Higher Diploma in Politics & Society






1 year







Why Study This Course?

Upskill for Senior Cycle

Upskill to teach Politics & Society in secondary level and senior cycle

Teaching Pedagogy

Embedded training in teaching pedagogy


Two intakes per year and flexibility to study evenings to suit around your work.

Student Testimonial

This programme is a blended learning 60 ECTS programme taken over one year part-time. It is primarily designed to align with the core senior cycle curriculum to upskill teachers who wish to teach Politics and Society at a secondary level or in the senior cycle. The course also has a broader aim of developing learner awareness of the complementary disciplines of Politics and Society and their practical application in both the classroom and wider community.

Who is this programme for?
The programme is aimed at primary and post-primary teachers looking to upskill to teach Politics & Society at secondary level. It is designed in line with the Teaching Council’s curricular subject registration requirements for Politics & Society. It is also ideal for those who wish to pursue continuing education in politics and society to enhance career prospectus in the NGO, politics, human rights and advocacy sectors or for professional development for those already working in these sectors.

Course Delivery

This course will be delivered fully online over two evenings per week and every second Saturday, with the exception of a two-day workshop on-campus.

About the Course
The programme is designed to introduce learners to the key elements of Politics and Society in a structured and manageable way. These are delivered over two 12-week semesters.

Modules include

Graduates of this programme will meet the Teaching Council of Ireland requirement for the purposes of teaching Politics and Society at second level. They can also pursue careers in the NGO, public policy, human rights, politics, community education, and advocacy sectors, as well as in the broader public sector.

Entry Requirements  

Minimum requirements for this programme are:

  1. Any Level 7 or Level 8 programme in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. This includes programmes where applicants may have accumulated fewer than 60 ECTS in Politics and/or Society in the course of their degree programme.
  2. Applicants who have undertaken substantial non-certified learning or CPD in fields directly relevant to Politics and Society may be considered for entry if they can additionally show evidence of relevant career practice for a minimum period of three years, or who can evidence a portfolio of publication (for instance, reports, discussion papers, resource packs) in political, societal or cognate studies.
  3. In exceptional circumstances, applicants who do not hold a degree at level 7 or level 8 on the NFQ, or who have not taken any relevant non-certified learning, may be considered for entry subject to evidence of relevant career practice for a minimum period of 8 years or who can evidence a relatively substantial portfolio of publication (for instance, reports, discussion papers, resource packs) in political and/or sociology/societal studies.

All such applications will be subject to the College’s Admissions Guidelines and Procedures for the Recognition of Prior Learning

Carlow College reserves the right to require applicants to attend for interview to determine their suitability for the programme. 


Tuition fees: €2,500

Protection of Enrolled Learning (PEL): €75

Full details on fees is available here


Applications are now being accepted for the September 2024 intake. Applications can be made online in our Postgraduate Application Forms.

Closing date for applications is the 31st May 2024.

The Higher Diploma in Politics and Society
is validated by the South East Technological University.

Steph Hanlon

Lecturer in Politics & Society

T:  059 9153290

E: shanlon@carlowcollege.ie

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