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Philosophy, political science, economics and sociology

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Course overview

The aim of this degree is to provide a coherent and integrated introduction to the study of the social sciences and philosophy. It brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding the social and human world, developing skills for a whole range of future careers and activities. The idea behind the programme is that, to understand social and human phenomena, one must approach them from several complementary disciplinary directions and analytical frameworks. By allowing a gradual specialisation over the course of the four-year degree programme, students are assured of obtaining an excellent grounding in one, or at most two, of the disciplines which make up the degree.

In the first three years you take six modules with approximately three teaching hours per week including tutorial classes in each. In the final year there is a reduction in the number of modules taken to recognise the greater commitment to independent work.

Is it the right course for you?

This course will appeal to students who are excited about the challenges of understanding the way societies are organised, governed and create wealth drawing on the methods and insights of philosophical inquiry. If you are puzzled about the ways our world is structured and have a desire to change it, then this may well be the course for you.

Course content

The Freshman years

In the Junior Freshman (first) year you will take all four disciplines: economics (introduction to economics, mathematics and statistics), philosophy (central problems in philosophy, history of philosophy), political science (introduction to political science) and sociology (introduction to sociology). In the Senior Freshman (second) year you choose to continue three of the disciplines (two modules from each discipline) and could, for example, take modules ranging from economic principles, to the history of philosophy to international politics, to an introduction to social research.

The Sophister years

In the Junior Sophister (third) year you take two of the four disciplines (three modules from each discipline) unless you intend pursuing a single discipline in Senior Sophister (in which case you are permitted to take two modules from one discipline and four from the discipline you will pursue in Senior Sophister) and in the Senior Sophister (fourth) year you may take either two disciplines or choose to specialise in only one. Students pursuing the equivalent of single honor programmes in their final year will be able to pursue an undergraduate dissertation, and all fourth year modules have elements of project work intended to help develop research skills and the skills of independent enquiry.

PPES at a glance

Year 2 (6 modules - 60 credits)


  • Logic and philosophy of science
  • History of philosophy

Political science

  • History of political thought
  • International relations
  • Comparative politics


  • Intermediate economics
  • Mathematics and statistical methods


  • Gender, culture and society
  • European societies
  • Introduction to social research

Year 3 (6 modules - 60 credits)


  • Political philosophy
  • Topics in ancient philosophy
  • Topics in analytic philosophy
  • Moral philosophy
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Logic and philosophy
  • Topics in Continental philosophy
  • Philosophy of fiction

Political science

  • Research methods for political scientists
  • Irish politics
  • Democracy and development
  • European Union Politics


  • Economic analysis
  • Money and banking
  • The European economy
  • Economics of less developed countries
  • Investment analysis
  • Economics of policy issues
  • Industrial economics
  • Mathematical economics
  • Econometrics


  • Social theory and social inequality
  • Race, ethnicity and identity
  • Globalisation and development
  • Researching society
  • Social policy and inequality

Year 4 (modules to the value of 60 credits)


  • Ancient philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Psychology/philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Epistemology
  • Post-Kantian philosophy
  • Wittgenstein's later philosophy
  • Philosophy dissertation
  • General paper

Political science

  • Research seminar
  • Contemporary political theories
  • Political parties
  • Issues in contemporary politics
  • Contemporary international relations
  • African politics
  • Topics in political science


  • Economic theory
  • Economics of financial markets
  • Transport economics
  • International economics
  • Quantitative methods
  • Monetary thought and policy
  • Economic and legal aspects of competition
  • Economics dissertation


  • Economic sociology of Europe
  • Conflict studies
  • Popular culture and digital lives
  • Migration
  • Dissertation

The section 'PPES at a glance' (see above) gives you a sense of the richness and diversity of modules that are available within PPES in the second, third and fourth years.


Modules are examined by a combination of continuous assessment and formal examination.

Career opportunities

The range of disciplines to which students are exposed in this degree give you the insights and competencies to pursue careers in a variety of areas including public administration, teaching, journalism, media, law and management.

Did you know?

  • This degree programme is unique in Ireland in offering a dedicated introduction to the social sciences and philosophy.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1840

Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateOC3/HD3 Mathematics
GCSEGrade B Mathematics
Other EU examination systemsSee