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Bachelor in Law and Political Science


CAO Code TR020
Number of Places: 20
CAO Points (2018) 578

Programme Overview

Law regulates every aspect of social life. From the contracts that we make when we buy products or services to the laws that determine when people can be jailed for committing criminal offences, to significant political decisions, such as the referendum to provide for marriage equality. The two disciplines of Law and Political Science are intrinsically linked and directly impact every aspect of our daily lives. The role and power of the constitution and judiciary, human rights and international law, the impact of the EU and Irish law are best understood when both subjects are considered. This course provides the opportunity to learn about Law and Political Science and better understand their relation to each other.

Is this Programme right for me?

As a student of law and political science, you learn about laws - what they are, how they work and how they change – in their broader political context. As well as learning the skills of a lawyer, you learn the skills of a social scientist. The Law and Political Science degree trains students to be self-motivated, ethically aware and critically reflective citizens. If your career or intellectual interests lie in politics and public service, you will be greatly strengthened by knowledge of the law. If you are interested in pursuing a legal career, your study of law will be informed by a wider political understanding. Either way, the Law and Political Science degree may be the course for you.

Programme Structure

Law and Political Science is a four-year honours degree programme. The first year introduces you to core topics in law and political science. This includes developing your legal skills through the Foundations of Law module.

At the end of the first year of your programme, you will have several options in relation to the balance between Law and Political Science modules and your degree pathway/award. You can choose to:

  1. Major – Law, Minor - Political Science
    focus more on Law (Major – Law, Minor - Political Science) – Degree Awarded - LL.B. (Law with Political Science);
  2. Joint
    continue with an equal combination of the Law and Political Science; – Degree Awarded - BA (Law and Political Science);
  3. move to single honors in Law from your second year onwards – Degree Awarded - LL.B.;
  4. Major – Political Science; Minor – Law
    focus more on Political Science - Degree Awarded - BA (Political Science with Law);
  5. move to single honors in Political Science from your second year onwards – Degree Awarded - BA.

In the final year of your programme, one-third of your credits will be devoted to the completion of a research project, which we call the ‘Capstone’. This allows you to apply and enhance the research skills that you have developed in the previous three years of the programme. If you choose Law as a Major, then you will complete your Capstone within the School of Law. You will be part of a research group with other students where you will work independently and collaboratively to explore in-depth a topical issue. If you choose to major in Political Science your Capstone project will comply with the Department of Political Science curriculum.

Optional Study Abroad

You may choose to apply to study abroad in your third year of studies.  Students may apply to spend a semester or full academic year on an exchange programme with one of the Schools or University’s partners.  Details can be found on our Study Abroad page (below).

Professional requirements and Career Opportunities

The programme will provide students with strong management skills and an in-depth specialisation in law. Graduates will be well prepared for demanding and rewarding careers in both the legal and business professions; particularly in areas where the two disciplines coincide. We expect graduates to accept positions in law, business, taxation, finance and accounting, general management, employment relations and the civil service.

In order to complete the modules that are currently pre-requisites for the professional stage of training to become a solicitor or barrister in Ireland, then you will have to choose to focus on Law from your second year onwards. See option 1 above, Law as a Major subject and Business as a Minor subject.

Should you choose to spend your third year abroad, you will have the opportunity to choose to follow the relevant part of the third-year syllabus when you return for your final year of studies. This ensures that you are able to complete all the modules currently required in order to fulfil the pre-requisites for entry to the professional stage of training to become either a solicitor or barrister in Ireland.

What will I study? 

For more description of each modules below, please visit the Modules page.

Year 1: Junior Freshman Year

  1. Contract
  2. Torts
  3. Foundations of Law 1 and 2
  4. Introduction to Political Science
  5. Introduction to Sociology
  6. Introduction to Economic Policy

Year 2: Senior Freshman Year

Law Major Joint Political Science Major
Constitutional Law I
Land Law
Optional Political Science modules (20 ECTs)
Constitutional Law
Criminal Law
Land Law
Optional Political Science modules (30 ECTs)
Constitutional Law I
Criminal Law
Optional Political Science modules (40 ECTs)
Sample optional Political Science modules*
History of Political Thought (Parts A and B)
International Relations (Part A and B)
Comparative Politics (Part A and B)

Year 3: Junior Sophister Year

Students may also apply to spend either one or two terms of their Junior Sophister year abroad, on an Erasmus or international exchange programme, at any university with which the Law School or Department of Political Science have links.

Law Major Joint Political Science Major
Administrative Law
Company Law
EU Law
Optional Political Science modules (20 ECTs)
Administrative Law
Company Law
EU Law
Optional Political Science modules (30 ECTs)
Administrative Law
EU Law
Optional Political Science modules (40 ECTs) Sample optional Political Science modules*
Research Methods (Parts A and B)
Democracy and Development European Union Politics
Irish Politics
Political Violence

Year 4: Senior Sophister Year

Law Major Joint Political Science Major
‘Capstone Research Project’ – Law
Senior Sophister Law modules (to the value of 40 ECTS)
‘Capstone Research Project’ – Law or Political Science
Senior Sophister Law modules (to the value of 20 ECTS)
Senior Sophister Political Science modules (to the value of 20 ECTS)
‘Capstone Research Project’ – Political Science
Senior Sophister Political Science modules (to the value of 40 ECTS)

Optional Senior Sophister Political Science modules*

Contemporary Issues and Controversies in US Politics Political Participation
Political Institutions of the United States
Public Opinion
*All modules referred to herein relate to current modules offered in 2018-19. Modules on offer may vary from year to year. The Schools of Law and Department of Political Science reserve the right to substitute, remove or add to the offerings on offer each year.

Junior and Senior Sophister Law modules

The following modules are currently provided by the School of Law in either Year 3 or Year 4, but please note that this list changes over time.

  1. Advanced EU law
  2. Clinical Legal Education
  3. Collective Labour Law
  4. Commercial Law
  5. Competition Policy
  6. Corporate Governance 
  7. Criminology
  8. Critical Perspectives on law 
  9. Employment Law
  10. English Land Law
  11. Environmental Law
  12. European Human Rights
  13. Family and Child Law
  14. Financial Services Law
  15. Food Law
  16. Information Technology Law
  17. Insolvency Law
  18. Intellectual Property law
  19. International Human Rights
  20. International Trade Law
  21. Legal Philosophy
  22. Media Law
  23. Medical Law and Ethics Penology
  24. Public Interest Law
  25. Public International Law 
  26. Refugee and Immigration Law
  27. Tax Law

If you would like to explore these modules some more, please look at the modules below which are currently on offer. The 2019/20 module outlines will be available in Spring 2019.

Programme Outcomes

Having successfully completed this programme, students should be able to:

  • Identify, evaluate and synthesise the substantive theories, frameworks and models, both qualitative and quantitative, that are used in fields of enquiry related to law and political science;
  • Use appropriate theories from the fields of law and political science, as well as basic IT skills, to identify, analyse and solve a variety of problems in the private and/or public sectors of society within appropriate contexts;
  • Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both the national and international levels;
  • Add to the body of knowledge in the fields of law and political science;
  • Work effectively as an individual and in teams in multi-disciplinary settings;
  • Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment;
  • Communicate effectively in oral and written modes in professional and academic settings;
  • Have the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including in practitioner, academic or other fields.