Higher Education Courses

An Cosán is currently offering a range of third level part time Degree, Higher Certificate, Certificate and modular programmes validated by IT Carlow under delegated authority from Quality and Qualifications Ireland QQI (formally HETAC). These programmes are developed in the context of community adult education and lifelong learning and are intended for mature students. Entry requirements apply.

Progression Paths: Degree & Certificate Programmes

The following pathways towards Certificate, Higher Certificate and BA Degree Programmes are open to all current and new An Cosán learners.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, all modules are being delivered fully online

The social enterprise sector has been growing rapidly in Ireland in recent years and gaining government support. This certificate will introduce learners to the global and Irish experience of different types of social enterprises and their place in society. It will help develop critical thinking in learners as they develop a broader knowledge of the social enterprise eco-system.

The certificate will be of particular use to those considering starting up a social enterprise, social business, or developing a social enterprise element in an existing organisation. It is also helpful to those working within a social enterprise. Some graduates of the certificate have become start-up social entrepreneurs. This is a growing network that learners in the certificate will be helped to connect with for support and sharing learning.

An Cosán has worked in partnership with IT Carlow to develop this Certificate. Participants can join the Certificate at any stage during the year and take modules at their own pace.  Participants can also take modules as standalone special purpose awards.

NFQ Level 6
1 year programme

€1,800 or
€300 per module

Next Start Date:
September

The aim of the Certificate in Personal and Professional Development programme is to enable learners:

  • To understand the theory of key transferable skills and abilities (including digital literacy) for lifelong learning and work, through their higher education
  • To deepen understanding of their previous real world learning through looking at theoretical frameworks, and to apply this learning in new contexts.
  • To develop self-confidence and the abilities needed to take part in lifelong learning, including higher education, in addition to taking a variety of different roles the workplace.

An Cosán has worked in partnership with IT Carlow to develop this blended online Certificate.

NFQ Level 6
1 year programme

€200

Next Start Date:
September

The aim of this blended online certificate programme is for learners to graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need in the theory and practice of leadership and community development so that they can make a professional contribution to communities, groups, societies and organisations. The course will prepare graduates for life-long learning so that they will be able to further develop their knowledge and skills through experience and professional and/or academic education.

NFQ Level 6
1 year programme

€1,800 or
€300 per module

Next Start Date:
September

The aim of this blended online certificate programme is to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of learners in the theory and practice of applied addiction studies and community development.

The purpose of the programme is to build the capacity of community drugs workers and those working and volunteering in the wider community within an addiction context.

NFQ Level 6
1 year programme

€1,800 or
€300 per module

Next Start Date:
September

The aim of this blended online Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree programme is for learners to graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need in the theory and practice of leadership and community development so that they can make a professional contribution to communities, groups, societies and organisations. The course will prepare graduates for life-long learning so that they will be able to further develop their knowledge and skills through experience and professional and/or academic education.

NFQ Level 7
3 year programme

€5,400 or
€1,800 per stage

Next Start Date:
September

The aim of this blended online Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree programme is to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of learners in the theory and practice of applied addiction studies and community development.

The purpose of the programme is to build the capacity of community drugs workers and those working and volunteering in the wider community within an addiction context.

NFQ Level 7
3 year programme

€5,400 or
€1,800 per stage

Next Start Date:
September

Standalone Modules

An Cosán in collaboration with IT Carlow provides the following short accredited, blended online modules which can be taken as standalone modules.

Each module consists of:

  • Induction Day: Full Day Face to Face workshop
  • Weekly live Online Sessions: 2 hours once a week for 8 weeks
  • Midway Workshop: Full Day Face to Face Workshop

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, all modules are being delivered fully online

Designed to support learners to develop skills and confidence in preparing for education at third level.  Learners will explore a range of different learning styles and will be introduced to:

  • academic reading and writing
  • reading techniques and strategies
  • planning, structuring, writing assignments

The module will also introduce learners to key ideas in social studies.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Learners will explore ideas of democracy, citizenship and social action. Learners will also analyse specific case studies about citizenship, social action and taking part in democracy in the age of the internet.  They will also investigate and identify strategies and practical approaches to support digital citizenship.  Finally, learners will examine the Irish and European Union policy frameworks about citizenship and participation.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Learners will explore the role of leadership in the community sector and investigate ways of grassroots community leadership in practice, nationally and globally. They will also look at the concept of leadership within social activism and analyse different leadership styles and qualities.

Learners will identify their own leadership skills and style and identify ways and practices fitting to community leadership development. Learners will also explore how technology contributes to community leadership.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The course will support learners to develop skills and confidence in creating social enterprises.  Learners will explore key theories, ideas and practices of social enterprise, in relation to leadership and community development.

The purpose of the programme is to increase the ability of participants working or volunteering in the wider community or in a social enterprise area, examine the role of social enterprise in the community, and undertake a basic analysis of local community needs.

Learners will gain a better understanding of business planning and funding, as well as key governance and management issues. Learners will also plan their future progression paths as social entrepreneurs.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Explores the key principles and practices of community development. It provides an overview of the historical and contemporary infrastructure of the community and voluntary sector in Ireland. Learners will assess diverse community development case studies and approaches, exploring their implications within local communities and wider Irish society. Learners’ own participation in the community development process will be examined throughout and consideration given to assessing their practice and approaches through the lens of community development theory.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners can access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Develops learners’ understanding of group dynamics, of the principles underpinning facilitation styles and interventions, and of a range of group work techniques. Learners will practice and improve their facilitation and presentation skills as well as their capacity to plan, deliver and evaluate a group. The programme will build on learners’ ability to critically reflect on their own knowledge, skills and experience both as a group participant and a group facilitator.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners can access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Learners will explore key concepts of sociology, including the ideas of power and social change. They will examine the relationship between social, economic and political development as well as explore the potential of community activism to create social change.

Particular attention will be paid throughout the programme to Irish society and to the key influences shaping its development.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The module introduces learners to the meaning and nature of addiction. It will provide an overview of the main theories of the causes of addiction – biological, psychological, sociological and cultural.

The module introduces learners to the key ideas around the treatment of addiction – medical, pharmacological, spiritual, psychological and psychoanalytic. It will provide an overview of the pharmacology (the uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs) of drug use and will introduce learners to models of treatment.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

Introducing learners to best practice in the area of preventative education (education that prevents drug use before it starts) and family support in an Irish context, and providing a general introduction to prevention education theory & practice.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to provide an understanding of a range of models and approaches to the treatment of addiction problems. It will provide an historical overview of approaches and rehabilitation to substance abuse, develop an understanding of treatment and rehabilitation as central method of the National Drugs Strategy, and give an outline of harm reduction principles, context & approaches.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to examine community development practices using examples of established community and voluntary organisations from across the sector.

It will demonstrate the application of the community development process using a framework (underlying idea) to investigate these sample organisations, and identify any barriers and challenges within the community development process observed. Learners will be supported to develop practical skills which are central to the community development process.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners can access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to introduce the main models and ideas for conflict resolution and mediation within a social justice context. Learners will consider the issues which contribute to conflict in disadvantaged communities. The course will introduce essential skills for conflict resolution and negotiation, build on participant’s ability to critically reflect on their own response to conflict both as an individual and as community leaders.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to support students to gain experience working in a community development context and combine relevant theory with practice.  Learners will develop self-awareness and core skills to critically reflect on their practice in a comprehensive and ethical manner, and be responsible for managing their continuous professional development.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to define the role of leadership and its relationship to management in the community and voluntary sector.  Learners will examine appropriate organisational structures in community organisations, the importance of governance and current legislation governing the community sector, and the process of strategic planning and development and the relevance of evaluation.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to introduce learners to theories and concepts of identity, equality and diversity. Learners will explore the social construction and status implications of identity, culture and diversity within Irish society.

The course support learners to examine and reflect on their own understanding of equality, diversity and anti-discrimination and the relationship to community work in practice. They will explore legislation, policy and practice with regard to the promotion of equality in Irish society, and consider the nature of discrimination and equality in relation to gender and ethnicity.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to examine the executive functions of the State and the processes involved in decision making and social policy development within government.

It will outline the historical development of Irish social policy, and introduce the social policy framework with regard to Health, Education and Community and Voluntary Activity. Learners will examine the relationship between social policy, service provision and community development in a local context.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to introduce participants to a range of counselling theories and ideas. Learners will explore key aspects of each counselling method from an addiction perspective and explore ethical principles of addiction counselling.  Participants will be introduced to the key concepts of Motivational Interviewing, and the course will facilitate the practice of motivational counselling skills and techniques.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module is designed to provide learners with an understanding of the role of an owner manager in an enterprise.  Learners will analyse the internal and external factors that affect the how an enterprise functions, and the importance of planning and innovation. The programme will also provide learners with an understanding of the traits and characteristics of the entrepreneur and their role in an enterprise, to equip the learner with the necessary skills and knowledge necessary in running an enterprise.

*Please note: Accreditation for this module is only available for this module if taken as part of the Certificate in Leadership and Social Enterprise

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module outlines the principles of Adult Learning and the practice of analysing one’s ideas and those of others to draw meaning from experiences.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Discuss key concepts of adult learning and community education.
  • Discuss key concepts of experiential and collaborative learning.
  • Outline and discuss criteria for demonstrating learning, including outcomes-based criteria used to attain the programme award.
  • Identify evidence of own prior learning in formal, non-formal, and informal contexts.
  • Name key concepts associated with blended learning and demonstrate capacity to use ICT for learning and research.
  • Identify own educational and career goals and outline a plan to achieve them, including any digital competences required.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module develops the skills necessary for learners to become competent in the practice of effective oral and written communications in a variety of environments.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Recognise the role of communication in human interaction in society
  • Identify a variety of forms of communication, and explain their suitability for different audiences in a variety of social contexts
  • Discuss the foundational concepts and practices involved in communication including written, verbal, and visual communication
  • Discuss the nature of communication in a digital society including the role of digital tools and social media in communication
  • Demonstrate their communication skills and identify effective approaches to enhancing such skills.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module demonstrates the principles and practice of information technology and its application in evolving contexts.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Discuss the role of information technology in society including everyday life, third level education, and professional contexts.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of information technology, applications and software essential to personal and professional development in a digital society
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of online tools and practices essential to personal and professional development in a digital society

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module will demonstrate how mathematical symbols, concepts, and methods can be utilised to describe and solve complex problems.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Recognise the role of maths, numeracy, and quantitative reasoning in everyday life
  • Discuss the nature of data and identify a variety of forms of data presentation
  • Discuss the nature of statistics and identify solutions to statistical problems
  • Value the role of maths, numeracy and quantitative reasoning, having surfaced assumptions and challenged fears based on past negative experience

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module will explore what it means to be a critical thinker when interacting with all kinds of information, but particularly that designed to persuade. It will examine what it means to think ethically by allowing learners to utilise ethical theory within real life situations.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Recognise and value the role of critical and ethical thinking in everyday life including digital society
  • Explain the concept of critical thinking including its relationship to language, logic, and reasoning
  • Identify methods to promote critical thinking
  • Define what is meant by ‘ethics’ and distinguish between a variety of ethical frameworks
  • Identify methods to promote ethical thought and action in response to contemporary ethical dilemmas.
  • Recognise and value their own ethical viewpoint.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module will outline the principles and put into use the practice of collaborative learning in physical and virtual environments

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Recognise the role of collaboration and teamwork in society including workplace, community, learning and digital contexts.
  • Outline and discuss key concepts of group dynamics and group development.
  • Identify collaborative qualities and skills in both face-to-face and digital learning environments.
  • Devise, deliver and evaluate a collaborative decision-making session.
  • Discuss effective approaches to enhancing collaborative qualities and skills.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module will show learners how to take a positive approach to health, wellbeing and resilience in an increasingly complex social world.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Recognise the relationship between personal well-being, work, and stress in contemporary society
  • Identify and discuss key factors contributing to personal well-being
  • Identify and discuss key factors that undermine personal well-being
  • Discuss effective approaches to enhancing well-being including in digital contexts

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

This module will outline the processes involved in the composition of a successful research project and will instruct learners how to create an authoritative and persuasive paper or report according to the required conventions.

On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:

  • Discuss the nature of research and recognise its importance in society
  • Describe the research process including associated research ethics and methods
  • Research and write an academic assignment.
  • Discuss effective approaches to enhancing research skills.

NFQ Level 6
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of this module are to introduce the national and European policy framework which supports e-engagement and e-inclusion, and to develop an understanding of the digital divide from a community development context.

Learners will gain an overview of digital planning and management concepts for community development, and will be introduced to a range of tools to research and plan a digital communications strategy. They will develop ICT skills to support the execution of a digital communications strategy.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of this module are to introduce students to project cycle management using the logical framework approach for results-oriented project planning. The course will provide a framework for project cycle & financial management for planning, proposal development, monitoring & evaluation and impact assessment.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of this module are to develop the learners’ understanding of the research process and the role of research in informing theory and practice particularly in relation to community development/social science. It will provide learners with an understanding of a range of research methodologies and methods utilised in social research. It will develop learners’ critical analysis and practical research skills and introduce them to a range of data collection techniques. The course provides learners with an appreciation of ethical issues in social research and provides a model research framework.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of this module are to critically examine the relationship between leadership and social change and analyse the challenges within the process.

Learners will explore approaches to leadership for social change, and consider strategies for leading, influencing and promoting social change in the context of globalisation and social transformation. They will examine the psychology of leadership, theories of internalised oppression and the impact of internalised oppression on leadership.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of this module are to support students to:

  • Critically reflect on the application of theory to practice.
  • Consider how they can exercise leadership within their work as community development practitioners.
  • Develop their skills and capacity to undertake a specific collaborative leadership project.
  • Critically reflect on the nature and impact of their own leadership styles within that project, the challenges faced and overcome, and areas for professional development identified.
  • Experience the opportunities and challenges of working in a collaborative context.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to introduce learners to globalisation theory and determine the implications of globalisation on the local context. The course will provide an overview of global & regional drug trends and crime patterns and introduce students to international case studies on drugs & alcohol policy.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The aims of the module are to support students to critically reflect on the application of theory to practice. Learners will:

  • Engage in the practical application of course material in a planned experiential learning activity.
  • Develop collaborative skills and capacity with regard to a specific community drug work project.
  • Critically reflect on the nature and impact of their own contribution within that project, the challenges faced and overcome, and areas for professional development identified.
  • Experience the strengths and challenges of working in a collaborative context.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The programme focuses on developing digital skills and abilities to enable learners to use a range of educational technologies.

Learners will be introduced to the concept of communities of practice in technology enhanced learning and will investigate and identify effective approaches to building digital skills in their own practice.

Learners will also examine the Irish and European Union policy frameworks with regard to technology enhanced learning, community education and higher education.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.

The programme will explore theoretical concepts of community education, lifelong learning transformation and social change.

Learners will:

  • Analyse specific case studies in relation to community education, social action and transformation.
  • Investigate and identify strategies and practical approaches to curriculum design, development and delivery for transformative community education and support digital citizenship and social media activism.
  • Examine the Irish and European Union policy frameworks with regard to lifelong learning further education and training and community education.

The course will support practitioners to appreciate the value of e-learning in community education through experiential engagement and support the continuing professional and educational development of practitioners in the sector.

NFQ Level 7
2hrs per week over 8 weeks

Next Start Date:
Starts dates vary for each module. Email info@ancosan.ie to get more information.

Cost of Module: €300
Learners may be able to access a small bursary and scholarship fund, if required.