Political Theory

- Political theory addresses the more immediate practical concerns of politics and policy that are of concern to governments, the media, civil society groups and individual citizens.

- Combines a rigorous approach to analysing these problems with an imaginative search for solutions.

Vision and Values Statement
This programme aspires to allow students become specialists in critical thought and reflection on key issues in political theory, capable of engaging with cutting edge philosophical debates and practical applications thereof in the realm of practical politics.

Student Internships
SPIRe's MA Internship opportunities

Related Programmes
MA Politics FT
MSc International Relations FT
MA Philosophy & Public Affairs FT
MSc Politics FT
Master of Public Policy

Subjects taught

The MA Political Theory is a 90-credit programme. Full time students must take three 10-credit modules in the autumn trimester, and three 10-credit modules in the spring trimester. Students must also submit a thesis worth 30-credits or pursue an Internship instead in the summer trimester.

Core and Option Modules for MA Political Theory

These are the current modules for 2022/23 but are subject to change. Each of the following modules carries 10 credits unless otherwise specified.

Core Modules
POL40140 Global Issues in Pol Theory (Autumn)
POL42330 Research Design (Autumn)

Core Options – Select minimum of 2:
PHIL40420 The Good Society (Spring)
POL41030 Theory of Human Rights (Spring)
POL42000 Political Theory and the EU (Spring)
Option Modules

EDUC41520 Children's Rights & Participat
EQUL40310 Masculinities & Equality
PHIL41280 Feminist & Gender Theory
POL40050 Theories of Internat.Relations
POL40950 Introduction to Statistics
POL40970 Politics European Governance
POL41020 Politics of Human Rights
POL41510 Middle East & North Africa
POL41650 Global Political Econ ofEurope
POL41800 Theories of Int'l Rels Stream2
POL41860 Governance, Pol, Dev
POL42040 Gender & the Political System
POL42440 Political Economy of Security

PHIL40420 The Good Society
PHIL41510 Ethics in Public Life
POL40100 Politics of Development
POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
POL40370 International Political Econom
POL40540 Comparative European Politics
POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
POL41640 Qual Research Methods for Pol
POL41720 Gender, Peace, and Security
POL41780 The Politics of Inequality
POL41870 Pol Economy & Comparative Dev
POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in MENA
POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies
POL42000 Political Theory and the EU
POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis
POL42340 Programming for Soc Scientists
POL42430 Social Theory & IR

Please note, to be enrolled on POL42430 in Spring, students must have taken and passed either of the following two modules: POL41800 or POL40050.

Summer Trimester Core Module
POL42310 Thesis (30 credits)

Entry requirements

A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law. 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.

- Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.

- English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement.

- Students meeting the programme's academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD's Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master's Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information http://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/

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 Political Theory FT (W277)
1 Years
Full Time

MA Political Theory PT (W278)
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.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Graduates work with a wide variety of international private-sector employers, government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations in roles such as: academics, policy analysts, diplomats, lawyers, journalists. Recent graduates of UCD School of Politics & International Relations now work in: UK Foreign Office, US State Department, Irish Civil Service, University College London, and University of Melbourne.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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