Courses in

Nursing Health Sciences and Social Care

Certificate in Peer Support Practice

This programme provides students with an education for professional practice in peer support work. This includes disability / neurodiversity, addiction services, physical health (particularly in dementia care), and mental health / emotional distress.

Discipline: Nursing Health Sciences and Social Care

Location: Mayo

NFQ Level: 8

Programme Duration: One year

Mode of Study: Online delivery

Application Route: Apply direct to GMIT

Entry Requirements: See "Essential Information" below

Credits: 30

Places: 25




Why Study?

Have you had a lived experience of emotional or physical distress? Have you had a family member who has suffered mental or physical health challenges? Have you reached a point in your ‘recovery’ that you feel in a position to use your lived experience to help others in their recovery journeys? If so, this course may be for you. The course offers you the skills to work as a professional peer support worker who can provide non-judgemental, peer-led support to people who are experiencing mental and physical health challenges. The programme meets the need to develop systematic education and preparation for professional peer-support practitioners in the statutory and non-statutory sectors and in a number of diverse practice domains.

Programme Modules

Semester One

Understanding Peer Support


Semester Two

Recovery in Mental Health

Contemporary Issues in Mental Health

In addition, you must choose one of the following four elective modules:

Addiction and Social Care

Disability and Care

Critical Perspectives on Neurodiversity

Family / Carer peer Support in Dementia Care

Career Opportunities

The proposed Special Purpose Award provides training and education for a very clearly defined cohort of professional practitioners in peer-support practice. Potential employers are the HSE, voluntary and community organisations. Peer-support work is becoming an important feature of health and social care service delivery nationally.

Qualified Peer Support Workers will be eligible to take up peer support roles in the HSE and the NGO sector. There will also be opportunities in recovery education with the HSE and other organisations. Graduates of the course will also be able to input into service improvement processes in organisations. Peer support workers will also be equipped to work in health and wellbeing settings across a range of community and other settings.

Potential employment roles include:

  • Peer support workers
  • Family peer workers
  • Peer Educators
  • Peer managers
  • Area Leads for Engagement
  • Peer Researchers
  • Peer Advocates
  • Community Connectors
  • Professionals with Lived Experience

Follow-on Studies: 

Graduates from the Peer Support Certificate have multiple further award pathways. They may build on their 30 credits to complete full Degrees in a number of disciplines.

Essential Information: 

Students must have a peer practice setting upon commencement of the course where they apply their theory into practice. This is to ensure ongoing professional reflection and learning.

All students must be Garda vetted.


Entry Requirements:

Level 7 award in a cognate discipline. If you don’t have such an award then your Recognised Prior Experience will be assessed. Students must have an integrated lived experience relevant to peer support practice.

GMIT will assess individual applicants on a case-by-case basis, in line with the RPL Policy.  RPL application is via the website.


The next intake for this programme is September 2021.

How To Apply

Applications for September 2021 are now closed. 



One year over 2 semesters.

GMIT will continue to adhere to Government guidelines to ensure the safety of students, staff and the wider community.



Current fees are listed on our Fees Page

Mental Health Ireland may pay a Bursary (The Tony Leahy Bursary) of half the fees to a selection of students enrolled on the course

Click Bursary to apply



Contact Us

Dr Mark Garavan

Programme Chair