Key Info

Bachelor of Arts

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
CAO points history
Course code
4 Years
Subject area
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Course leader
Dr. Chris McInerney
00 353 61 213578
Tel 00 353 61 202015

About You

At the University of Limerick, we deliver an Arts Degree which is flexible and wide-ranging, offering 16 subjects in all. You can study a combination of subjects (as Single Honours or Joint Honours) from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: from familiar arts subjects such as English, French, German, or History, to newer subjects such as, Digital Culture and Communications or Linguistics with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). The UL curriculum is unique as it includes cooperative education/work experience and a study abroad placement as compulsory elements of the degree.  Students will spend one semester undertaking cooperative education/work experience and one semester studying abroad. You should study Arts at UL because:

  • You want to choose from a wide range of subjects at an institution where you can benefit from real-world work experience and can live and study in another country;
  • You wish to communicate your own ideas effectively and persuasively;
  • You want to engage critically and analytically with the world around you;
  • You want to develop skills that will enhance your career and, in the broadest sense, your contribution to society.

Subjects on offer through this degree are:

What you will Study

Pathways within Bachelor of Arts

In year 1, you choose four subjects from the groups below, selecting no more than one subject in each group. You will study these subjects for the whole of your first year. When choosing your year 1 subjects, it is essential to have a least two subjects from two different year 2 subject groups as subjects within the same group cannot be studied together. It is important to bear in mind that places in Psychology are limited from year 2.  

Group 1 Psychology OR German OR Geography
Group 2 English
Group 3 Digital Culture and Communications
Group 4 Gaeilge OR Economics
Group 5 French
Group 6 Linguistics with TESOL† OR Mathematics
Group 7 Sociology
Group 8 Politics and International Relations
Group 9 Public Administration and Leadership OR Spanish
Group 10 History OR Music and Dance


German and Spanish are available at both beginners and post leaving certificate level. 

French is available at post leaving certificate level only. 

Places in Psychology are not limited for first year, but there are only 30 places available for years 2-4. Those places are allocated on a competitive basis based on semester 1 grades. 

After first year

Towards the end of first year, you will select two subjects to continue with and specialise in to degree level (years 2-4). Note – A limited number of subjects are available as Single Honours – this is where you will study one subject for the remainder of the degree.  See the end of the table for subjects available as Single Honours. The table below displays the groups from years 2-4. Your selection is based on your year 1 subjects and you cannot choose two subjects from the same group. The table at the end of this section illustrates all the combinations available to degree level.

Group 1 Psychology^ OR German OR Geography
Group 2 Politics and International Relations~ OR English
Group 3 Digital Culture and Communications OR  Gaeilge OR Economics
Group 4 Public Administration and Leadership~ OR Spanish
Group 5 Sociology~ OR Linguistics with TESOL† OR Mathematics 
Group 6  History~ OR French OR Music and Dance

~ Subject available as Single Honours to degree level

^ Places on Psychology are limited after year 1

† Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Off-Campus programme

In semesters 4 and 5 (year 2 Spring and year 3 Autumn) you will participate in an off-campus programme. Semester 4 is dedicated to a period of cooperative education/work experience in a sector related to your field of study. Semester 5 is spent on study abroad in one of our many partner institutions across Europe, the Americas, and Australasia. UL's dedicated Coop and Careers Office will help you find you the work placement that best suits your course of study and your aspirations, while our International Education Office will find you a place at one of our partner institutions most suited to your course of study in a part of the world that appeals to your intellectual and cultural curiosity.

Final Year Project

In your final year, you will complete a Final Year Project in the subject(s) of your choosing. This is a unique opportunity to complete an extended piece of research and analysis in your chosen topic, designed with guidance and direction from an academic supervisor in your chosen subject. The Final Year Project will develop your research and analytical skills with a view to employment or further study. 

Subject Combinations

The table below shows the full list of subject combinations you can choose from for your degree. 

Frequently Asked Questions

In the first year, you select a total of four subjects from the groups (1-10), selecting no more than one subject from each group. 

When choosing your year 1 subjects, it is essential to have at least two subjects from the different year 2 subject groups bearing in mind places in Psychology are limited from year 2.

You will be given information on all subjects during your orientation day at the University, as well as an opportunity to sample all subjects during orientation and in Week 1 of your first (Autumn) Semester.  You will then choose your 4 subjects prior to the end of week 1 of your first Semester.


There are 2 options available:

Single Honours – You will continue with 1 subject from year 2.  Single Honours is available in History; Politics and International Relations; Public Administration and Leadership; and Sociology.

Joint Honours – You continue with 2 subjects from year 2.   The subject combinations available as Joint Honours to degree level are displayed in the table within this section. 

You will select the subjects that you will continue with to degree level during weeks 3 and 4 of second (spring) Semester of Year 1.


Single Honours means that you specialise in 1 subject.  This means you will study 4 modules in that 1 subject each semester.


Joint Honours means that you will specialise in 2 subjects.  This means you will study your 2 chosen subjects in equal amounts: 2 modules per subject each semester.


No. You pick the subjects to continue based on your selection in year 1.


Broadening modules allow you take a module which is not a core component of your subject choice.  For example, you could choose to study a module on Violence in Society, Contemporary Moral Issues or Beginners Japanese.


Skills modules are provided in this programme to give you the skills you will need for University.  For example, you will take a module on Preparation for Academic Success in your first semester of year 1.


Yes.  This is a compulsory element of the programme.  The International Education Division will assist you with your study placement.

Yes.  This is a compulsory element of the programme.  The Cooperative Education and Careers Division will assist you with your work placement.


Entry Requirements

CAO points history
Minimum grades

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary level) grades or Four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Note: Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics also satisfies the minimum entry requirements. Foundation mathematics is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

Subject requirements

In addition, students wishing to study a Language must hold a minimum H4 grade in that language, with the exception of beginners German or beginners Spanish where a H4 grade in a language other than English is required. Specialist requirement in Mathematics for those studying Economics or Mathematics.

For certain subjects, additional special qualifications specific to individual subjects or disciplines may be determined by the respective departments in accordance with Academic Council regulations.

Additional considerations

Mature Students

Applications are especially welcome from Mature Students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Application information for mature student applicants (PDF)

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Visit the UL Undergraduate Admissions QQI site for a full list of modules.

Non-EU Entry Requirements


How to Apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU Students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
Non-EU country If you are outside of the EU, you can apply for this course here.

Fees and Funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €2,558
SUSI pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €96

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €2,558
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €96

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student pays Tuition Fees €2,558
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €96

Non-EU Students

Student pays Tuition Fees €12,704
Student pays Student Levy €96

Student course fees are comprised of three components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The curent student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €96. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

  • Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
  • EU Fee Status: You satisfy the citizenship and/or residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees
  • Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website

These scholarships are available for this course

Title Award Scholarships Available
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Programme
The Noel Ryan Scholarship €2,000 per year for 4 years 1 per year

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your Future Career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Understanding, assessing and evaluating issues
  • Organising and working to deadlines
  • Reading text to pick out the essential points
  • Absorbing and retaining large amounts of information
  • Writing well in a variety of formats
  • Conveying meaning precisely
  • Conducting research and evaluating sources, leading and participating in discussions, working independently
  • Developing opinions, proposing ideas and theories
  • Debating and persuading
  • Drawing conclusions from statistical research objectively
  • Confidence in formulating opinions
  • Critical thinking and creativity

The year after graduating with this degree

The University of Limerick Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS) is a detailed review of the employment outcomes of UL graduates conducted annually by the University and supported by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The survey forms part of a nationwide review of the employment outcomes of Irish University Graduates. The table below illustrates a five-year trend for UL graduate employment levels and location the year after graduation.

Employed in Ireland Employed abroad Further study Not available Seeking employment No of responses Total no of graduates Year
21% 21% 56% 0% 3% 39 43 2014
23% 12% 60% 0% 5% 43 46 2015
35% 4% 47% 2% 12% 49 63 2016
36% 8% 56% 0% 0% 39 57 2017
36% 9% 51% 0% 4% 47 58 2018

Follow-on Study

Many Arts graduates undertake postgraduate courses in order to specialise in a particular subject or area. Information related to the career prospects associated with individual disciplines can be found on the specific subject pages. 

 The wide choice of subject areas available in this degree will open possibilities for research-based or taught postgraduate programmes offering many pathways to interesting and challenging careers. Some examples include:

Job titles for graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:


  • Administrator
  • Parliamentary Assistant
  • Branch Official
  • Business Development Executive
  • Customer Service Advisor
  • English Teacher
  • Student Union Representative
  • Insurance Broker
  • Radio Editor
  • Teacher (International School)
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Interpreter
  • Technical Support Services Administrator

Nicole Meagher

I was very indecisive for a long time about where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to study. After countless times of changing my CAO, I eventually decided that an Arts degree is what I want. I am fully confident that I made the right choice – UL’s BA allows you to build your own degree. With 19 subjects and 176 possible combinations, there’s something for everyone.

The course is extremely broad and allows me to study four different subjects of my own choosing. The college provided plenty of information about each subject they offered, it was hard to only pick four! French was my favorite subject in school and so I really wanted to keep it on in third level and improve my fluency. I’m combining the language with Psychology, Sociology and Politics. Going into college, I never would have thought I would be graduating with a degree in politics. I chose it as my fourth subject because I wanted to try something different and ended up loving it.

Arts at UL drew my attention as it will give me the opportunity to go abroad. With Co-Op work experience and Erasmus in my third year, I could not turn down the chance to both work and study in different countries. This degree has given me amazing opportunities including teaching English in Spain during my Cooperative Education and spending my Erasmus in France. As a language student, travelling abroad is essential for me to improve my fluency and immerse myself in another culture, and this course provides me with exactly that. I’m confident the opportunity will provide me with experience and growth, which will hopefully allow me to progress well through my studies here at UL.


Rachel McLoughlin

I think that UL’s BA Arts course really is one-of-a-kind, offering the widest choice of subject combinations. This degree programme allows me to continue learning about subjects which interested me at second level, as well as picking up new subjects offered only at third level. You will study 4 subjects in first year and then specialize in either one or two subjects from second to fourth year. This appealed to me because you have the freedom to try new subjects but don’t have to commit to taking them to degree level if they don’t interest you after the first year.

Both Co-Op work experience and Erasmus/international exchange are also part of my course. With over 300 partner universities, UL gives students a wide choice in study abroad placement, giving me the invaluable opportunity to travel and experience the world of work. I can do this while still earning credits for my degree.

Coming from Mayo, the availability of student accommodation here also made choosing UL so easy. The on-campus student villages are within a 10 minute walk of the main campus which is a huge benefit, especially when you’re trying to find your way around in first year.

The various workshops and orientation events that take place during the First Seven Weeks program (which is unique to UL) also proved to be invaluable and helped me in settling in and understanding all of the changes that come with attending University.