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Bachelor of Arts Social Science
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
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.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Next start date
A Level Grades (2023)
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Mode of study
- Introduction to the Study of Social Sciences
- Digital Skills for the Social Sciences
- Introduction to Sociology
- Practicing Sociology
- Introduction to Politics
- Practicing Politics
- Digital Citizenship
- Introduction to Economic Policy
- Geography in Practice
- Principles of Human Geography
- Principles of Physical Geography
- Introduction to Sustainability
- Research Methods for Social and Political Science
- Cooperative Learning and Group Research Methods
- Social Issues and Policy Responses
- Sociology of Health
- European Politics
- Introduction to GIS
- Theory and Practice in Geography
- Political & Cutural Geography: Identity, Race and the Nation
- Classical Social Thought
- Modern Political Thought
- Professional Skills and Pathways for Social Scientists
- Work Placement for Social Scientists
- Research Placement for Social Scientists
- International Work Placement for Social Scientists
- Global Engagement (study abroad)
- Space, Place and the Irish Landscape
- Economics of Public and Social Policy
- Development and Change
- Aimsir agus Aeraid/ Weather and Climate
- Equality, Diversity and Collective Action
- Research Seminar in Social Sciences
- Research Project Design and Development
- Geographical Perspectives on Rural Change
- Political Sociology
- Migration, Mobility and Belonging
- Thinking Politically: The Power of Ideas
- Contemporary American Politics
- War and Representation: Spaces and Politics of the Media
- Comparative Public Policy
- European Women's Studies
Curriculum InformationCurriculum 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 1 (60 Credits)Required BSS1101: Introduction to the Study of the Social Sciences - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required BSS1100: Digital Citizenship - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required EC1110: Introduction to Economic Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1120: Practicing Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required SP1125: Introduction to Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required TI1100: Geography in Practice - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required TI150: Principles of Human Geography - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required BSS1102: Digital Skills for the Social Sciences - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required SP1121: Practicing Sociology - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required SP1126: Introduction to Sociology - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Required TI151: Principles of Physical Geography - 5 Credits - Semester 2
Year 2 (60 Credits)Optional SP2116: Sociology of Health - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP216.I: European Politics - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required BSS2103: Introduction to Sustainability 1 - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required SP235: Social Issues and Policy Responses - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required TI2102: Introduction To GIS - 10 Credits - Semester 3
Required TI229: Political & Cutural Geography: Identity, Race & the Nation - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Required TI251: Theory & Practice in Geography I - 5 Credits - Semester 3
Optional SP212: Classical Social Thought - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Optional SP215.II: Modern Political Thought - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required BSS2101: Cooperative Learning and Group Research Methods - 10 Credits - Semester 4
Required SP220: Methods For Social And Political Science - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Required TI252: Theory & Practice in Geography II - 5 Credits - Semester 4
Year 3 (60 Credits)Optional EC267: Economics of Public and Social Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP3195: Equality, Diversity and Collective Action - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional SP404: Development And Change - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional TI216: Aimsir Agus Aeraid/ Weather And Climate - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional TI235: Biogeography - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional TI254: Space, Place and the Irish Landscape - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Required BSS3100: Professional Skills and Pathways for Social Scientists - 10 Credits - Semester 5
Required MG3113: Megatrends - 5 Credits - Semester 5
Optional BSS3101: Work Placement for Social Scientists - 30 Credits - Semester 6
Optional BSS3102: International Work Placement for Social Scientists - 30 Credits - Semester 6
Optional BSS3103: Research Placement for Social Scientists - 30 Credits - Semester 6
Optional BSS3105: Global Engagement Module - 5 Credits - Semester 6
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
Graduates will be eligible to apply to a range of MA programmes including the MA in Public Policy, MA in Politics and Sociology, MA in Gender Globalisation and Rights and MA in Community Youth and Family
For a full list of further study options at University of Galway please see here
Why Choose This Course?
The BSc in Social Science prepares students for careers in government bodies from local to EU and international levels; Irish and global NGOs; community and international development; security and crime prevention; urban planning and sustainability; business
and industry; human resources, marketing and public relations; journalism and media; education and social research.
A distinctive feature of the BSc in Social Science is a strong focus on the applied nature of the social sciences, which equips students with practical skills in designing, conducting, and disseminating research. The skill set acquired by students enables them to be proactive leaders across multiple societal, cultural, economic and policy domains where interdisciplinary research ability is in demand. An eight month work placement in Year Three provides real world experience and interactions with programme partners that enhance the employability of graduates of the course.
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.
Transferable Skills Employers Value
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student Contribution
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
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.
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