A dedicated sample of Large Hadron Collider proton-proton collision data at centre-of-mass energy s= 8 TeV is used to study inclusive single diffractive dissociation, pp -> X p. The intact final-state proton is reconstructed in the ATLAS ALFA forward spectrometer, while charged particles from the dissociated system X are measured in the central detector components. The fiducial range of the measurement is -4.0 < log(10)xi < -1.6 and 0.016 < |t| < 0.43 GeV2, where xi is the proton fractional energy loss and t is the squared four-momentum transfer. The total cross section integrated across the fiducial range is 1.59 +/- 0.13 mb. Cross sections are also measured differentially as functions of xi, t, and increment eta, a variable that characterises the rapidity gap separating the proton and the system X . The data are consistent with an exponential t dependence, d sigma/dt proportional to e(Bt) with slope parameter B = 7.65 +/- 0.34 GeV-2. Interpreted in the framework of triple Regge phenomenology, the xi dependence leads to a pomeron intercept of alpha(0) = 1.07 +/- 0.09.