Humanities / Social Sciences (Degree/Diploma)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The new part-time Diploma/Bachelor of Arts (Humanities and Social Science), delivered via blended 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, English & Drama, History, Training & Education Management and Modern Languages.

Find out all you need to know about the new part-time BA on our Student Launch Pad.

Arts Information Session

Find out more about the new Diploma/Bachelor of Arts.
Wednesday 26th August, 6:30pm to 10pm
James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway

Who should apply

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

Key facts

Entry requirements

If you are aged 21 years or over on or before January 1st of year of entry, you may gain entry to the programme on the basis of mature years. Candidates under 21 years should meet the minimum matriculation requirements, further information is available from

Duration: Part-time, 4 years in duration.

Next start date: September 2015

ECTS weighting: Diploma: ECTS: 90 | Degree: ECTS: 180

Average intake: Unlimited

Closing date: 10th July, first round offers will be made in the following weeks. If all places are not filled in the first round, applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed up to mid-August.

NFQ level: Diploma: Level 7 | Degree cycle: Level 8

Mode of study: Blended learning

Course outline


1. Core Modules

Over the duration of the degree you will complete three core modules (15 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.

- Skills to Succeed aims to provide you with the skills to be successful in your chosen pathway by developing a set of practical skills that form the foundation for an effective working life.

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: Economics, English & Drama, Training & Education Management and Italian.

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: Archaeology, Economics, English & Drama, History (available in the degree cycle), Training & Education Management and Italian.

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, Italian, Gaeilge, Irish Studies and Community & Family Studies. 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.


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. 

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.


Italian is open to those who have no or little knowledge of the language.  Following a communicative and collaborative approach, during the four years of the programme, you will progress from an absolute beginner to being proficient in all four language skills: listening, reading, speaking, writing. In addition, you will develop a broad overview of the cultural and literary landscape of Italy with modules ranging from poetry to fiction, film studies and culture and society.

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.

Applications and selections

Apply here


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

-          or signing for social insurance contribution credits

2015-2016 Fee Scholarship Application Form

Please contact the Programme Coordinator for further information. Supporting documentation relating to the above eligibility categories will be required as part of your scholarship application (e.g. a letter from the Dept. of Social Protection).


Eilis O'Regan

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


T: 091 494481

Requirements and assessment


The part-time BA is a four-year blended learning programme; a Diploma in Arts is awarded upon successful completion of the first 2 years. Blended learning is a flexible method of studying, which is ideally suited to adult learners. Blended 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

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).

Find out more

Eilis O'Regan

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


T: 091 494481

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €3,055 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €3,555 p.a. 2015/16

A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Please see "Applications and selections" section below.

Current students

Cristabelle Metcalfe

Going to University is never an easy decision when you have work and family commitments. Never-the-less it is rewarding and the end of each term brings with it an immense sense of achievement. When I decided to do my degree, I was working full time and I had a nine month old baby. My partner and I worked on opposite shifts to take care of my daughter, and we both worked nights. Time becomes a valuable asset when you are studying and good time management is key if you want to succeed. It is amazing where you will find a few hours, and being organised helps enormously. This means when the unexpected happens such as a sick child, you can still keep on top of it all. The support network in adult education is excellent. Although I could have switched to the day-time after the diploma cycle, I realised how much more comfortable I felt around others in similar positions to myself. There is a great sense of camaraderie amongst us, and everyone is happy to support one another. Certainly it would have been easier to do this before I reached my thirties, but my level of commitment and desire to learn far outweighs the age obstacle. It is not something that is regretted, indeed my plans are to continue in my studies at the end of this degree. My advice? Don’t be daunted, you will never regret the decision.




Past student

Gavan Duffy

I have had 4 very satisfying years studying for the Evening BA. All the staff and lecturers are very aware that people may be working full-time or have been out of study for a while. The way the course is delivered and the assistance that is provided to us part-time student is second to none. This helps relax all those nerves that I may have had going into my lectures for the first few weeks. Now I look back and think what was I fussing about. All the work done and knowledge gained is what made it all the more rewarding.