Philosophy & Public Affairs

MA Philosophy & Public Affairs
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA in Philosophy and Public Affairs is especially designed for those people with an interest in public policy debates, e.g. in journalism, the civil service, public policy research institutes, etc.. At the same time, it will be useful for any job requiring a subtle understanding of debate and disagreement, or requiring close attention to texts.

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

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 - Core
Dissertation PHIL40030

Stage 1 - Option
Human Rights Law and Equality EQUL40070
Masculinities, Gender and Equality EQUL40310
Critical Geographies: Spatialising Power and Inequalities GEOG40970
The Good Society PHIL40420
Autonomy as a Philosophical Problem PHIL40840
Feminist & Gender Theory PHIL41280
Topics in Continental Philos PHIL41320
Ethics in Public Life PHIL41510
Truth, History, Justice PHIL41560
Moral Agency PHIL41660
Thinking without Subject: Mind and Body before Descartes PHIL41670
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
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.

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

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

MA Philosophy & Public Affairs FT (W182)
1 Years
Full Time

MA Philosophy & Public Affairs PT (W183)
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. Mode of Delivery: Face-to-Face.


MA Philosophy & Public Affairs (W182) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7055
nonEU fee per year - € 19200

MA Philosophy & Public Affairs (W183) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4590
nonEU fee per year - € 9600

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 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
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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