Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

Do you see yourself at the forefront of tackling some of the most crucial and pressing social, ecological and economic issues of our times? Do you regard yourself as ambitious and driven, with a strong disposition towards leadership, innovation and thinking and acting differently about local, national and global issues? Then the contemporary and innovative BSc (Social Sciences) Degree programme is for you!

“It’s a mark of our humanity that we want to understand how we live in society!”

The BSc (Social Science) programme is aimed at motivated school leavers and mature students who have a strong penchant for the study of some of the most fundamental issues and concerns for modern society and the environment. The programme strongly focuses on the applied nature of the Social Sciences and will equip students with practical research skills, in addition to focussing on career development and readiness, and further educational opportunities. There is an international fieldtrip in year two, a significant workplace internship in year three, and dissertation or research project component in year four, giving students practical real-world experience and knowledge of working in areas of Social Scientific inquiry. The growth in interdisciplinary study and research is building crucial knowledge and supporting the national capacity to respond to complex societal challenges by providing new solutions that cannot be provided by one discipline alone. This pioneering interdisciplinary Social Sciences degree programme draws on key strengths of Schools and Disciplines right across the College of Arts, university-wide Research Institutes and Centres, and innovation and entrepreneurial programs right across the University. Supporting and advocating the value and need for social scientific research to key decision-makers and policy designers, in addition to community activism and advocacy, forms an intrinsic part of the Social Sciences programme ethos.






Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 Grades in the Leaving Certificate including Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

5 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline


  • Introduction to the Study of the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Sociology & Political Science
  • Practicing Sociology & Politics
  • Introduction to Economic Policy
  • Principles of Human and Physical Geography
  • Geography in Practice
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Digital Skills for the Social Sciences.

Year Two

In addition to further developing their critical understanding of key areas of the Social Sciences, students will focus on problem-centred learning and will undertake research method courses aimed at understanding social scientific research and how it contributes to tackling current societal challenges, and learn how to use social scientific technology tools such as GIS. Year Two also involves a significant European fieldtrip in Semester Two.

Year Three

Students undertake a significant work-based semester-long internship: students may avail of a wide range of existing placement opportunities or seek their own tailored to their preferred career or further educational pathways. Students will also undertake the Professional Skills and Pathways module to prepare them for this work internship and their future careers, and several additional modules such as a Government fieldtrip; The Live Arts Event; Policymaking, lobbying, and Advocacy; and Development & Change.

Year Four

Students will select modules within their preferred career pathway. In addition, students are paired with an experienced academic supervisor to design and develop an independent research project, with a strong focus on publishing their completed work. The four indicative study pathways offered in this final year are:

  • Environmental Social Studies
  • Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship
  • Politics, Society and Identity
  • Communities, Engagement and Development.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Year 4 (60 Credits)

Optional TI369: Geographical Perspectives on Rural Change - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP219: Political Sociology - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI326: War & Representation: Spaces & Politics of the Media - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI3127: Critical Geographies of Children - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP3208: Contemporary American Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP3199: Care, Power, Information - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI303: Coastal Dynamics - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI3126: Geographies of Tourism: Planning, Development and Sustainability - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP406: Principles Of Political Theory - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP705.I: Revisiting Violence - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required TI335: Research Project Design & Development - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP3141: Socially-Engaged Art and Relations of Power - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP305: Comparative Public Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3137: Youth and Society - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3139: Comparative Government and Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI311: Advanced Gis - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI3117: Migration, Mobility and Belonging - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP420: Sociology Of The Environment - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP618: Welfare Words: Key Words in Social Work & Social Welfare - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP721: Ocean and Marine Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SPL315.II: Smart & Liveable Cities and Suburbs - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP419: Marxist Theory - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3193: Introduction to Social Work - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3194: Theories of Nationalism - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3192: Sociology of Religion - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3129: Sexualities, Genders and Diversities - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional WS821.II: Thinking Differently: European Women's Studies - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP405: Contemporary Social Thought - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3144: Political Liberty - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3103: European Union: Political Theory and Pol. Economy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3198: Songs of Rebellion: Power, Resistance, and Affect - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3150: Teaching Methods for the Politics and Society Classroom - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3101: 'Community' - Significance and Change - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3133: The Northern Ireland Conflict - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3134: Human Rights Advocacy: Concepts, Law and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI338: Palaeoecology - Reconstructing Past Environments - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP701: Children & Young People in Families Today - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3214: Biosociality and Bioeconomy: The Value(s) of Living Things - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Required BSS4100: Research Seminar in Social Sciences - 20 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3209: The Sociology of the Bioeconomy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SPL304: Women, Men & the Economy: Critical Explorations of Theory & Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI324: Urban Geography: Planning the Modern City - 5 Credits - Semester 8

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This innovative four-year degree is aimed at high-achieving students with a passion to better understand and address the crucial contemporary social, environmental and economic issues of our time

Students will participate in a European fieldtrip in Year Two as well as a one-semester WORK internship/placement in Year Three, gaining practical experience and understanding of working in key areas of the social sciences

This interdisciplinary degree draws on key strengths of schools, disciplines and research institutes right across the university, allowing for the synthesis of ideas from diverse social science disciplines and perspectives to produce career-ready graduates.

Work Placements

Our students have the opportunity to participate in a semester-long national, European or international work internship/placement, which takes place in Year Three. This internship will provide practical experience and links with programme partners, organisations, industry and businesses, and will serve to enhance student's overall employability on graduation. Year Four will focus on building upon this work experience and knowledge preparing students for future career choices or further study opportunities in their chosen careers. Placement opportunities are competitive, programme-specific, and subject to change depending on availability. Work placements include community, industry and on-campus opportunities. Year Three study opportunities are also available at the University of Galway and beyond.

Study Abroad

The European fieldtrip is a central element of the programme in Year Two. The programme also offers exciting prospects to study or work abroad as part of the student internship/placement experience in Year Three. Such study/work opportunities suit students who view their future as part of the international community of social scientific researchers and activists, such as those working with the European Union or the United Nations. Studying abroad is offered through the Erasmus programme. Our internationally renowned lecturers continue to expand their teaching and research networks globally with other academics, institutions and universities.

Career Opportunities

Students can expect to develop careers in many diverse areas, industries and sectors such as community development, social care, environmental and urban planning, Irish and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local and national politics, international development, human resource management, journalism, the media and social research, to mention just a few such callings. The programme also offers exciting opportunities to develop careers in business and industry, specifically in areas of innovation, culture, creativity and entrepreneurship.



Who’s Suited to This Course

Students who choose the BSc (Social Sciences) degree programme at NUI Galway are innovator and potential leaders seeking to understand and tackle the most challenging social, ecological and economic issues in contemporary society. They are frontrunners in informed decision-making pursuing accurate and feasible solutions to global issues and concerns based on fundamentally sound empirical evidence and research. The programme gives students the tools to address and tackle these grand societal concerns and problems and Social Science graduates offer a wide range of skills that are invaluable to present-day employers across the public, private and third sectors. These include the ability to understand complex issues in a holistic manner, on individual and cultural and societal levels; research, analyse and evaluate data critically; question flawed assumptions; understand people, institutions and their relationships; understand processes of change; make reasoned arguments; communicate concisely and clearly and solve pressing problems with ingenuity and a passion to do good.

What do social science graduates do?

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,598 p.a. (€5,738 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€18,500 p.a. (€18,640 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here.

Find out More

Dr Mike Hynes
School of Political Science & Sociology
Professor Frances Fahy                                                                                                                                                                                             E: francis.fahy@universityofgalway.ie

School of Geography, Archaeology, and Irish Studies



Luke Roche |   Social Sciences Graduate

This social science degree really gives you all the necessary skills and knowledge to follow your desired career pathway. The fieldtrip and work placement allows you apply the knowledge from the classroom in a real-world context and are invaluable. The small course size also allows that extra feeling of support.