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Public Administration and Leadership

Public Administration and Leadership
NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree

Entry Route: Bachelor of Arts - LM002

Course code:
LM002 - Arts (Common Entry)
4 Years

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

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

Public Administration and Leadership can be taken as part of the UL Arts Degree as single honours or a joint honours combination. Review the subjects you can study with Public Administration and Leadership by looking at the table at the end of this section.

About You

You are interested in how the world works, particularly that part of the world that is in the public space that involves decision making, political and otherwise, about how resources are allocated, about who gets what and why. You are interested in current affairs and have a curiosity to explore how Ireland and indeed other countries are managed. Within this you are both interested to learn more about the politics of decision making and public leadership but also about the ‘machinery’ that keeps this and other countries running, often referred to as public administration. Crucially, you are interested in knowing more about how politics and the machinery of government interact but also about how they relate to and engage with citizens and their organisations. You may be interested in a career in politics or in the public sector or in the non-profit sector, in Ireland or internationally. Indeed, you may even be a future public leader!

Why study Public Administration and Leadership at UL?

Studying Public Administration and Leadership at UL will open up the world of politics, public administration and civil society in Ireland and internationally. You will learn to recognise that politics is not just the responsibility of those we elect but that it is of concern to individual citizens and to the organisations that they are part of. You will learn not only to understand the world of public leadership but how to critically analyse it. Learning about public leadership at UL is not about amassing lots of information; it’s about enabling and empowering you to know what to do with that information. UL has a long tradition of teaching and research in the area of politics, public administration and civil society and actively engages with a variety of public and community based organisations. During your studies here you will have the chance to do a work based placement, with many opportunities available in public, private and non- profit organisations. You will also have the opportunity to benefit from a study abroad programme with a large choice of universities available in different countries such as the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and even in the US.

What you will study

In the Public Administration and Leadership programme you will study a range of subjects. As well as core, broader introductions to politics and public administration, in your first year you will be able to choose electives from other related disciplines, all of which are designed to generate an understanding of the complexity of public leadership. As you progress through second, third and fourth years you will encounter a range of more specific subjects, both core and electives, in the areas of public policy, international development, political economy, political theory, civic engagement, social justice, European politics, local government and many others.

Public Administration and Leadership Joint Honours Pathway

Modules are subject to change.

Public Administration and Leadership is also available as a Single Honours.

Year 1 Semester 1   Semester 2
PA4001 Introduction to Public Administration 1 PA4022 Introduction to Public Administration 2
Year 2 Semester 3   Semester 4
PA4003 Issues and Concepts in Development   Cooperative Education Placement
PA4012 Paragovernmental Organisations    
Year 3 Semester 5   Semester 6
  External Academic Placement PA4018 Public Policy Process
    PO4015 Government and Politics of the EU
Year 4 Semester 7   Semester 8
PA4037 Public Administration and Social Justice PA4048 Decentralisation and Development
Careers and influence in public leadership: ministers and civil servants PA4058 Civil Society and Civic Engagement


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 also 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. go to the UL Admissions QQI page for a full list of modules.

Recent graduates of this programme are working as; analysts in the insurance sector; community workers; graduate entry level public servants. Recent graduates are working for employers like Northern Trust; the National Treasury Management Agency; the Policing Authority and Intel.

A wide range of career opportunities are open to you from this programme, in the public, private and non-profit sectors:

  • Public sector positions at a national and local level and in a range of state agencies and in international public sector bodies;
  • Private Sector opportunities e.g. within the banking and financial services sector as well as in industry;
  • Non-Profit Sector employment within charitable, voluntary and community organisations, including local level community development as well international development NGOs (Non- Governmental Organisations).

Follow-On Study:

  • Graduate Diploma/MA in Public Administration
  • MA Politics
  • MA EU Politics and Governance
  • MA International Studies
  • MA Peace and Development Studies
  • MA Sociology
  • MA Business Management
  • MSc Marketing, Consumption and Society
  • Law LLB (Graduate entry)