Dublin City University (DCU): Certificate in Peer Support Working in Mental Health

Dublin City University (DCU)

Certificate in Peer Support Working in Mental Health

This course is for people who would like to be Peer Support Workers or Family Peer Support Workers in the area of mental health. This course will help develop your knowledge and skills in order to develop your practice as peer support workers in mental health inpatient and community settings.

This Certificate will help you enhance your existing strengths and skills so you can make a greater impact in your role. On this course you will examine the latest trends and developments nationally and internationally in recovery orientated mental health practice, explore the historical, statutory and policy framework in which the Irish Mental Health Service operates within, understand the core principles, competencies and practices of peer support working and the principles of the individualised nature of recovery and a person centred approach, engage in reflective practice, supervision and support structures to maintain fidelity to the role of professional peer support working.

The philosophy of the programme is underpinned by; intentional emancipatory education; utilisation of lived experience; a facilitated (as opposed to didactic) learning process; and the pursuit of practical wisdom. The pedagogical approach is ‘co-operative learning’, one that has been developing in the School of Nursing and Human Sciences since 2007

“It was very worthwhile offering new peer support worker recruits a level eight special purpose award. Whilst the course was challenging for all involved the feedback from the trainees as well as their team and supervisors was that it supported them to develop the required professional outlook to work within Multi-Disciplinary Teams in HSE Mental Health Services” Gerry Maley, HSE

Why do this course?

  • This is the only accredited award programme in Ireland in Peer Support Working and it is the established standard for Peer Support Workers employed in the HSE.
  • Innovative teaching methodologies place students’ learning styles, and needs at the core of the teaching and learning activity.
  • Course assessments involve critical thinking, reflection and are based on practice, assignments are transformatory and are personally applicable to the students’ workplace.

About the course

The Certificate consists of three modules delivered on a part-time basis over two semesters. The course involves attendance in two-day blocks every two weeks during semester 1(10 in total) and once a month (6 days in total) in semester 2 and 16 days on-line work through Loop. You also will be required to join a community group for 20 hours over a period of 12 weeks.

Timetable confirmed September 2020.

Students study the following topics:

  • Models of peer support and practice skills conducive to the facilitation of support and recovery for people with mental health problems and their family members.
  • Multidisciplinary roles and functions in mental health services provision and potential place of peer support workers in this system
  • HSE infrastructure, policy and professional practice guidelines that apply to all mental health workers in mental health services.
  • The historical context of evolving mental health policy and practice in relation to diverse models applied to mental health difficulties and service/professional response
  • Recovery in relation to contemporary mental health care and national and international standards for the rights of people with disability and mental health and their families.
  • Variety of underpinning philosophies of psychology, sociology and community development in relation to self and group systems
  • Styles of leadership in relation to individual abilities and competencies in judgement and decision making
  • Interpersonal & leadership skills and processes and propose solutions that are effective in groups and community engagement
  • Effectiveness of community resources in relation to self and community development
  • The responsibility of the individual and group in supporting/facilitating community learning and development

General Entry Requirements

Peer Support Workers will have a previous history of mental health problems and be in recovery or recovered. Family Peer Support Workers will have experience of supporting someone with mental health problems. Potential students will be interviewed prior to commencement of the programme. This process will provide an opportunity for DCU staff to review the educational academic entry point of the student and apply RPL guidelines.

In addition to ‘expertise by experience’ and ‘family supporter experience’ there are a number of entry criteria:

  • Evidence of critical thinking, literacy, communication/writing skills at level 5 NFQ. This can be in the form of formal qualifications (e.g. Leaving Certificate) or the equivalent
  • Where applicants do not have formal level 5 NFQ qualifications they will be assessed through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • Prospective Students must secure a placement as a peer support worker or a family peer support worker for 19 hours a week (paid or unpaid) for the duration of the course (October - April). The placement can be in a voluntary or statutory services but there must be a placement supervisor to support the peer support worker while engaging in peer support work.

Fees for the September 2020 intake are set at €2,000. For further details on fees, please contact the Fees Office on 01 700 5875 or fees@dcu.ie

If you have any questions when applying for this course please contact Martha Griffin for information and guidance

All applications should be made via PAC through the following link https://www.pac.ie/ugrad/courses/courses.php?inst=dc&ln=e&mode=u

Make an Application

Prospective students must contact the programme chair Ms Martha Griffin in advance of making an application to discuss their suitability for this programme.

Please submit;

  • Personal statement (1,000 words) outlining your reasons for applying.
  • Letter from your employer stating that when the course commences in September 2020 and for the duration of the course you will be working at least 19 hours a week (this can be paid or unpaid) in a peer support role. (If you are in receipt of a carers payment please contact the Programme Chair Ms Martha Griffin)
  • Include a signed form from a person in your organisation who will supervise you for the duration of this course (this can be downloaded from https://www.dcu.ie/courses/Undergraduate/snhs/Certificate-Peer-Support-…)
  • Evidence of critical thinking, literacy, communication/writing skills at level 5 NFQ. This can be in the form of formal qualifications (e.g. Leaving Certificate) or the equivalent

To apply, please visit the Online Applications System and register an account. Please apply for DC762 Certificate in Peer Support working in Mental Health (Undergraduate Level 8) (Part-Time).

For more information go to https://www.dcu.ie/courses/Undergraduate/snhs/Certificate-Peer-Support-Working-Mental-Health.shtml#tab1

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
23rd Apr, 2020
Expiry Date
23rd Jun, 2020