Faculty of Science and Health

Graduate Certificate in Relationships and Sexuality Education for People with Intellectual Disability

Graduate Certificate in Relationships & Sexuality Education for People with Intellectual Disability

  • PAC CodeDC675
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • Delivery Modes Part-Time
  • Duration 1 Year

Course Fees

  • Student Contribution€0
  • EU Status Fee€2,590
  • Non EU Fees€0
About fees & requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Relationships and Sexuality Education for People with Intellectual Disability is a unique programme offering specialist educational training in the area of friendships, relationships, sexuality and sexual health. It will reflect issues relating to all sexualities in Irish, European and global contexts.

The programme will equip participants with appropriate, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date knowledge, free from discrimination, gender bias and stigma. It aims to create and develop competent educators in the areas of friendships, relationships and sexuality and sexual health.

Why do this course?

  • Emphasis on engaging in learning partnerships
  • Teaching informed by best available research
  • Distinctive inquiry led approach to learning


Our strategic aim for this programme is to provide the first Irish Level 9, taught programme in Relationships and Sexuality Education for people with Intellectual Disability. The objectives are to:

  • Train a generation of educators in friendships, relationships, sexuality and sexual health for people with intellectual disability across the lifespan
  • Elaborate on sexuality-related literary, artistic and cultural discourses
  • Advocate for the implementation and where necessary the creation of social policy on sexuality, sexual health education and sexual education promotion in relation to human rights that shape social justice and diversity

For these reasons, the aims of this programme are to enable students to:

  • Develop knowledge regarding the working and diversity of sexuality, sexual identities, gender identities, sexual orientation and formation of sexual cultures
  • Engage in socio-political and ethical debates regarding the interaction of cultural, health, disabilities, historical and social influences with human sexuality, at personal and societal levels
  • Provide a challenging environment where initiative and creativity will be fostered and where students will be encouraged to share experiences and learn from each other
  • Equip students with the skills and sexual literacy to devise and implement work-related strategies
  • Develop in students the necessary competencies to measure and evaluate friendships, relationships, sexuality and sexual health related initiatives 
  • Emphasise in its content and delivery the need to exercise critical judgement in order to select relevant friendships, relationships, sexuality and sexual health educational tools
  • Develop negotiating skills to give participants the confidence to promote solutions in the friendships, relationships, sexuality and sexual health environment
  • Develop lifelong learning skills 

 This part-time programme begins in September, and comprises three core modules.

Language, Sexuality and Culture

Topics include: Socialisation process; History and theories underpinning sexuality studies; Intellectual disability; Heterosexuality; History of Irish sexuality; Social institutions; Language, media and communications; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI); Power and intimacy.

Intellectual Disability Relationships and Sexuality

Topics include: Personal values and understanding of people with intellectual disability being a sexual human being; Supporting relationships; Intimacy; Communication; Power; Labelling and discrimination; Friendships and relationships for all regardless of level of disabilities.

Pedagogy and Sexual Health

Topics include: Theoretical perspectives on teaching and learning; Theories of learning; Lesson plan development; Facilitating teaching sessions creatively and RSE policy development. 

View the current course structure →


Our teaching is informed by the best available research, an emphasis on engagement in learning partnerships with our stakeholders, and the development of a distinctive Sexuality and Sexual Health Education inquiry-led approach to learning. The DCU academic community and the on-campus support services all advocate sexual literacy and the advancement of knowledge in this growing field.


Graduates will be well equipped to develop their existing practices and/or take up positions with a multiplicity of stakeholders such as intellectual disability services, secondary and primary schools, local and national government, non-governmental organisations, health settings and private sector positions, for example:

  • Sexuality/pastoral education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels
  • Services for the child and adolescent both with NGOs and governmental agencies
  • Community and primary care workers, social workers, registered nurses (Intellectual Disability, General and Mental Health) and especially those related to sexual health education and promotion and care centres
  • Reproductive health education, research, training, and prevention facilities and organisations
  • Service provision and training for service providers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and rape crisis centres
  • Marriage and relationship counselling services, psychotherapy and other counselling services

In these areas


General Entry Requirements

Normally a recognised primary Level 8 degree with a minimum of a H2:2.

In the case of International applicants, having educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.

Applicants who do not hold a primary degree (or judged equivalent) will have their prior certified learning assessed through a system of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

All Applicants must Submit

  • Academic transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable

Non Native English Speakers must submit

Dates for Submission of Applications

EU Applicants

Applications will be made online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre http://www.pac.ie.  Closing date for applications is 14th August 2020.

Non-EU Applicants

Applications will be made online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (http://www.pac.ie/dcu).  Closing date for applications is 14th August 2020.

Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised they are ineligible to apply for this programme.

Queries on completed applications can be made by e-mail to postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie.

Fees & Payments

For information about payment methods & Schedules, download the DCU fees booklet.

Register/Pay Online

Graduate Certificate in Relationships & Sexuality Education for People with Intellectual Disability Course Fees

Course Student Contribution EU Status Fee Non EU Fees
Part Time €0 €2,590 €0