UCC Undergraduate courses

Government and Political Science

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Government and Political Science

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    4 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    EU Student Contribution + Capitation: €3,130 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in another language. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2021: 399

  • CAO Points Range

    2021: 399-625

Course Outline

Students of the four-year BSc Government and Political Science will be the political and business leaders of tomorrow and a vital part of the generation that shapes the 21st century.

This is one of an exciting new generation of UCC degrees, combining political science with a range of other subjects in business, law, modern languages, social sciences and information technology. It also offers a work placement in Year 3, including a prestigious internship in the New York State Legislature as well as other highly prized placements in international and national institutions.

Now more than ever the study of government and politics is crucial. Politics affects everyone. Aristotle called politics the master science for a reason – he understood that through politics, the future of the world is shaped.

Political science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems and political behaviour. There is no single reason to study politics. You may have an interest in the workings of government, or some questions about the civic nature of our society. Or some event – either domestic or international – may arouse your interest, making you want to know more than you can learn through television or newspapers.

Studying politics means studying the real world and developing the skills to make sense of that world. A degree in political science is not geared to any particular type of job. It will prepare you for many forms of employment or further study. You will gain analytical and practical skills, invaluable in today’s competitive employment market. Political science graduates are recognised as flexible people who can fit into a variety of positions in modern life.

A degree in political science will equip you for all sorts of careers: political activity, management, retail, banking, government departments, local government and international organisations. Political science graduates work in the media and for pressure groups, become consultants and go on to lecturing and research posts at universities. Others become teachers in secondary schools.

Studying political science provides you with many choices when you graduate.


All modules 5 credits unless otherwise stated.

Year 1 Modules:


  • GV1102 Introduction to Government and Politics (5 credits)
  • GV1202 Politics of the European Union (5 credits)
  • GV1204 Democracy, Ideology and Utopia (5 credits)
  • GV1207 Politics and Government of Ireland (5 credits)
  • GV1215 Local Government and Politics of Ireland (5 credits)
  • GV1216 Analytical Thinking Skills in Political Science (5 credits)
  • GV1218 International Politics (5 credits)
  • LW1316 Public Law (5 credits)
  • MG1010 Public and Private Management (5 credits)
  • SS1302 Social Policy Analysis (5 credits)

Students select modules to the value of 10 credits from the following: 

First Year Electives:

  • AC1100 Introduction to Accounting (5 credits)
  • CH1001 Chinese Language (Mandarin) I (10 credits)
  • EC1203 Macroeconomic Context and Business (5 credits)
  • FR0105 Introduction to French (5 credits)*
  • FR1005 French for Near Beginners (5 credits)**
  • FR1105 Threshold French (5 credits)
  • FR1107 French for Reading Purposes I (5 credits)
  • GA1002 Ceart na Gaeilge idir Scríobh agus Labhairt (10 credits)
  • GE0005 German Language (CEFR-Level A2.1) (5 credits)
  • GE0008 German Language (CEFR-Level A2.2) (5 credits)
  • GV1400 Local Development and Public Health (5 credits)
  • HS0028 Spanish Language (Beginner Level) (10 credits)
  • HS0128 Spanish Language (Improver Level) (10 credits)
  • IS1106 Introduction to Information Systems (5 credits)
  • IS1107 Information Systems for the Networked Enterprise (5 credits)
  • ¹IT1102 Non-Beginners' Written and Spoken Italian (10 credits)
  • ²IT1109 Introduction to Written and Spoken Italian (10 credits)
  • MG1004 Principles of Management and Organization (5 credits)

Year 2 Modules:


  • Economic Reasoning for Business
  • Citizen Participation
  • European Government and Politics
  • Public Management
  • International Politics
  • International Securities

Year 3 Modules:


  • Work Placement
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • Political Economy - Trade and Finance
  • Elections and Voting
  • Politics of the United States of America

Year 4 Modules:


  • Research Dissertation
  • Contemporary Debates and Issues in Ireland
  • Contemporary Debates in the EU

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Course Practicalities

This course involves about 12 hours of lectures each week, as well as tutorials, field trips and guest lectures.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including essays, oral presentations, submissions to government, letters to editors, poster design.

Why Choose This Course

Brian Crowley

[It] fed my passion for politics and set the groundwork for my subsequent career.

Brian Crowley

BSc Government (2004), Risk Operations Manager with Google (based in San Francisco and Dublin)

View Student
During my degree I had the opportunity to participate in the Model United Nations in Boston and interned in the New York State Assembly.

Michelle Healy

BSc Government (2005), Programme Manager with Mines Advisory Group

Key facts

  • The BSc Government and Political Science offers a unique combination of politics, business and law
  • Work placement has been an integral part of the degree since it started in 1999. This model has now been followed by many other degree courses in UCC.
  • Graduates are equipped for a wide variety of careers in politics, management, retail, banking, government departments, local government, voluntary groups, journalism, and as second-level teaching
  • The Department of Government attracts guest speakers from the world of politics including – over the past decade – John Hume, President Mary McAleese, Emily O’Reilly, John Bercow, David Norris, Ivana Bacik and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The degree is both intellectually stimulating and practically oriented. Strong emphasis is placed on practice as well as theory throughout the course.

You will undertake a considerable amount of project work that will require you to use your initiative in searching for data and information and in conducting research and analysis. Consequently, you are equipped to contribute in a real work environment.


Placement or Study Abroad Information

A 14-week work placement is an integral part of the BSc Government and Political Science. Students undertake a work placement in Year 3 of the degree, at home or abroad. Recent student placements have included the civil service, government agencies, New York State Assembly, Scottish Parliament, the European Parliament, banks, insurance companies, media organisations, PR companies, humanitarian groups, health boards and local government. See here for more details.

The BSc Government and Political Science also has strong links with the Washington-Ireland Programme (WIP) and the George Mitchell Scholarship Programme.

Skills and Careers Information

The excellent transferable skills acquired on the BSc Government and Political Science open up many career paths. Our graduates work in different fields, including:

  • Public service (home and abroad)
  • Civil service (home and abroad)
  • Journalism
  • Television
  • Voluntary sector
  • Private business
  • Legal work.


Leaving Certificate entry requirements

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:



Other Language




Mature students: Approximately seven places are available on this course for mature students. Applicants should apply directly through the CAO, include a statement of interest, and must apply for and sit the MSAP test. Some mature applicants may be shortlisted for interview. 

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

International Students should visit the International Education website.

FETAC Requirements.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates 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 for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. 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. In 2021/22 the Student Contribution Fee will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €130.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

EU applicants

Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

Mature applicants

Application is made through the CAO and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of proposed entry.

Non-EU applicants

Please see the International Education Office website.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact