The BSocSc is a three-year course. Students take three subjects in first year, two subjects in second and third year.
The required subjects in First Year are: Social Policy, Sociology. In second and third year, students take two subjects, which must include either Social Policy or Sociology.
Third subject choices may be chosen from the following: Philosophy, History, Anthropology, Geography, Economics.
Please read the Bachelor of Social Science brochure.
Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc) Brochure
The Bachelor of Social Science (Community and Youth Work) is a programme at Maynooth University which provides both academic and professional education and training in community & youth work.
Full-time and part-time applications must be made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by February 1st.
Those applying on the basis of mature years must also submit their direct application to the University by February 1st.
The application form is available from the Admissions Office or can be downloaded from the website as a pdf form.
All applicants must have relevant and verifiable experience in youth work and/or community work.
BSocSc Community and Youth Work
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The concept of ‘Civic Engagement’ includes activity for the good of society or of particular communities, not normally for financial reward, and voluntarily entered into by the student and the organisation. The Department of Applied Social Studies, offers an optional Civic Engagement Initiative (CEI) module for students in the Bachelor of Social Science degree (BSocSc) and a mandatory professional development module for students on the B.A. Applied Social Studies (BAASS) with a Civic Engagement component.
As a complementary programme in the area of professional development, the CEI allows students, who have already completed their professional education, to deepen their knowledge and understanding in the social professions through further first-hand experience in an organisation/agency/programme/project. The purpose of the CEI is to strengthen professional knowledge and understanding through engagement on a specific piece of work undertaken over 80 hours on a voluntary basis in an outside agency. This work culminates in a reflexive exercise around the nature of the student’s contribution and the impact of this work on the student’s own professional development.
Students in the second and third years of the BSocSc degree are offered the option of a Civic Engagement module which is not assessed but treated as an additional module which has been completed. Each student completes a minimum of 40 hours work with a civil society or public sector organisation, providing opportunities for students to enhance their capacity to engage effectively in civil society or public sector settings while reflecting on their values and applying academic theory to work in the applied contexts.
Fieldwork placements are an essential part of the professional formation of students on both the Bachelor of Social Science BSocSc (Community and Youth Work) and Master of Social Science MSocSc (Community and Youth Work) programmes. During the course of the three year full-time BSocSc (Community and Youth Work) and the two year full-time MSocSc (Community and Youth Work) programmes, students complete 14 weeks full-time fieldwork practice placements in each year. In the case of the part-time students they complete two mandatory practice projects in their own organisations and one 7 week external fieldwork practice placement.
The overall purpose of the placement is to assist students - in a context where they are learning through doing - to acquire, and reflect upon, practice, knowledge and skills. They are expected to make their practice conscious rather than merely intuitive. Students must be judged suitable to continue with professional education following their first placement and fit to practice as a professional following their second. The fieldwork placements also provide an opportunity for students to enhance their capacity to engage effectively in civil society or public sector settings while reflecting on their values and applying academic theory to work in the applied contexts.
Supervised and assessed fieldwork practice therefore has a special importance which is reflected in the proportion of time devoted to it, and the credits attaching to it. All full-time students must undertake placements in both youth work and community work settings, while the part-time students are also expected, through the external placements, to gain adequate and sufficient experience of both youth work and community work. All students are also encouraged to experience a range of social settings and situations, such as urban and rural environments, and where possible are encouraged to consider a placement abroad. (The Department has a selection of organisations and agencies in Ireland and abroad with which it has placement arrangements).
While the final responsibility for decisions about placement locations lies with course staff, the process of decision-making is one of discussion and negotiation between staff and students, in which the tutorial relationship plays an important role. Students are encouraged and expected to be increasingly ‘proactive’ regarding this process as they move through the programme, and in the case of full-time students the final placement can where possible and appropriate, be designed to reflect employment plans and preferences.
A series of preparatory seminars are held before the placements, and students (unless they are going abroad) make a preliminary visit to their placement agency to clarify expectations, responsibilities, roles and relationships. For students going abroad there is three-way contact between departmental staff, the student and the placement supervisor or contact person in a partner institution.
A key dimension of professional competence assessment are the ‘three-way meetings’ in the placement setting between a member of the programme staff, the student and supervisor, one towards the beginning and one towards the end of the placement, which focus specifically on student learning and assessment. There may be more than two meetings if the need arises.
Placement supervisors are experienced community or youth workers and the normal requirement is that they hold a professional qualification. The Department of Applied Social Studies has recently received approval for an NUI Certificate in Professional Supervision in the Social Professions and is endeavouring to ensure that the programme can be made available to as many supervisors as possible. It is being delivered form January 2012 – December 2012.
The fieldwork practice placement guidelines as produced by the Department in the placement handbook provide supervisors and students with detailed information on what the Department expects from the placement arrangements and all other dimensions involved.