Whether your interest is in progressing towards a career in social care, professional social research or policy analysis, or whether you are interested in a broad-based undergraduate education, the BA (Hons) Social Science is the degree for you.
Social Science is the interdisciplinary study of human society. It draws upon disciplines such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and applied social studies such as social policy analysis and social work. The hallmark of the BA (Hons) Social Science is to provide the intellectual rigour of the older disciplines and to emphasise the practical aspects of social science: research methodologies and the theoretical dimensions of research practice.
From social policy and aging to language and crime, students will be challenged to think in a rigorous and scientific way about social processes, institutions and policies. From the first to the final year of the programme there is a consistent emphasis on training students to carry out their own research and to critically challenge the world around them.
There are four key themes within the programme:
Social Science Research Methodology
Theoretical and practical training in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies will be provided, which will train and educate learners in cutting edge techniques for social scientific research, from new qualitative packages and practical training in statistical techniques to the values of in-depth cultural analysis.
Social Policy/Social Care
Learners will be introduced to the nature of social policy analysis, legally and in terms of process, with a view towards the learner being able to enter the applied workplace directly or to further their education at postgraduate level. The analysis of social policy is complemented by the study of issues related to social care; there is a growing awareness that communities and individuals remain in challenging environments and are vulnerable in a variety fo ways within the context of a polarising western world. Social care is one of the way through which learners may encounter the ways in which vulnerable groups, minorities, the elderly or those suffering from structural violence may be cared for.
Comparative Sociology of Ireland
This programme of study in social science takes on a specific relevance in the context of a rapidly changing Ireland. The changing spheres of work and family, poverty and social inclusion as well as the study of the effects of economic behaviour on society are integral to the content explored during the course.
Key Themes in Social Science
What causes crime, violence and poverty? What are the effects of globalisation? How has secularisation impacted upon modern Ireland? Such questions have been asked over the past decades in the social and human sciences. In the stream of modules on key themes in social science such questions will be posed with an emphasis on epistemology; how we know in the social sciences. While streams of learning, such as training in research methodologies, are more clearly focused on placing graduates in advantageous positions vis-a-vis employment opportunities and postgraduate programmes, other streams, such as the inclusion of modules on key themes in social science, are focused on personal development and producing in graduates a well-rounded understanding of contemporary society in diverse, historical and comparative light.