Are you ‘people focused and intent on pursuing an education in social science, psychology or the humanities? This pre-university course is designed to give you a complete grounding in the concepts, theories, terminology and research skills required to pursue a successful degree in a third level college. Build your confidence and competencies with the methodologies and knowledge necessary to move to degree level.

1 year

  • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Applied Social Studies 5M2181 QQI
  • Component Maths 5N1433 (available as an option in the evening for learners requiring Maths for progression)

300 including QQI examination fees. (Medical card holders exempt from QQI examination fee of €50) Note: Fees for 2023/24 are being updated.

  • Psychology 5N0754 – Explore a variety of theorists / practitioners / therapists e.g Freud and Rogers, look at the brain as well as memory and how it works.  Learn specifics about addiction, schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, stress, emotional behavioural disorders and learning disabilities, phobias, OCD  etc. Understand sleep and dreams as well as disorders in this area, social psychology experiments and research in this area, behaviour in groups, helping behaviours, peer pressure, advertising etc. Investigate research methods, ethics and their importance as well as experimental psychology- here students get to partake in experiments and learn how to write up experimental reports. A number of therapeutic approaches are covered e.g. CBT, gestalt , person centred etc… when dealing with people who have mental health issues.
  • Social Studies 5N1370 – Understand your position as an individual, family member and as part of a community and wider society. Examine critically contemporary social issues, learn how some sociological theories can be applied to Irish society, increase your effectiveness in life and work through understanding social issues e.g the impact of discrimination on individuals and groups in society
  • Communications 5N0690 – Acquire writing skills, learn to speak fluently and coherently in a professional setting, develop interpersonal skills and have an understanding of the impact of ICT on society.
  • Human Growth and Development 5N1279 – Learn  psychology throughout the lifespan, how we grow, learn, develop and change throughout our lives. Understand factors that affect development throughout the lifespan. Develop interpersonal/interactive skills appropriate to responding to the needs of others.
  • Intercultural Studies 5N0765 – encourages students to appreciate diversity and multiculturalism in 21st century Ireland. Looks at Irish and International examples of cultural diversity – and both the positive and negative outcomes that can arise from these
  • Work Experience 5N1356– Planning, preparation and reflection on work placement. Job finding strategies, CV and personal statement preparation, interview skills. Practise employability skills with a view to future planning. 
  • Equality & Disability 5N1273 Learn to challenge personal and/or organisational behaviour that discriminates against people and disabilities. Gain an awareness of the importance of equality for people with disabilities in all areas of society.
  • Criminology 5N2107 – Gain an understanding of the behavioural theories associated with crime and its prevention. Look at social and economic factors affecting criminal behaviour. Explore criminal legislation and the role of stakeholders involved in crime prevention. Identify the key characteristics of a broad range of crimes, including drug related crime and outline suitable methods of research and investigation in the area of crime. 
  • Statistics 5N2066 – Understand data, data collection and compile statistical information. Identify and implement appropriate means of presenting data. Analyse and interpret statistical information and learn how to use statistics for work and life.
  • Leaving Certificate with a minimum of five O6 grades (Maths preferable). Mature students are exempt from Leaving Certificate requirement. All applicants are interviewed. An offer of a place on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the entry requirements set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview. Garda vetting is a pre-requisite to work experience placement.CERFL proficiency at B2 for access to Level 5 courses for those whose first language is not English
  • Students will undertake a block work placement of two weeks in a variety of community based settings e.g. social and voluntary settings e.g. social and voluntary services, family centres, community services and residential services. Garda vetting is an integral part of the application procedure for this course.
  • MTU (Cork & Kerry) Social Care (MT573), UCC: Advanced Psychology (CK120), UCC: Criminology (CK113), Morrison’s Island Campus: ADVANCED PSYCHOSOCIAL AWARENESS & TRAINING (6M2263). Special arrangements are in place with MTU (Cork & Kerry)and SETU (Waterford & Carlow) for preferential entry for Cork College of FET students.  Go to our progressions database at for exact entry requirements on progressions for this course.

This course is designed for progression, to provide a foundation in the knowledge and skills needed to successfully advance and succeed in a 3rd level course in a related area. It is the first step in achieving a career in this area. Guidance Seminars and ‘One-to-One’ Guidance available on the wide range of opportunities.

Employment opportunities working in community projects and the voluntary sector engaging with individual clients, or clients in a community health setting e.g. resource centres, learning disability, family support, youth projects or as a special needs assistant.

Last year I did QQI Level 5 Certificate in Office Administration, Medical and Dental Receptionist. I found the College of Commerce most welcoming and the teachers so helpful and encouraging. I gained confidence in myself as a person and found the whole experience helped me in my future career.

Breda Barry, Medical and Dental Receptionist