Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Who is this programme for?

The International Foundation Year in Business, Economics and Social Sciences is perfect for you, if you've got a real passion for the subject area. You'll want to continue building your subject knowledge, while improving your English skills in Ireland. The programme is also a great opportunity to adjust to life here in an international community. 

Why study the International Foundation Year in Business, Economics and Social Sciences with us?

  • You can progress to the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business. The leading business school holds the rare 'triple crown' of accreditation - an indication of its excellence.
  • From the International Foundation Year, you can progress to highly ranked social sciences and law degrees. Law, archaeology, politics, and philosophy are all ranked among the top world's top 100 by the QS World University Rankings by Subject. Learn more about the College of Social Sciences and Law here.
  • UCD is also ranked among the world top 200 for Economics and Econometrics. From this International Foundation Year, you can progress to innovative Economics programmes.


On this subject route, you will study a mix of core academic modules, alongside English language preparation. You will also have the opportunity to choose a number of modules so you can tailor your course to suit your career ambitions.

Academic English Skills

Academic English Skills aims to provide you with thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable you to best achieve your academic potential at University.  These skills include the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context. 

Project Study

Complete a project on your own initiative, choosing a topic relevant to your chosen degree subject, in consultation with your tutor.

Principals of Economics 

Study economic systems, types of goods, resource allocation, elasticity, price controls, market types, cost and revenue, economies of scale and market failure. 

Core Maths 1

Core Maths 1 equips you with a basic knowledge of mathematics and an introduction to the more challenging concepts you will need to develop further, for subjects that are business-related or have a strong statistical element. 

Computer Skills

This module provides students with an overview of the core concepts of the subject. It shows the interrelation between these concepts and provides a foundation for the study of other modules. Students study the main characteristics of computing hardware and software and are introduced to the principles and role of programming. Students also look at how computers are used in a range of different contexts and to the importance of user-centred design.

Choose four modules from the following: 

Core Maths 2

Learn the practical application of common mathematical techniques used in many business environments for managerial decision-making. You will make extensive use of Excel and its associated functions.

Principles of Economics 2

Explore aggregate demand and aggregate supply, economic policies, inflation, unemployment, international trade and development economics.

Accounting and Finance

Learn the basic concepts underlying accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical aspects of financial record keeping and management of accounting systems.

Introduction to Business Information Systems

Gain a practical introduction to IT skills and how they are used in a business and learning context.


Study HTML and website design. 

History and Urban Landscape of Dublin

Discover the historical and geographical influences on the growth and development of modern-day Dublin.

Business Statistics

Develop your analytical and data presentation skills through the use of Excel. Learn about mathematical tools used to apply the concept of ‘margin’ to a range of economic and finance problems.

Introduction to Business Studies (Principles of Management)

Develop an understanding of the operational and strategic problems facing businesses in the modern market economy.

Key facts

Course length: Three terms

Entry points: September or January

Age on entry: 17 years or older

September 2021 start:

Term 1: 13/09/2021 - 11/12/2021
Term 2: 10/01/2022 - 18/03/2022
Term 3: 28/03/2022 - 03/06/2022

January 2022 start:

Term 1: 05/01/2022 - 18/03/2022
Term 2: 28/03/2022 - 03/06/2022
Term 3: 06/06/2022 - 05/08/2022

Academic: Good high school graduation grades or equivalent.
For progression to BA (Hons) Joint Honours and BA (Hons) Humanities: no minimum Maths requirement (though Maths must be on the transcript).

English language: IELTS 5.0 (minimum 5.0 in writing) or equivalent.
For progression to BA (Hons) Joint Honours and BA (Hons) Humanities: IELTS 5.5 or equivalent overall, with minimum 5.5 in writing and minimum 5.0 in other components.

Age: At least 17 years old at the start of the course

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade Additional Grade
Actuarial & Financial Studies BAFS (Hons) 70% 60% 75% Core Maths 1 & 2
Business BSc 65% 60% Core Maths 70%
Business and Law BBL (Hons) 65% 70% Core Maths 70%
City Planning & Environmental Policy BSc 60% 60% Project Study 60% , HULD (History & Urban Landscape of Dublin) 60%
Commerce BComm 65% 60% 70% Core Maths 1
Economics BSc 65% 60% 70% Core Maths 1
Economics and Finance Eco/Fin BSc 65% 60% 70% Core Maths 1 and Core Math 2
Humanities BA (Hons) 60% 70% AES, Project Study, Economics 1, Core Maths 1 (optional modules dependent on pathway)
Joint Honours BA (Hons) 60% 70% AES, Project Study, Economics 1, Core Maths 1 (optional modules dependent on pathway)
Law BCL 65% 70% -
Degree programme Other conditions
Actuarial & Financial Studies Duration 4 years
Business Duration 3 Years
Business and Law Duration 4 years
City Planning & Environmental Policy Duration 3 Years (+ 1 year Master's programme)
Commerce Duration 3 years (4 years with optional internship)
Students can specialise in one of the following: Accounting, Human Resources Management, Management and Innovation, Marketing, Management Information Systems, Banking and Finance.
Economics Duration 4 years
Economics and Finance Duration 3 years (4 Years with optional Internship)
Students can focus on one of the following in final year: Maths & Statistics Stream, Economics Stream, Finance Stream
Humanities Duration 4 years

Pathway options: Celtic Studies, Art History & History; Classics, Art History & Archaeology; Classics, English and History; English, Drama & Film; English, European & World Literatures; English with Creative Writing; English Literature; History; History and Politics; Languages, Linguistics & Cultures

For more information on these, please see here
Joint Honours 

Duration 3 years

Subject options: Art History, Classics: Greek and Roman Civilisation, Economics, Irish Folklore, Linguistics, Classics: Greek, History, Statistics, Classics: Latin, Information and Social Computing, Irish Studies, Mathematics, Philosophy, Archaeology, English, Politics & International Relations, Sociology, Celtic Civilisation, Geography

Note: there are restrictions on subject combinations; please see more information here

Law Duration 4 years
Social Policy & Sociology Duration 3 years
Social Science Duration 4 years
This has 4 pathways and a 2 Subject Combination: Computational Social Science; Economics, Mathematics & Statistics; Landscapes & Society; Philosophy, Politics & Economics.
Full List of 2 Subject Combinations