Courses at DCU

Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation

Contemporary Culture and Society
CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Mode:
Minimum Points
3 or 4 Years
+353 (0) 1

The BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation is a new offering in Irish higher education, providing students with a unique suite of modules from the fields of Sociology, Media, Politics and Innovation. This future-focused programme is designed to equip students for the 21st century workplace and a world defined by increased connectivity and rapid technological change. It aims to bring an applied focus to the Social Sciences, providing students with the opportunity to actively engage with areas such as social entrepreneurship and cultural innovation, as well as the chance to gain valuable work experience.


The programme is defined by both flexibility and focus, as students have the opportunity to explore multiple disciplines, before going on to specialise in their area of choice.

The BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation also places a strong emphasis on the development of transferable skills, such as creativity, leadership, ethical and critical thinking, digital literacy, intercultural competence, and future thinking, all which have been identified as important for 21st century living and working. With this in mind, parallel to studying Social Sciences, each year students will undertake a variety of modules which focus on fostering these transferable skills. Furthermore, students have the possibility of studying for a year abroad after Year 2, and students can also opt to apply for a year-long INTRA work placement in Year Three, which can provide students with excellent experience and a valuable professional network while still in university.


At its core, the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation recognises the value of having in-depth knowledge in specific disciplines, but also the need for graduates to develop the competencies which underpin growth and success across any field. In doing so, the programme seeks to enable students to identify their key interests, and empower them to pursue these with competence, clarity and confidence.


At DCU, our aim is offer a transformative educational experience based on the values of being purposefully different and consistently excellent. The BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation seeks to embody these values in an engaging and innovative manner. 

The BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation seeks to develop in students the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to thrive in a globalised world defined by exponential technological growth, unprecedented access to real-time information, and unparalleled levels of human mobility and interconnectivity. The programme gives you an in-depth understanding of the many forces that define our individual and collective experiences, and is structured around three core pillars relating to the study of Culture, Media and Politics respectively. These pillars can be understood as follows:

Culture, Migration and Diverse Societies: Explore the meaning of culture as a set of values and behaviours; study personal and social identities, such as gender, nationality and social class; examine the idea of personal agency and the tension that exists between the individual and society; debate the fundamental questions and challenges which all cultures face; consider the drivers and impacts of globalisation, mass migration, and unprecedented intercultural contact; discuss the concept of global citizenship in the modern world; reflect on the relationship and tension between human rights and cultural rights; identify diverse social challenges and develop strategies to promote cultural innovations which can address these in a sustainable way.

Media, Society and the Digital World: Examine the hugely influential role played by media in society; study the (r)evolution of the media industry in the recent past; consider humans’ relationship with the media and technology; understand how power is distributed within the media industry; analyse advertising and other media outputs; discuss how digital content is changing the way societies operate; reflect on the idea of online identity and attitudes towards privacy; explore the challenges and opportunities facing traditional and new media in the 21st century.

Politics, Power and Internationalisation: Learn about national and international political systems; examine the political development of diverse regions; analyse the concept of power and how it can be defined, acquired and (ab)used; explore nationalism and its role in regional, national and international politics; consider how various innovations are influencing the way in which citizens engage with politics, spread ideologies, and how political institutions interact with the public; study the causes of and possible solutions to conflicts from around the world; examine approaches to international security and political terrorism. 

Programme Structure

In Year One, you will study a suite of core modules relating to the three pillars of Culture, Media and Politics, which will lay the foundation for further exploration. In addition to this, you will undertake modules aimed at promoting key transferable skills, such as leadership, critical thinking, digital literacy and project management.

In Year Two, you will develop further knowledge across the three pillars by undertaking a variety of core and elective modules which will encourage a more applied focus. Once again, you will complete additional modules focused on fostering new transferable skills, such as ethical thinking, presentation skills, intercultural competence, and entrepreneurial action.   

In Year Three, having had the opportunity to engage with all three pillars of Culture, Media and Politics for two years, you will select one of these in which to specialise, while still studying the other two at a less in-depth level. As in the preceding years, transferable skills are of central importance, with new modules aimed at enhancing creative thinking, research skills, report writing, and future thinking. Furthermore, building on previous years, in conjunction with the DCU Careers Office you will receive support in relation to career development in preparation for graduation from the programme.

Study disciplines central to the field of Social Sciences, such as Culture, Media and Politics
Specialise as you progress through the programme
Undertake unique and innovative modules aimed at developing key transferable skills
Identify and examine the forces that shape our lives, societies, nations and our world
Learn how to develop strategies aimed at addressing major social and cultural challenges
Avail of the opportunity to study abroad or undertake an INTRA work placement
Benefit from career development assistance throughout the programme
View the current course structure

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.


Exceptional Facilities
DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.


A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment
Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.

Career Areas
Advertising agency
Cultural Sector
Development Agencies
European Institutions
Government Agencies
Non Governmental Organisation
Public Relations

The labour market of the 21st century is fundamentally different to that of previous centuries. Globalisation, automation and increased life expectancy, each driven by diverse scientific and technological innovations, have implications for existing and future career opportunities. Due to advancements in artificial intelligence in particular, it is predicted that across all industry sectors certain roles currently occupied by humans, will instead be fulfilled by robots in the not too distant future. It is crucial, therefore, that graduates differentiate themselves from automated technology in terms of what they can contribute to any given organisation. This differentiation should focus on the competencies that are unique to humans, such as creativity, leadership, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, ethical thinking, empathy, and imagination – competencies which are nurtured within the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation. Equally, new industry sectors will emerge in the coming years, and these will offer many opportunities for graduates who are well placed to avail of them. By including modules which not only reflect on where we have come from, but also where we are going in terms of emerging innovations across multiple sectors, the programme seeks to foster in students the capabilities which can enable them to grasp these opportunities.


Furthermore, while sector-specific expertise will remain highly valuable, trends indicate that modern graduates will change careers with far greater frequency than previous generations. Once again, this implies that the development of transferable or horizontal skills which underpin the programme is more important than ever before. The aim, therefore, is to develop in graduates a combination of vertical and horizontal competencies which will empower them to pursue and carve out their own career path in an ever-changing labour market. Given the programme structure, content, and objectives, graduates of the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation will be well-positioned to develop careers in a wide variety of sectors, and adapt to the inevitable changes that will emerge. These sectors include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Media production
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Online media
  • National and international political institutions
  • Public or State organisations
  • Think-tanks and lobby groups
  • Policy development organisations
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social Enterprises
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Cultural and creative industries

In addition to this, the programme is sufficiently broad to offer graduates the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study is multiple disciplines related to the Humanities and Social Sciences (e.g. Multimedia, Social Innovation, Journalism, International Relations, Social Work, Strategic Management, and Human Resources) should they wish to. The programme also ensures that students reflect on their career development from an early stage through ongoing partnership with the DCU Careers Service.

Overall, the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation recognises that the rapid pace of change in society and the labour market can create uncertainty for graduates. Our aim is to ensure that as a graduate of the programme, you will be prepared to engage productively with this unscripted future, and will have the competencies required to successfully face the challenges it may present, and successfully embrace the opportunities it will create. 




Leaving Cert

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

GCE A Level

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

FET Level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go. 

EU Transfer Applications

Applications are welcomed from students who have studied at Level 6, Level 7 and Level 8 in relevant areas.

Such transfer students may be exempt from certain modules.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.


Next Steps

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

Applicants presenting EU school Leaving Examinations

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/FETAC Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form by clicking here