Course Information

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

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN700 BSc Social Sciences
CAO Points Range 2018: 392
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 500

CAO Code: DN520 BA Arts
CAO Points Range 2018: 381
Length of Course: 3 Years
Average Intake: 350

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 Renaissance thought through to existentialism and critical thinking. There is an elective ‘Film through Philosophy’. All first year social sciences students also study the core module, Societal Challenges in the Twenty First Century, plus another subject, plus an Elective module.

Second Year
Modules include:

  • Applied Ethics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • European Philosophy
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Knowledge and Scepticism
  • Plus another subject
  • Plus Elective modules.

Third Year & Fourth Year
Students can choose from almost two dozen modules, including:

  • Philosophy and literature
  • Political philosophy
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Logic
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of law
  • Critical Theory
  • Philosophy of mental disorder
  • Hume & Kant
  • Nietzsche
  • Aristotle
  • Plus another subject
  • Plus Elective modules.

Students can opt to take a single major in Philosophy from third year.


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

Studying Philosophy (BSc Social Sciences)

Click To View The BSc Social Sciences Course Combination Grid

Studying Philosophy (BA Arts)

Click To View The BA Arts Course Combination Grid

International Study Opportunities

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


“Studying Philosophy at UCD was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The lecturers’ ability to share their knowledge and encourage critical thinking has proven to be beneficial in many other aspects of life, this course completely changed how I see ethics, time, science and society at large. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Kevin McDermott Philosophy Student

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