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UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Politics

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes
Subject TitlePolitics
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8

Course Outline

A degree in Politics gives you a flexible qualification for the 21st century, providing you with sought-after analytical and practical skills in research, communication and IT.

Politics is available in all three years of the BA degree, and you may study it as a single, major, or joint honours subject. Politics is built around three pillars with contributions from the Department of Government, the School of History, and the Department of Philosophy.


Year 1 

PO1001 Introduction to Politics (15 credits)

Year 2 

PO2001 Political Analysis (5 credits)

Elective Modules

Comparative European Politics; USA Politics; Elections and Voting; Feminist Philosophy; An Introduction to Political Philosophy; Conflict and Conflict Resolution; Chinese Politics; Northern Ireland; Applied Ethics; Mediterranean Politics; Political Economy-Trade; Gender Perspectives on Politics; Knowledge and Reality;  Violence and War; Citizen Participation; The European Union and the International System; EU: Political and Institutional Development; Chinese Philosophy, 1989 Revolutions:  Poland & East Central Europe - transition to Democracy; Model European Union; Ancient Philosophy; Capitalism & Welfare; History of Philosophy.

Year 3*/4

PO3001 Dissertation (10 credits)

Elective Modules

Ireland and International Relations; Global Governance; Professional Ethics; International Relations; Issues in Irish Politics; Moral Psychology; Nuclear Politics and Proliferation; The Politics of Church and State; Contemporary Ecological and Anti-Capitalist Politics; Soviet Communism in World Politics; Politics in Northern Ireland; Contemporary Debates in Ireland; Political Philosophy in Theory and Practice; Political Ideologies and Social Change; Moral Responsibility; Democracy: Theories and Innovations; European Security, Identity & Displacement, History of Philosophy.

*BA International students spend Year 3 studying in an approved foreign university in a country of the student's major language or subject. They will return to complete their final year in UCC in year 4.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities


Diverse assessment techniques are used throughout the politics programme. Many modules are assessed exclusively through continuous assessment while a small number retain an end of semester written exam.

Core research and communication skills are developed through traditional methods such as reviews, in-class tests and essays, but assessments also include more practical and innovative methods such as:

  • poster design
  • policy reports
  • individual and group presentations
  • social media analysis reports
  • participation in negotiation simulation exercises designed around international institutions
  • writing opinion editorials and completing funding applications.

The varied assessment profile is designed to ensure that you acquire diverse skills during your degree.

Who teaches this course

Lecturers from the three participating units – Department of Government and Politics, the School of History and the Department of Philosophy – teach on the Politics course.

Why Choose This Course

This course, encompassing the fields of government, philosophy, and history, has endowed me with a wealth of knowledge...

Joe Richardson

Graduate, BA Politics, Income Support Advisor, Jersey

View Student
With Politics, there's a lot of information learned from [philosophy] around the current [world] situation and being able to analyse...

Cian Power


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The BA Politics at UCC is taught jointly by staff from the Department of Government, the School of History and the Department of Philosophy. Our staff are drawn from a broad range of specialist backgrounds creating a diverse and innovative learning environment for students.

Over the course of the degree, you can participate in field trips to Irish and international political institutions, contribute to national policy analysis by making submissions to policy reviews, publish your work in the student online journal Government and Politics Review and attend and speak at a wide range of conferences organised by staff across the course.

Students have amazing opportunities during their degree, such as the Washington Ireland Programme in Washington DC, the Kosovo International Summer Academy and the Fleishman Hillard EU Internship Programme in Brussels.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad

If you are studying through the BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad. We currently have links with universities in Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the USA.

Work placement

If you study through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

We aim to help our students develop a broad set of skills that will enhance their development as resourceful and reflective citizens. Politics graduates have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills and we emphasise effective communication skills throughout the programme. This means a focus on clear and insightful writing but also on effective oral communication, from making presentations to contributing to classroom discussions.

Our graduates have gone on to become:

  • political advisers
  • journalists
  • officials in international organisations
  • teachers
  • business analysts
  • campaign coordinators for charities, interest groups and political parties
  • policy analysts
  • administrators
  • recruitment consultants

and of course, a small number have become politicians!

Politics and Society is now a Leaving Certificate subject and this has opened up significant teaching opportunities for our graduates. 


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact