Social Policy Social Work & Social Justice - Equality Studies

MSc Equality Studies
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc in Equality Studies is the only masters of its kind in Europe and offers a unique opportunity to examine global equality issues from a range of perspectives.

The MSc in Equality Studies was designed for those who wish to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of global social justice issues and explore strategies for change. Drawing students from across the globe, the course emphasises the relationship between theory and practice with a view to bringing about positive social change. You learn about and develop your own ideas on a wide range of equality, human rights and global justice issues. You will benefit from the opportunity to specialize in areas of particular interest such as capitalism and social justice, gender justice and feminism, global inequalities, human rights law and practice, and minorities and discrimination.

The learning environment is student-centred and participatory with students from a wide range of backgrounds with diverse experience and interests including community activists, development practitioners, educators, healthcare professionals, civil servants and journalists.

Vision and Values Statement
The purpose of the M.Sc. in Equality Studies is to cultivate an interdisciplinary appreciation of equality issues of both national and international significance, informed by extensive reading, critical analysis, advanced conceptualisation and independent research across social, political, cultural, economic and legal fields of enquiry. In addition to training across the 5 core disciplinary areas, the programme enables students to specialise further, either by completing a research-based dissertation that allows the student to achieve greater depth of knowledge in a particular area of study, or by selecting three further optional modules for assessment, that allows the student to achieve greater breadth of knowledge across the field of equality studies taken as a whole. The programme is aimed at students who wish to develop a career or further studies in the field of equality, or who wish to become advocates or activists for equality in civil society or politics. The School adopts a student-centred approach and promotes a critical, emancipatory and feminist pedagogy that is carried through all aspects of the teaching and learning process. Teaching is dialogical and operates on the principle that students have much to bring to the learning experience, that students can learn from each other and that staff can learn from students. Assessment takes a variety of forms, spanning the traditional essay, public scholarship, collaborative work and project work, including an elective minor dissertation. Extensive student feedback is sought for all modules and this is used to review and revise subsequent courses, assignments and assessments.

Programme Outcomes
Apply their knowledge and understanding of the component areas of Equality Studies to new, unfamiliar, multi-disciplinary contexts

Communicate their conclusions within the area of Equality Studies, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously

Demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge from a range of disciplines and in relation to a range of equality issues, and to handle the complexities involved in the analysis of inequality and the development of equality-related policies

Demonstrate specialized, detailed and advanced theoretical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of the issues and theories that constitute the interdisciplinary field of Equality Studies

Develop and/or apply their ideas in the field of equality studies in an original way, either through research (as evidenced in a research paper prepared for assessment) or in a practical context

Develop research design skills and work with established, feminist and emancipatory research methods in the investigation and analysis of research problems relevant to the field of equality studies

Evince a sophisticated, critical and justice-oriented perspective on a range of social issues in order to promote equality as a collective social good, and be able to articulate and defend this position in public fora

Explain current debates and controversies animating equality studies, in fields including egalitarian theory, feminist theory, legal studies, the economics of inequality, the sociology of inequality and international development

Make use of the insights and findings of both published and student-produced research to inform students own understandings of the field of equality studies and how they operate within it.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Sociology of InequalityEQUL40180
Egalitarian TheoryEQUL40420
Research and Skills PortfolioEQUL40430
Feminist & Egalitarian ResearchSSJ40010

Stage 1 - Option
Equalities, Social Justice and Children's LearningEDUC42590
Human Rights Law and EqualityEQUL40070
Masculinities, Gender and EqualityEQUL40310
Critical Political EconomyEQUL40390
Development and the Global SouthGEOG40760
Latin America: social movements and postcolonial approachesGEOG40800
Gender War and ViolenceGS40050
Culture and SexualitiesGS40080
Asylum and Refugee: Law, Politics and RightsLAW41310
Topics in Continental PhilosPHIL41320
International Political TheoryPOL40140
International Political EconomyPOL40370
Theory of Human RightsPOL41030
Nationalism and Social ChangeSOC40620
Organised Violence and SocietySOC40720
Art, Knowledge & Social ChangeSOC40790
Crit Race & Decolonial TheorySOC40930
Nonprofit Sector in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Regulation and BusinessSPOL40980

Entry requirements

Normally students on this programme will have attained a higher second class honours in their primary degree (NFQ Level 8) or international equivalent, and will have demonstrable experience in or aptitude for the field of equality studies, as illustrated in their personal statement. Students with a lower second class honours degree may be considered for the programme, depending on level of commensurate experience and qualifications, and availability of places, as assessed by the applications review panel.

All applicants will be asked to upload two references as part of their application, and to provide contact details for their referees. At least one of these referees should be someone who knows the applicant in an academic capacity.

In certain circumstances, the applications review panel may decide to invite applicants to interview.

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

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Equality Studies FT (W105)


MSc Equality Studies PT (W003)


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

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

We welcome applicants from a wide a range of backgrounds, with diverse experience and interests. Current students are of various nationalities and include recent graduates, community activists, educators, health care professionals, civil servants and journalists.




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


MSc Equality Studies (W003) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4760
nonEU fee per year - € 9950

MSc Equality Studies (W105) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7315
nonEU fee per year - € 19900

***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.
For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Equality Studies graduates work in multiple fields including politics, journalism, law, education, public policy, voluntary and community work, and human rights advocacy.

Alumni of the Masters in Equality Studies are employed by major national and international human rights and development organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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