MSocSc Welfare and Justice

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

You will develop an understanding of key issues in society, the relationship between theory and research, and a variety of research designs and processes: qualitative, quantitative and comparative designs. You will also acquire conceptual and practical skills necessary to evaluate policies, while learning how to assess different approaches to managing a team or organisation and finding solutions to simulated events.

  • A new flagship programme unique in the Republic in combining these three academic disciplines.

  • Experienced Interdisciplinary faculty.

  • Proven career track record 

  • Flexible learning

Careers & Employability

Graduates from our related Master’s Programmes work in a wide range of fields including social work, public policy, voluntary and community work, education, journalism, health and social care and human rights advocacy. This programme offers an exciting opportunity to further your career through specialisation in a range of areas that cross traditional discipline boundaries.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSocSc in Social Work, Welfare and Justice is designed for practising social workers interested in refining their analytical and management skills through post qualifying studies, and for those interested in advanced careers in government, nonprofit and other human service areas. This master’s programme will prepare you to implement positive change in your community and beyond, and provide you with the credentials employers often look for when filling administrative and other leadership positions.  


The programme focuses on a range of topics of relevance to policy makers and practitioners. In recent years, the work environment for social work practitioners is becoming globalised. In addition, social justice and equality issues are an increasingly prominent concern in the social scientific research. The MSocSc offers a wide range of topics including housing, health and social care, drugs and alcohol in the community, theory and practice in social work, gender equality, environment, migration and family health management, and social protection. Applicants please note: this programme, on its own, does not provide the accreditation required to practice as a Social Worker.


The work environment for social work practitioners is becoming more globalised. In addition, global social policy is an increasingly prominent concern in the international social scientific research and social justice and equality issues are also of increasing concern among policy makers internationally.


The MSocSc (Social Work, Welfare and Justice) will provide a range of learning opportunities for both graduates who are interested in pursuing research careers in policy making and analysis and social work professionals interested in refining their analytical and management skills and thereby enhancing their chances for promotion. 


We value multidisciplinary exploration, understanding and critical reflection on inequality, poverty and a wide range of social policies. We encourage our students to be critical thinkers, to develop an awareness of ethical issues, and to engage with civil society to achieve greater equality and well-being in societies.


Through individual and group learning, students are provided with a learning environment that supports the development of reflective and analytical skills. Students will learn to evaluate evidence and identify solutions to key issues of social justice, social work and welfare. We teach how to communicate effectively to various audiences. Within a diverse community of lecturers and students, an open and pluralistic discussion culture is nurtured and supported.


We apply a variety of teaching and learning methods. A combination of lectures and seminars are the primary teaching method, delivered by dedicated educators, practitioners and experts in their field. In addition, we use active learning approaches, such as panel debates, data lab work, policy evaluations, poster sessions, field work and group work. Face to face interaction between students, lecturers and tutors is supported by online tools.

  • Anticipate and plan for problems associated with implementation of policies
  • Apply theories and concepts to social issues and demonstrate critical thinking.
  • Assess different approaches to managing a team or organisation and finding solutions to simulated events.
  • Communicate effectively with peers, academics, policymakers and non-specialists
  • Compare and contrast methods and tools for analysing current policies and practice.
  • Describe and explain key issues in society, locally and globally, and understand various ways of addressing those issues.
  • Interpersonal skills, working in teams
  • Manage different aspects of teams and organisations.
  • Presentational skills
  • Understand a variety of research designs and processes: qualitative, quantitative and comparative designs.
  • Understand the relationship between theory and research
  • Utilise knowledge to evaluate current policies and practice.

Please contact the school for fee information

If English is not your first language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, an English language qualification is required for all programmes.




To apply for this programme you will need:


  • A minimum of a 2.2 Honours in primary degree in an appropriate field. These include Humanities, Social Sciences or Social Policy or Social Work.

  • Transcripts from your primary degree.

  • A personal statement of around 4-500 words explaining why you would like to receive an offer of a place on this programme. This should include a brief account of any relevant professional experience.

  • Names and contact details for two referees.

Chunyue He, China



The Social Work, Welfare & Justice Master’s programme has provided me with a great opportunity to explore multiple disciplinary areas within social sciences. My specialist area is child protection, but various modules were available across Social Work, Social Policy and Equality Studies and the courses covered a wide range of topics. It allowed me to learn about a field which was different from my undergraduate degree and to extend my knowledge by selecting the topics I was interested in. I joined this programme, longing to find out especially how social systems as a whole work in Ireland.


Faculty members I met always encouraged me to explore more, answered my queries patiently and provided me with various self-learning materials. Seminar sessions were also unforgettable. While discussing social issues with people who have different cultural backgrounds, it was not only an opportunity for myself to learn more, but also a chance to break stereotypes and gain a better understanding of something so distant from my own culture. I very much enjoyed sharing a real taste of Chinese culture with others too!

The following entry routes are available:

MSocSc Welfare and Justice FT (W585)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised