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*
PY139 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
PY130 General Ethics
PY152 The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel
PY153 The History of Modern Philosophy
PY 214 Philosophy, Politics, and Religion
PY215 Foundations of Analytic Philosophy

Semester 2
PY134 Atheism and Philosophy
PY149 The History of Contemporary Philosophy
PY150 Issues in Ethics
PY 151 The Philosophy of Aquinas

Cycle B
Semester 1
PY121 Classical Metaphysics
PY140 The History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
PY146 Epistemology

Semester 2
PY135 Phenomenology
PY141 The Philosophy of Science and Nature
PY147 The Philosophy of the Human Person II

Entry requirements

Application Requirements
Higher Diploma in Philosophy and Arts
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 Closing Date - Non-EU 20th May 2022 - EU 24th June 2022

For EU & those living on the island of Ireland (Late applications may be considered).

Application Requirements
Applications are now being accepted on If you have any queries please contact

Please Note: Application forms must be completed in full, and all documentation must be provided Before an application can be considered. Applicants will not be called for interview if an application is incomplete.


2 years full-time

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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