MA/Postgraduate Diploma (Family Support Studies)

“What initially attracted me to the MA in Family Support was the balance of theoretical and practical elements that the course offers. Having worked in practice for many years, I felt that I needed to upskill in terms of research and theoretical knowledge in order to better support families I worked with. I found the course to be very informative, current and of a high standard. With a particular emphasis on critical engagement throughout the course, I feel my reflective and analytical skills have much improved. Practically, I have been able to implement much of the courses learning into my work practice.
Another noteworthy element of the MA in Family Support is the broad range of modules offered, while also allowing the space to pursue and develop individual areas of interest. There were good opportunities to engage with fellow students, which added interest, dimension and fun to the course”.
- Eileen Irwin, Family Support Graduate 2015

Applications Now Accepted for September 2020 Enrolment

Closing Date: 26 May 2020 


MA/Postgraduate Diploma (Family Support Studies)

Course Overview

The primary focus of family support is on early intervention and prevention, aiming to promote and protect the health, well-being and rights of all children, young people and their families, paying particular attention to those who are vulnerable or at risk. The aim of this programme is to further the education and skills of professionals with a common interest in family support.

Established in 2003, this programme is the only one of its kind in Europe with an emphasis on applying a Family Support orientation across a wide range of practice and policy arenas.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Course Outline

This 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. There are seven modules in total on the programme; three of these are core modules and are taught in both years.

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 years’ work experience in the health and social services area is required of candidates. As there currently exists a set of practitioners working with children and families who, despite a wealth of skills, have not attained a formal, recognised undergraduate qualification, two places may be offered on the programme at the PDip (Family Support Studies) level.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates will have the opportunity to enhance their careers in a wide range of service areas at both practitioner and manager level, working in state and voluntary services on behalf of children and families. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the family support area, the programme is geared towards those working in social work, social care, community work, public health nursing, disability, education, justice, social welfare, early years, gerontology, and other related fields.

Duration: 2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2020

Closing Date: 26 May 2020

Course code: 1FS2 (MA); 1FS3 (PDip)

Fees: €1,775 p.a. 

Further information: