Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) or BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN700 BSc Social Sciences
CAO Points Range 2021: 465
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 525

CAO Code: DN520 BA Joint Hounours
CAO Points Range 2020: 356
Length of Course: 3 Years
Average Intake: 420

Leaving Certificate:

DN700 – O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics and three other recognised subjects

DN520 – English, Irish, a third Language, Three other recognised subjects

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

Are you interested in thinking for yourself? Do you like problem solving? Do you want to tackle some of the most challenging questions that have fascinated thinkers for centuries, such as:

  • Do we have free will?
  • What is consciousness?
  • How should we live?
  • Does God exist?
  • What can we learn from art and literature?

Science, literature or history are all equally good preparation for studying Philosophy. The main requirement is a capacity for clear thinking, honesty and discussion.


Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Corporate head-hunters often target Philosophy graduates for their rigorous analysis of real-world problems and their clear, coherent communication of complex ideas and concepts, and a capacity for detailed research. Philosophy graduates are employed in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in business and management, marketing and advertising, media and broadcasting, public relations, education and human resources.

Many Philosophy graduates continue with further study of their discipline or proceed directly to Master’s degrees in social sciences, law, or business. Our graduates have studied at MA and PhD level in internationally renowned universities from Oxford to Paris-Sorbonne to Harvard. UCD philosophy graduates have established prominent careers in Ireland and internationally as barristers, public policy analysts, human rights activists, journalists and academics.

What Will I Study

Philosophy is essentially about dialogue and discussion, about giving reasons and examples, about counter-arguments and counter-examples. We read the work of great philosophers, but we also challenge their arguments and conclusions. Although all the modules are based on lectures, many of these are highly interactive. In addition, philosophy is rare in the university for offering small-group tutorials for all of its modules.

First Year

You will be introduced to a wide spectrum of philosophical approaches, from historical to contemporary, from ethics to critical thinking, from existentialism to Eastern philosophy. As Social Sciences students you will also take the core module, ‘Societal Challenges in the 21st Century’.

Second Year

Modules include:

  • Applied Ethics
  • Knowledge and Scepticism
  • Feminism and Gender Justice
  • Logic
  • Plato
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy and Literature

Third Year & Fourth Year

The third year provides the opportunity for students to apply to study abroad or undertake an internship. Students can choose from a wide range of modules, including:

  • Philosophy of religion
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of law
  • Critical Theory
  • Aristotle
  • Philosophy of Interpretation
  • History of Ethics
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Personal Identity
  • Animated Philosophy

Students can switch into a Single Major in Philosophy at the end of their second year. In doing so they will graduate with a BA Philosophy at the end of their degree.


There is a variety of assessment: traditional exams, take-home essays, on-line assessments, as well as presentations and group work.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

How Will I Study

Study Philosophy (BSc Social Sciences)

Click To View The BSc Social Sciences Course Combination Grid

Study Philosophy (BA Joint Honours)

Click To View The BA Arts Course Combination Grid

International Study Opportunities

Destinations include: France, Germany, Belgium, US and Italy. Students studying Philosophy with Chinese will study abroad for their third year.


“I chose to study philosophy as I have always enjoyed the act of questioning the world around us and coming up with new ideas to combat the issues we face. What I love about studying philosophy in UCD is the huge range of modules you can take, from ethics to politics and existentialism to epistemology. Two modules I particularly enjoyed were Intro to Modern Philosophy and Knowledge & Scepticism. The lecturers and tutors across the school are very helpful and approachable and will help guide you through your studies. Through the foundations of this degree, I hope to continue studying in the field of political philosophy.”

Sarah Huang, Student

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