Duration: 4 years
*This programme is currently awaiting QQI Validation with the aim of enrolling students for September 2022 through CAO. If you wish to be contacted/kept up to date with this programme please fill out the Expression of Interest form above.
The BA (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.
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.
Leaving Certificate Applicants:
Leaving Certificate applicants must have H5 or above in two higher level subjects plus a minimum of four O6s.
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (L.C.V.P. Link Modules): Carlow College awards points for results in Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Link Modules in place of a Leaving Certificate subject as follows: LCVP Grade Points – Distinction 66, Merit 46, Pass 28.
The minimum entry requirements for Further Education Applicants are a full QQI/FE Award at Level 5 or 6 in a ‘linked’ programme with a minimum FE grade equivalent of 243 CAO points. Places are limited and will be allocated based on the applicant’s score only. The best eight modules in a single award will be used for the calculation of points. A full Award may be accumulated over more than one academic year.
Language Proficiency Requirements
Minimum language proficiency requirements Applicants whose first language is not English must be able to provide evidence that their spoken and written level of English is adequate for successful participation in the programme. The relevant certified documentation to support this shall be provided as part of the application process. In all cases the English language certification must have been obtained within two years prior to the application to Carlow College. For proficiency certification recognised by the College see the English Language Requirements for Admission to Carlow College, St. Patrick’s.
Mathematical Proficiency Requirements
Mathematics is not a requirement for entry onto this programme.
Minimum criteria for passing the access interview (if applicable) Mature Learner Applications:
Mature learner applicants are assessed on the basis of a completed application form, written assessment and interview. This process has regard to 56 the applicant’s previous education, work and life experience and demonstration of their ability and competence to undertake the course. Positive ratings will only be given to applicants who achieve at least the minimum programme threshold requirement on the combined application process and demonstrate that he/she has a reasonable chance of completing a programme of study. At present Carlow College does not apply a quota to the numbers of mature applicant places available on its programmes (see the Admission Guidelines and Procedures for Mature Learner Applicants).
Year 1 comprises 12 core mandatory 5 credit modules for a total of 60 credits.
Ancient Greek Philosophy
General Ethics: Guiding Rules
Introduction to Political Ideology
Contemporary Politics and Public Policy
Cultivating a Sociological Imagination
Academic and Digital Skills
General Ethics: The Good Life
Introduction to Irish Government and Politics
Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Interdisciplinary Seminar
Sociology and Contemporary Society
Political Sociology, Citizenship and Civil Society
In Year 2 students will complete 9 mandatory core modules and 3 elective modules for a total of 12 modules at 60 credits.
Modern Philosophy 1600 – 1800
Introduction to International Relations
Sociological Perspectives on Equality and Diversity
Economic and Social Analysis
Modern Philosophy 18000 – 1960
Human Rights: A Philosophical Approach
Power, Politics and the Environment
Irish Social Policy
Sociology of Education
Media and Communications
Media and Society
Introduction to Advocacy
Revolutions in the Trans-Atlantic World 1763 - 1877
Nation States and Global Conflict 1879 – 1945
Reimagining Ireland 1850 – 2000
Television and the Everyday
In Year 3 you will complete 9 mandatory core modules and choose 3 others from a wide range of elective modules for a total of 60 credits.
Political Philosophy 1: From City State to Contractarianism
Feminist Political Thought 1
International Peace and Conflict Studies
International Politics: Colonialism and Development
Social Movement and Social Activism
Community of Philosophical Inquiry
Political Philosophy 2: Enlightenment to Communitarianism
Politics of the European Union
Environmental Sociology and Sustainability
Inter-culturalism and Intercultural Communication
Research Methods in Social and Political Science
Feminist Political Thought 2
Politics of the Great Irish Famine
Ireland, Politics and Society 1923 – 1980
Understanding Social Media
Youth and Community Studies
In Year 4 you will choose 9 modules from a range of elective modules and complete a research dissertation or a media project or a creative project for a total of 60 credits.
Critical Theory 1
International Politics: Development and Globalisation
Mediation, Negotiation and Peacebuilding
Contemporary Sociological Theory
Critical Theory 2
Political Communication and Campaign Management
Philosophy, Politics and Sociology Seminar 2
Creativity and Social Media
Philosophy, Law and Punishment
Humans and Other Animals 1
Contemporary Issues in Irish Social Policy
Europe and the United States 1945 – 2000
The Troubles from Conflict to Conciliation
Philosophy, Society and Literature
Religion, Conflict and Peace
Humans and other Animals
Irish Elections and Propaganda 1918 – 1937
This module is a Stage 1 introduction to ancient Greek philosophy that will acquaint the learner with the foundations of European philosophy and emphasise its importance in the history of ideas.
This module aims to introduce learners to the principles, concepts and problems of rule based ethical theories through a critical analysis of Kantian and Utilitarian moral theory. It will present learners with fundamental frameworks by which to analyse social, moral and political phenomena, as well as developing learner capacity for critical thinking.
This module aims to introduce learners to concepts of power, politics and ideology; to enable learners to articulate their own ‘world view’ and to locate that view within a wider ideological framework; to explore the connections between ideology, politics and policies.
This module aims to explore the way that public policy shapes our lives and the different forms that politics takes. A distinctive feature of this module is its applied nature, and emphasis on political and social change. Learners will have an opportunity to carry out research into political life, developing analytical and debating skills.
The overall aims of this module are to introduce learners to the theories of CW Mills and the importance of developing a Sociological Imagination. A sociological imagination will enhance creative thinking and apply critical analyses of complex contemporary issues relevant to human existence.
This module aims to introduce learners to the expectations and conventions of a higher education learning environment and to enhance their personal effectiveness as learners. The practical aspects of this module will enable learners to explore effective learning strategies and improve their ability to use the library catalogue and digital resources to find, evaluate and use information appropriately.
This module aims to acquaint the learner with this period of philosophy and its importance to the development of the history of ideas at this time. Of particular emphasis will be the relationship between philosophy and religion, highlighting the convergences and tensions between these two forms of thought.
This module aims to introduce learners to the principles, concepts and problems of ethical theories based on the pursuit of a well lived human life. In particular, it will examine Aristotelian Virtue Ethics and the more recent Care Ethics theories.
The module aims to engage learners in developing an awareness of their own ‘world view’ and to begin to objectively assess the impact of government structure, function and action on the lives of citizens with particular reference to marginalised and disadvantaged communities and individuals.
This module introduces learners to the approaches and key concepts in political sociology, citizenship and civil society. There are 6 inter-connected sections: • Theories of Political Sociology (Marxist, Weberian, Durkheimian, Foucauldian), • The State. • Analysis of the Concepts of Citizenship: Legal, Political and Social Dimensions Citizenship. • Civil Society, Democracy and Representation. • Understanding Power in Political Sociology. • Social Cleavages and Structures of Participation.
This module will enable learners to think sociologically about aspects of society which affect and influence the experiences, behaviour and life chances of individuals. Learners will be encouraged to examine sociological explanations of poverty, inequality, discrimination and environmental problems.
In this module learners are helped to understand (i) how disciplinary frameworks shape the manner in which topics and themes are addressed within a discipline, (ii) the interdisciplinary potential and possibilities of a combined PPS enquiry, and (iii) the interrelatedness of the disciplines of the PPS programme.
The aim of this module is to provide the learner with an historical overview of the period of European Philosophy from the 1500’s-1800’s. The module centers the emergence of the developing concept of self during this period and its impact on the way in which knowledge was understood.
This module aims and objectives are to explore the theoretical and methodological basis for the study of the discipline of international relations and their relevance in the context of both historical and contemporary global issues. The module aims to introduce the key principles, concepts, actors, and theories of the modern international system with emphasis on the post World War II period.
The module introduces learners to national, international, and global political systems. It aims to examine political institutions and regimes; electoral behaviour and procedures and will build learners’ understanding of the basics of comparative politics, research methodology and argumentation in political science.
The module will provide learners with knowledge of equality and diversity issues and will examine empowerment, equality, categories of social organisation, interculturalism, multiculturalism, stratification, power, privilege and participation and agency and structural responses to diversity and difference.
This module explores the relation between Communication and how meaning is produced and operates in a mediated society. The module will introduce learners to communication models and theories of both interpersonal and intercultural communication. Learners will examine how our identities are formed as individuals and as groups.
This module explores how media such as newspapers, photography, recordings, telegraphy, radio and the precursors to cinema first emerged. In analysing their emergence, we examine how society used these new technologies. The module looks at how different media creates different types of audiences.
The module aims to introduce learners to the principles and practice of advocacy. The module will identify the principles and ethics of advocacy and explore their practical application. The set of skills required for advocacy work will be a key focus.
Learners on this module will examines the causes of revolutions in Europe, particularly in France, that influenced further revolutions across the transatlantic world. Learners will study the growing theories of revolution, and the influence of changing ideologies on politics and society, the different strands and interconnectedness of revolutions across the transatlantic world; and the development of new technologies that inspired change.
The aim of this module is to provide the learner with an historical overview of the period of European Philosophy from the 1800’s to the 1960’s. The module centers on the theme of the developing concept of self from German Romantic engagements with new concepts of knowledge. These overall themes will be traced through the framework of the philosophers’ thought.
This module aims to introduce learners to the principles, concepts and problems of Human Rights theory. It develops skills of analysis, critical reflection and the ability to formulate independent arguments through close reading of primary texts and analysis of Human Rights’ dilemmas.
This module aims to examine and discuss contemporary environmental and geo-political issues. It brings together three subjects that are intrinsically linked. The module will prepare students to tackle a wide range of pressing issues within society and the interplay of power and politics. The impact of same on environmental policies and agendas in how the world is reshaped by powers at play will also be examined.
This module is designed to introduce the student to the study of one of society’s key social institutions, education. The overall context of the module will present students with an understanding of education as it relates to equality and the social, cultural, and economic development of society.
This module is intended to introduce the learner to the following: • theories of group dynamics • group planning • strategies for groups • group leadership styles and facilitation.
This module will provide a broad synthesis of a long and crowded period of history that will cover the main themes and ideologies of liberalism, imperialism, fascism and communism. This was an era that became dominated by conflicting concepts of national self-determination which sparked war and eventually led to a move in Western Europe towards unity.
The aims and objectives of the module are (i) to guide learners through the key developments in the history of Ireland from the mid-nineteenth century through to the end of the twentieth century, (ii) to encourage learners to examine critically the major events and figures that have played a prominent part in the island’s history at this time, (iii) to locate the Irish experience within wider European and global experiences, and (iv) to situate modern Irish history within debates in the Irish historiography encompassing nationalist, revisionist and post-revisionist approaches to the subject.
In this module learners will explore interpretative strategies developed with regard to television. These interpretative strategies engage with the genres specific to television and with its dominant role as a form of mass broadcasting while developing critical analysis of the broader spatial contexts of the televisual as ambient space.
This module aims to provide the learner with an overview of the central issues within Political Philosophy and Secular Belief Systems through a critical survey of the major theorists in the western political tradition. The key focus of the module is to trace the development of European political philosophy from its early Greek origins through to the defining period of Social Contract theory.
This module aims to provide the learner with an overview of the central issues within the History of Feminist Political Thought, particularly in relation to Liberal and Marxist feminist political theory. It develops the learner’s critical and analytical skill through the reading and analysis of core texts from these two feminist traditions.
The module introduces learners to the study and analysis conflict and peace and the process of conflict resolution. The module aims to provide an insight into competing frameworks of conflict analysis and the conflict resolution process using specific case studies.
The aim of this module is to introduce learners to the key issues and ideas in international development. The module aims to critically evaluate development theoretical frameworks and practices. The examination of the international institutional infrastructure underpinning development is a core consideration.
The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the genesis and concept of P4C and the principles and vision behind the idea of a community of philosophical inquiry. The module engages the learner in both the theory and practice of P4C/CPI in order to both demonstrate the value and effectiveness of both in clarifying and honing the individual learners critical thinking skills and also highlighting how this pedagogy can be used in different settings within the range of career paths articulated by overall programme rationale.
The key focus of the module is to trace the development of European political philosophy from the defining period of Social Contract theory and the various communitarian responses to it from Hegel to contemporary autonomous Marxism. The central theme is the articulation of philosophical thought between the various strains of organicism and of atomistic individualism.
This module aims to examine and discuss the challenges posed to the political and institutional system of the EU by recent crises. Imparting factual information on key aspects of the history, institutions and politics of the European Union will be prominent in the first half of the module. The second half aims to actively engage learners in discussions about topical issues, such as migration and Brexit, but also, and perhaps more importantly, in reflections about the future of the European Union.
The aim of this module is to facilitate learners to engage with theories in Environmental Sociology and Sustainability whilst demonstrating the relevance of these theories to understanding the nature of contemporary society.
This module aims to develop an awareness of cultural heritage and cultural diversity from a human rights perspective. Prejudice and discrimination will be explored along with the lived experience of ethnic groups. There will be a focus on the responses to cultural diversity in Ireland with best practice responses also explored. One of the underlying principles of the module is that knowledge and exposure to the ‘lived experience’ of peoples’ situations promotes a richer understanding and celebration of cultural diversity.
This module aims to provide the learner with an overview of the central issues within the History of Feminist Political Thought, particularly in relation to Radical, Socialist and Postmodern feminist political theory. It develops the learner’s critical and analytical skill through the reading and analysis of core texts from these feminist traditions.
This module aims to present the history of the Famine with an emphasis on how and why politicians and others in the public sphere reacted as they did. The module seeks to explain how a tragedy of this magnitude occurred.
This module will identify the core issues and debates at the heart of Irish life in this era using a variety of theoretical studies and practical research methods to analyse politics and society in Ireland. This module will also examine the conflict between Church and State, women in Irish society, political divergences, class struggles, European integration and Ireland’s evolving economy, as well as conflicts over conflicts over health, land, religion, law and order, and welfare.
The aim of this module is to provide the learners with the theoretical and practical skills required to guide the practice of Youth and Community work. This in turn will enable them to become reflective, efficient and competent practitioners.
This module should enable the learner to develop conceptual and academic depth in research knowledge; and become competent in planning and undertaking research and in making recommendations for applying findings.
This module aims to introduce learners to the history, principles, and concepts of Critical theory as developed by the Frankfurt School. It develops skills of analysis, critical reflection and the ability to formulate independent arguments through close reading of primary texts from the members of the Frankfurt School.
The module aims to analyse the evolution of the development paradigm post-1945 and the core dilemmas associated with underdevelopment, the possibilities and limitations of the development model equated to economic growth. This module aims to support learners to develop an insight into the key development issues of the early stages of the 21st century and to consider development as a global phenomenon.
The module aims to foster more in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and practical basis for peacebuilding, drawing on recognised international models. The development of learner capacity and skills to self-negotiate and apply mediation approaches, including intervention and negotiation to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts is also a core objective of the module. A core aim of the module is to develop critically reflective and ethical practitioners with a heightened sense of self-awareness in the practice of mediation and conflict resolution.
The module aims to engage learners to locate and examine contemporary sociological theories and their relevance to social issues and sociological debates. It also aims to examine the relevance of these theories to understanding the nature of contemporary society and the sociological theories put forward to explain social change and social phenomena.
This module aims to develop learners’ capacity to apply theories, and analyse social and political institutions and phenomena in a rigorous fashion. In particular, it will present learners with the main controversies in the question of the proper relation of law to morality.
Throughout the thought of mainstream western civilisation the non-human animal has been seen as having little or no ethical significance. However, over the past three decades we have seen the emergence of new challenges to the traditional views of the status of the non-human animal. The module will highlight the emergence of this new thinking in this tradition and the question of the animal in our time.
This module aims to chart the diverse geopolitical, cultural, societal and environmental experiences that emerged in this period and assess how these experiences developed into coherent policies towards the latter end of the twentieth century. Learners will critically analyse specific historical periods, social movements and political ideologies of post-war America and investigate their implications on American foreign policy.
The course examines differing political understandings such as those of Loyalists, Unionists, Nationalists, Republican, Marxist and several others. Key events during this period will be studied such as the rise of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), Bloody Sunday, and Anglo-Irish peace processes and agreements.
This module should enable the learner to develop conceptual and academic depth in research knowledge; and become competent in planning and undertaking research and in making recommendations for applying findings.
This module aims to introduce learners to the key thinkers, concepts and ideas associated French critical and cultural theory in the second semester. It will investigate the significant influence this strand of critical theory has had on literary criticism. It will examine the role of language theory in relation to the increased decenetring of the enlightenment humanist notion of the sovereign self, leading to post-structuralist and postmodern questionings of those assumptions of self and knowledge.
The module aims to provide learners with an insight into the dynamics of working with civil society interest groups. Learners should be able to critically evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign and campaign tactics. This module equips learners with a diverse range of transferrable skills in managing political campaigns and elections, including research strategy and targeting, issue identification, message development, effective resource management and strong communication skills.
The aims of this module are (i) to help learners understand how disciplinary frameworks shape the manner in which current and contemporary issues and concerns are addressed, (ii) to show learners the interdisciplinary potential and possibilities of a combined PPS enquiry as it relates to present day concerns, and
(iii) to enable learners to understand the interrelatedness of the disciplines of the PPS programme and the relevancy of philosophical, political and sociological perspectives on current concerns.
This module is designed to demonstrate how sociological changes in the material conditions of human beings manifest themselves in the literature and mass media of the times. It engages with philosophical, sociological and literary expressions of the emergence of modern urban living at the dawn of the Metropolis. Its interdisciplinary nature encourages the learner to see the interchange of ideas within the key disciplines of the programme.
The module aims to enable the learner to grasp the politics and hermeneutics involved in the interpretation of religious traditions and their correlation with issues of conflict and peace. It will support learners to develop the conceptual and practical skills needed to reinterpret the principles of secularity and religiosity to promote justice, peace and the integrity of the cosmos.
This module aims to provide the learner with an overview of the central concepts, different theories and modes of analysis in the area of animal ethics. It aims to develop the learner’s critical and analytic skills through the reading and analysis of core texts from the animal ethics field.
reland is one of the few countries that successfully established a stable democracy in the twentieth century. This module will examine the key elections during the first few decades of independence to provide an in-depth understanding on how political parties were formed, how voting systems were created, how political parties and candidates propagandized their aims and objects, how the media influenced society, how political parties were formed and how voting patterns emerged. Learners will engage with and questions the historiography of the period and compare this to primary evidence to draw their own conclusions on early Irish politics and society.
Graduates can find employment the fields of:
- International affairs
- Public policy
- Public service
- Publishing & information
- Social policy