Humanities and Social Sciences FAQs

Bachelor of Arts (Joint honours)

The DCU Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours) (Humanities) degree provides the opportunity to study two subjects in humanities and social sciences of interest to you. For example, on Bachelor of Arts: Joint Honours (Humanities) you can choose two humanities subjects such as English and Irish or History and English or Geography and Music. Some students will choose to do an Arts (Humanities) degree with the possibility of completing a Professional Masters in Education when they finish. 

Other options include Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies)Bachelor of Arts (Law)Bachelor of Arts (International Languages) and Bachelor of Arts (Politics) – on each of these, you can choose one other subject in humanities and social sciences in addition to the core subject. 

Yes. Students are expected to have a good command of the Irish language when applying to the Professional Master of Education (Primary Education). Students will have to evidence this competency when applying to the PME and doing an undergraduate programme in Irish is a great way to develop and confidence in the language.


Yes. Having successfully completed the BAJH in English and in Irish, students will be able to teach Irish once they have completed the PME.

What is human development? Human Development explores the big issues and themes in relation to what it is to be human and the questions of development during the life cycle: childhood, adolescent and adulthood.


You choose your subjects when you register.


The BA in Multimedia focuses on the more technical, hand-on aspects of digital media production. If you would like a job in media or related industries but not sure what part yet, the BA in Communication Studies may be the degree for you. However, there is some overlap in the core modules, and choosing the BA in Multimedia does not limit your pathway into broadcast or 'traditional media' production.  There is now a lot of cross-pollination of jobs between broadcast and digital media, and many of our graduates work across the communications and media industries, from television and radio to animation studios and film production companies.

DCU is rated as the top university in Ireland for journalism and media studies. The BA in Communication Studies and other Communications degrees in DCU have consistently produced graduates that have gone on to work at the top level in the media industry, from editorial jobs in The Irish Times to leading roles at RTÉ. We offer a good blend of theory (teaching you about the study of audiences, social media, business of media, etc.) and media practice (we have two radio studios, a TV studio and a photo lab with the latest equipment). We also emphasise the practice of keeping a portfolio of your own work. And our Media Production Society has been a launchpad for many media careers.

Journalism is taught as a set of skills and knowledge  needed to identify, research and report on important topics in modern society, as well as cultural issues. Many of our students go on to specialise, and choose careers in sports, political or current affairs journalism. But to arrive there via the journalism route, you will need to first know the basics of journalism. This is why our BA in Journalism degree builds on a foundation of core skills and competencies in the first two years, and then allows the students to choose from a number of optional modules such as Peace and Conflict Journalism, Data Journalism or Financial Reporting so they can specialise when they go into the workplace.

Social Sciences and Cultural Innovation

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.

Law and Government

There is certainly some Maths involved in the economics part of the BA in Economics, Politics and Law degree but if you are doing higher level economics for your leaving cert and doing well, you should be well prepared for the Maths component of the EPL degree. In addition, the degree helps you to hone your oral and written communication skills, research techniques, critical thinking, and teamwork and research abilities.

If you choose the Bachelor in Civil Law (Law and Society) you could study the core modules to prepare for entrance exams to the Law Society as a trainee solicitor, or you could qualify for entrance to the Barrister-at-Law degree at King's Inns if you were interested in working as a barrister who represents legal clients in courts. Alternatively, upon graduation, you may choose to work within the public service, politics, NGOs, journalism, criminology/criminal justice and equality organisations, or international institutions.

In the course, we’ll teach you about how the legal process operates and how law and social forces influence one another in our modern world. You will explore the key foundations of law (constitutional law, contract law and criminal law, for instance), and examine the practice of law, and the wider role and applications of law in society.

No. There are a range of opportunities open to law students. A large number of students go on to become solicitors, barristers or work in law-related jobs. However, others work in business, and the public sector.


Because we are the only BA dedicated to International Relations in Ireland.

The BA in International Relations degree will give you insight into the major world issues that challenge and fascinate us today. You’ll examine the forces that shape contemporary societies, such as globalisation, international law, cybersecurity and migration. You’ll also study key institutions like the European Union and the United Nations. The programme also prepares you for the work force by training you in oral and written communication skills, the capacity to think analytically, teamwork skills, and research techniques.

You should choose us because you will get to learn from staff with expertise in areas such as Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, European Union studies, Middle-Eastern studies, International Security and Conflict Studies, International Law and Aid, and Development Studies. All of our lecturers are recognised as top experts in the field.

No, a year abroad is not compulsory. However, you may elect to spend an extra year abroad in one of our partner universities in in China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA. This is an excellent opportunity to experience another society at first hand. After you complete the year abroad, you’ll return to DCU for your final year.

The BCL (Law and Society) is the most focused path to becoming a solicitor. You can complete the BCL degree in 3 or 4 years. If you complete it in four years, you may be selected for our Internship Programme in which you work for a law firm for 9-months. However, some students on our BA in Economics, Politics and Law and on our Joint Honours programme also become solicitors.


The BCL (Law and Society) degree is accredited by King's Inns, which is the body that awards the Barrister-at-Law degree qualification enabling you to practise as a barrister. The BCL degree is, therefore, the most direct route to becoming a barrister. If you do not study an accredited degree, you must fulfil further requirements before being allowed to enter King's Inns.

This depends very much on the programme. Some programmes in this faculty have no options in first year but then provide options in second and third year. 

The BA in International Relations currently offers a number of options in first and second year, and increases the number of options available in final year. The students choose their options at online registration. As with all programmes, there may be entry requirements for particular options, e.g. if students wants to do French on the BA in International Relations programme, then they would need a H4 in Leaving Certificate French or equivalent.

A limited number of programmes which have options have quotas on some of the options, e.g. no more than 30 in a class, and those modules are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Depending on the programme, there may be restrictions on which options can be chosen. For example, students may be asked to pick 2 options from a list of 4, or 1 option from 2 different lists of 2 options.

I think the best course of action is to always refer to the online prospectus, since it varies from programme and from year to year.

Languages at DCU

The BA in Applied Language and Translation Studies (ALTS) might be for you! It is a unique degree in Ireland that aims to prepare a new generation of translators and language professionals for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. You will study two foreign languages with combinations that include Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, as well as many stimulating modules on translation. It allows you to explore the principles behind language, culture, translation and intercultural communication, as well as learn about the latest technology used in translation work. This can be a three-year or four-year degree, as you have an opportunity of doing a year abroad in your third year. This will allow you to apply your language skills in a real life setting and is an excellent opportunity to experience the culture and society of a different country first-hand.

You will be equipped after the ALTS degree to be a language professional of various different types. For example, you may become a translator, localiser, editor, technical writer, project manager, language technologist, etc. If you want to become an interpreter, you will need to do a Master's in Interpreting. You will also have developed. transferrable skills that can be used in other occupations. For example, some of our graduates go into teaching, media, marketing, or work NGOs, banks, insurance companies, etc.


We do! The four-year Post Primary Teacher Education – Gaeilge and French or German or Spanish degree will fully qualify you to teach second-level Gaeilge and another language on completion of the course. You’ll gain valuable and extensive experience, including peer-teaching, team-teaching and school-based placement. This is a ‘concurrent’ teacher education course – meaning that the academic and professional formation of the teacher is integrated into all four years. Currently, there is a shortage of language teachers in the post-primary schools so graduates of this course will be highly sought after.

Yes, you can continue Japanese for all 4 years. You begin by combining Japanese with an intermediate language (French, German or Spanish) when you start the degree, and then you can keep studying both languages for four years if you choose the Year Abroad pathway.

Fiontar/Scoil na Gaeilge

We have just the thing for you! Our BA in Business and Irish (Gnó agus Gaeilge) is unique to Ireland – no other degree offers such an advanced course of studies in business, management and information technology, taught through the Irish language. The programme is linked with national and international employers who favour graduates with superior business and IT skills who are also innovative leaders.  

This is a broad academic and practical education, suited to today's business environment. You’ll have the opportunity to test-drive your business skills with an optional one-year INTRA work placement before you enter your final year. 

Music at DCU

Our BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance is a four-year, full time Honours degree which trains you for a life as a professional performing musician. The programme covers a wide range of musical techniques including performance, instrumental technique, improvisation, composition, computer music, aural training, arranging and pedagogical studies, giving the participants the skills necessary to operate in a wide area of contemporary music, not just jazz. We aim to train young musicians to the highest international standards and to be fully equipped to work in the world of contemporary music both here and abroad.

A key feature of this programme is an opportunity for students to transfer into Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world in the field of contemporary music.

Remember – there is an audition to qualify for this degree, so start practicing!

BA in Theology and Religious Studies

While many of our traditional BA and BSc degrees are open to mature students, we have a programme that is specifically targeted at mature entrants – the BA in Theology and Religious Studies . This is a degree  for mature students (aged 23 or over) wishing to pursue the academic study of religion. It offers the opportunity to reflect on the significance of religion in a complex world. In this programme you’ll explore the origins and development of the world’s major religions, along with the beliefs and practices that are central to these traditions. You will also have the opportunity to study the Bible and other sacred texts, explore the importance of ethics in our personal, social and political lives, and reflect on the place of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in the contemporary world.