Entry Points (September 2021)

Course Overview

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.

Watch our introductory video from our May 2021 Virtual Open Day





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 2022

A Level Grades (September 2021)


Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

5 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Course Outline

Introducing the Social Sciences
Introduction to Sociology and Political Science
Principles of Geography
Digital Citizenship
Introduction to Economic and Social Policy
Digital Skills for the Social Sciences.
In addition to further developing their critical understanding of key areas of the social sciences, students will focus on problem-centred learning and will undertake research methods courses aimed at tackling current and future societal challenges and learn how to use key social scientific technology tools. Year Two will also entail an international fieldtrip in semester two.
A choice of modules in semester one will be followed by a work-based internship in semester two (January–May). The programme’s dedicated placement team will coordinate and attempt to place each individual student with their chosen organisation, agency, business sector or industry thus tailoring their training and experience to meet the students preferred career pathway. Students will also undertake a module in career development and readiness.
Students will again select modules in year fur that align to their preferred career or further educational pathway, and students will also 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 recommended study pathways in this final year are:
• Environmental Social Studies
• Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship
• Politics, Society and Identity
• Communities, Engagement and Development.

Further Education

Graduates of the BSc (Social Sciences) programme 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 currently available. The University offers an array of taught master’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes of interest to 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 work-based internship in year three of the programme will be an invaluable asset in the toolkit of graduates of the Social Sciences programme. Some suggested postgraduate courses on for Social Science graduates:

  • Environment, Society, and Development (MA)
  • Rural Futures Planning and Innovation (MA)
  • Journalism (MA)
  • Politics and Sociology (MA)
  • Public Policy (MA)
  • Social Work (MA)
  • Digital Media (MA)
  • Professional Master of Education (PME).

 For a full list of further study options at NUI Galway please see: www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taughtpostgraduatecourses/

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The BSc (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 and industry 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 an array of social research opportunities. With the emphasis on broad societal contemporary challenges, the programme also 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 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.

What do social science graduates do?

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,738 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,216 p.a. 2021/22

*EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy

Student Levy: €140 - payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI. Further detail here https://su.nuigalway.ie/

Find out More

Dr Mike Hynes
Room 323, 2nd Floor
School of Political Science & Sociology
Áras Moyola, Central Campus
NUI Galway
T: +353 91 49 5104


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  • QQI / FETAC Pathways Guide

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