B.A. (Honours) in Philosophy, Politics and Sociology

CAO Code



NFQ Level 8

New in 2023

Places Available



4 Years

Course Fees

€4,750 per year

Why Study This Course?


Interdisciplinary and student-led approach to these three fields of study, unique to the South-East region

Independent Voice

Learn how to navigate, assess and critique contemporary issues, establishing your own authentic voice

Get Practical

Gain practical skills and theoretical tools, applying it to contemporary situations to affect change

The B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Sociology combines three distinctive but complementary fields of study. The disciplines of Philosophy, Politics and Sociology address complex questions facing humanity about the world that we live in today. This programme is intended to appeal to learners who have a general interest in learning about our contemporary world, specifically in relation to political, philosophical and social issues. On a practical basis, the programme aims to develop and enhance student skills and competencies to engage in collaboration and problem solving; to research, critically reflect and analyse; to apply policy development/analysis skills and to develop skills in communication for the public and political domain in the era of digitisation.
The degree particularly draws on the subject areas within the disciplines of Philosophy, Politics and Sociology that support analysis of historical and contemporary social, political, environmental and cultural issues.

Are you a future change maker?

This degree is for those who are interested in contemporary societal issues and responses to the fundamental questions that face humanity in the 21st century in terms of social, political, economic, cultural and environmental challenges. The curriculum content is underpinned by a strong emphasis on rights, identity, equality and social justice in the Irish context and internationally. The programme is particularly for people who have a broad interest in these issues and are looking for a deeper level of understanding, critical insight and the development of skills in analysis, writing, presentation, teamwork and collaboration.

The study of philosophy in programmes at Carlow College has a clearly defined focus on the history of philosophy in the first two stages and a specialised concentration on social, political and ethical philosophy as the student progresses. The study of philosophy in this degree programme includes humanistic, historical, contemporary, theoretical and practical areas of study

The disciplinary study of Politics on this degree programme aims to support students to develop knowledge of the theoretical and ideological basis of political concepts and their application in practice. Modules examine the administrative structure and executive function of government, political and economic developments ranging from the age of imperialism and colonialism to the era of development to the hegemonic paradigm of neoliberal globalization, and the contemporary practice of political engagement by civil society.

The disciplinary study of Sociology on this degree programme has a particular emphasis on sociological theory, policy and perspectives that relate to the analysis of historical and contemporary societal issues. The sociology stream aims to support learners to develop a sociological imagination forming their own conceptual standpoint and capacity for the articulation of sociological arguments. It also includes conceptual analysis and practical examination of power relations and social dynamics; equality, diversity and identity; issues of civic engagement, social activism and social change, environmental sociology, climate action and sustainability.

Year 1 comprises 12 core mandatory 5 credit modules for a total of 60 credits.
This programme is delivered over 4 years with all mandatory modules.

Year 1

All mandatory modules

Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Cultivating a Sociological Imagination
  • Contemporary Politics
  • General Ethics: Guiding Rules
  • Academic and Digital Skills
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Introduction to Political Ideology
  • Introduction to Irish Government and Politics
  • Philosophy, Politics and Sociology Seminar 1
  • Sociology and Contemporary Society
  • Introduction to Social and Political Research
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • General Ethics: The Good Life
  • Year 2

    All mandatory modules

    Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Modern Philosophy 1600-1800
  • Comparative Politics
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Sociological Perspectives on Equality and Diversity
  • Introduction to Economic and Social Analysis
  • Human Rights: A Philosophical Approach
  • Modern Philosophy 1800-1960
  • Power, Politics and The Environment
  • Irish Social Policy
  • Sociology of Education
  • Year 3

    All mandatory modules

    Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Feminist Political Thought 1
  • Political Philosophy 1: From City State to Contractarianism
  • International Politics: Colonialism and Development
  • International Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Community of Philosophical Inquiry
  • Social Movements and Social Activism
  • Political Philosophy 2: Enlightenment to Communitarianism
  • Politics of the European Union
  • Environmental Sociology and Sustainability
  • Interculturalism and Cultural Competence
  • Research Methods in Political and Social Science
  • Year 4

    All mandatory modules

    Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Seminar and Dissertation (year long)
  • Critical Theory 1
  • International Politics: Development and Globalisation
  • Mediation, Negotiation and Peacebuilding
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Seminar and Dissertation (year long)
  • Critical Theory 2
  • Political Communication and Campaign Management
  • Philosophy, Politics and Sociology Seminar 2
  • Graduates can find employment the fields of:

    • Academia
    • International affairs
    • Public policy
    • Public service
    • Publishing & information
    • Social policy

    Further Study

    This degree provides a range of potential options for specialist study at Postgraduate level in the fields of Politics, International Relations and Development, Peace and Security Studies, Philosophy, Research Methods, Social Policy, Climate and Environmental Policy, Globalisation, Equality and Social Justice.

    New in 2023

    Minimum Entry Requirements
    Two grade H5 and four grade H7/O6 including English, Irish or a foreign language. Mathematics is not required.

    Further information on Entry Requirements and application processes available here

    Fees & Grants
    Please note this is a new programme commencing in September 2022 and we have only now been informed that it is not funded by the Department of Education and grants will not be available through SUSI. As such, the following EU course fees will apply:

    Annual Course Fee €4,750
    Learner Protection Insurance (annually) €150
    QQI Certificate (once-off) €200

    Information on Fees & Grants can be found here

    Course Contact

    Dr Noel Kavanagh
    Lecturer in Philosophy
    The lower number is the CAO cut-off and the higher is the highest points achieved by a student who accepted the course in 2022.
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