Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology
If you are the type of person who is interested in investigating the reasons behind why people behave the way they do, and in using your knowledge to address important social issues, then this course will be interesting for you.
Why study Psychology and Sociology at UL?
This course allows you to examine a fascinating variety of human behaviours and social interactions, and opens up a wide variety of career opportunities. This combination of disciplines offers you the opportunity to develop and deepen your knowledge and understanding of how and why humans think and behave the way they do, and how they shape and are shaped by the society they live in.
The programme will help you to understand and explore the complexities of the mind and society. In the final year you will have the opportunity to undertake a research project on a chosen subject in Psychology. By the end of this course you will have the knowledge and research skills essential for a career in Psychology. The BA is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland, and will allow you to progress in a career in Psychology.
Learn more about our courses and upcoming events
What you will study
This four year honours degree in Psychology & Sociology provides you with a broad introduction to both disciplines in the first year, followed by coverage of the core areas of Psychology required for accreditation including: social, developmental, personality, biological and cognitive psychology as well as research methods and statistics. In your final year of study you will specialise in advanced areas of both Psychology and Sociology, in topics including multiculturalism, the media and applied psychology, while undertaking your own independent research project in an area of Psychology. You will also have an opportunity to undertake study abroad as well as work in an area relevant to psychology or sociology during the course of your studies.
In semester 4 and 5 you will participate in an off campus programme. The off- campus programme typically consists of a period of paid employment in a sector related to the field of study, voluntary work and a period of university study in either Europe or North America as part of a Socrates or other exchange programme.
|Psychology: Theory and Method 1
|Psychology and Social Issues
|Psychology and everyday life
|Psychology: Theory and Method 2
|Introduction to Sociology
|Gender: Sociological Perspectives
|Introduction to Social Research Methods
|Introduction to Sociology 2
|Sociology of Media
|Cooperative Placement 1
|Biological basis of behaviour
|Cooperative Placement 2
|Psychology of Personality
|Empirical Psychology I
|Human Development and the life span 1
|Contemporary Sociological Theory
|Empirical Psychology 2
|Final Year Project I
|Final Year Project 2
|Qualitative Methods for Sociological Research
|Sociology of Globalisation
|Advanced Research Methods
|Two from the following list in Semester 1
|Three from the following list in Semester 2
|Social Psychology 2
|Sociology of the Welfare State
|Sociology of Love and Its Dark Side
|Sociology of Health and Illness
|Approaches to Social Identity
|Sociology of Work
|Sociology of Youth
|Sociology of the Internet
|Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
|Inequality and Social Exclusion
|Sociology of Indigenous Mincéirí/Pavee (Irish Travellers)
|The Sociology of the Body
Electives as listed are offered subject to resourcing scheduling requirements and the number of registrations which may vary from year to year. No commitment is given to offering any specific elective in any year.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, there are 50 places in total for the BSc and 30 places for the BA. Of these, for each course around 6 places will be dedicated to mature entry and access students.
Accreditation is the official recognition of the degree by the professional psychological body in Ireland - the Psychological Society of Ireland - PSI. Your degree must be accredited to allow you to pursue a career as a professional Psychologist. Both the BSc and the BA are fully accredited by the PSI.
Psychology has many subdisciplines, including developmental, biological, cognitive, personality and social psychology. You will take modules in all of these areas and, in addition, from the start of the course you will undertake research methods training in the form of laboratory classes, statistics and group work. By the end of your course you will be able to undertake a piece of independent research in a topic of your choosing under the supervision of a member of staff. Programme structures for the B.Sc. and the B.A. are below.
Both degree programmes are four years long. Each term, students take five modules with associated tutorials, labs and coursework. The subject matter is interesting and varied and although the course is demanding, students find it engaging and rewarding.
During the degree students have the opportunity to spend six months in a 'co-op' work placement related to psychology. Previous placements have been in healthcare, research and overseas teaching in numerous countries across the globe. The 'exchange' programme is a further six months spent in another university abroad. While many students spend this in Europe, others travel to other parts of the world including the US and Canada. During this placement students are encouraged to take classes in psychology, though their choice of subjects is much wider than this.
Psychology is a broad subject, involving elements of biology and physiology, mathematics and statistics as well as sociology and philosophy. However (other than the basic entry requirements for the course) we do not expect students to have taken particular subjects at Leaving Certificate level. All the course material will be taught from first principles and covered exhaustively within the course.
Look at the careers open to psychologists and ask your guidance counsellor for further information. Careers in psychology are varied, from Clinical and Counselling Psychology to Health Psychology, Educational Psychology and careers in psychological research. Even if you do not want to pursue a career in psychology, bear in mind that a degree in psychology is very marketable and will provide you with transferable skills which employers will be keen to recruit. The Psychological Society of Ireland offer Psychology Career Guidance.
Lectures on some modules will be open to other degree pathways. However, methods classes and practical laboratory classes will be for psychology students only.
Mature applicants (over 23 years of age at application) apply directly through the CAO. Applications for the mature places on this course are judged on the basis of applicants' readiness to undertake a psychology degree. Previous life and work experience are considered, as is personal suitability for the course. Having some understanding of the subject and a clear career goal would also be an advantage. More information about mature and Access student applications can be found at the Admissions Office webpage. In general, six places on each course are reserved for mature and access students.
Mature student applicants relevant work experience:
Mature applicants are asked to write a short essay demonstrating 'readiness to study for a psychology degree.' Previous life or work experience will likely be relevant. In terms of previous work experience, very few applicants will have worked in a directly relevant area (as they usually need a psychology degree for this first). We look for the applicant to make a case for the relevance of their experience to the study of psychology. We wouldn't discourage anyone from applying if they haven't any directly relevant work experience, but we do encourage them to think about how they might present this in their application.
|CAO points history
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 Maths is not reckonable for scoring purposes
Applications are especially welcome from mature students, that is those over the age of 23 on 1 January of the year of entry. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.
Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.
|Non-EU Entry Requirements
How to apply
|Where are you applying from?
|How to Apply
|Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here.
|Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
|EU students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
|If you are applying outside of the EU, you can apply for this degree here.
Fees and funding
A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.
An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.
EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant
EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant
Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant
Student course fees are comprised of the following components:
Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to https://www.studentfinance.ie to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The current student contribution is set at €3000.
All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €100. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.
These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.
Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows
- You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
- You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
(all must be met)
- You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
- You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
- You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)
Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -
- Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
- EU Fee Status: You satisfy the citizenship and/or residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees
- Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.
These scholarships are available for this course
These scholarships are available for all courses
|All Ireland Scholarships - sponsored by J.P. McManus
|Cooperative Education Award
|1 medal per faculty
|Elaine Fagan Scholarship
|Financial Aid Fund
|Higher Education Grants & VEC Grants
|Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship
|Plassey Campus Centre Scholarship Programme
|Provincial GAA Bursaries Scheme
|Stuart Mangan Scholarship
|The Michael Hillery and Jacinta O’Brien Athletics Scholarship
|Various benefits equating to over €7,000 in value
|UL Sports Scholarships
|Varies depending on level of Scholarship
Your future career
Employability skills from this degree
- Handling of data and statistics
- Solving problems
- Working in teams
- Analytical research
- Written and verbal communication, including report writing and presentations
- IT skills
Further Study Option
- Structured PhD in Psychology
- MSc in Work and Organisational Psychology
- MSc in Psychological Science
- MSc in Occupational Therapy
- MSc in Speech and Language Therapy
- MA in Psychology
Job titles for graduates with this degree
Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:
- ABA Tutor
- Accounts Representative
- Assistant Facilitator
- Assistant Psychologist
- Business Analyst
- Customer Care Agent
- Employment Facilitator
- Family Activities Worker
- Head Office Receptionist
- Trainee Manager
- Learning Support
- Recruitment Consultant
- Rehabilitation Assistant
- Research Assistant
- Research Psychologist
- Speech and Language Therapy Assistant
- Teacher (International School)
- Youth Worker
A Day in the Life Of… an Assistant Psychologist
I currently work as an Assistant Psychologist in a forensic hospital with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. No two days are ever the same! My role involves assessment and intervention for people with severe mental health problems who, as a result of their mental health difficulties, have come into contact with the law. I used many different assessment tools to help get a picture of what the person’s strengths, difficulties, and current needs are. Then comes the intervention bit, where I do both group and one-to-one work using a variety of approaches.
Because this degree is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland, I can go on to train as a Clinical Psychologist - I have just gained a place on a doctoral course starting this autumn in London. The doctoral places are fees paid and fully salaried (as it’s a job as well as a course), so while it takes a while to get enough experience to get on the doctorate, it’s well worth the wait in my opinion - especially when the career is so interesting!
Before you choose a course, talk to people who previously studied it but are now finished and carving a career out of the degree; inquire about realistic career opportunities and salary, what the day-to-day duties are, and how you go about qualifying, as some degrees require further study in order for you to be qualified.