Certificate/Diploma in Employee Assistance and Social Support

Course overview

The Diploma in Employee Assistance and Social Support is a two-year, blended learning training programme for staff working or intending to work in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). The programme provides knowledge and basic training in the skills necessary to fulfil the role of an EAP practitioner. The programme is broadly based in recognition of the very different functions and responsibilities allocated to the EAP support role in different types of enterprise and organisations.


On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:


• Describe and explain the origins of Employee Assistance and differing national approaches to EAP policies, legislation and practice in the European Union.

• Demonstrate in their work an ability to use a wide range of interpersonal skills appropriate to the needs of their clients.

• Demonstrate the ability to respond with appropriate skills to a wide range of frequently occurring workplace problems.

• Describe and advise on different ways of providing EAP services in a workplace.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applicants must have reached 21 years of age by January 1 of the year of entry. Applicants should have appropriate experience in some area of Human Resources or Employee Assistance and should be in a position to undertake course assignments and projects relating to practical aspects of employee assistance.

Duration: Certificate: 1 year, part-time. Diploma: 2 years, part-time.

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: 90 ECTS (45 ECTS per each academic year)

Awards: Certificate in Employee Assistance and Supported Employment.
Diploma in Employee Assistance and Supported Employment.

Closing date: Please contact the Programme Administrator for further information; see below.

NFQ level: Certificate/Diploma - Level 7

Mode of study: Part-time, distance and blended learning programme delivered through self-study texts, regional workshops, and online activities.

Course outline

The following are the range of modules (five per year) available on this programme:


Year 1


The modules in the Certificate year (Year 1) focus on the basic knowledge and skills for the practice of employee assistance:


- Individual Help in the Employee Assistance Process

- Employee Assistance: Origins, Principles and Organisation

- Problem Management and Creativity

- Negotiations and Negotiation Skills

- The Legal and Policy Framework of EAP

- Work-based Project


Year 2


In the Diploma year (Year 2), the focus is on workplace problems that are encountered particularly frequently.   Processes and procedures for managing and coping with these problems are explained and the interpersonal skills needed at the various stages of these procedures identified and practised. The modules in the second year are:


- Introduction to Research in the Social Sciences

- Employee Assistance – Psychological Trauma

- Depression and Common Mental Disorders in EAP

- Responding to Substance Misuse in the Workplace

- Employee Assistance – Bullying and Harassment

- Work-based Project (Credits: 10 ECTS) Course outline


Note: Modules of equivalent status may be offered on each year of the programme.

Applications and selections

Applications for 2015-2016 will open on April 1, 2015 at www.nuigalway.ie/apply

Note: A non-refundable application fee of €30 is to be paid online at time of application. 


All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of English language during their two most recent years of study, must present one of the following qualifications in the English language: IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT): 92. Please see this webpage for further information: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/englishlanguagerequirements/


A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following:

- Job Seekers Benefit

- Job Seekers Allowance

- One-Parent Family Allowance

- Disability Allowance

- Social Insurance Contribution Credits

- Community Employment Scheme

Requirements and assessment

Students may take year 1 of this programme as a stand-alone course for which a Certificate in Employee Assistance and Social Support will be awarded.   At the end of year 2, a Diploma in Employee Assistance and Social Support will be awarded.  

On completion of year 2 students who wish to can progress into year 3 of the Degree in Training and Education programme.

Participants are required to attend two, 2-day and four, 1-day workshops each year guided by tutors from NUI Galway. Workshop locations are selected to be geographically accessible to the majority of students. Attendance at workshops is a key programme requirement. A full set of self-instructional learning material is provided at the start of each module. 

Assessment is by means of a written assignment for each module plus an end of year project.

Find out more

Programme Administrator

Adult Training and Education Studies

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


T: 353 91 494059
E: trainingeducation@nuigalway.ie


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €2,900 p.a. 2014/15

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment - see section titled "Applications and selections" below for further details.

Past students

Kevin McDonald

“Excellent course and well presented, great support from NUIG at all times. It was a pleasure to return to Adult Education”.

Niall O'Connor

“I think NUI Galway have got the balance just right with the Employee Assistance and Social Support Diploma course. There is a great mix between academic and practical learning. The lecturers are excellent, drawing from a life time of practical experience. The journals are of a high quality allowing students to prepare for each 2-day workshop. The workshops are very relaxed which allows the students to draw on their experience of dealing with real EAP for the benefit of all in the class”.

Dennis Farrell

"I am thrilled with what I have achieved on this course as it stands to me in my present employment as Personnel Support Service Non Commissioned Officer, in the Irish Defence Forces. This appointment entails dealing with serving and retired soldiers and their family’s with social and domestic problems, and much more. I am actually thinking on the lines of a degree. If someone had told me that two years ago I wouldn’t have believed it."