Entry Points (2019)

Course Overview

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

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 tendency for leadership, innovation and thinking and acting differently about local, national and global issues? Then the new and innovative Applied Social Sciences Degree is for you!

This new programme – beginning in 2017 - is aimed at motivated school leavers and mature students with a strong penchant towards the study of fundamental issues and concerns for Social Sciences. The programme will strongly focus on the applied nature of the Social Sciences and equip students with practical research skills, in addition to focussing on career development and readiness, and further educational opportunities. There will be an internship and dissertation or project component to the programme giving students real-world experience and knowledge of working in areas of Social Scientific inquiry. The growth in interdisciplinary study and research is building knowledge and the national capacity to respond to complex societal challenges providing new solutions that cannot be provided by one discipline alone. This innovative transdisciplinary degree programme will draw on key strengths of Schools and Disciplines right across the College of Arts, Research Institutes and Centres, and innovation and entrepreneurship programs across the University. Supporting and advocating the value of Social Scientific research to key decision-makers and policy designers, in addition to community activism and advocacy, will form an intrinsic part of the new programme ethos. 

Applied Social Sciences at the Virtual Open Day

Read questions and answers from our 'Ask a Lecturer' in Applied Social Sciences Live Q&A session.

Explore courses and careers in Arts through a video presentation.

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 2020

A Level Grades (2019)


Average intake


Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

• Introducing the Social Sciences;
• Introduction to Sociology and Political Science
• Psychology for Social Scientists
• Introduction to Economic and Social Policy
• Principles of Geography
• Digital Citizenship.

In addition to further developing their critical understanding of key areas of the social sciences, students will focus on problemcentred learning and will undertake research methods courses aimed at tackling current and future societal challenges and learn how to use social scientific technology tools such as GIS, SPSS and NVivo. Year Two will also entail an international fieldtrip in Semester two.

Work-based internship for eight months (January–August); a dedicated member of staff coordinates and places every student within their selected sector and tailors their training and experience. Students will also undertake the module, Career Development and Readiness.

Students will again select modules within their focused pathway and, in addition, students will 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 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 SP3138: Advocacy, Diversity and Equality - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP404: Development And Change - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP406: Principles Of Political Theory - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI332: Local Development: Theory and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI369: Geographical Perspectives on Rural Change - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional TI235: Biogeography - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP3151: Development, Equality, Advocacy - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Required TI335: Research Project Design & Development - 5 Credits - Semester 7
Optional SP219: Political Sociology - 5 Credits - Semester 7
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 SP405: Contemporary Social Thought - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI230: Economic Geography - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional TI258: Rural Environments: Sustainability & Management - 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 TI2104: Marine Spatial Planning - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3152: Comparative Government and Public Policy - 5 Credits - Semester 8
Optional SP3153: Topics in Contemporary Social and Political Theory - 5 Credits - Semester 8

Further Education

Graduates of the Applied Social Sciences 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 available. The University offers an array of taught master’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes of interest to Applied 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 internship in year three of the programme will be an invaluable asset in the toolkit of graduates of the Applied Social Sciences programme.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Applied 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 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 social research. Moreover, with its emphasis on broad societal contemporary challenges, the programme 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 Applied Social Sciences degree programme at NUI Galway are innovator and potential leaders seeking to understand and tackle the most demanding social, ecological and economic issues in contemporary society. They are frontrunners in informed decision-making pursuing accurate and truthful solutions to global issues and concerns based on fundamentally sound empirical research. The programme gives students the tools to address and tackle these grand societal concerns and problems. Graduates in Applied Social Science 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 assumptions; understand people, institutions and their relationships; understand processes of change; make reasoned arguments; communicate concisely and clearly and solve pressing problems. 

What do social science graduates do?

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,822 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€15,500 p.a. 2020/21

EU Fees 2020/21:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf see - free fee initiative.
- Student Contribution: €3,000 - payable by all students but may by paid by SUSI if you apply and are deemed eligible for a means tested SUSI grant.
- Student Levy:  €224 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.

Find out More

Dr Frances Fahy
Head of Geography, Senior Lecturer
Room 106, Arts Science Concourse
NUI Galway
T: +353 91 49 2315
E: frances.fahy@nuigalway.ie

Dr Mike Hynes
Room 323, 2nd Floor
School of Political Science & Sociology
Áras Moyola, NUI Galway
T: +353 91 49 5104
E: mike.hynes@nuigalway.ie


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