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Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education and Sexual Wellbeing

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. 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.

Programme

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, dual delivery programme begins in September, and comprises three core modules.  The course is currently offered fully online.

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.

The Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing is accredited by Dublin City University and therefore provides graduating students with an internationally recognised Level 9 qualification.

This is a one year (two Semester) online programme with no requirement to be on campus. There are no in class lectures.

▪ Lectures are delivered online

▪ Lectures take place on Monday and Tuesday 6pm-8pm (Republic of Ireland time).

▪ Semester 1 is from September – December and semester 2 is from January – April.

▪ All teaching is supported by Loop (Moodle) as its online learning platform

The primary entry requirements are:

  • The primary entry requirement is typically a (NFQ) level 8 Honours Degree or its equivalent outside Ireland in a relevant discipline, for example, anthropology; community health; counselling;  health and society; medicine, nursing [all branches],  primary teaching psychology, psychotherapy, public health secondary teaching; social care;  social work, social work:  sociology; youth and community work etc

● 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).

Further details and direction to the online application portal is available at this link: https://www.dcu.ie/dc676. The application portal is normally open from November of the previous year, with a closing date in late May. It is a competitive process as the number of places available on the programme is 40 students per year

It is not possible to compensate for not having the required professional experience but if you do not have a relevant level 8 degree, it is possible to apply for consideration of other relevant qualifications, learning and experience through completing an additional Recognition of prior experience and learning criteria (RPEL) application. The RPEL application is submitted only after successful interview for the Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing.

The primary entry requirements are:

● A relevant level 8 undergraduate degree (on the NFQ: National Framework of Qualifications; or its equivalent outside of Ireland). All professions are welcome, such as, nursing, social work, Primary and Secondary teaching, psychology, social care, youth work, community work etc.

● A minimum of two year's post primary degree experience.

● 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).

Further details and direction to the online application portal is available at this link: https://www.dcu.ie/dc676. The application portal is normally open from November of the previous year, with a closing date in late May. It is a competitive process as the number of places available on the programme is 40 students per year.

It is not possible to compensate for not having the required professional experience but if you do not have a relevant level 8 degree, it is possible to apply for consideration of other relevant qualifications, learning and experience through completing an additional Recognition of prior experience and learning criteria (RPEL) application. The RPEL application is submitted only after successful interview for the Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing.

The programme fees are available at this link: https://www.dcu.ie/fees (fees are set by the university and may be open to revision).

DCU welcomes international students. Students applying from outside the EU are advised to contact the international office https://www.dcu.ie/international to have their qualifications verified by the university and to get information on living and studying in Ireland prior to application. Non-EU fees apply to international students (see link to fees above).

As the Graduate Certificate in Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing programme is online, students need to have access to a personal computer. Extensive use is made of e-mail for communication with students. In addition, the digital platform, Loop, is used to provide students with study materials, interactive activities, course assignments, and other documentation. Also, students submit assignments online and can access lecturer details, assessment and examination marks. Most importantly, substantial lecturer support is provided online. So regular access to a computer with a broadband internet connection is essential.

Students should also have access to Microsoft Word. If you do not already have access to this software, it is available for free here to all DCU staff and students.

It is expected that DCU Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing students will have a basic level of computer literacy. Ideally your competency level should be equivalent to the European Computer Driving Licence (EDCL) (www.ecdl.com). Students must be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, and using the Microsoft Word processing package. Within your programme of study students will then develop their computing-related skills and competencies. The main thing you need is a willingness to learn as we strive to ensure that online learning is as simple as buying something online. If you have any doubts, then you may wish to complete a free online short course (i.e., MOOC) to get some first-hand experience of online learning.

Technical Requirements:

Your learning experience as a DCU Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing student is enhanced through the use of learning technology and rich digital media. We understand that students will have varying degrees of technical experience and ability when they begin their studies. Due to the key role technology will play in your studies you should be ready to engage with relevant technologies to a minimum level when you begin your studies. That is, you should be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, downloading files, managing files in folders, and using the word processing package Microsoft Word. when you begin your studies you will then further develop your skills with using technology as you study. Becoming more confident in the use of technology will then help you succeed as an Online Distance Learner.

The My Computer Skills tool can aid you in getting a good sense of the computer skills needed for studying in higher education. If you feel that you need to further develop your skills here are some tips on how you can do this:

● Ask family members or friends for assistance

● Take an introductory course in the area you need to develop. Some online examples include: ○ https://alison.com/ provides free online courses such as: Microsoft Office 2010, Computer Basics, how the internet works.

https://learning.mozilla.org/web-literacy have created a useful series of free web literacy resources.

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/ offers free online tutorials on a wide variety of computer skills

https://www.bettercloud.com/ has tips and tricks for using Google apps and Office 365 Online.

https://digitalgarage.withgoogle.com/ has free tutorials produced by Google.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-ie/learning/training.aspx provides training and support for products like Word, Powerpoint and Excel.

A computer (with Microsoft Office) and a broadband Internet connection are needed in order to be able to access learning materials, communicate with your tutors and other students, and attend live, online lectures. In order to communicate in online lectures a headset/microphone and a webcam are needed. Our recommended minimum specifications* for your computer are:

PC

● Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz Processor

● 500 Gigabyte hard drive 3

● 4 Gigabytes of RAM

● Sound card and speakers

● Windows 7 (or later)

● A printer Mac/Apple

● A model running at least OS 10.6.8 that meets or exceeds the requirements listed above for PCs. While most new Macs will meet these you should check this with the retailer from whom you are obtaining the computer. Please note that, where students are provided with software by the University, for example SPSS, it will be for Windows Computers. In these instances it is not possible to provide Apple-Mac versions of software.

All DCU Sexuality Education & Sexual Wellbeing students have online access to the University Library. You may browse and search the DCU library catalogues online, wherever you are. We strongly encourage students to make use of the online journal databases provided by the Library. At the postgraduate level these online journals are an essential part of your study as they provide access to a huge range of full-text academic journals. They also allow you to access a wide range of other online resources, such as the back catalogue of a large number of newspapers.

If you are living in or visiting Ireland, then you can also physically access the Library on a DCU campus.

Student Learning and Development Services:

DCU students also have access to a wider range of learning and development services, including online resources for supporting study skills, academic referencing, careers advice, and so on.

Continuous Assignments:

In general, participants are required to complete a number of assignments for each module they are studying. The role of assignments is primarily to develop learning skills and active learning. You will benefit far more from active engagement with course assignments than from passive reading of course notes or texts. Reading of required and optional textbooks and frequent reference to relevant journals is also an important element of active learning and assignment preparation. The use of the Internet in researching assignment topics is also required in most modules. Participants make use of word processing software in preparing and submitting their assignments (and sometimes other software, presentation tools). Word processing of assignments is a minimum requirement. Submission dates for assignments are milestones in each academic year.

All programmes offered through DCU School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health are awarded by Dublin City University.

The Postgraduate Certificate is a Level 9 in the Irish National Framework of Qualifications or NFQ.