Bachelor of Arts (Public and Social Policy)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

What our lecturers say

What our lecturers say
Public and Social Policy

What our students say

What our students say
Studying Public and Social Policy

Course overview

The study of public policy is concerned with how the formal, stated decisions of government bodies are initiated, formulated and implemented, and how the policy process can be improved. Social policy relates to the role of the state in relation to the welfare of its citizens. This programme aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the sources of public and social policy, and the implications of that policy for social institutions, individuals and the political system. It draws on key elements of legal, social, political and economic theory, and provides students with an understanding of how legal, political and economic systems function. Students develop specialisations in their chosen policy areas, which include health, crime, family, environment, housing, human rights and social inclusion.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Minimum Grade HC3 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at H or O level in the Leaving Certificate, including Irish, English, another language and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional requirements


Duration: 3 years

Next start date: September 2016

Entry points(2015): 345

A Level Grades (2015): BBB or equivalent combination

Average intake: 60

Course outline

Year 1

  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Economics Coursework
  • Introduction to Research in Public and Social Policy
  • Irish Legal Systems
  • Law and Social Policy
  • Administrative Law I
  • Introduction to Politics and Sociology
  • Concepts and Practices in Politics and Sociology
  • Problems in Politics and Sociology
  • Public and Social Policy in Ireland

Year 2

  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Mathematics for Economics
  • Sociology of Law
  • Constitutional Law I
  • European Politics
  • Public Administration
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Economics of Public Policy
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Health Law and Policy
  • Social Issues and Policy Responses
  • Methods for Social and Political Scientists

Year 3

  • Topics in Microeconomics Theory
  • European Community Law I
  • Development and Change
  • Theories of the Policy Process
  • Public Economics
  • European Community Law II
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Policy Seminar
  • Choice of modules in Economics, Law and Sociological and Political Studies

Further education

This programme provides students with a foundation with which to pursue further study in the areas of law, economics, sociology, politics, journalism, community development, social work, teaching, human relations, business, and public and social policy. Graduates wishing to pursue a career in law may be admitted to the full law degree, the LLB, and are exempted from first year.

Find out more

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies
T +353 91 493 958
F +353 91 495 508

CAO code


Fees for this course

EU (Total): €5,822 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €2,598 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student contribution: €3,000 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €12,750 p.a. 2015/16

EU Fees 2015/16:
- Tuition: may be paid by the Irish Government on your behalf if you qualify for free tuition fees 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.

Past Students

James Corcoran

BA (Public and Social Policy)

"I picked this degree because I was interested in the range of different subject areas which you study; Law, Economics, and Sociological and Political Studies. There was regular continuous assessment which helped me to keep on top of the workload. There are a wide range of jobs that you could go into, the main area is in policy making for government institutions or private businesses, you could also branch out and go into other areas such as teaching."