Course Title
DCU Connected


BA in Humanities

  • Course type Undergraduate
  • Qualification Honours Bachelors Degree
  • Delivery Modes Part-time, Online Distance Learning
  • Duration Continuous

This online course allows you to pursue a degree or diploma in a specific discipline, like Literature or Sociology, or a broad-based undergraduate education in the Humanities.

The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities has been designed specifically to appeal to a variety of student needs and interests. You can explore a wide breadth of Humanities subject areas, while also specialising in at least one of the subject areas you find most rewarding.

Graduate View

“Graduating from DCU with a first class honours degree has been an incredible achievement for me in many ways and has opened up a world of possibilities. It allowed me to publish my first paper in the Student Psychology Journal, and it has granted me the Humanities Student Achievement Award. My experience with DCU Connected has significantly enhanced a self confidence in my academic ability and, additionally, it has activated a deep desire to continue on this educational path to pursue a Master’s degree in teach and learning. DCU Connected opened the door to all of this for me.”

Patrice Brennan, BA Graduate

About the course

Understanding the Course:

The DCU Bachelor of Arts in Humanities is a Level 8 (on the National Framework of Qualifications), honours degree programme. Students undertaking this degree choose between studying a selection of modules in History, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology.

Once registered, students are provided with access to a suite of learning materials and resources. Students are supported academically through a variety of means such as: tutorials and/or workshops (which may be face to face and/or virtual); a virtual learning environment called Loop; email etc. Face to face tutorials are held on DCU campus, usually on Saturdays, while virtual tutorials take place virtually using 'live', online classroom technology. Students can partake in these virtual classroom tutorials at home, work or anywhere with a broadband internet connection. All that is required is a computer with a webcam and headset. These tutorials are recorded so they can be viewed again later, and usually take place on weekday evenings. In addition, students have access to a number of support services that are used to find answers to questions and resolve any issues or problems they may be experiencing.

In each module students will be given several opportunities, throughout the academic year, to demonstrate their learning through assessment work. The form that these assessments take depends on the module, but may include essays, case studies, group work, contributions to online forums and discussions, multiple choice questionnaires, learning journals and/or end of year examinations. Students can sit their end-of-year examinations in an examination center in Dublin, Cork or Galway.

About You:

Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in a Humanities discipline, for example Literature or Sociology, or are seeking a broad-based undergraduate education the DCU Bachelor of Arts (Honours - Level 8) in Humanities provides you with the means to achieve your goals. The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities has been designed specifically to appeal to a variety of student needs and interests. This degree programme's strength lies in its flexibility, in terms of time, place and pace. Students can choose to explore a wide breath of Humanities subject areas, while also specialising in at least one of the subject areas they find most intellectually rewarding. By choosing to enrol on the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities you will set yourself on the same path as the thousands of people who have successfully graduated from this programme since it was first accredited in 1993. This Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities programme offers you the attractive opportunity to obtain a DCU undergraduate degree through online learning, which is more open and flexible than if you registered for a full-time, or part-time, campus-based programme.

Course Structure:

As a student on this degree programme you may choose to study from a range of modules in the following five Humanities subject areas:

  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Each of these subject areas is presented as a suite of six modules, which cover different aspects of that subject, for example Social and Organisational Psychology in Psychology or The Renaissance in Literature. To complete the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities you need to successfully complete twelve modules, with at least five modules from one subject area. Students may elect to exit with a Diploma in Humanities on successful completion of eight modules.

Please note that the programme is under constant review and there may be changes to the structure, content and presentation of the programme in future years.

Each module is awarded 15 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit points. These points accumulate towards your award of degree. 180 ECTS credit points are required for the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities and 120 ECTS credit points are required for the Diploma in Humanities.

How Long does it take to Complete the Course?

The modular structure of the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities programme gives great choice and flexibility in the workload you can undertake each year. You can take from one to four modules per year. It is possible to complete your degree in a minimum of three years, however, this would be a 'full-time' studying commitment. The diploma can be completed in a minimum of two years with a similar commitment. The greater the number of modules successfully completed each year, the quicker you obtain your degree. The number of modules you undertake each year will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are returning to study after a long absence, and/or you are in full-time employment it is recommended that you should not take more than two modules in your first year.

Getting Started on your Programme:

The first module in each subject area aids students to become accustomed to studying at third level and to that specific subject area. These modules are designed to:

  • Introduce students to the specific subject area and get them started on their journey of acquiring knowledge about that subject.
  • Facilitate students in developing the study skills necessary to succeed in the subject for example, essay writing, sourcing and recording information, structuring assignments, and at third level in general.
  • Introduce students to the wide range of resources that are made available to them, for that subject.
  • Facilitate students in their acquisition of skills in using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to enhance their learning in that subject.
  • Enable students to demonstrate their achievement of the necessary skills and knowledge through a range of different types of assessment tasks, for example essays, reports and/or learning portfolios.

Programme Subject Areas:

The History subject stream equips students with a wide range of skills and techniques upon which historical research and writings are based. Students will engage in the critical examination of historians' works, and the evaluation of primary sources, and will acquire the conceptual tools with which our view of the past is shaped. The modules provide perspectives on major themes in Irish and European political, economic, social, and cultural history from the close of the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.

Please click here for a description of each module presented on the History stream.

The Literature subject stream equips students with the skills and techniques to discriminate between literature and other forms of writing and representation, taking account of contemporary perspectives in criticism and theory, including feminism, historicism and post-modernism. Irish, British, American, and other literature in English will be evaluated in terms of their contribution to cultural formation. Students will encounter competing ideas about writing and literature, within different historical and national frameworks.

Please click here for a description of each module presented on the Literature stream.

The Philosophy subject stream engages a 2500 year tradition of philosophising, extending from 500 BC Greece right up to contemporary philosophers' influences on ethics and politics, culture and media. Students are also taught to reflect personally on the issues and to think critically and independently. Students will encounter the work of major philosophers in seeking to answer such existential questions as 'what is truth?', 'what is happiness and how can we find it?' and 'how should one live?' Additionally, modules will look at more specialised questions such as 'what is the nature of art?', 'how should we organise our politics and society?' and 'what can philosophy tell us about religious belief and unbelief?'

Please click here for a description of each module presented on the Philosophy stream.

The Psychology subject stream equips students with a foundation in the key concepts, language, and approach of the discipline and an appreciation of the nature of evidence and theory. Psychology is a progressive and modern field of study examining behaviour and mental process, and as such is concerned with why we do what we do, feel what we feel and think what we think. Psychologists use rigorous scientific methods to further our understanding in a wide range of topics, as Psychology is a broad discipline. Psychological knowledge has many applications in a variety of settings such as industry, education, the law, as well as medical and forensic settings.

Please click here for a description of each module presented on the Psychology stream.

The Sociology subject stream provides students with the techniques and skills to analyse contemporary Irish and European society, in particular the issues and problems associated with its major social institutions such as family, economy, policy, education and religion, as well as the causes and direction of social change. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical approach to explanations of contemporary social issues offered by sociologists arguing from different sociological perspectives.

Please click here for a description of each module presented on the Sociology stream.

What modules are running in 2016-2017:

All modules are running in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Module Selection:

While this programme's modular structure provides you with the flexibility to choose how many modules you commit to studying in any one academic year, there are rules relating to module registration that you must be familiar with in order that you can make a fully informed decision about which modules you wish to take. For example, some modules must be completed before others can be selected, and other modules cannot be taken in combination. Before planning your pathway through the programme (and it is important that you create such a plan) you should view the Guide to Module Selection for the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)

IT Equipment and Skills required:

You should have regular access to a computer (with Microsoft Office), a broadband Internet connection, a printer and a basic headset and a webcam. Specifically, you will need access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You should also be familiar with using email, browsing the Internet, and using word processing packages like Microsoft Word.

You can find detailed information on the IT skills and equipment required for this programme under the section 'Technology Requirements'.

Course Life


Career Prospects:

The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities programme facilitates those interested in pursuing any kind of work that requires critical thinking skills, high quality written expression, and transferable skills such as organisation and time-management, and these skills and abilities are highly valued by employers.

The knowledge and skills you will develop are useful and valuable to have no matter what path you take once you successfully complete your DCU degree programme.

As it is a broad undergraduate degree, graduates from the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities have gone on to a variety of postgraduate programmes and careers. For example, one student has gone on to complete postgraduate studies in Literature and is now a published author working in an Irish University and is a member of the programme board of the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities, helping to shape the development of the degree. Similarly, several graduates of the programme have, in addition to their other work as third-level academics in other institutions, returned to work as tutors, bringing their experience as online-learning students to that work.

Many of those studying on the Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities do so with the ambition of becoming a post-primary teacher, with the Literature, History and Sociology modules being recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the (post-primary level) teaching of English, History and CSPE respectively.


General Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements:

Applicants aged over 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry are eligible for admission to the programme and are automatically granted a place subject to submission of an application form & deposit.

Applicants under 23 years on January 1st in the year of entry must satisfy the normal minimum degree entry requirements of Dublin City University which are:
Irish Leaving Certificate: Grade C3 in two Higher Level Subjects and Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects including Mathematics AND English or Irish.

In addition, applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving examinations

How to Apply:

Applications are now closed for academic year 2016-2017. You need to first register with PAC in order to make an application.

To apply please go to: and select Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities (PAC Code: DC341)

PAC will charge undergraduates an application fee of €35.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions we have prepared for all applicants.

You can also email us with any questions to: or telephone us directly on 01 700 5481for further assistance.

Recognition of Prior Learning:

The BA programme allows for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). There are two types of exemptions offered, specific and non-specific.

Applicants can apply for a `Specific' exemption if they have covered the full content of a module Open Education offer, to successful completion, in another programme, at a similar award level.

Where applicants have completed studies in a subject area not covered in the Open Education programme, yet at a similar award level, they may apply for a `Non-specific' exemption. Non-specific exemptions simply reduce the number of foundation modules a student is required to complete in order to be eligible for the award of diploma/degree. They do not relate to any foundation module in particular.

Please note that a student may not present the same ECTS credits as qualification for more than one DCU award. Similarly, a student may not claim an exemption for ECTS credits towards one award that have already been presented as qualification for another award elsewhere at a similar award level.

Please note that applicants will not obtain exemptions on the basis of work experience only.

A maximum exemption total of 60 credits (four modules, normally a maximum of two in each of the above categories) may be awarded to applicants with appropriate prior qualifications.

Please see the Exemption Form for more details.

Those interested in applying for exemptions should firstly apply for the BA programme. Exemption Application forms are available to all applicants upon request or you can download them from theProgramme Forms section of our website.

Important Dates:

Study Period: Commences Monday 19th September 2016 to early May 2017.

Closing Date for Applications: Applications normally close in late September of each year.

View the subjects currently taught on this course (2016 - 2017)