More than 180 gardaí graduated with Bachelors of Arts in Applied Policing, accredited by University of Limerick (UL), at a special conferring ceremony at the Garda Síochána College, Templemore, County Tipperary on Wednesday, October 18.
The 188 gardaí, from two classes recruited in 2014, were the first cohort to graduate from this new degree programme, run by the School of Law in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin and UL’s Acting Vice President, Academic and Registrar Dr Pat Phelan attended the ceremony in Templemore, along with Dr Eimear Spain and Prof. Shane Kilcommins (Head of the School of Law).
In November 2014, UL and An Garda Síochána signed a Memorandum of Understanding that resulted in the university accrediting the BA in Applied Policing delivered in the Garda Síochána College, Templemore.
The 104-week BA programme represents best practice in education and uses a combination of formal lectures, problem-based learning and placement where student skills are developed.
Addressing the ceremony Dr Pat Phelan, Acting Vice President, Academic and Registrar at UL said:
“When University of Limerick partnered with the Garda Siochána College on this degree course two and a half years ago, we had a vision to deliver best practice in education and this programme, in essence, has allowed a ‘community of scholars’ at UL and a ‘community of practice’ in An Garda Síochana to pool their resources to build a challenging and innovative curriculum delivered by UL’s award-winning Law faculty and supported by strict academic regulations.”
“This partnership between UL and An Garda Síochana is a pioneering one. It is very unusual for a criminal justice agency to engage in a collaboration of this kind, but it is in keeping with the national strategy for higher education, which calls on universities to engage more widely with business, industry, training colleges and communities.”