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Creative Studies for Special Needs

Creative Studies for Special Needs is a FETAC Level 6 Minor Award (6N1972) offered on a part time, blended learning basis which will equip the learner with the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to utilise play and the creative arts to support the development of clients with special educational needs.

It is an experientially based learning programme with an additional online component. Participants will engage in a wide range of creative activities that will enhance personal development and build a solid skill base for therapeutic work. Each learner will engage in practice in a suitable work placement in a notified Early Childhood Care and education setting or recognised equivalent.

Programme Aims

  • Enable participants to learn how play and the creative arts supports the holistic development of clients with special needs.
  • Equip participants to observe, assess, and intervene using creative arts activities to promote the development of  clients with special needs.
  • Enable participants to develop skills in formulating, organising, and managing play and creative arts programmes for this client group.
  • Facilitate effective working in partnership relationships
  • Develop each learners capacity for reflective practice

This programme is suitable for those who:

  • Have a strong interest in using play and the arts in special needs services and enjoy experiential learning methods.
  • Wish to acquire the knowledge, skill and competence relevant to working with individuals with special needs while emphasizing the importance of creative studies from both a theoretical and practical perspective.
  • Wish to attain a recognized qualification and enhance, or embark on, a professional career in working with individuals with special needs in a range of settings.
  • Wish to developing skills in formulating, organising, and managing play and creative arts programmes that will aid the holistic development of clients with special needs.
  • Are currently working or re-entering the work environment but would like to upskill.
  • Would like to enhance employment prospects and/or job satisfaction and promotion opportunities

To access this programme learners should have reached the standards of knowledge, skills and competence associated with level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This may have been achieved through a formal qualification or through relevant life and work experiences.

This award will also be of interest to care staff, teachers, therapists, social workers, and others whose professional life brings them into regular contact with at-risk children and children in crisis.


Unit 1 – Theoretical Perspectives

Unit 2 – Observation and Assessment

Unit 3 – Formulating, Organising and Managing Play and Creative Arts Programmes

Including Art, Play, Music, Movement. Dance and Clay

Unit 4 – Planning and Implementing Play Interventions

Unit 5 – Professional Practice

On completion of the programme, including successful completion of associated assignments and the attainment of 15 credits, the learner will be awarded a Level 6 component certificate in Creative Studies for Special Needs (6N1972). This can be used as a component of the Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007) or other Major Awards.


Applications are accepted by letter giving details of the applicants’ name, address, email and phone numbers, educational background, current employment, and reasons for wishing to complete the course. Please highlight any experience in working with children and/or clients with special needs (any age). An up to date CV should be included. We will need your date of birth and PPS number to register you for the course. Successful applicants will need to be garda vetted prior to placement. Please indicate in application letter if you have already been Garda vetted and if you have access to clients with special needs in a work (paid or voluntary) setting within which you could complete observations and creative arts sessions.

Post / Email letter of application and CV to: Children’s Therapy Centre, Slievenagorta, Ballymore, Mullingar, Co Westmeath or email to childrenstherapycentre@gmail.com  Phone: 087 6488149

Fees: Payable directly to bank account (details available on payment plan sheet) or post to CTC at Westmeath address (above). Cheques, drafts, PO’s should be made payable to the Children’s Therapy Centre.

Cost:          €680 (Payment plan options available on request)