Cultural Studies

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Culture refers to the ideas, customs and social behaviour of particular groups of people within society. It is an interesting topic to study and you delve into the world of culture and how it can shape a person’s life, beliefs and more. Are you open minded? Interested in different cultures? Do you want to learn more about how culture works?

If so, we have a few courses you might be interested in. 

What is cultural studies?

Cultural studies is an interdisciplinary field of research that investigates and studies different cultures and the ways in which an individual’s experience, everyday life social relations and their sense of power is shaped and transformed as a result of their culture. 

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and college in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Arts – Media and Cultural Studies
  • Food Business with Chinese Studies – Agricultural Science
  • Access to Cultural and Heritage Studies (PLC)
  • Creative Writing and CUltural Studies (PLC)
  • Cultural and Heritage Studies (PLC)
  • Pre-University Arts in Cultural and Heritage Studies (PLC)

There are also a number of courses available in the related area of Heritage Studies. 

Studying Cultural Studies in college

The majority of courses in this area are PLC courses which are all a year in length and provide the opportunity to go further with your study into an undergraduate degree in a related area. There is also the opportunity to take Cultural Studies as a subject in Arts degrees in different Universities such as Maynooth University. Other examples may include journalism, media courses or language courses where you will usually take cultural studies for a semester or two. 

Studying a PLC in Cultural Studies will give you a strong foundation in the subject and introduce you to culture, it’s impact, the problems culture is faced with and help you to gain a strong understanding in the subject. You will have a grounding in the subject that will open doors to an undergraduate course.

In an undergraduate Cultural Studies course your first year will be your foundation year. You will learn the basics, similar to some material covered in a PLC course. As your course goes on, in second and third year you will look more in depth at culture and areas that have an impact on culture such as media, if you’re studying Media and Cultural Studies in Maynooth University, for example. Some courses will also combine culture and politics among other subjects. 

Career Options

With a PLC many choose to go forward into an undergraduate course to help along their path to their ideal career. Areas that are possible to work in include journalism, languages, teaching or move into roles working with organisations such as The Irish Peace Corps or working in roles such as in the Global communications profession or international relations. 

Many may go forward into a postgraduate degree to specialise in their chosen area or even direct their pathway into english teaching abroad which is often a popular choice. A degree that involves cultural studies may offer the opportunity to work and travel worldwide as part of your desired job. 

Important skills and qualities in this are in strong communication skills, a critical mind, understanding, an open mind, empathy, organisation skills, the ability to work well with others, strong research skills and strong writing skills to name just a few.  

Related Jobs

  • International Relations
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Writer
  • Translator 
  • Languages
  • Indigenous rights advocate
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Foreign Service Officer 

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

PLC courses will accept Leaving Certificate results. Specific courses may have their own requirements. For example, some courses may have a certain interview process or expect a portfolio of sorts so it is always important to look into these things in depth. 

The points for Arts – Media and Cultural Studies in Maynooth University last year were 318. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • Over 6000 languages are currently spoken all over the world
  • While slurping your drink is seen as bad manners in some countries, it is seen as a sign that the food is good in many Asian countries
  • Cultures are created when a group of people share values and behaviours unspokenly
  • China produces 78% of the world’s silk 


Aedín Dunne

Legal Studies
Development Studies


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