UL Practicum in Politics: Limerick Be Heard

Community Development

UL Practicum in Politics: Limerick Be Heard

Project synopsis

Limerick Be Heard creates forums for political engagement where young people feel confident and comfortable to have their say about what matters to them, supported by co-created educational resources and activities. Combining academic curriculum with creative Youth Work facilitation methods, the project connects Young People across Limerick City and County to build a collective and authentic voice for change.

Limerick Youth Services www.limerickyouthservice.com

This module combines class room based theoretical insights into the motivations that underpin political action (including insights from new social movements theory and rational choice approaches, selected case studies) with practical experience supporting the Youth Ambassadors for Democracy programme. Students taking this module may be engaged in a variety of research tasks, as well as practical experience in the preparation and facilitation of group activities and group facilitation with Young People taking the programme.

To date, Limerick Be Heard project collaboration has supported:

  • 12 US Study Abroad Scholarships under the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)
  • 1 IRC New Foundations Award – Enhancing Civic Society within an International Context
  • 1 IRC/EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie CAROLINE 3 year post-doctoral Fellowship Award

Learning outcomes:

  • Apply curriculum-based knowledge in a real-world setting.
  • Explore issues of social responsibility, ethical practice and in sustainable community contexts.
  • Recognize the capacity of those outside their own area of expertise to deliver their own professional and/or experiential expertise into collaborative project work.
  • Enhance problem-solving capability via collaborative project work in multi-disciplinary team with external community partners and stake-holders
  • Develop competence in conveying ideas clearly and effectively to a range of different stake-holders in different organizational and/or community or cultural settings contexts.
  • Understand the challenges and constraints posed by real-life community collaboration
  • Celebrate the opportunity to make a difference.

Project outcomes :

  • 17 General Election workshops with local community groups to explain the PR STV electoral system and its consequences
  • 117 new voter registrations


  • 8 #Youth Engage collaborative workshops between Limerick Youth volunteers and UL undergraduates to co-create workshop activities and resources to promote youth empowerment and political agency.
  • 5 Limerick Be Heard #Youth Engage Schools workshops facilitated by Youth volunteers and UL undergraduates to local five local schools
  • Youth Ambassadors for Democracy programme – a 6 week programme co-designed by young people for young people to develop civic engagement and political understanding for the promotion of human rights and democracy.
  • International Workshop #Youth Engage network established comprising youth work and academic practitioners to advance knowledge exchange and develop a shared value base for further collaboration


  • Delivery of the Youth Ambassadors for Democracy programme by UL undergraduates to 3 Limerick Youth Services groups.
  • Creation of 7 mirror ‘Be Heard’ groups in South Africa, Sweden and the US.
  • Creation of the Limerick Inside Out Treasure Hunt – a spin-off collaboration between Limerick Be Heard and Limerick City and County Council, offering unique youth-led tours of the city. To date the Treasure Hunt has been offered to 128 US Study Abroad Students and 18 visiting academics from Charles Sturt University, Australia.
Further Details & Assessment:
  • This module comprises the University of Limerick commitment to a joint university / community partnership with associated deliverables.
    Students taking this module must commit to giving their full contribution to the delivery of the agreed outputs necessary to support the project.
  • Students taking this module must commit to full attendance.
  • Failure to attend any of the prescribed module will result in the automatic award of a C3 grade.
  • Absence from 3 or more lectures, classes, off-campus activities will result in the award of a Fail grade.
  • There are two points of assessment, each worth 50% of the final grade: one for an academic essay concerning the curriculum content underpinning project work; and one concerning the practical delivery of agreed project outputs.
Credit weighting:


Academic Contact:

Maura Adshead