Comparative Social Change

The MSc Comparative Social Change is a one­year full time programme which is jointly delivered by the School of Sociology at UCD and Trinity’s Department of Sociology. It provides students with the theoretical frameworks and practical research skills necessary to understand the processes and pressing issues presented by global social change.

The programme uses the recent experience of Irish social change in a comparative European and global context to provide training in substantive topics relating to issues of comparative social change.

The MSc has a strong international dimension drawing on rich and informative experiences from Ireland, Europe and further afield particularly India, China and Brazil (BRICs).

The programme provides advanced training in conceptualising, designing and conducting comparative research, across countries, and examines the role that this can play in policy development.

The MSc Comparative Social Change has been developed by the Department of Sociology at Trinity College and the School of Sociology at University College Dublin to critically explore the social, cultural and economic forces that drive social change today.

The programme aims to develop students’ knowledge of major social change issues, such as globalisation, the changing roles of women and the interrelated areas of migration, education and employment, and to offer insights into the different forms they take across states.

Subjects taught

Students are required to accumulate 90 credits in total. The taught part of the course, worth 60 ECTS, is comprised of three core modules and three optional modules. In addition, students complete a dissertation, not exceeding 20,000 words, which counts for 30 ECTS.

90 Credits:
60 Credits Taught Modules
30 Credits Dissertation

Core Modules:
Introduction to Comparative Social Change: Concepts and Cases
Globalisation and Social Change: India, China and Brazil
Research Methods
Optional Modules:

Students must select a minimium of 10 credits and a maximum of 20 credits from each partner University:

Comparing Healthcare Systems
Global Responses to Climate Change
Nationalism and Social Change
Religion in Comparative Perspective
Sociological Thinking in the Digital Age
Labour, Migration, Conflict
Gender and Social Change in a Comparative Context
The Migration Challenge: Comparative Educational Perspectives
Social Change and Adolescent Health and Well-Being: Issues and Challenges

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a primary degree in sociology or social science, or a closely related discipline.

A Student Grade Point Average (GPA) Equivalent 3.0 out of 4.0 is required (where the grading scale is 0.0 to 4.0) or equivalent result where other grading scale is presented.

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements but can confirm professional qualifications and/or experience will be considered. Applicants may be called for an interview.

All candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit evidence of a certificate of proficiency (such as TOEFL, Cambridge or IELTS). Test results must be less than two years old.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes.

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Comparative Social Change FT (W360)
Duration 1 Years Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

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




1 year full-time.


MSc Comparative Social Change (W360) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 8960 dc
nonEU fee per year - € 16705 dc

dcThis is a Joint MSc with Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of Masters scholarships for full­time international students, who have been offered a place on a UCD Masters degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

The MSc Comparative Social Change EU sholarships comprise an award of €2,000 towards university fees to students who have been accepted to the MSc Comparative Social Change programme. Up to three scholarships will be awarded (limited to full-time students). For more informatoin please see MSc Comparative Social Change EU Scholarships.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2024/2025 September.

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Careers & Employability
The MSc Comparative Social Change is particularly relevant for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the public and private sector, international institutions and civil society organisations. Students receive a solid academic training in social change issues - such as gender, education and the labour market - which can be applied to real-world problems. This training has the potential to open up career opportunities in fields such as research, policy development and advocacy.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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