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School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health

Graduate Cert in Sexuality Education and Sexual Wellbeing

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
1 year
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The Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education and Sexual Wellbeing is a unique programme offering specialist educational training in the area of sexuality and sexual health.  The one-year, part-time, online programme begins in September, and comprises three core modules.  

It will reflect issues relating to all sexualities in Irish, European and global contexts. In constructing this programme a professional collaborative partnership between the DCU School of Nursing and Human Sciences and the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) was developed.

The programme aims to create and develop competent sexuality and sexual health educators which will enable those they work with to make healthy decisions, regardless of their position in the life span.


Our strategic aim for this programme is to provide the first Irish Level 9, taught programme in Sexuality and Sexual Health Education. The objectives are to:

  • Train a generation of educators in sexuality and sexual health

  • 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, 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 sexuality and sexual health education related initiatives

  • Emphasise in its content and delivery the need to exercise critical judgement in order to select relevant sexual health promotion tools

  • Develop negotiating skills to give participants the confidence to promote solutions in the sexuality and sexual health environment

  • Develop lifelong learning skills

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

The subjects currently taught on this course:

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

Sexual Health and Sexual Health Promotion

Topics include: Perspectives on sexual health e.g. bio-medical, behavioural and social; Health promotion theory; Safer sex; Contraception; Impact of sexuality on sexual health; Communicating about sexual health and methods of promoting sexual health

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

Teaching supported and informed by best available research
Emphasis on engagement in learning partnerships with key stakeholders
Challenging environment where initiative and creativity are fostered
View the current course structure

By bringing together different constituencies – the IFPA and DCU – this programme gathers a vast array of expertise to create a dynamic, comprehensive and inter-disciplinary new Graduate Certificate. 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 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 adolescent both NGOs and governmental agencies

  • Public health settings, social workers, general and mental health nurses and especially those related to sexual health education and promotion, HIV treatment 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


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)


Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€2,590 per annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€5,100 per annum

Next Steps

All Applicants Must Submit

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here.  Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

  • Academic transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation if applicable.
  • Please upload a CV under the "Supplemental Items & Documents" section.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link
  • In the case of International applicants, having educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. 
  • 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).

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until:

  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2023*

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2023*

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU are advised to apply as early as possible.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Places in this course are limited and in high demand. If applications exceed the number of places available you may be called for an interview.


Queries from EU applicants should be directed to 

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2023.