MA (Family Support Studies)

PgDip/ MA Family Support Studies

The UNESCO CFRC’s commitment to understanding practice and educating practitioners is embodied in its expanding postgraduate training programme. The Postgraduate Diploma / MA in Family Support Studies programme offers a vocational postgraduate qualification for professionals working in state and voluntary services on behalf of children, young people, parents, & families.

The closing date for applications is May 30th 2015.

For details contact the Course Director, Dr. Bernadine Brady on or by telephone on +353 (0)91 49 5759.

Programme Description

Early intervention and prevention is viewed, both nationally and internationally as best practice in working with children and their families who are experiencing difficulty. Family Support represents an important framework within this overall trend and in essence, can be described as efforts which develop, compensate for, enable, and strengthen family functioning. In this regard, the overriding purpose of this programme is to further the education, training and skill enhancement of professionals with a common interest in Family Support. Family Support is an approach advocated and promoted across a wide variety of disciplines working with or on behalf of children. Reflecting the inter-disciplinary nature of the area, the course is geared those working in social work, social care, community work, public health nursing, disability, education, justice, social welfare, early years, and other related fields.

The programme is also of interest to those working in the area of disability and social gerontology and will be delivered in partnership from 2011 with the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP) as part of the Lifecourse Institute at NUI Galway.

The MA Family Support Studies is a two-year part-time programme and students are required to attend college two days every second week over four semesters with the agreement of their employers.

Entry Requirements

Participants will have a third-level qualification or a recognised professional qualification in a field broadly related to Family Support service delivery. In addition, as the programme is not geared towards individuals coming out of undergraduate programmes, a minimum of three year’s work experience in the health and social services area will be required of candidates. As there currently exists a set of practitioners working with children and families in community settings who despite a wealth of skill, have not attained a formal recognised undergraduate qualification, two places may be offered on the programme at the PgDip in Family Support Studies level.

Quick Facts

Duration: two years
Mode of study: part-time
Available places: 15
Next start date: September 2015
EU fee: €1600 (approx.)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to enhance their careers in a wide range of services areas at both practitioner and manager level working in state and voluntary services on behalf of children and families. In the main, graduates will come from the health and social services sector including Social Workers, Residential and Community Social Care Workers, Public Health Nurses, Disability, Early Years and Social Gerontology, among others. Reflecting the inter-disciplinary nature of the area, the course will also include those working in community work, education, justice, social welfare, and other fields. 

Please see M.A. in Family Support Studies brochure here.

Please see a list of theses titles M.A. in Family Support Studies: 2005-2012 here.