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Check out Community Development courses in Ireland!

Community Development courses at higher education level in Ireland have been documented and mapped as part of Combat Poverty Agency’s ‘Having Your Say’ programme. The work was carried out by Ralaheen Ltd and the company identified a number of factors that people thinking of signing up for a course should consider. They are:

• Courses were both full-time and part-time, some were offered on the campus of a University or Institute of Technology while others were offered as outreach programmes in the community. The study revealed a very dynamic picture, with courses regularly closing, opening and moving from place to place.

• The cost of courses varied greatly, even where they were of similar duration and academic level. In some cases, course providers and learners had created interesting ways of off-setting some of the cost to the individual learner.


• The Community Development courses were offered at different levels, from Certificate to Masters Degree. Some of the courses were located on the National Framework of Qualifications; others were not. This has implications for students who may wish to progress to a higher level at a later stage.

• Work placement was an important part of some of the courses. However, in some cases where students were already working in the community and voluntary sector, supervised work placements were not provided.

A recommendation of the study was that the Having Your Say programme would publish a list of all third level Community Development courses in Ireland. In 2006 a directory of courses was published. Now, in 2007, an up-dated list of courses, colleges and contact details for the courses will be placed on the Combat Poverty website in due course.
New research is also being carried out to identify Community Development courses available at ‘Further Education’ level. Further Education in Ireland encompasses a very broad range of programmes from Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses to Adult Literacy classes to Apprenticeships.
The study is on-going and researchers at Ralaheen will present their findings shortly. To contribute to the study or to find out more information, contact: Combat Poverty (Tel. 01-670 6746. E-mail: info@combatpoverty.ie. Website: www.cpa.ie) or Ralaheen Ltd (Tel. Helen O’Leary on 01-679-3400. E-mail: helen@ralaheen.ie).
- Issue 21, Spring ‘07