Social Studies Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Take any issue affecting your local town centre – say, for example, the tidal wave of shop closures devastating main streets the length and breadth of the country. There is always a question as to how such problems are understood and approached and social studies courses teach this in great detail. Is this an economic issue a direct result of Ireland’s indebtedness A political outcome of current government policy Or maybe we need look no further than the social psychology of consumers, who flock to international retail chains at the expense of local business

In truth, of course, all these and many more factors are at play. But whereas an economics, business, or political science course might examine these issues from a single perspective, a part-time Social Studies course will encompass all the factors involved economics, political science, sociology, social psychology, and so on. And that is what makes social studies such a fascinating topic for adult learners looking to understand the major challenges facing Irish society.

The interdisciplinary nature of a social studies course provides a fuller, more rounded knowledge of the massive societal changes taking place in Ireland. Students on social studies courses develop the research skills necessary to investigate complex trends, and how well-planned policies might bring about an improvement. They learn about cultural, economic, and social structures – how they function and how they influence us as individuals, families, and social groups.

Progression options for graduates include further studies in areas such as sociology or social policy, and careers in community development, NGOs, social services, and other related sectors.

Social Studies evening courses are available from a number of colleges, such as UCC Adult Education.

Part-time, Applied Social Studies courses are also available. These programmes involve less theory and take a more ‘hands-on’ approach suited to further study and/or careers in areas such as childcare, healthcare, social care provision, and social work. Courses typically focus more on caring for the individual and will usually involve some work experience.

Frank Bolger

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