Entry Points (2022)

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.

Watch our introductory video from our May 2021 Virtual Open Day





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


4 years

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades (2022)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

5 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Introducing the Social Sciences
Introduction to Sociology and Political Science
Principles of Geography
Digital Citizenship
Introduction to Economic and Social Policy
Digital Skills for the Social Sciences.
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 methods courses aimed at tackling current and future societal challenges and learn how to use key social scientific technology tools. Year Two will also entail an international fieldtrip in semester two.
A choice of modules in semester one will be followed by a work-based internship in semester two (January–May). The programme’s dedicated placement team will coordinate and attempt to place each individual student with their chosen organisation, agency, business sector or industry thus tailoring their training and experience to meet the students preferred career pathway. Students will also undertake a module in career development and readiness.
Students will again select modules in year fur that align to their preferred career or further educational pathway, and students will also be paired with an academic supervisor to design, develop and undertake a research project, with a strong focus on publishing their finished work. The four recommended study pathways 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 TI3113: Long-term Environmental Change - 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 SP3197: Thinking Politically: The Power of Ideas - 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 TI230: Economic Geography - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI311: Advanced Gis - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI3117: Migration, Mobility and Belonging - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI324: Urban Geography: Planning the Modern City - 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 SP3209: The Sociology of the Bioeconomy - 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 SPL304: Women, Men & the Economy: Critical Explorations of Theory & Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3133: The Northern Ireland Conflict - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Required BSS4100: Research Seminar in Social Sciences - 20 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3134: Human Rights Advocacy: Concepts, Law and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 8

Further Education

Graduates of the BSc (Social Sciences) programme will be equipped with the talents, knowledge and experience to undertake a wide range of research-based or taught postgraduate programmes. With its strong focus on the applied nature of the Social Sciences, students undertaking the programme develop very practical contemporary skills that are immensely advantageous to the broad range of postgraduate opportunities currently available. The University offers an array of taught master’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes of interest to Social Sciences graduates. In the past number of years, the College has also pioneered the development of structured PhD programmes which combine the traditional research dissertation of the PhD with generic and discipline-specific training modules designed to enhance students’ skills and employability. The work-based internship in year three of the programme will be an invaluable asset in the toolkit of graduates of the Social Sciences programme. Some suggested postgraduate courses on for Social Science graduates:

  • Environment, Society, and Development (MA)
  • Rural Futures Planning and Innovation (MA)
  • Journalism (MA)
  • Politics and Sociology (MA)
  • Public Policy (MA)
  • Social Work (MA)
  • Digital Media (MA)
  • Professional Master of Education (PME).

 For a full list of further study options at NUI Galway please see: www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taughtpostgraduatecourses/

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The BSc (Social Sciences) programme offers clear pathways that lead to an array of career opportunities across a wide range of interests including governmental, agency and business and industry sectors. Guidance will be offered throughout the programme to ensure students are undertaking the most appropriate modules for their own personal career goals and development. Careers post-graduation include (but are not limited to); Irish and international NGO’s, Agencies and authorities at local, national, EU and international levels, Public Service, Politics, Irish Aid Programmes, Community Work, Security and Crime Prevention, Contemporary Urban Planning, Environmental & Sustainability Policy, International Development, Human Resource Management, Business and Industry, Marketing, Industrial Relations, Journalism, the media and an array of social research opportunities. With the emphasis on broad societal contemporary challenges, the programme also offers new and existing opportunities for students to develop careers in business, industry and commerce, working with private sector companies, SMEs and multinationals, by proving unique understandings of innovation and entrepreneur processes and practices.

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

€5,738 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€17,360 p.a. 2023/24

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
Room 323, 2nd Floor
School of Political Science & Sociology
Áras Moyola, Central Campus
NUI Galway
T: +353 91 49 5104


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    Quick Guide to Courses 2023 PDF (697 KB)

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  • CAO Brochure

    CAO Brochure PDF (1.3 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)

  • QQI / FETAC Pathways Guide

    QQI / FETAC Pathways Guide PDF (45MB)