IT Sligo MA in Social Care and Social Justice students Caitríona Hanmore and Linda McGloin (foreground, left to right) shown with programme lecturers Dr. Karin White and Dr. Tamsin Cavaliero (background, left to right).
IT Sligo MA in Social Care and Social Justice student Billy Banda.
IT Sligo MA in Social Care and Social Justice student Caitríona Hanmore.
First-year students in the IT Sligo MA in Social Care and Social Justice Programme.
A new IT Sligo blended-learning Social Care and Social Justice Master’s programme is receiving high praise from students gaining valuable post-graduate accreditation in a rapidly growing field while at the same time living and working in their own villages, towns, and cities all over Ireland.
The two-year programme consists of interactive online lectures that students attend once a week in their own time plus two two-day residentials per semester during which they participate in stimulating guest lectures and group discussions at IT Sligo.
Subject matter that is immensely pertinent to life in the modern world, teaching by highly qualified academics and practitioners in the field, and convenient access to lectures and IT Sligo resources at all hours of the day are just some aspects of the programme that students have commended.
They include second-year MA student Caitríona Hanmore, a speech and language therapist who lives in Sligo.
“I’ve really enjoyed the topics of advocacy, activism, and encouraging social participation…for me that’s been very relevant,” Caitríona said. “And with the course being delivered via blended learning, you can study from the comfort of your own home and then come in to access the vibrancy of the IT, which makes balancing studying and working life easier. What’s also really appealing is the scope and experience of the lecturers, and the students that attend this Master’s programme bring their own wealth of experience. It’s been a really positive experience in IT Sligo and I highly recommend it to others.”
The eight modules in the programme include Introduction to Social Justice Theory; Social Transformation; Human Rights Policy and Law; Management and Leadership in Social Care; Care Work and Social Justice; Social Locations – An Intersectional Approach; Social Inclusion and Diversity; and Research Design and Development.
“The programme provides the theoretical background and practical techniques needed to promote social care and social justice in meaningful, effective, and transformative ways,” said Dr. Karin White, a social anthropologist at IT Sligo who lectures in the programme. “Students learn about current issues in social care, gaining new understanding and insights into how best to advance the interests and well-being of the individuals and groups they work with. They also gain the tools to develop and implement socially just and inclusive policies, projects, and procedures that are effective in a wide range of settings, including businesses, non-profit organisations, schools, and communities.”
Dr. White added that the academic excellence which IT Sligo is known for and the department’s standing as a leader in the field of blended learning contribute to the value of both the Social Care and Social Justice Master’s degree and an 18-month diploma which is also available from the programme.
“Lecturers in the interdisciplinary programme include academics with top-notch qualifications and expertise in their fields, including the Social Sciences, Communications, and the Arts,” Dr. White said. “The programme is also proud to provide students with access to guest lecturers who have developed outstanding social care and social justice initiatives in response to a variety of situations throughout the world.”
The richness afforded to the programme by the guest lecturers was highlighted by first-year MA student Billy Banda, a community worker who lives in Donegal.
“I really enjoyed hearing textile artist Deborah Stockdale talk about creating a quilt with a group of women from different ethnic backgrounds and hearing Palestinian Fadl Mustapha and Israeli Idan Meir discuss the awareness-raising they’ve done together through drama,” Billy said. “Those are lived experiences that I really liked and learned a lot from. What drew me initially to the programme was the justice part of it, due to my own background growing up in apartheid South Africa and seeing some of the things that happened then happening in reverse there now. As someone who would like to promote human rights through social work, looking at the specific ways that social care and social justice can connect through policies and practise has been an especially valuable aspect of the programme for me.”
More information about the Master’s in Social Care and Social Justice and other blended-learning opportunities at IT Sligo is available on the IT Sligo website at itsligo.ie.