Contemporary Culture and Society

Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation

Course Details

CAO Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
8 - Please see for further information
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points
3 or 4 Years
+353 (0) 1
700 5197

Explore media, politics, culture and innovation to develop key transferable skills for a thriving career.


Overview Icon

Are you interested in exploring how culture, media and politics shape our world? Are you curious about what drives innovation and future trends? DCU’s BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation is a unique degree where you will gain in-depth knowledge in three disciplines - culture, media and politics - whilst also developing key competencies to underpin your success in a wide variety of careers. 

On this course you will: 

  • explore the meaning and power of culture
  • examine the hugely influential role played by media and technology in society 
  • and you’ll learn about national and international political systems

Is this course for me?
If you’re stimulated by learning how to design creative approaches to social issues and you’re keen to have flexibility to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities that enable you to carve out your own career path, then this is the course for you.

Three or four year degree

You can complete the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation degree in three years, or choose to take an extra year either to study abroad or complete an INTRA placement.

DCU People

Shows Martin Toal
Martin Toal

Hi, I’m Martin Toal and I chair the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation here at DCU.

Read more about Martin Toal

Careers & Further Options

Careers Icon


There is a pressing need for graduates who are future-focused, problem solvers, critical thinkers, excellent communicators, highly digitally literate, creative, ethically aware, as well as reflective and empathetic. DCU’s BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation explicitly targets these competencies, ensuring that you will develop and be able to demonstrate the skills and attributes which are highly sought after by employers. The unique combination of key transferable skills and discipline-specific expertise ensures that you will be equipped to carve your own unique career path in an increasingly unscripted labour market and across a variety of sectors.

  • Digital and Traditional Media 
  • Public Relations  
  • Marketing  
  • Politics  
  • Policy Development 
  • Government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)  
  • Strategic Consultancy  
  • Social Entrepreneurship  
  • Creative and Cultural Industries  
  • International Political and Commercial Organisations  
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
Media and Communications Specialist
Political Advisor
Strategic Planning Executive
Innovation Manager
Social Entrepreneur
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Executive
Trainer and Educator

DCU graduates are highly sought after by employers. Our Graduates work in environments ranging from large multinationals to SMEs, family businesses and start-ups across every sector.

DCU Careers Service has a number of learning and development initiatives in place for our students, giving them the skills they need for a successful career path.

Go to our Careers site to find out more about career planning, our mentorship programme, skills development and online resources for students when working on CVs and making applications.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements Icon

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

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

Please visit our Admissions webpage for details on course requirements or how to apply to DCU.


Please visit our QQI FET webpage for details on DCU courses, open days, campus tours or school visits.


To apply to DCU, please visit


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 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. Click here for further information on international applications.

Course Structure

Course Structure Icon

In each year of the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation, you will take modules from all three pillars of culture, media and politics. You will also enjoy greater flexibility as each new year will bring a greater selection of optional modules to choose from.


Career focused 
From the outset your career development is given attention and the degree is designed to ensure that you complete modules on essential transferable skills throughout the course such as leadership, critical thinking, digital literacy and project management. 

Opportunity to specialise 
In your final year you will specialise in one pillar, while continuing to study the other two at a lesser intensity. You will also have the opportunity to do in-depth research on a particular topic of interest in the form of a dissertation.

More about the three pillars
The course is structured around three specific pillars, comprising both core and optional modules, relating to the study of culture, media and politics.

Self, Society and Innovation
Study key social identities such as gender, nationality, ethnicity and social class; examine the drivers and impacts of globalisation and mass migration; identify local, national and global challenges; and develop creative strategies to address these.

Media, Messaging and the Digital World 
Analyse advertising and other media outputs; study the history of journalism and how it is evolving; explore the challenges and opportunities facing traditional and new media in the 21st century, including the ever-increasing role of social media and digital platforms

Politics, Power and Internationalisation 
Reflect on the concept of power in personal, political and economic relations; consider how various innovations influence how citizens engage with politics; examine political ideologies and conflicts from around the world; explore diverse approaches to international security and political terrorism.

Year Abroad
Studying abroad at one of our partner universities provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture of another country. Our international partner universities are either based in an English-speaking country or are European universities where modules are delivered through English. If you choose to study abroad for your third year, you will add a year to the degree duration and complete your final year in year 4. 

Alternatively you may choose to pursue a year-long work placement that will give you a unique opportunity to enhance your CV, increase your employability and apply your knowledge and skills in the real world. This option is competitive and subject to the availability of placements. For more information on the INTRA programme at DCU, please visit

What Will I Study?
You will study a variety of engaging and innovative core and optional modules from several disciplines.

  • Introduction to Communication Studies
  • Analysing Visual Media Tests
  • Cultural Studies
  • Power, Self and Society
  • Contemporary Cultural Debates
  • Interculturalism in Practice
  • Introduction to Modern Ireland
  • Introduction to Politics
  • Introduction to International Relations and Security­
  • The Irish Political System
  • Social Psychology
  • Journalism History
  • Ireland, Sex and Text
  • Global Cultures
  • Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • The Making of Contemporary Europe
  • Political Ideologies

Optional Modules                                                                                                                                                                           

  • Theorising Social Media in everyday Life
  • Social Class in the Media
  • Intelligence and National Security
  • Changemakers: Service Learning
  • Analysing Advertising
  • Crime, Policing and the Media
  • Women Feminism and the Creative Cultural Industries
  • Introduction to Gender Studies
  • Perspectives on the Networked Society

Optional Study Abroad / INTRA

  • Creativity and the Emerging Future
  • Issues in Multiculturalism
  • Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Communication Culture and the Environment
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

  • Media Law
  • Television Drama
  • Press and Public Relations
  • Perspectives on International Children’s Literature
  • The Politics of Migration in Europe
  • Science, Technology and Society
  • Climate Change and the Media
  • Sexualities, Languages and Society
  • Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland
  • Nationalism and Populism in the 21st Century
  • Representing Otherness
  • Anglo-Irish Literature: The Novel and the Short Story
  • Languages of Business and Media Across Cultures
  • Post Soviet Politics
  • Politics of South Asia
  • Issues in American Politics
  • Contemporary Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Perspectives on Chinese Culture
  • Race and the Media
  • Uaneen Award: DCU’s Leadership and Engagement Module

Note: Optional modules are chosen subject to timetabling constraints.

For more information on the course structure click here

Fees and Funding

Fees Icon


Student Contribution.
€3,043 per annum
EU Status Fee
€6,679 per annum
Non EU Fee.
€15,000 per annum

How To Apply

How To Apply Icon

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

To apply for this programme:
Candidates should apply directly here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please provide 

  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link

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

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

Applications are made via the CAO Advanced Entry route which will open on the 6th of November. 

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at

Life On Campus

Life on Campus

You will be spoiled for choice with clubs and societies at DCU. Make sure you check them out and you might be interested in the Media Production Society, Politics Society, Enterprise Society, Marketing and Innovation Society, the Enactus society, Raising and Giving Society, Volunteer Overseas Society and much more!

DCU Campus Glasnevin

DCU Glasnevin Campus


FAQ Icon

What is the Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation (DC238) degree all about?
The BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation is a new offering in Irish higher education. It offers a unique combination 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. We aim to give you an opportunity to learn more about social entrepreneurship and cultural innovation. This degree also offers students a chance to gain valuable work experience and to form an international worldview as they have a possibility of studying for a year abroad after Year 2, and can also opt to apply for a year-long INTRA work placement in Year Three.

Is the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation a three or four year programme?
You can complete the BA in Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation degree in three years, or choose to take an extra year either to study abroad or complete an INTRA placement.