BA (Hons) Arts (General) – Full-time

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Structure
  • Career Opportunities
  • Fees
  • Next Steps


DBS Arts

What is a ‘Bachelor of Arts’?

The BA (Hons) in Arts degree is a contemporary version of a traditional arts programme offering an attractive and useful combination of broad humanistic education, significant subject specialisation and a practical focus on the development of key skills and competencies transferable to a broad range of future educational and career-related options. At the core of the programme lie six elective subject streams from which you choose your study options and which take you from an introductory level encounter with the essential concerns and methodologies of an academic discipline through to an exploration of its contemporary condition and limits

Alongside this lie a series of core mandatory modules which are dedicated to building your academic skills and competence and which broadly link your specialised learning and development to a critical understanding of the world around us and to the opportunities it offers on graduation from the programme.

The programme is therefore designed to cater for a very broad range of interests, needs and ambitions. It will appeal equally to those with an existing interest or passion for particular arts or social sciences disciplines and to those in search of new interests or directions for the future; in either case, students will receive a very good general education that will significantly enhance their knowledge, understanding, intellectual sophistication and career possibilities.

Aims and Objectives

The primary philosophical aim of the BA (Hons) in Arts programme is to prove the truth of the famous Socratic dictum that 'the unexamined life is not worth living,' or, rather, stating it more positively, to at least show that the examination of life learning is a hugely enriching and valuable experience that can change your life for the better. Beyond that, and its more applied dimensions, the programme aims to demonstrate that academic learning has a practical use: that the broad knowledge, intellectual sophistication and independence it fosters is of use value in many different ways, importantly including the opening of various new avenues for work and career related development. The objectives of the programme can be briefly summarised as follows:

  • To provide knowledge and understanding of the history, central concepts and theories of a range of arts subjects.

  • To provide extensive knowledge and understanding of the history, concerns, methods and approaches of specialised arts subjects, together with an exploration of their contemporary condition.

  • To enable the development of technical, creative, research or conceptual skills and tools across a range of arts subjects, with specialisation in the skills and tools pertinent to selected subjects.

  • To enable the transfer of skills and understandings between academic subjects and to issues and problems outside of the specified syllabi of the programme.

  • To enable the development of skills of project, time and resource management within a broad range of subject related activities and exercises.

  • To offer the opportunity for progression to further programmes of education and training and to a range of employment options.

Course Content

Year One

At level one, there is 1 Common Foundation Year (CFY). All elements of the selected CFY are mandatory.

Year 1

Common Foundation Year A:

Common Foundation Year B:

  • War & Peace in the Twentieth Century I

  • War & Peace in the Twentieth Century II

  • Film Studies Today

  • Introduction to Drama & Theatre

  • Introduction to Literature (Fiction & Poetry)

  • Introduction to Sociology

  • Digital Photography

  • The Arts Learning Lab

  • Psychological Foundations

  • Film Studies Today

  • Introduction to Drama & Theatre

  • Introduction to Literature (Fiction & Poetry)

  • Introduction to Sociology

  • Digital Photography

  • The Arts Learning Lab



Year Two and Three

At the beginning of year 2, learners choose two of the following elective subject strands. All elements of the selected strands are mandatory once they are chosen, with the exception of year 3 Psychology which offers a series of internal options and requires learners to complete 4. Learners also take three mandatory common modules, three at level two and and one at level three.

Film Studies (E)

Level 7

New Waves in European and World Cinema 10 ECTS

Documentary and Non-Fiction Film and Television 10 ECTS

Level 8

Contemporary Cinemas 10 ECTS

Film Theory & Criticism 10 ECTS


History (E)

Level 7

From Enlightenment to Revolution : America, France & Ireland 1715-1800 10 ECTS

The Making of Modern Ireland I 5 ECTS

The Making of Modern Ireland II 5 ECTS

Level 8

The Age of Extremes: Fascism, communism & democracy 1919-45 10 ECTS

From History Student to Historian: Researching & Writing History 5 ECTS

Northern Ireland 5 ECTS


Literature & Drama (E)

Level 7

Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama 5 ECTS

Literature in Contexts I: The Eighteenth Century and Romanticism 5 ECTS

Literature in Contexts II: The Nineteenth Century and Modernism 5 ECTS

Modern Drama 5 ECTS

Level 8

Contemporary British and Irish Drama 5 ECTS

Twentieth Century Irish Literature 5 ECTS

Critical and Cultural Theory 5 ECTS

Contemporary Fiction & Poetry 5 ECTS


Sociology (E)

Level 7

Economic Sociology 5 ECTS

Critical Concepts in Sociology 10 ECTS

Exploring Political Issues in Ireland 5 ECTS

Level 8

Families, Intimacy and Personal Life 10 ECTS

Globalisation and Culture 10 ECTS


Psychology (E)

Level 7

Social Psychology 5 ECTS

Personality and Psychoanalytic Subjectivity 10 ECTS

Development Across the Lifespan: Adolescence to Adulthood 5 ECTS

Any four of the following elective options:

Level 8

Hysteria 5 ECTS

Psychoanalysis & Language 5 ECTS

Sexuality I 5 ECTS

Sexuality II 5 ECTS

Level 8

Organisational Psychology 5 ECTS

Human Performance 5 ECTS

Health Psychology 5 ECTS

Abnormal Psychology 5 ECTS


Common Modules (M)

Level 7

Issues in Contemporary Life and Culture 10 ECTS

Employability Skills 5 ECTS

Innvovation and Entrepreneurship for Arts Students 5 ECTS

Level 8

Arts Undergraduate Thesis 20 ECTS

Teaching and Assessment

The BA (Hons) in Arts is taught through a wide variety of methods, ranging from traditional lectures, to discussion based seminars and tutorials, to practical writing and research workshops, and both individual and group projects and activities. However, always our focus is significantly student-centred and founded primarily on problem based exploratory learning. Assessment is delivered through a combination of coursework and examination, with a significant leaning toward coursework on most modules. Coursework includes essays, case studies, individual and group presentations, practical projects, exhibitions field trips, and a research thesis.


This is a three year programme divided into three levels and involving a number of internal options or pathways. Students take one of the two Common Foundations Years in its entirety, and then focus their studies into two specialised subject areas.

Level 1 (Common Foundation Year)

At point of entry, students choose between Common Foundation Years A or B, which feature slightly different subject combinations of modules introducing the key concerns and methodologies of four academic subjects or disciplines. In addition, students pursue a year long course in academic skills and methods which aims to foster intellectual confidence and competence under close guidance from academics, and a project module which aims to foster creativity and team work between learners.

At Level 2 students select the 2 subject streams that will continue to form the basis of their study to the end of the degree. Each sstream offers a sequence of modules that build on the knowledge and intellectual skills introduced at level 1 and develop the students' interests and knowledge across a wide range of specialised historical and theoretical areas within the discipline. At this level students also pursue a year-long interdisciplinary module designed to do the very important work of linking learning across disciplines and into the contemporary world, and two semester-long modules which link learning to the field of work and careers.

Level 3 provides a further two modules from two subject streams that will extend the students’ understanding of the theory, conceptual frameworks and contemporary practice of the disciplines to a high level. At Level 3 students also write a supervised research project, the Arts Undergraduate Thesis, which aims to be a climax and culmination of their studies and the forum in which they demonstrate and showcase their attainment of the intellectual independence and self-directed learning skills that are the outcome of this programme. In this way, each level thus incrementally builds the students’ skills and increases the level of challenge across the span of the programme.

Transfer Learners

Learners holding relevant qualifications at Level 7 may qualify for entry to the final year of this degree.

Career Opportunities

The course will be of use to those interested in pursuing a career in any area of work that requires high order skills of written expression, oral presentation, and conceptual and critical analysis. It is good preparation for working in education, the arts, the media industries, library and information work, and business. Graduates from the programme are currently working in the film, radio and theatre industries, teaching, lecturing, advertising, business, the health services, government, the media and a range of other areas. The course also has an excellent record of inspiring students to go on to further study, with progression onto masters programmes in related subject areas being one of the most popular choices with our graduates.


The fees for Full-time BA (Hons) in Arts are €5,795 per annum for EU students.

Click here to view international fees. 

For a full list of Full-Time Undergraduate fees for 201​8/201​9 click here. You can also contact our admissions team who will also be able to advise on the payment options available to you.

Fees quoted cover the annual cost of tuition, registration and examinations and are EU fees only.Non-EU students please refer to the International section of the website.Please note also that tax relief is available on fees for Irish income tax payers at the standard rate of 20% on all fees exceeding €​3,000 and up to €7,000.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration offered by Dublin Business School (DBS) are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby in the event that DBS ceases to provide the programme, for any reason, after learners have started on that programme, Kaplan Inc., as guarantor, will refund the moneys most recently paid by or for the learner.   More details are included in the terms and conditions of learner admission to DBS ( and on programme handbooks provided at induction.

Next Steps

Before making an application please ensure you are aware of all our entry requirements.

School Leaver Applicants

Application for first year full-time QQI programmes in the college is through the CAO System. The CAO system applies only to applications for first year admissions to undergraduate full-time day programmes described in the prospectus, which have a CAO Course code Application forms and the CAO Handbook are both supplied by the Central Applications Office (CAO), Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway or from your Career Guidance Counsellor.

Mature Applicants

If you are over 23 years of age on the 1st of January on the year of admission and do not meet the minimum entry requirements, you may apply as a Mature Student. Mature students should apply directly to the Admissions Office at Dublin Business School. Mature students are assessed on the basis of age, work experience, general education standard, motivation and commitment to the programme for which they are applying. Please forward documentation such as any relevant transcripts, a CV or any other related documentation to the Admissions Office. Proof of age such as a copy of driver’s licence or passport must also be submitted.

Transfer Students

Students holding a relevant Certificate, Diploma or other relevant third level qualification may qualify for entry to the second or third year of degree programme. Transfer applications to the second or third year full-time programmes are to be made directly to the college. Students should send copies of their examination transcripts and other relevant documentation along with their application form (available from the School / College) to the Admissions Office at Dublin Business School.

EU Citizens

A European (EU) Application is one made by a person:

(a) who is permanently a resident in one of the member states of the European Union


(b) who will have received full-time second level education, for three of the five years immediately before the date of proposed admission, in member states.

Non-EU Applicants

Non - EU applicants should contact directly the International Admissions Office at Dublin Business School.

Application fee to CAO

There is a standard application fee of €40 made payable to CAO on submitting your CAO application form, or €25 if submitting an online application to CAO. Late applications to CAO will be charged €50 for online and €80 for paper applications.

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Course overview


Awarding Body: 
Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI)
Award: Honours Bachelor Degree
NFQ Level: 
​Award Title:
BA (Hons) Arts
Award Type: Major
Duration: 3 Years
CAO Code: DB561

Contact Us

We are now accepting applications for programmes taking place in 2018. Contact our admissions team for more information

Phone: 01 417 7500
Opening times:
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