Hi, my name is Dearbhla and I’m a year 3 social sciences student here in UCD. I am studying a joint major of Sociology and Social Justice as part of the DN700 course. I really love my course and couldn’t be happier studying in UCD!


Why I chose my course

I chose my course for a number of reasons. I had studied subjects relating to social sciences for the leaving certificate such as home economics, and religion and knew that I wanted to study something related to human behaviour. I am also a part of a human rights organisation outside of college and have a passion for issues relating to equality. I chose sociology as I wanted to learn more about why and how society functions, how they have changed from past societies and how they will adapt to the future. I chose social justice, as I wanted to learn more about why inequality is much a huge issue in the world, in particular gender inequality, which is something I feel passionate about.


After attending the UCD social science information evening and the UCD Open Day, I knew UCD Social Sciences was for me. The knowledge that Social Sciences in UCD offers the most diverse range of subjects to choose from, including integrated Erasmus and internship opportunities and is taught by internationally renowned experts, also really helped me to make my decision.


What do I enjoy in my course 

There are so many aspects of my course that I enjoy, it is difficult to pick just one! I really enjoy studying both sociology and social justice for a number of reasons. Within sociology, I love studying key sociologists such as Marx and Durkheim as I think these writers are really insightful to both the foundations of sociology as well as still being relevant to modern day sociology. Within social justice, I have had the opportunity to study modules relating to gender equality which is something that I am really passionate about.


I have also really enjoyed meeting like-minded people and have met so many amazing friends in my course. I really enjoy studying both sociology and social justice and really enjoy different aspects of both of these subjects.


My typical day 

Every week I usually have about 15 hours of lectures and seminars. As I am studying a joint major, I study both sociology and social justice equally, which amounts to 5 modules of sociology and 5 modules of social justice every year. Social sciences students also have the opportunity to study 2 horizons modules every year. The option to study horizons modules is also another unique aspect of UCD that I really enjoy. The horizons modules give students the chance to study modules outside of your area of study. For example in the past three years, I have studied modules in psychology, environmental policy and business. I think the horizons modules are a huge advantage to UCD students as it’s really interesting to study areas outside of your degree and is a great way of exploring other areas of interest.


On a typical day, I have several lectures but would usually stay in UCD for the majority of the day to go to society events, meet up with friends and study in the library. My typical day would involve a 40 minute commute, I usually take the bus and I actually enjoy commuting because it gives me a chance to catch up on some readings for my classes, chat to friends, listen to music and relax before beginning my day. Class times range from 9am to 6pm but from second year onwards, you can pick several of your modules in social sciences so the timetable can be customised to suit yourself. Lecture’s typically last 50 minutes and lecturers usually use PowerPoint slideshow, which are accessible to students after the lecture, but I usually take notes to help with revision. In the social sciences, there are usually a couple of readings for each lecture. Doing these readings really helps in the run up to exams and also makes college more interesting if you have some background knowledge of the concepts covered in lectures!


I will also usually have several tutorials per week. Tutorials are a smaller group setting, usually 8-10 students per class. We often have readings and worksheets to fill out prior to the tutorial and then we discuss this work, the assigned readings from the classes and the lecture content with each other with the tutor. Tutorials are a great way of enhancing your learning, deepening your understanding of the subjects, and learning how to think critically about material as well as a great way of getting to know your classmates and practising teamwork and communication skills.


Another amazing aspect of being a student in UCD is the incredible social scene on campus. In between classes, I usually catch up with friends and attend society events. Clubs and societies are a great way of making friends, developing new hobbies and are a huge part of university life! There are over 60 clubs and around 90 sports clubs on campus so there is something for everyone to get involved in!


I am a part of the film society, photography club, the food society, Amnesty International, SVP and the literary society. There is always something going on and something fun to do! Every week societies and clubs put on social events such as movie nights, speed friending and debates. There are also night outs and trips abroad arranged by societies. My favourite society is the film society! Every week this  society hosts two movie nights along with a weekly photography club and a weekly breakfast mornings. I have met a lot of new friends through these events as well as making some incredible memories such as having one of my own photos shown at a photography exhibition in UCD!


I usually go to the library in the evenings to work on any assignments or reading materials that I have been assigned. Sociology and social justice are assessed through a combination of methods, including essays, projects, multiple choice questionnaires, exams and continuous assessment and so studying the lectures and the readings really help you to prepare for assessment and essays.


Advice to a new student starting off 

My advice to any new students would be to get involved and give everything a go! there are countless opportunities during your time in UCD to make new friends and have incredible experiences, you just have to be willing to get involved! I would recommend joining as many clubs and societies as you can as this is one of the best ways to meet new people with similar interests as you and talking to as many people as possible in your lectures and tutorials as this is a great way to meet people in your course!


I couldn’t be happier in UCD and I absolutely love studying social sciences. I would highly recommend both UCD and the social sciences degree programme to anyone considering it! ☺