.

Mature applicants are not required to meet minimum entry requirements. However, an interview may form part of the selection process.


Up to 20 places are reserved for QQI students. Any QQI Level 5 qualification is acceptable. Applicants, however, must hold one of the following modules: Social Studies (5N1370) or Care Provision and Practice (5N2705) or Intellectual Disability Studies (5N1652) or Care of the Older Person (5N2706) or Understanding Mental Health (5N3772) or Special Needs Assisting (5N1786).

Language Proficiency

Instruction is through the medium of English and applicants who do not have school Leaving Certificate English must provide evidence of equivalent competence by way of recognised proficiency tests in English (e.g. IELTS). Those for whom English is not their first language, but who have been resident in an English speaking country for a number of years and/or
those who have completed a QQI Award, are exempt from taking a proficiency test in English.

Further Study

Those who successfully complete the three-year BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care may progress to obtain a level 8 honours degree with one further year's study at AIT. Having acquired a level 8 degree, many of our graduates choose to pursue further study at Master’s level in AIT by enrolling on the one-year full-time MA in Child & Youth Studies.

Career Opportunities

This BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care course leads to a qualification which allows graduates to work as a social care worker. It will equip students to find employment in a variety of areas such as residential care, disability services, mental health services, family support services and homelessness services.


Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Social Care.

AL765 (Cavan Institute students do not need to go through CAO at any stage)

Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Studies in Social Care.

Year 1 (at Cavan Institute):

Developing Academic Practice and Autonomy 

Group Dynamics and Collaborative Practice 

Contemporary Social Practice

Introduction to Sociology

An Introduction to Law

Developmental Psychology

Disability: Models and Practice

Interactional Approaches to Social Care

Family and Human Rights Law

Year 2 – in Athlone

Contemporary Social Care Practice 2, Atypical Child and Adolescent Development, Child Law, Mental Health, Management Theory and Practice, Interactional Approaches Art, Drama or Recreation 2.1, Counselling Skills, Disability: Promoting Inclusion, Professional Liability, Placement Preparation and Social Care Placement

Year 3 – in Athlone

Contemporary Social Care Practice 3, Introduction to Research Methods for Social Care, Interactional Approaches to Social Care Art, Drama or Recreation 3.1, Sociology and Social Policy Perspectives, Placement Preparation 2, Applied Social Care Placement 2.

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