Social Policy & Sociology

Course Information

BSocSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Undergraduate Full Time

CAO Code: DN750
CAO Points Range 2019: 330
Length of Course: 3 Years
Average Intake: 100

Leaving Certificate:

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

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

The Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc) at University College Dublin is the premier honours degree of its kind in Ireland. It is the standard qualification for those working in policy making and social services and recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. If you are interested in exploring how societies, communities and families work and wish to make a difference to the world, affect cultural change, contribute to public service or corporate responsibility, then this course is for you.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

The BSocSc provides a strong foundation for both postgraduate study and a wide range of careers in government, social services, NGOs, education, media, including new and online media (who are increasingly expressing an active interest in recruiting social sciences graduates) and business. Alumni include Orlaith Blaney (Marketing and Advertising, former CEO McCannBlue Dublin), Frances Fitzgerald (TD), Ali Hewson (Humanitarian) and Sr Stanislaus Kennedy (Humanitarian & Founder, Focus Ireland).

What Will I Study

The course explores key social issues affecting societies in the European Union, the USA and East Asia: poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, social stratification, criminal justice, globalisation, gender equality, sexualities and reproductive health, childhood and children’s services, and tax and welfare systems. You will learn about how policy makers, in Ireland and across the world, have responded to these societal challenges. A strong emphasis is placed on studying qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will attend lectures and seminars and engage in project-based learning, instruction, and independent study with experienced academic staff and with input from policy-makers and industry.

First Year

You will undertake compulsory modules in social policy and sociology. Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of these disciplines; the first year modules will provide you with a comprehensive introduction.

Second & Third Year

Alongside compulsory modules in social policy and sociology you will select optional modules from one of the following pathways, which will refine and develop your career skills:

There are three Pathways available to you as follows;

1. Social Work and Social Professions

This pathway provides you with a strong foundation for professional social work or social service careers, in addition to careers in Counselling, Social Care Management, and the Probation Service.

2. Society and Public Service

You will be introduced to statistics for social policy, social policy topics covering a wide range of social services and modules in public sociology. This pathway prepares you for a wide range of Master’s programmes and employment in public services, NGOs, community development, youth work, social enterprise and public policy advocacy.

3. Work, Organisations and People

You will combine social policy and sociology with modules from organisational psychology and industrial relations. This pathway prepares you for study in wide range of human organisation orientated Master’s programmes and employment in business and personnel management, industrial relations, marketing and corporate responsibility and governance.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

The School offers international study opportunities in universities both in Europe and further afield including

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Malta


“My year at the University of Tokyo was a life changing experience. Local students mixed in naturally with the international students, which made each discussion dynamic and diverse. I learned about socio-economic issues through Japanese culture and language, which was helpful as I was able to apply experience of social problems I gathered and encountered first hand to several modules of social policy after returning to UCD. While the language classes were challenging, they helped me build confidence in my speaking skills. As a BSocSc student, I was given this opportunity of a lifetime – studying at UTokyo meant challenging myself, venturing outside of my comfort zone, and establishing a road to working in a truly international environment in the near future.”

Atsuko Fujii Sociology & Social Policy Student

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