American Studies - American Politics & Foreign Policy

This Graduate Diploma was the first of its kind to be established in Europe and North America providing students with a sophisticated understanding of the United States, its foreign relations, and domestic politics.

Key reasons to join this program:

- Learn from and engage with top experts in the field. Eugenio Lilli is an influential scholar of US foreign policy, the Middle East, and emerging technologies. Eugenio was invited by United States Strategic Command to discuss his work on cyber deterrence. Scott Lucas has been at the forefront of analysis and commentary on American politics and foreign policy for more than three decades. Scott is a frequent guest of outlets such as CNN, BBC, Ireland's RTE, Canada's CBC, Al Jazeera, France 24, Deutsche Welle, and channels throughout India. Liam Kennedy is an authority in the areas of US-Irish relations, public diplomacy and soft power. On the former topic Liam has advised the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

- Avail of our internship and mentorship opportunities. To know more about this, contact us via the form on this page or write to the program director eugenio.lilli[at]

- Participate in unique events. Past events organized for our students featured Bill Clinton (42nd president of the United States), Jake Sullivan (National Security Advisor to US President Biden), Christopher Painter (1st US cyber ambassador), Noam Chomsky (scholar and intellectual) and many other leading politicians, diplomats, policymakers, scholars, and journalists.

- Contribute to our flagship media outlets. Our students have the opportunity to contribute with their analysis to American Unfiltered and EA WorldView; two media outlets run by our own Liam Kennedy and Scott Lucas.

- Take advantage of the benefits of an exclusive venue. All the core modules of this Diploma take place in the exclusive Clinton Institute located in UCD Belfield Campus. Our core modules consist of small cohorts of students therefore allowing you to benefit from high levels of interaction with your instructors.

- Study an incredibly topical and fascinating subject. In the 21st century the United States remains the most influential country in the world. Whether you look at climate change, the covid-19 pandemic, or the war in Ukraine, decisions taken in Washington DC have an impact on the rest of the world. However, a number of challenges in recent years have called into question the sustainability of American leadership abroad and prosperity at home. This includes, but is not limited to, the notion of American decline in relation to rising powers such as China and resurging ones like Russia, a political system that appears to have entered an extended period of dysfunction, recurring problems in race relations, and rising economic inequality.

This Diploma is designed for those people planning, or already engaged in, a career in the diplomatic service, journalism, international organizations, or non-governmental organizations. This Diploma will also prepare you for a career in politics, political risk analysis, academia, and think tanks.

Subjects taught

The programme is composed of 60 credits which come from weekly small class seminars. Students take 50 credits of core modules taught at the UCD Clinton Institute and the remaining credits are taken from a list of optional modules from other programmes. Students are taught in small group seminars on a weekly basis.
Compulsory modules include, but may vary from year to year:

The Global Politics of Cyber Security
Trump's America
The US and the Middle East
Challenges in US Foreign Policy
Research Skills and Methods

Examples of optional modules include:
Public Diplomacy and Soft Power
Media and US Foreign Policy
Digital Storytelling

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree, or the international equivalent in the subject areas such as the humanities, politics or international relations but not exclusively.

- Standard of English required it is expected that students will normally have reached an overall 7 in the IELTS with no individual band less than 6.5 or equivalent.

Application dates

Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.


The following entry routes are available:

1 year full-time Grad Dip American Politics & Foreign Policy FT (Z236). Deadline Rolling*
2 years part-time Grad Dip American Politics & Foreign Policy PT (Z237). Deadline Rolling*
* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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