St Patricks Pontifical University Maynooth


In the tradition of St Patrick's Collage, philosophy has always has always been highly regarded in its own right, as well as being an important preparation for studying other disciplines.

The Higher Diploma in Philosophy and Arts is a full time Level 8 award aimed at those who currently possess a third level qualification.

The Faculty of Philosophy at SPPU offers a suite of modules designed to cover all aspects of philosophical life.

There are modules which are offered annually primarily to first year students, with the exception of the academic and personal reflection offered exclusively to second year students.

There are then modules which are offered cyclically. The modules in Cycle A are offered in an even numbered year (e.g. 2020/21 is in Cycle A). The modules offered in Cycle B are offered in an odd numbered year (e.g. 2021/22 is in Cycle B).

See Course Structure for an overview of our modules.

Upon completion of the Higher Diploma students may apply for the Bacclaureate in Philosophy.

Subjects taught

Course Structure
Semester 1
PY 125 Fides et Ratio*
PY 139 Academic Writing and Research
PY 145 Introduction to Philosophy

Semester 2
PY124 Logical Reasoning and Critical Thinking

Second Year Only
PY212 Academic and Personal Reflection II+

Cycle A
Semester 1
PY 130 General Ethics
PY 152 The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel
PY 153 The History of Modern Philosophy
PY 214 Philosophy, Politics, and Religion
PY 215 Foundations of Analytic Philosophy

Semester 2
PY 134 Atheism and Philosophy
PY 149 The History of Contemporary Philosophy
PY 150 Issues in Ethics
PY 151 The Philosophy of Aquinas

Cycle B
Semester 1
PY 121 Classical Metaphysics
PY 140 The History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
PY 146 Epistemology

Semester 2
PY 135 Phenomenology
PY 141 The Philosophy of Science and Nature
PY 147 The Philosophy of the Human Person II

Entry requirements

Application Requirements:
Diploma in Philosophy (Code - MU102)
For admission to the course a pass grade is required in five subjects of the Leaving Certificate or its equivalent: three of these must be academic subjects in the Maynooth University matriculation syllabus.

Higher Diploma in Philosophy (Code - MU103)
The course is open to any student who satisfies the entry requirements, viz. a third level qualification in any subject or combination. Applicants must have completed an Honours or Ordinary Bachelor Degree.

Application dates

Application Deadline:
24th June 2023 For EU & those living on the island of Ireland (Late applications may be considered). 20th May 2023 For non EU.


2 years full-time.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Diploma,Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider