The BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts (a level-8, QQI-accredited, award) provides an intellectually stimulating and challenging course of undergraduate study in the liberal arts, with a wide range of foundation courses combined in the latter stages with specialised study in four concentrations. The programme is structured around two common years, with specialisations developing out of the common curriculum in the third year of study. In the third year students are required to major in one of four concentrations: Irish Studies, American Studies, History, or English. In this way the study programme broadens the students’ knowledge and advances their communication skills in a wide range of intellectual areas, and provides them with an understanding of other cultures, their intrinsic values and historical experience. As far as it is possible the programme helps students to make ethically and intellectually informed decisions which take account of the complexity and diversity of the world in which we live.

The BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts is designed to prepare students for a number of future avenues. The degree is particularly useful as a preparation for postgraduate study in the liberal arts, business studies and the law. Vocationally, the degree supports career development in such fields as business, social services, the arts, administration, teaching and research. To be in a position to advance, students will be expected to develop intellectual, practical and transferable skills. When students complete the course, they will command a number of intellectual skills, including the critical abilities of being able to read and analyse a large variety of texts, appreciate visual evidence, and assess valid supporting dialogue. For their future development they will also have developed a range of practical skills, including effective essay writing and, where appropriate, an element of creative writing.

The BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts is accredited by QQI and is placed at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. The programme’s first two years offer general liberal arts modules (ten in each year), followed by one year of specialisation in one of the followings fields: Irish Studies, American Studies, English, and History. In the final year learners complete five modules followed by research into their specialization and a dissertation. For students taking the four-year programme under the institution’s Middle States accreditation, ten additional elective modules (30 credits) should be taken, either as an extra year or as summer semester classes. The sequential programme schedule includes the following subjects:

Year 1

  • Academic communication
  • War and peace in the modern world
  • Western arts
  • The digital revolution
  • Imagination and storytelling
  • Anglo-Irish writers
  • Cinema and society
  • Western religions
  • The Enlightenment
  • American culture abroad
  • Introduction to creative writing
  • Writing prose
  • Creating character
  • Soundings

Year 2

  • Shakespeare
  • Contemporary China
  • Irish migration
  • Romanticism
  • Representations of sexualities
  • Modern art
  • Scramble for Africa
  • Literary modernism
  • India
  • The Scientific Revolution
  • Writing for screen
  • Creative writing workshop
  • The English and American character on stage
  • Modern and contemporary theatre

Year 3 (award stage)

Five of the courses offered below should be taken

  • Irish nationalism
  • The Great Irish Famine
  • Oscar Wilde and his circle
  • James Joyce’s Ulysses
  • Irish cinema
  • American literature
  • Migrations to America
  • The American Civil War
  • Hollywood
  • America after 9/11
  • The rise of the novel
  • Modern poetry
  • The Spanish Civil War
  • The Cold War

Choose one of the specializations below; all three classes in each specialization should be taken

Irish studies

  • Research methods
  • Research seminar: Irish Studies
  • Dissertation: Irish Studies

American studies

  • Research methods
  • Research seminar: American Studies
  • Dissertation: American Studies


  • Research methods
  • Research seminar: English
  • Dissertation: English


  • Research methods
  • Research seminar: History
  • Dissertation: History

For those taking the four-year programme under the institution’s Middle States accreditation, ten additional elective modules must be completed, either as an extra year or as summer semester classes.

Entry requirements

American College Dublin has two intakes per year: in September and January.

There are two ways to apply to the College: through the CAO system or directly to the Admissions office. All of the College’s QQI programmes are available for application through the CAO system: BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts and BA (Hons) in International Business. A prospective student may submit an application for all other courses directly to the Admissions Office at American College Dublin.

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent).

Further education students

The College accepts students from further education colleges to all of its courses. Students must have gained three distinctions in a cognate area of the degree programme that they wish to study. Students must have a full level 5 or level 6 award and this award may have been taken over a number of years.

Mature student application

Mature applicants can apply through the CAO for the September intake or make a direct application for the College’s other intakes. Mature applicants must be 23 years of age on 1 January of the year that they wish to begin their course. Mature applicants must be interviewed by one of the admissions team. All applicants must submit a CV and a personal statement to the College.

Other EU applications

Every student who has taken examinations in an EU member state is expected to have completed mathematics and English in his or her final year. The only exception to this is students who have completed the A-Levels. These students must have taken mathematics and English for their O-Levels. Please refer the Admissions section for full listings of entry requirements for non-EU students.

Protection of Enrolled Learners

Each enrolled student on this programme has his or her fees insured in accordance with QQI regulations; this scheme is approved by QQI; each enrolled student is provided with a certificate of insurance detailing his or her cover.

More information is available in the Admissions section or by contacting the Admissions Office, Tel: +353 1 6768939; Email: admissions@amcd.ie

Along with academic knowledge that students receive throughout the duration of their chosen subject, students will also acquire and develop transferable career skills from their degree discipline. These skills along with potential career paths are provided below to give you a well-rounded view of what the course has to offer.

These skills include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Interpersonal skills, flexibility/adaptability
  • Detail-oriented
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management
  • Cultural literacy
  • Awareness of social factors, cultural diversity and varied perspectives.
  • Ability to research
  • Analytical skills

The BA in Liberal Arts is designed to prepare students for a number of future careers in following areas:

  • Fields of business
  • Social services
  • Administration
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Media and broadcasting
  • Performing arts

The programme also serves as preparation for students to participate in a variety of postgraduate programmes such as the MFA in Creative Writing and MB in International Business.