Health & Society

Course Outline
Health and wellbeing are critical issues in society and, at UCC, we have addressed this with our MA in Health & Society. This is an innovative interdisciplinary programme that addresses the impact of health across the breadth of society both local and global.

Our MA programme is aimed at graduates from a broad range of disciplines in the sciences and humanities and is designed to provide a unique and critical analysis of contemporary discourses and issues from an individual, societal and global perspective.

This course is about health, but not exclusively healthcare as health is both a medical and a social issue. We explore health from a variety of different angles and to this end bring together health experts from a vast range of disciplines and colleges, including medicine, epidemiology, philosophy, ethics, sociology, social policy, and law.

This course is aimed at graduate students in Philosophy, Epidemiology and Public Health, Sociology, Geography, and related disciplines and at graduates with continuing education needs, for example, managerial staff working in the health sector.

We also aim to support the development of a set of advanced skills necessary in the practice and management of health and healthcare: practice skills, research skills, critical appraisal skills, and clinical reasoning skills.

Programme Details
The MA in Health and Society is a full-time programme running for 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The part-time option is taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Why Choose This Course
This is an interdisciplinary course that overcomes the boundaries between disciplines in medicine, social sciences, and humanities. While health is the focus, students will learn how to approach this complex issue from a variety of methodologies: medical, sociological, philosophical, psychological, and legal.

Subjects taught

Students take 90 credits total as follows:

Core Modules (60 credits)
EH6025 Principles and Practice of Public Health (10 Credits)
PH6047 Philosophy and Health (10 credits)
SS6019 Critical Public Health (10 credits)

Students select one of the following research modules:
PH6050 Dissertation in Philosophy (30 credits)
PH6059 Work-Based Dissertation in Philosophy and Health (30 credits)
EH6040 Dissertation in Public Health and Epidemiology (30 credits)

Elective Modules
Students select 30 credits from the following postgraduate and undergraduate modules (max.10 credits for undergraduate modules are allowed)

Postgraduate Modules
AP6129 Health Psychology (5 credits)
EH6026 Applied Research for Public Health (10 credits)
LW6546 Juvenile Justice (10 credits)
LW6549 International Children's Rights (10 credits)
LW6592 Mental Capacity Law (5 credits)
PH6012 Human Rights 1 (10 credits)
PH6048 The Philosophy of Death and Dying (10 credits)
PH6052 Advanced Moral Psychology (10 credits)
PH6053 Professional Ethics: Advanced (10 credits)
PH6054 Measuring Society: Growth, Poverty, Inequality, and Human Capital (10 credits)
PH6057 Philosophy and the Biological Health Sciences (10 credits)

Undergraduate Modules (up to 10 credits)
AP3126 Health Psychology: Models and Applications (5 credits)
EH4005 Health Services (5 credits)
PH2002 Reasoning and Argument (5 credits)
PH2019 Philosophy of Science (5 credits)
PH2028 Applied Ethics (5 credits)
PH3046 Philosophy of Biology (5 credits)
PH3047 Evidence (5 credits)
SC1011 Sociology of Health, Public Health and Health Promotion (5 credits)
SC3025 Health and Scientific Deviance (5 credits)
SS3016 Social Perspectives in Mental Health (5 credits)
SS3024 Social Movements and Health (5 credits)
SS4000 Science, Technology and Public Controversy (5 credits)

Holders of the BSc Public Health or the BSc in Public Health and Public Promotion (now Public Health Sciences) will be exempt from EH6025 principles and Practice of Public Health if he/she undertakes the MA in Health & Society within five years from the date of successful completion of either of the above-mentioned degrees. Learning outcomes for EH6025 have been covered in the following BSc modules; currently EH1005, EH2005, EH4007, EH4005, SS4000, and GV4000.

Please consult the UCC University Calendar (MA Health & Society) for further programme details.

Postgraduate Certificate in Health & Society (NFQ Level 9, Minor Award):
Students who pass taught modules to the value of at least 30 credits (but less than 60 credits) may exit the programme and be conferred with a Postgraduate Certificate in Health & Society.

Postgraduate Diploma in Health & Society (NFQ Level 9, Major Award):
Students who pass taught modules to the value of 60 credits may exit the programme and be conferred with a Postgraduate Diploma in Health & Society.

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) in either the disciplines of Philosophy, Public Health, Economics, Sociology, Social Science, Geography, Government, Politics, Law, Medicine, Nursing and other health professional programmes.

Candidates who hold less than a Second Class Honours Grade I may also be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), following a review of their individual qualifications and experience and based on the information provided in a supplementary statement and/or interview acceptable to the Department selection committee. Admission of such applicants will be subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC

- Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

Please enter the names and email addresses of two referees.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June.


1 year Full-time, 2 years Part-time.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
Students will acquire a variety of analytical skills, which will allow them to analyse health from many different perspectives. Our MA will enhance opportunities for you to work in the health sector, at all levels. Careers in the private sector, especially pharmaceutical companies, is another route that our graduates take.

By the end of the course, students will be expected to demonstrate in-depth expertise in relation to philosophical, epidemiological sociological and psychological factors which contribute to health and well-being. This MA will open new career options in the health sector, as well as research opportunities in the humanities and social sciences.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MA/PG Dip/PG Cert

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Postgraduate Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider