Prospective Students

Undergraduate Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention


Fact File

Type of degree: Part-time
Contact: Dr Briege Casey

Understanding the Course:

This course involves the study of homelessness in society and the personal contexts and complex needs of people and families experiencing homelessness. The programme aims to help practitioners in homeless related services to develop knowledge and skills in the prevention of homelessness and in the use of effective, supportive interventions with people encountering homelessness.

About You:

This course may suit you if your current role involves working with people experiencing / at risk of homelessness and if you wish to develop your skills in assessment and support interventions in this area. You should have educational attainment at Leaving Cert level or equivalent and be in a position to engage in online learning (i.e. have access to and ability to use basic computer programmes).

Course Structure:

The Certificate consists of three modules which you will take on a part-time basis over 18 months. The course involves attendance in two day blocks every four-five weeks during university semesters.

In the Undergraduate Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention you will study:

  • Concepts, definitions and classifications of homelessness; socio-economic and personal factors that influence pathways to homelessness; Homeless prevention strategies
  • The experience of homelessness and its effects on a person's/family's health and social functioning
  • The process and practice of effective assessment, support planning and case management in relation to

socio-economic needs (finance, housing, education, employment) family functioning issues
physical health problems
mental health and substance use problems

  • Methods and processes of working collaboratively with service users and health /social care agencies

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2014 - 2015)

  • The first and only course in Ireland specifically related to the contexts, needs and holistic assessment/support of people who experience homelessness
  • Partnership approach with major stakeholders in the Homeless sector (The Homeless Executive) in the design and delivery of the course and in supporting students in practice
  • Innovative teaching methodologies that place the student's learning style, needs and preferences at the core of teaching and learning activity
  • Course material is informed by contemporary, evidence based research, practice and policy. Course assessments involve critical thinking and engagement with the challenges of practice

What Our Graduates Say
"Studying this undergraduate certificate in DCU was a pleasure as the staff were energetic and dynamic and DCU itself was a great learning space to be in, with top class facilities. The course as a whole covered so much and helped me broaden my thinking about my work and also allowed me to specialise in some areas of interest."
Nigel Mulligan - Coordinator, Intensive Supports Service

"Having worked with homelessness services for 12 years with no third level education, I felt the hard work on the course was justified to finally cement one's experiences in the diverse and changing services. This recognised certificate lays the groundwork for interested workers who need an informative, reality based, broad front approach to the delivery of advocacy based services in these changing and challenging times."
Noel Russell, Project Worker, Caretakers, Focus Ireland

"Feedback from homeless sector managers and front line workers (students) has highlighted a range of transferable benefits for workers, services and service users following participation in the Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention. The programme, which was developed in partnership with the Homeless Executive in Dublin, has been instrumental in helping workers to develop skills and knowledge in assessment and support planning and to critically evaluate their roles in assisting individuals to move out of homelessness."
Patricia Bourke, Head of Learning and Performance, Dublin Region Homeless Executive

Career Prospects:

As a graduate of this course, you will have achieved a 3rd level undergraduate certificate specifically related to the contexts, needs and effective support interventions among people who experience homelessness. In addition to improving your knowledge and competence in working and developing practice in this area, you will have enhanced your professional profile and will therefore have a competitive edge in future employment and promotion.
Some of our recent graduates have opted for further undergraduate or postgraduate study in DCU and elsewhere. For example, at DCU, graduates of this course are currently undertaking BSc Mental Health Nursing, MA in Development, MSc in Psychotherapy.

Entry Requirements:

  • Current role involves Key working (including assessment and support planning) with people experiencing homelessness.
  • Educational attainment at Leaving Certificate level or equivalent (if you are unsure about the suitability of your educational qualifications or have evidence of equivalent education or training, please contact the course co-ordinator to discuss)
  • Access to and ability to use a computer

How to Apply and Closing Dates

You can apply by downloading the application form which can be found HERE. Responses should be typewritten on the form and one passport photo attached. Completed application forms should be sent to Admissions, Registry, Dublin City University, Dublin 9. Closing date for applications is Friday 7th June.

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