Politics & International Relations - Research

We offer a structured MLitt programme that includes (1) training in research methods, (2) coursework in a sub-field of politics and international relations, (3) regular contact with a Research Masters Panel composed of academic staff with expertise related to the student's interests, and (4) the writing of an MLitt thesis based on original research.

Entry requirements

Applicants to our research degree programmes must have completed and earned high grades in a taught Masters (MA, MSc, MLitt, etc.) programme in the area of politics and international relations or a cognate field and articulate a research interest that fits with the expertise of SPIRe's academic staff. If you are interested in exploring your research plans further with a member of staff, please feel free to contact us individually.

Subjects taught

All students must designate a primary subject of specialization within politics and international relations and complete a seminar covering that subject's core scholarly literature.
These subjects are:

•comparative politics
•development studies
•European integration and governance
•international relations
•political theory

Students will also take courses in research design, and qualitative and/or quantitative methods. In addition, students have the option of auditing additional postgraduate modules (in SPIRe, the College of Human Sciences, and in neighbouring institutions) in order to deepen their substantive knowledge and/or methodological skills.

SPIRe recommends that 20 credits are devoted to course-work and 100 credits to the thesis.


2 years full-time / 2 years part-time

Enrolment dates

Entry to the programme is in September.

Post Course Info

The programme is designed for all those whose career plans require a capacity for independent research. This includes work in public administration, international organizations, consultancy, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations and the media. The programme is also ideally structured to allow students acquire a good basis for future research in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree. In fact, direct progress into year two of our Ph.D. is possible, conditional upon a transfer assessment.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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