Course Overview

The Diploma in Political Science and Sociology is designed to encourage students to examine the connections between political and sociological perspectives in relation to both national and international issues. One of the common concerns of Political Science and Sociology is how and why societies change and what alternatives are desirable or possible.

This course is an ideal choice for individuals interested in the issues which affect modern day societies, political structures and associated policies. The diploma is suited to those who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the society they live in and the factors which contribute to the functioning (or malfunctioning) of that society. Second level teachers may also find this course beneficial in the context of Politics and Society.

Applications and Selections

Online applications will open in April 2019.

 

 

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of written assignments and examinations, online activities and block release workshops during the semester.

Basic computer skills will be an advantage. E-mail, internet and NUI Galway's online learning environment are in use throughout the course.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). There are no specific entry requirements for the Diploma in Political Science & Sociology.

Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

Unlimited

Closing Date

Next start date

September 2019

NFQ level

7

Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting

30

Award

Diploma

CAO

PAC code

Course Outline

A core feature of this course is to encourage students to think critically, to explore possibilities and to seek solutions to social and political problems. This diploma is ideal for students who wish to:

  • Understand the theoretical foundations of Political Science and Sociology
  • Examine key sociological theories and concepts and analyse social and political phenomena
  • Develop essential social research skills
  • Apply this knowledge in a social and public policy context

Students are required to complete three modules each year.

Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (15 Credits)

Required SP1112: Introduction to Politics & Sociology


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module introduces students to the study of the structure and functioning of society. The module will examine theories of how people become members of society, investigate how social institutions develop and change over time, and study the effects of state structures and social policies. This module introduces the student to key concepts in political studies, namely democracy and ideology.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of what is meant by ‘Sociology’ and ‘Politics’ as academic disciplines and why both are interlinked
  2. Demonstrate an understand ding of the contribution of the classical and contemporary theorists of Sociology
  3. Explain the process of Socialisation
  4. Compare political ideologies
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module SP1112: "Introduction to Politics & Sociology " and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required SP1111: Issues in Contemporary Irish Society


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

The module aims to further students’ sociological understanding of the changes which have occurred in Ireland in recent years and discusses many of the social, political and economic issues which have shaped Contemporary Irish society. Issues, including but not limited to: the urbanisation of Ireland; changes in family structure and family life; political participation; social exclusion; emigration and immigration; experiences of minority groups; the role and influence of social, political and religious institutions will be examined and critiqued.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify the social, economic and political changes which have informed the contemporary Irish landscape.
  2. Examine the unique character of Irish social and political life in terms of how it differs from its European counterparts.
  3. Critically appraise the recent developments in Irish society and assess their impact on Contemporary Irish life.
  4. Identify and apply critically, sociological concepts appropriate to explaining the emergence, implications and consequences of the key transformative issues facing Irish society.
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "A Sociology of Ireland" by Perry Share, Mary P. Corcoran, Brian Conway
    ISBN: 9780717149841.
    Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
  2. "Contemporary Ireland" by Sara O'Sullivan
    ISBN: 9781904558873.
    Publisher: Univ College Dublin Pr
  3. "Introduction to Sociology in Ireland" by McDonald
    ISBN: 9780717156221.
    Publisher: Gill and MacMillan
The above information outlines module SP1111: "Issues in Contemporary Irish Society" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required SP1113: Social Research Skills


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module comprises of an introductory under-graduate course on the theory and practice of social research. Research is essentially about collecting information in a methodical way in order to answer a question or test out a theory. The module focuses on how social research can play a vital role in community, youth and family work.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. A familiarity with some of the fundamental concepts and approaches to social research.
  2. An appreciation of the link between theory and practice in social research
  3. An understanding of how social research can be effectively applied to work with communities and families.
  4. A competence in evaluating and choosing specific research methods in an applied context
  5. An appreciation of ethical concerns within social research and a familiarity with strategies to manage ethical considerations
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module SP1113: " Social Research Skills " and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (15 Credits)

Required SP2104: Practising Sociology and Politics


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Politics and Sociology are intrinsically linked as politics and policies often seek to remedy social issues. This module explores these links and encourages you to look at world from a political and sociological perspective. This module provides you with an introduction to the policy making process in the Republic of Ireland.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the political system in the Republic of Ireland, its constituent parts and how it operates
  2. State and explain what is meant by policy
  3. Explain the relationship between the political system and policy making
  4. Discuss different theories about the policy process
  5. Outline competing models of policy making in Ireland, namely pluralism and corporatism
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Sociology. A Global Introduction" by Macionis, J. J. and Plummer, K
    Publisher: Pearson
  2. "First Year Sociological and Political Studies – Sociology Textbook" by Vesna Malesevic
    Publisher: Pearson
  3. "A Sociology of Ireland" by Tovey, H. Share, P. Corcoran, M
    Publisher: Gill and Macmillan
  4. "Politics in the Republic of Ireland" by Coakley, J. and Gallagher, M
    Publisher: Routledge
  5. "Political Ideologies" by Heywood, A
    Publisher: Palgrave-Macmillan
The above information outlines module SP2104: " Practising Sociology and Politics " and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required SP2200: Classical Social Thought


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module will provide students with an understanding of the social and cultural origins of sociology and the development and progression of classical social thought. It will examine the theoretical contributions of Marx, Weber and Durkheim specifically, and will discuss the influence these theorists have had on contemporary social thought and social inquiry.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the origins of sociology as an academic discipline and the development and progression of classical social thought.
  2. Describe the sociological tradition of thought and argument as shaped by Marx, Weber and Durkheim.
  3. Recognise how these key frameworks and grand theories influence the types of research questions posed by social scientists today.
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Introduction to Sociological Theory" by Michele Dillon
    ISBN: 9781405170024.
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
  2. "Marx, Durkheim, Weber" by Ken Morrison
    ISBN: 9780761970569.
    Publisher: London ; Sage, 2006.
  3. "Introductory sociology" by Tony Bilton... [et al.] with Liz Bradbury, James Stanyer and Paul Stephens
    ISBN: 9780333945711.
    Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
The above information outlines module SP2200: "Classical Social Thought" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional SP2201: Understanding Equality and Diversity


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module explores the concepts of equality and diversity with a particular focus on the changing nature of Irish Society. It seeks to promote a full understanding of Equality and Diversity issues and opportunities and their relevance and application to our daily lives (within individual, family, community and work–based settings). It examines Equality and Diversity policies, procedures and legislation within Europe and Ireland .
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Define the concept of equality and the concept of diversity
  2. Define attitudes and discuss how attitudes influence our behaviour towards others.
  3. Identify and discuss Irish legislation relating to equality
  4. Explore barriers to participation in employment in the context of the four equality domains – redistribution, recognition, representation and respect.
  5. Explain the involvement and impact of European Directives on the development of Irish legislation designed to promote equality in the labour market.
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Against Equality of Opportunity." by Cavanagh, M.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press.
  2. "A Strategic Policy Framework for Equality Issues" by National Economic and Social Forum
    Publisher: National Economic and Social Forum.
The above information outlines module SP2201: "Understanding Equality and Diversity" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional SP188: Development and Change


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module SP188: "Development and Change" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Further Education

The course may provide an opportunity for students to progress to degree level qualification.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Who’s Suited to This Course

The Diploma in Political Science and Sociology is aimed at students who wish to develop their careers in areas that require:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Evaluation skills
  • The ability to work with diverse groups 

Students will be equipped with the fundamentals to embark on a career path in areas such as journalism, public administration and political consultancy.

Graduates may be employable in a range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations that involve analysing and communicating the origins of social practices to diverse audiences.

The course may provide an opportunity for students to progress to degree level qualification.   

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€970 p.a.

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

€1470 p.a.


A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment.  Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2018_19 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Lisa Walshe 
Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development 
NUI Galway 
Tel: 091 495787
Email: lisa.walshe@nuigalway.ie