Law with Philosophy

BCL (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Legal systems express and reflect the prevailing moral, political, social and economic philosophy of the State. Law and philosophy are, therefore, complementary fields of study. An understanding of law is fundamentally enhanced by a deeper knowledge of philosophical theory. This course offers you a highly respected degree in law, combined with an enriched appreciation of its philosophical underpinnings.


All final year UCD Law students can apply for US externships in the federal courts and the federal defender’s office.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

First & Second Year

First year focuses on core law modules, including:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law

In addition, you’re introduced to modern, moral and continental philosophy.

In second year, you will take modules in:

  • EU Law
  • Property Law
  • Criminal Law

At the same time, you’ll also take modules that engage with the ideas of Hume, Kant, Aristotle and Hegel.

Third & Fourth Year

With a wide choice of law and philosophy modules available, you can pursue particular areas of interest. The choice of modules includes:

  • Jurisprudence
  • Media Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Critical Theory
  • Medieval Philosophy

You may also be interested in taking modules offered by our Clinical Legal Education Centre (CLEC), such as Advocacy & Mooting, and Law, Ethics & Legal Practice.

You’ll attend lectures and tutorials, in addition to engaging in study and preparatory work.

Assessment includes end-of-trimester examinations, essays and group projects.

Internship Module

Students on this degree have the opportunity to apply for an internship in the spring trimester of third year. This is credit-bearing module within a range of organisations that the school has partnered with. (Note: this is an alternative to international study).

For detailed information on subject content click here.

You may be interested in the following Blog posts: Why I chose Law at UCD

International Study Opportunities

As part of your Law with Philosophy degree you may apply to spend time abroad during your third year at one of our partner universities. Students from this programme have chosen to undertake study in universities in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Asia.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

BCL (Law with Philosophy) students can choose to study the modules necessary for legal professional recognition, which enables them to pursue legal careers as solicitors or barristers.

Graduates are also well suited to careers in:

  • Legal research (e.g. at the Law Reform Commission)
  • Politics
  • Media
  • Diplomatic service
  • Academia

Relevant graduate study programmes include LLM degrees in:

  • International Human Rights
  • European Law & Public Affairs.
Other Entry Routes

“The degree courseof Law with Philosophy has allowed me to gain a strong understanding of the law on many levels. The breadth of subjects available in UCD means that knowledge of any area of law is always at my fingertips. In addition, through my philosophy studies, I have gained the skills necessary to consider and challenge the ethical, political and human aspects of the law and of life. This degree course has allowed me to study law modules with philosophical elements and vice-versa. Both subjects have allowed me to hone my skills of critical thinking, ethical reasoning and problem solving. This course has enabled me to become proficient in research and writing. (Louis is now a Trainee Solicitor in a major Dublin Law Firm.)”

Louis Gribbin Bourke, Graduate

Contact Information

UCD Sutherland School of Law
Belfield, Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 4110

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