Master of Arts in Social Work

  • Course Fact File
  • Course Code N/A
  • Duration 2
  • Points Required N/A
  • NFQ Level 9

Course Summary

The aim of this programme is to allow individuals to become professional and competent social workers who are knowledgeable, reflective, research-focused practitioners, able to work critically and ethically in a variety of different sectors. 


To provide students with the knowledge, skills and competencies to become professional social workers in a variety of settings within the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

  • To support students in developing a critical awareness of current issues facing society and generate innovative ideas to support the resolution of such issues.
  • To facilitate students to develop an understanding of professional accountability and the legal and regulatory framework within which social work operates.
  • To equip students to reflect, practise ethical, innovative and effective social work practice that actively promotes social justice in a diverse society.
  • To develop learners who not only recognise and understand the importance of evidence and research in and to practice but who can contribute to this debate and apply to social work practice.
  • To develop civic and social responsibility as an informed learner.


There is 100% mandatory attendance requirement for all parts of this programme. Attendance will be monitored within all programme times. It the responsibility of each student to ensure they have registered attendance for each learning opportunity. 


This programme is approved by CORU.

Click here to apply for this course


Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO 2020 courses at ITSligo are available for download below:

Admissions and Selection Criteria

In order to be considered for an interview and selection for this programme applicants:

  • Require a grade of 2.1 or above in Social Sciences i.e. B.Soc.Sc, Community Development, Early Childhood Care and Education, Psychology, Social Policy, Social Science, Social Care Practice, Sociology, Social Policy, Youth and Family Studies. If an applicant has a level 8 award in a discipline that is not social sciences, they must hold a postgraduate award in social sciences (minimum 2.1 grade).

    A certified coloured scan of the original relevant award must be submitted as part of the application process. Transcripts of results must also be submitted and list all subjects taken and grades achieved to date, with the grade scale clearly displayed in the transcript. Certified translations of documents issued in any language other than English must be provided.

  • Must have accumulated non-study related relevant and certified work experience with service users of 800 hours. Supervision must have been available to the applicant during the experience. Examples of relevant direct work experience include working directly with service users in health and social care settings, youth and community, care of the elderly, residential care, voluntary activities. Applicants must verify work experience on the Certified Work Experience form. This must be included with the student’s application form. 

  • References: Two references must be submitted electronically by the referees. At least one referee should be familiar with the applicant's academic work. References must be written, signed and dated on official letter headed paper and stamped by the referee's organisation. They must include the referee’s full contact details, i.e. postal address, telephone number and organisation email address. A reference template will be provided. References must be dated relevant to the application being submitted i.e. within 6 months.

  • English Proficiency: As all lectures, tutorials and practical work are delivered through English, it is vitally important all students (who are not English native speakers) have the required standard on entry to ensure they gain maximum value from their time at IT Sligo. The required minimum proficiency score in English required for entry to IT Sligo to an MA Programme is IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Further information on English proficiency requirements can be found here. Where this is relevant to an applicant’s submissions Certified Evidence must be submitted during the application process.

Application Process

Stage One:

Students will apply for the programme online through the SUGAR system. All applicants will be reviewed and those who demonstrate that they meet application criteria will be shortlisted for the next stage of the selection process. If a large number meet the criteria, exceeding places available, shortlisting for the next stage based on highest overall GPA will occur. It is the student's responsibility to ensure all documents, including references, are received before the application deadline, incomplete applications will not be processed. No late applications will be considered.

Stage Two:

Shortlisted applicants will attend for a full day of interview and selection.

There are three components (1) Written Assessment, (2) Group Interview and (3) Individual Interview, all of which will be graded.

  • Individual written work. Candidates will be given and topic to respond to within a specific timeframe.

  • Group Interview: Candidates will discuss a topic within a group.

  • Individual Interview

The highest scoring applicants will be awarded the places.

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting is a requirement of this programme and will compliant with IT Sligo`s Policy and Procedure Titled: Student Vetting. ADM/017/ Revision No 02. 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.

Fitness to Practice

A student on the Masters in Social Work must be Fit to Practice. IT Sligo guidance on Fitness to Practice can be found within its policy.  Students will be required to read this Policy and acknowledge that they have read and understood this requirement.

Immunisations & Vaccinations 
Placement agencies may require students to be immunised against specific infectious diseases.
The Department recommends that Social Work students are protected against Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis (TB), Mumps, Measles & Rubella (MMR) and Varicella (Chicken Pox).

Applications for 2020 intake are now open. Closing date is 24th July 2020.

Career Opportunities

It is anticipated that the majority of graduates of this programme will enter the many vacancies in the social work field. Consequently, the programme has been developed to provide academic knowledge, and skills to work in a variety of social work environments.

This programme is approved by CORU.


Further Study

Graduates of the MA will be able to continue to further study at postgraduate level (NFQ levels 10) at IT Sligo and other institutions.

Programme Fees

MA Social Work-

€4,750 fee per year.