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Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

CAO points:
Course code:
4 Years

Course leader:
Dr James Carr
Email: Tel:
00 353 61 213578

Tel: 00 353 61 202015
Queries: www.ul.ie/admissions-askus


Why study Arts at UL?

At the University of Limerick, we deliver an Arts Degree which is flexible and wide-ranging, offering 16 subjects in all. You can study a combination of subjects (as Single Honours or Joint Honours) from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: from familiar arts subjects such as English, French, German, or History, to newer subjects such as, Digital Culture and Communications or Linguistics with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). In the course of your study you will have opportunities - unique to the UL curriculum - to work, to travel, and to study abroad. You should study Arts at UL because:

  • You want to choose from a wide range of subjects at an institution where you can benefit from real-world work experience and can live and study in another country;
  • You wish to communicate your own ideas effectively and persuasively;
  • You want to engage critically and analytically with the world around you;
  • You want to develop skills that will enhance your career and, in the broadest sense, your contribution to society.

Subjects on offer through this degree are:

The Bachelor of Arts degree is one of the most popular programmes at the University of Limerick, offering a wide range of subject choices. This course attracts students from across Ireland who are interested in studying Arts, and wish to combine that with another major discipline such as Economics, Psychology or Mathematics.

What you will study

Year 1

In the first year, you choose four subjects from the groups (1-10) below, selecting no more than one subject in each group.  When choosing your year 1 subjects, it is essential to have a least two subjects from the different year 2 subject groups bearing in mind that places in Psychology are limited from year 2.

Psychology^ or German or Geography  English Digital Culture and Communications Gaeilge or Economics French  Linguistics with TESOL† or Mathematics  Sociology Politics and International Relations Public Administration and Leadership or Spanish History or Music and Dance

Please note: German and Spanish are available at both beginners and post leaving certificate level. French is available at post leaving certificate level only. 

Year 2-4

Towards the end of first year, you will select two subjects to continue with and specialise in to degree level (years 2-4). The table below displays the groups from years 2-4. Your selection is based on your year 1 subjects and you cannot choose two subjects from the same group. The table at the end of this section illustrates al the combinations available to degree level.


Psychology^ or German or Geography Politics and International Relations~ or English Digital Culture and Communications or Gaeilge or Economics Public Administration and Leadership~ or Spanish Sociology~ or Linguistics with TESOL† or Mathematics History~ or French or Music and Dance


~ Subject available as Single Honours to degree level

^ Places on Psychology are limited after year 1

† Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Off-Campus programme

In semesters 4 and 5 (year 2 Spring and year 3 Autumn) you will participate in an off-campus programme. Semester 4 is ordinarily dedicated to a period of cooperative education/work experience in a sector related to your field of study. Semester 5 is spent on study abroad in one of our many partner institutions across Europe, the Americas, and Australasia. UL's dedicated Coop and Careers Office will help you find you the work placement that best suits your course of study and your aspirations, while our International Education Office will find you a place at one of our partner institutions most suited to your course of study in a part of the world that appeals to your intellectual and cultural curiosity.

Final year research dissertation

In your final year, you will complete a Final Year Research Dissertation in the subject(s) of your choosing. This is a unique opportunity to complete an extended piece of research and analysis in your chosen topic, designed with guidance and direction from an academic supervisor in your chosen subject. The Final Year Research Dissertation will develop your research and analytical skills with a view to employment or further study. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. *See table at the end of this section for the single honours and joint-honours combinations available to degree level.

Read what our students have to say on our student blog!

Subject Combinations

The table below shows the full list of subject combinations you can choose from for your degree. 

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation mathematics is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

In addition, students wishing to study a Language must hold a minimum H4 grade in that language, with the exception of beginners German or beginners Spanish where a H4 grade in a language other than English is required. Specialist requirement in Mathematics for those studying Economics or Mathematics.

For certain subjects, additional special qualifications specific to individual subjects or disciplines may be determined by the respective departments in accordance with Academic Council regulations.

Applications are especially welcome from Mature Students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Visit the UL Undergraduate Admissions QQI site for a full list of modules.

Employers recognise the value of Arts graduates who demonstrate an ability to learn, to distil information and to think in flexible ways.

Follow-on Study

Many Arts graduates undertake postgraduate courses in order to specialise in a particular subject or area. The wide choice of subject areas available in this degree will open possibilities for research-based or taught postgraduate programmes offering many pathways to interesting and challenging careers.

Nicole Meagher

I was very indecisive for a long time about where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to study. After countless times of changing my CAO, I eventually decided that an Arts degree is what I want. I am fully confident that I made the right choice – UL’s BA allows you to build your own degree. With 19 subjects and 176 possible combinations, there’s something for everyone.

The course is extremely broad and allows me to study four different subjects of my own choosing. The college provided plenty of information about each subject they offered, it was hard to only pick four! French was my favorite subject in school and so I really wanted to keep it on in third level and improve my fluency. I’m combining the language with Psychology, Sociology and Politics.

Arts at UL drew my attention as it will give me the opportunity to go abroad. With Co-Op work experience to look forward to next year, and Erasmus in third year, I could not turn down the chance to both work and study in different countries. As a language student, travelling abroad is essential for me to improve my fluency and immerse myself in another culture, and this course provides me with exactly that. I’m confident the opportunity will provide me with experience and growth, which will hopefully allow me to progress well through my studies here at UL.

Rachel McLoughlin

I think that UL’s BA Arts course really is one-of-a-kind, offering the widest choice of subject combinations. This degree programme allows me to continue learning about subjects which interested me at second level, as well as picking up new subjects offered only at third level. You will study 4 subjects in first year and then specialize in either one or two subjects from second to fourth year. This appealed to me because you have the freedom to try new subjects but don’t have to commit to taking them to degree level if they don’t interest you after the first year.

Both Co-Op work experience and Erasmus/international exchange are also part of my course. With over 300 partner universities, UL gives students a wide choice in study abroad placement, giving me the invaluable opportunity to travel and experience the world of work. I can do this while still earning credits for my degree.

Coming from Mayo, the availability of student accommodation here also made choosing UL so easy. The on-campus student villages are within a 10 minute walk of the main campus which is a huge benefit, especially when you’re trying to find your way around in first year.

The various workshops and orientation events that take place during the First Seven Weeks program (which is unique to UL) also proved to be invaluable and helped me in settling in and understanding all of the changes that come with attending University.

How many subjects do I pick?

In the first year, you select a total of four subjects from the groups (1-10), selecting no more than one subject from each group. 

When choosing your year 1 subjects, it is essential to have at least two subjects from the different year 2 subject groups bearing in mind places in Psychology are limited from year 2.


When do I choose my subjects?

You will be given information on all subjects during your orientation day at the University, as well as an opportunity to sample all subjects during orientation and in Week 1 of your first (Autumn) Semester.  You will then choose your 4 subjects prior to the end of week 1 of your first Semester.


How many subjects do I continue with from year 2?

There are 2 options available:

Single Honours – You will continue with 1 subject from year 2.  Single Honours is available in History; Politics and International Relations; Public Administration and Leadership; and Sociology.

Joint Honours – You continue with 2 subjects from year 2.   The subject combinations available as Joint Honours to degree level are displayed in the table within this section.    


When do I select my subjects to continue in year 2?

You will select the subjects that you will continue with to degree level during weeks 3 and 4 of second (spring) Semester of Year 1.


What does Single Honours mean?

Single Honours means that you specialise in 1 subject.  This means you will study 4 modules in that 1 subject each semester.


What does Joint Honours mean?

Joint Honours means that you will specialise in 2 subjects.  This means you will study your 2 chosen subjects in equal amounts: 2 modules per subject each semester.


Can I take a new subject from year 2?

No. You pick the subjects to continue based on your selection in year 1.


What are broadening modules?

Broadening modules allow you take a module which is not a core component of your subject choice.  For example, you could choose to study a module on Violence in Society, Contemporary Moral Issues or Beginners Japanese.


What are skills-based modules?

Skills modules are provided in this programme to give you the skills you will need for University.  For example, you will take a module on Preparation for Academic Success in your first semester of year 1.


Do I have to go on Erasmus/Study Abroad?

Yes.  This is a compulsory element of the programme.  The International Education Division will assist you with your study placement.


Do I have to go on Cooperative Education?

Yes.  This is a compulsory element of the programme.  The Cooperative Education and Careers Division will assist you with your work placement.


What is a Final Year Research Dissertation?

At UL, you will undertake a Final year Research Dissertation, which is an extended piece of research and writing, on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of Faculty.