The Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc) Social Policy and Sociology at University College Dublin is the premier honours degree of its kind in Ireland. It is the standard qualification for those working in policy making and social services.

If you are interested in exploring how societies, communities and families work and wish to make a difference to the world, affect cultural change, contribute to public service or corporate responsibilities then this course is for you.

How old do I have to be?

If you are at least 23 years of age on 1 January of the year you want to enter, you can apply on grounds of mature years.

To enter in September 2022, you must have been born on or before 1 January 1999.

What is the closing date?

Apply by 1 February 2022. Late applications (up to 1 May) will only be considered from eligible UCD Access Students.

How do I apply?

Apply* via the Central Applications Office (CAO) for:

DN750 Social Policy and Sociology

In addition you must successfully complete and present one of the following:

1. Recent academic qualifications equivalent to NQF Level 5 or above

    (e.g. University Access courses, QQI-FET, Irish Leaving Certificate etc.)


    Evidence of ongoing learning (i.e. completed module(s) with a minimum passing grade) in a related area.


2. UCD Open Learning Module(s)


3. MSAP Ireland score (separate MSAP Ireland registration required)


Mature applicants can also apply via the UCD Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Law (AHSSL) route.

What documents do I need to send to CAO?

You must post the following documentation to CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway:

  1. Results, Certificates or other evidence of any qualifications that you have mentioned in your online CAO application.
  2. A CV and letters of reference.
  3. Any additional information you wish to supply to support your application. You may find this template helpful in recording this additional information.

Remember to include your CAO application number on all supporting documents that you send to CAO.

Please note that documents should be with CAO no later than 15 February. Documents received after this date may not be available to us in time for assessment.

 What is MSAP Ireland?

The MSAP Ireland assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills in written English (Module 1) and your capacity for critical reasoning in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences (Module 2). You must register for MSAP Ireland by 30 January 2022.

    MSAP Online Test Window:  Saturday 5 March 2022 - Wednesday 9 March 2022

The cost of applying to the MSAP-Ireland assessment in 2022 is €97 per candidate for those who apply by 30 January 2022. An additional charge of €35 will apply for late registrations up to 24 February.

This fee will cover online registration for the test, delivery of the test, provision of test results to the candidate and the transfer of results to the CAO.

 What is UCD Open Learning?

UCD Open Learning gives you the opportunity to study a range of undergraduate modules in UCD. There are no formal entry requirements and the Open Learning modules are open to everyone.

N.B. Module(s) must be taken for credit in order to avail of this entry route.

How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed initially on the basis of your written application under the following headings:

Academic Ability:

i) Recent academic qualifications equivalent to NQF level 5 or higher (e.g. University Access courses, QQI-FET, Irish Leaving Certificate etc.) or evidence of ongoing learning (i.e. completed module(s) with a minimum passing grade) in a related area
ii) UCD Open Learning Module(s) GPA – minimum GPA required: 2.0

iii) MSAP Ireland score – minimum score required: N/A - all scores will be considered

Note: MSAP Ireland score and Open Learning module results are valid for two years only i.e. results from this year are valid for entry in this year and next year only.

Work Experience, Personal & Professional Development:

Provide a brief CV in the section provided on the CAO form detailing all relevant experience gained through employment and/or volunteer work which indicate readiness for the degree programme; any other experiences relevant to somebody embarking on this degree (e.g. contribution to family, evidence of ethical responsibility and concern for others and their communities in their daily lives, interests, activities, etc.)
Motivation and Interest: A completed Personal Statement should be included, either in the section on the CAO form or as a separate document, demonstrating your interest in academic study and learning.
Motivation to pursue a this degree: Your Personal Statement should also include interest in studying the Social Policy and Sociology degree in UCD, clearly articulated and linked to future plans.

Applicants will be assessed on a competitive basis based on the information provided with the CAO application. 

Is there an interview?

In general interviews are not held. In some cases an interview may be required to facilitate a decision on an application.

When will I know the decision on my application?

Offers for mature applicants will issue via CAO in Round A (early July) and must be accepted within a week.

Successful applicants will receive notification of an offer from CAO when the round issues.


If the decision of the Assessment Board is a Conditional Offer, UCD Admissions will contact the applicant by email, in advance of round A, to explain the conditions which must be fulfilled to receive an official CAO offer.


If places remain when Round A closes, these will be offered in the following CAO offer rounds to applicants on the waiting list*. As above, CAO will notify applicants if an offer has issued.

*Please note that the Assessment Board may have decided to offer all eligible applicants in Round A and therefore there may not be a waiting list for your chosen degree.

What is the UCD Access Route?

If you do not have the necessary academic background, you should consider the UCD Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences & Law course

This is a one year, part-time course specifically designed to prepare adults, who may not have the formal qualifications, for successful study at University.

Students who complete this programme with a GPA of 2.60 or above in the overall course assessment, and have applied via CAO, will be eligible to apply for a guaranteed minimum number of places.

If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be ranked based on their final GPA.

Access results from the current year are valid for entry in the current and following year only.

Those who complete the course with a lower GPA may still be considered for mature years places in line with the criteria above.

You may also be interested in the QQI-FET entry pathway.


The progression routes from the UCD Cert in Equality Studies or the UCD Certificate or the UCD Certificate or Diploma in Women, Gender & Social Justice.

* Non-EU applicants apply via

If you are unsure if you are EU or Non-EU please see