Philosophy & Public Affairs

- Unique combination of philosophy and social science
- Close attention from dissertation supervisor
- Vibrant academic and social community

Vision and Values Statement
Our Graduate Diploma in Philosophy and Public Affairs programme is aimed at students who wish to deepen their knowledge of the core areas of philosophy and its application to public affairs at graduate level. It provides a pathway to enter the associated MA programme. It aims to provide an integration of social and political theory with the philosophical implications of the area. The School of Philosophy encourages our students to be critical philosophical thinkers with the ability to reflect on current philosophical debates, history of philosophical thought and add their own contribution. We aim to provide a learning environment that fosters collegiality and a pluralistic approach to the main areas of philosophy and encourages students to engage critically with questions. As the largest teaching and research centre in philosophy in Ireland, the programme benefits from many world-leading figures in philosophy that give invited seminars and conferences throughout the year. Small group seminars and participation in conferences and workshops are a key element of the programme design. As such, the programme uses key approaches to teaching such as philosophical debates, critical reflections, essays and paper presentations.

Related Programmes
MA Philosophy FT
MA Philosophy & Literature FT
MA Philosophy & Public Affairs FT
MA Consciousness & Embodiment FT
MSc Cognitive Science FT

Subjects taught

Students have to take the 'flagship' module, 'The Good Society', taught by a philosopher and a social scientist. In addition, students must take two further modules from the following three: (i) 'Law, Liberty and the State', (ii) 'Critical Theory', (iii) 'Religion and Society'.

The other three modules are to be taken from a list of approved modules in other social science schools.

While it is recommended that full-time students take three modules in each semester, it is up to the student. Students must then complete the dissertation by the end of August, and this will be worth 30 credits.

Stage 1 - Option
Masculinities, Gender and Equality EQUL40310
Critical Geographies GEOG40970
Living Well: Aristotle's Ethics & Politics PHIL41000
Feminist & Gender Theory PHIL41280
Topics in Continental Philos PHIL41320
Personal Identity in Early Modern Philosophy PHIL41410
Truth, History, Justice PHIL41560
Ontology PHIL41610
Theories of International Relations POL40050
Politics of Development POL40100
International Political Theory POL40140
Comparative Public Policy POL40160
International Political Economy POL40370
Comparative European Politics POL40540
Governing the Global Economy POL40820
Theory of Human Rights POL41030
The Global Political Economy of Europe POL41650

Entry requirements

Applicants need at least four philosophy courses as part of an undergraduate degree (to be confirmed by a transcript); an overall mark of B- (60%) in your undergraduate degree (to be confirmed by a transcript); two academic letters of reference and a sample of philosophical writing, such as an undergraduate essay.

- Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
Grad Dip Philosophy & Public Affairs FT (W307)
1 Years
Full Time

Grad Dip Philosophy & Public Affairs PT (W308)
2 Years
Part Time

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




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


GradDip Philosophy & Public Affairs (W307) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 5855
nonEU fee per year - € 13270

GradDip Philosophy & Public Affairs (W308) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 3775
nonEU fee per year - € 6635

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
It is very difficult to generalise about the career paths of our MA graduates. A small number continue into PhD programmes both at UCD and abroad. Others have gone into journalism, the civil service, secondary school teaching, NGOs, think tanks and the corporate world.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

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