Political Science & Sociology - Structured

The wide menu of available options include modules that:

-are discipline-specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area, e.g., Social and Political Theory
-are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project e.g. Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
-acknowledge a student’s professional development, e.g., presentation of a paper at an international conference
-enhance a student’s employability through generic training, e.g., careers workshops, computer literacy.

Each student will be assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Entry requirements

The minimum qualification necessary to be considered for a PhD is a high honours primary degree, or equivalent international qualification. Admission to a research degree is at the discretion of the potential Supervisor and Head of School, and is based on a proposal from the applicant following discussion with a potential supervisor.

Application dates

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System.


Areas of interest

Dr. John Canavan
Family Support as a paradigm for policy and services for children and families and its theoretical underpinnings. A second core area of interest is evaluation theory and methodology.

Mr. Declan Coogan
Effective engagement of clients who deny that there is a problem leading to the involvement of social work or allied services or who deny that he/she has any role in changing the circumstances that led to a referral to services. Direct work with young people who use violence at home and with young people who have been sexually abused.

Prof. Chris Curtin

Agrarian Politics; Community Development; Mexican Politics; Governance and Natural Resource Development and Social Networks and Family and Neighbourhood Resilience.

Prof. Pat Dolan
Family Support; Social Support; Resilience; Reflective Practice and Service Development; Youth Mentoring Models.

Dr. Brendan Flynn
Environmental policy, with a focus on EU and Irish developments; Interactions between agriculture, fisheries and environmental policies.

Dr. Paul Michael Garrett
Theory of social work; modernisation of social work and social care.

Dr. Mark Haugaard
Social and political power, modernity, the problem of social order, and the relationship between nationalism and liberalism.

Dr. Su-Ming Khoo
Contested meanings of development and globalization; development alternatives from the perspectives of sustainability, rights and citizenship; the right to development and right to health; global citizenship, public advocacy and public goods; development education and the globalization(s) of higher education.

Dr Brian McGrath
Cultural traditions and development; Migration; Rural Society and Change; Children/Young people and Social Support; Intergenerational Relationships; and Community Governance.

Dr. Niall O'Dochartaigh
The politics of conflict in Northern Ireland, on the use of new technologies in conflict situations and on the politics of nationalism and territoriality.

Dr. Kathy Powell
Socio-economic change, political culture and political practices in rural Mexico. Interests also include political ideology, identity and 'informality' in Cuba.

Dr. Henrike Rau
The socio-cultural and environmental consequences of increased physical mobility, alternative modes of transport (including virtual mobility tools) and sustainable transport in urban and rural areas.

Dr. Kevin Ryan
How the ordering of society (past and present) institutes specific modes of inclusion and exclusion, and in particular the ways in which contemporary discourses of 'social exclusion'—a relatively new category of social thought and political action—have recoded long-standing problems relating to inequality, poverty and domination.

Dr. George Taylor
Risk and politics; environmental politics; and state theory.

Dr. Tony Varley
Populism and local development in Ireland, the smallholder question in Ireland, the community movement, Muintir na Tire.

Dr. Eilis Ward
Cosmopolitanism and Buddhist social theory as applied in the context of normative international relations theory and prostitution and sex trafficking from a policy and human rights perspective.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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