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Undergraduate

Sociology (TSM)

B.A.; ; 59 places

What is Sociology?

Sociology studies the interaction of people within social groups like families, schools and companies and how this shapes their behaviours and life chances. It explores questions such as: Why do migrants develop their cultural identities in different ways? How is privacy changing with the rise of digital technologies? How does a child’s family of origin shape their chances of educational success and future job? Do state rules and regulations represent and protect elite power? Sociology is foremost among the social sciences in its understanding of social change.

Is it the right course for you?

If you want to understand the social changes taking place in the world today, and you are curious about people and society, then Sociology is for you. You will also gain the ability to understand topical issues and to present and communicate information and thoughts coherently. In addition, you will learn invaluable analytical, communication, research and presentation skills – transferable skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers and postgraduate programmes.

Sociology: The course for you?

If you want to understand the social changes taking place in the world today, and you are curious about people and society, then Sociology is for you. You will also gain the ability to understand topical issues and to present and communicate information and thoughts coherently. In addition, you will learn invaluable analytical, communication, research and presentation skills – transferable skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers and postgraduate programmes.

Sociology @ Trinity

There has been a rich tradition of sociological education at Trinity since the 1960s. The department is committed to advancing the understanding of society and to igniting the passion of our students through exceptional teaching and research. The department is ranked number 1 in Ireland and in the top 150 in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015).

The Department of Sociology is internationally known for its work on education and employment, migration, identities, social inequalities, conflict and digital lives. The department has won several teaching awards – both for postgraduates and staff – for outstanding contribution in the pursuit of teaching excellence.

As a recent graduate put it, Sociology explains how the great thinkers predicted the ills of modern society from social isolation to empty hospital wards. It questions the future of whether India can and will become the next China, and whether the internet will undermine traditional communities. It explains the underlying reasons why European societies are culturally so different. It tackles the big social issues of conflict, race, migration, gender and popular culture. It teaches you how to understand, research and explain all of these topics in a logical organised fashion.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Sociology graduates find that their broad training and appreciation of how society and people work means they can thrive in careers in the media, journalism, consulting, academia and teaching, policy analysis, non-governmental organisations, management, and advisory roles in the public service. Graduates are working for organisations as diverse as Goodbody Stockbrokers, the ESRI, the European Parliament, Citibank, RTÉ, Google, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Enterprise Ireland.

Your degree and what you’ll study

Our modules cover Ireland, the wider European society, the non-European world and the global arena. The first two years are more general and foundational in nature while the third and fourth years are characterised by smaller, more intimate classes that attempt to challenge you intellectually and encourage problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Sociology teaching in the first and second years emphasises the understanding of the basic principles of sociology and the acquisition of both quantitative and qualitative skills necessary for more in-depth study. In first year, you are introduced to the distinctive questions that sociologists ask about human society, and the theories and concepts used in the search for answers. You have approximately 6 hours of lectures and 3 hours of tutorials per week in Sociology. In the second year, you study issues around gender, work and family; power, state and social movements, and are introduced to sociological research methods and theory.

Specialisation in sociological topic areas, and more advanced analysis, research and presentation skills are provided in the third and fourth years. In your third year, you learn about Globalisation and Development; Comparative Sociology of Europe; Race, Ethnicity and Identity; Social Stratification and Inequalities, and carry out research projects involving analysis of both numerical data from surveys, and verbal data that are the outcomes of recorded interviews and focus groups. The fourth year offers modules in a variety of topic areas, including Digital Lives and Social Networks; Labour Markets, Gender and Institutions; Migration, Mobilities and Integration, and Conflict Studies. You have the opportunity to carry out your own independent research project from start to finish on a topic of your choice (recent projects included: Immigration and the prison system, Unmarried fathers’ participation in their children’s lives, and Counter-urbanisation in the Irish countryside). Many students find this a great asset when talking to employers and applying for jobs.

Modules are examined by a combination of continuous assessment including essays, portfolios, individual and group presentations, and the formal end-of-year examination. In addition, students specialising exclusively in sociology in their final year may choose to complete a dissertation. Lectures and tutorials take up 6 to 10 hours a week, depending on the year.

Study abroad

Around one third of our undergraduate students participate in Erasmus and non-EU international exchanges. You may participate in full-year or half-year exchanges with the following partner institutions: Sorbonne University (France), University Lille 1 (France), Charles University Prague (Czech Republic), Umea University (Sweden), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Malta (Malta), Istanbul Bogazici University (Turkey), Utrecht University (Netherlands), Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Germany). In addition, you can compete for a smaller number of places on University-wide non-European exchanges with partners in Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Canada and the USA in your third year. Most of these universities offer their courses through English.

GET IN TOUCH!

Department of Sociology
School of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Dublin 2, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 896 2701

Email: sociology@tcd.ie


What our graduates say

Siobhan McDermott

“Sociology is a multifaceted area of study which allows students to develop a more nuanced understanding of society. The department offers a fantastic array of modules for anyone with an interest in different cultures and communities. I was able to choose from a selection of modules which encompassed not only Irish society but also society on a global scale. We were constantly encouraged to think critically in tutorials, juxtaposing previously held perceptions with new insights gained from lectures and readings. The final year dissertation acted as a fantastic opportunity to put into practice the various research skills.
I had developed throughout the programme.”

Course Options

Award

B.A.

Number of Places

59

CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is

TR001
This is a Two-Subject Moderatorship (TSM) course please read TSM

Options

Sociology must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects. For subjects that combine with Sociology see TSM: possible combinations.

Sociology at Trinity may be studied through four different degree programmes: TR001 (TSM), TR015 (PPES), TR081 (BESS), and TR083 (Sociology and social policy).

See also:

TR015: Philosophy, political science, economics and sociology (PPES)
TR081: Business, economic and social studies (BESS)
TR083: Sociology and social policy


Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here


Apply

Click on the links below to see the available options

+ EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO

+ Non-EU Applicants

+ Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

+ Advanced Entry Applications

CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is

TR001
This is a Two-Subject Moderatorship (TSM) course please read TSM

Options

Sociology must be combined with one other TSM subject. An honours degree is awarded in both subjects. For subjects that combine with Sociology see TSM: possible combinations.

Sociology at Trinity may be studied through four different degree programmes: TR001 (TSM), TR015 (PPES), TR081 (BESS), and TR083 (Sociology and social policy).

See also:

TR015: Philosophy, political science, economics and sociology (PPES)
TR081: Business, economic and social studies (BESS)
TR083: Sociology and social policy