|Degree:||Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (BA (Hons))|
Sociology and Social Policy combines the study of social theory, social policy and social research. The programme aims to give you a thorough training in the systematic study of society, contemporary social issues and the role of social policy in comparative country contexts. At the end of your four years you should have developed both a general sociological understanding, specific expertise in various contemporary policy issues as well as in the process of policy making.
Curious about social and economic policy issues around the world? Searching for a course that demands both academic and vocational qualities? Interested in understanding society, its social problems and have a desire to make a difference? Then Sociology and Social Policy may be the degree for you. It is a unique programme which combines the study of social theory, social policy and social research. It is particularly relevant to students intending to pursue a career in research, social policy analysis and evaluation, management and planning within the social services, both voluntary and statutory, as well as to those with a general interest in society and social policy.
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Trinity’s School of Social Sciences and Philosophy is at the forefront of research and teaching across the disciplines of Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology and the Sociology Department is ranked 1st in Ireland and in the top 150 in the world (2019 QS World University Rankings). Social Policy in Trinity has achieved a ranking in the QS top 100 universities worldwide, which is the highest ranking for a university in Ireland in this subject category.
The range of employment opportunities in the area of social and public policy continues to expand. This is a particularly relevant degree for those interested in pursuing a career in the formulation of policy in the public sector, community development and voluntary/non-profit sectors. Graduates of the programme have secured employment as social researchers, policy analysts government advisors and journalists recruited by companies such as Eurodesk (Brussels Link), the Web Summit, Inner City Organisation Network, Focus Ireland, Migrant Rights Centre, the public service, Reiss and various education facilities, to name but a few. The course also provides a solid foundation for specialist postgraduate courses in the areas of social research, social policy and social work.
The fundamental aim of the degree programme is to give students a thorough training in the systematic study of society, contemporary social issues and how policy works. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and group project work utilizing innovative approaches enhanced by digital technologies. Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment, written submissions, class presentations, written examinations and a final year Capstone project.
In first year you will take introductory modules in Sociology, Social Policy, Political Science and Economic Policy. Approved modules include Mathematics and Statistics; Introduction to Law; a choice of language (French, German, Russian, Polish), Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Central, East European and Russian Area Studies.
The second year places greater emphasis on social policy and sociology modules. Sociology modules include Introduction to Social Research Methods; Social Theory; Gender, Work and Family and Power, State and Social Movements. Irish Social Policy modules include Poverty, Housing and Homelessness and Crime and Migration Policy. Students may also select other social science modules such as Economy of Ireland; Economics of Public Policy; History of Political Thought; International Relations; Comparative Politics; Introduction to Irish Family Law; French, German, Russian, Polish language, and Trinity Electives. In first and second years students typically have two lectures and one tutorial per week for each module.
The choice of modules available in third year typically includes sociology modules such as: Globalisation and Development, Researching Society, Race, Ethnicity and Identity, Social Stratification and Inequalities, Comparative Sociology of Europe. Social policy modules include Life Course and Evolving Welfare States and Families, Human Service Organisations and Understanding Youth and Society. Students may also select modules from Economics and Political Science such as: Economics of Less Developed Countries, Economics of Policy Issues, Irish Politics, Democracy and Development, Public Interest Law, and International Law.
The choice of modules available in fourth year typically includes: Poverty, Inequality and Redistribution; Ageing Societies; Disability and Global Human Rights; Conflict Studies; Social Networks and Digital Lives; Labour Markets, Gender and Institutions and Migration, Mobilities and Integration. Many of the modules in third and fourth year deal specifically with Ireland and with European and global contexts. In the final year you will research and write a Capstone project on a topic of your choice under one-to-one supervision from a member of our Schools.
Students have the opportunity to study abroad in their third year at prestigious universities in countries such as Sweden, France, Malta, Finland and the Czech Republic.