Course Overview

The part-time Bachelor of Arts (Humanities and Social Science), delivered via flexible learning, prepares students to progress in the rapidly changing global environment.  Our flexible, broad-based curriculum allows you to choose a degree pathway that reflects your individual interests and career objectives.  The curriculum includes specialisms in Archaeology, Economics, Political & Social Science, English & Drama, History, Training & Education Management and Modern Languages.

Applications and Selections

Online applications will reopen in April 2019.



Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment


The part-time BA is a four-year flexible learning programme.  Flexible learning includes a combination of:

  • face-to-face monthly lectures and tutorials
  • self-instructional learning materials
  • online tutorials
  • online discussions and activities
  • study groups and group work
  • weekly on-campus attendance requirement for those studying French

You will have online access to course content and will be supported by an online tutor at all times.


Assessments may include: online activities, essays, written reports, presentations, individual and group projects and written examinations (which take place at NUI Galway).

Basic computer skills will be an advantage.  E-mail, internet and NUI Galway's online learning environment are in use throughout the course.

All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of the English language during their two most recent years of study, must present one of the following qualifications in the English language: IELTS: 6.5 or TOEFL (IBT): 92. Please see this webpage for further information:

Candidates who are 21 years or over on or before January 1 st of year of entry may gain entry to the programme on the basis of mature years. Candidates under 21 years should meet the minimum matriculation requirements as outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions section.


Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.).

Additional Requirements


Part-time, 4 years

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level

Level 8

Mode of study

Flexible learning 

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline


1. Core Modules

Over the duration of the degree you will complete two core modules (10 ECTS):

  • Skills for Learning introduces you to the online and blended learning environment and bridges the learning gap between your last educational experience and returning to education as an adult learner.
  • Critical Thinking covers the concept of critical thinking and its associated skills and applications within the context of academic research.

2. Specialisms

A major specialism totals 75 ECTS and is generally taken over the four years of the programme. You can choose a major specialism in: English & Drama, Political Science & Sociology, Economics, Training & Education Management and French.

A minor specialism totals 40 ECTS and is generally taken over a minimum of two years (the duration may vary across subject areas). You can choose a minor specialism in: History, Archaeology, English & Drama, Political Science & Sociology, Economics, Training & Education Management and French.

3. Electives

Electives may be chosen to add value to a specialism or for your own personal development. Electives are available in the following subject areas: Archaeology, Irish Studies, Political Science & Sociology and Management. The number of electives available in a given year will depend on the degree pathway that you choose.


BA Humanities and Social Sciences degree pathway graph



A minor specialism in Archaeology will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the archaeology of Ireland’s past, stretching from the first settlers approximately 10,000 years ago right up to select themes from early modern times.  

This subject is delivered fully online.


The Economics specialism provides a flourishing and diverse academic environment which integrates teaching and research, theory and empirical applications, in a policy-oriented and interdisciplinary way.  At degree level, you will study a range of policy-oriented modules, including the economics of healthcare and natural resources as well as a number of applied macroeconomics and financial economics modules. 

This subject is delivered fully online.


The History stream seeks to analyse and explain the development of human society over time.  The programme covers a range of chronological periods, the historical experience of different countries, major themes in human society, and the processes of cultural change.

This subject is delivered by blended learning; both online and via monthly workshops on campus (Saturdays).

Political & Social Sciences

This specialism is designed to encourage students to examine the connections between political and sociological prespectives in relation to national and world issues.  One of the common concerns of Political Science and Sociology is how and why societies change and what alternatives are desirable or possible.  A core feature of this course is to encourage students to think critically, to explore possibilities and to seek solutions to social and political problems.

This subject is delivered by blended learning; both online and via monthly workshops on campus (Saturdays).

Training and Education Management

This specialism responds to the continuing professional development needs of practitioners working in the field of adult education, training and human resource development.  Its practical approach places specific emphasis on developing competence in programme design and development strategies, project and innovation management, employee development supports and organisational training efficiencies.

This subject is delivered by blended learning; both online and via monthly workshops on campus (days may vary).


The French specialism is designed for students with an interest in French to acquire a high level of communication skills in the language (oral and written) through a variety of practical language exercises.  The French native teachers will use the communicative method of modern language instruction.  Students will study major issues in the contemporary French speaking world, such as immigration, education, culture and politics.

This subject is delivered via weekly evening classes on campus.

English and Drama

This specialism forms a basis for a spectrum of critical thinking and cultural analysis. The programme entails the study of specific literary and theatrical areas. You will refine, develop and/or acquire skills in close reading and critical analysis, improve and enhance oral and written expression, and emerge with an expanded sense of imaginative and cultural possibility.

This subject is delivered by blended learning; both online and via monthly workshops on campus (Saturdays).

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the part-time Bachelor of Arts (BA) are highly versatile and may find employment in a variety of areas including government organisations, healthcare, journalism, creative writing, business and education services and many more (further qualifications may be required for certain careers).  Graduates will develop the following skills that are considered essential for today’s workforce:  

  • critical and analytical thinking
  • time and task management
  • problem solving and decision making
  • editing, research and report writing
  • communication, oral and written
  • digital literacy

Who’s Suited to This Course

The Degree programme is for you if you are:

  • interested in the humanities and social sciences
  • require a general academic qualification for career or personal development
  • considering progressing to postgraduate studies

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€3,055 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€3,555 p.a.

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2018_19 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Lucy O'Neill

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 492144 


What Our Students Say


Mary Bernard |   Past Student

Studying at NUI Galway as a mature student was an amazing experience. Although heading back into education was a daunting task, the rewards were countless. Completing a Bachelor of Arts gave me added confidence in myself and my abilities; it allowed me to hone my skills and realise my potential in many different areas. This degree changed the direction of my career and helped me gain a promotion. It’s not just about learning a subject; I also gained experience in public speaking, problem solving, time management and project work. There were times when it was very challenging, although being a member of a group of students going through the same experiences allowed me to overcome those challenges. I recommend taking the step into further education to anyone at any stage of life. Explore an interest, further your career, or discover another path. Whatever the reasons, returning to education is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.