Sociology & Politics - Research

The School's Research Clusters are:

- Children, Youth and Families (the Child and Youth Research Centre

- Gender, Empowerment and Globalisation

- Governance and Sustainable Development

- Power, Conflict and Ideologies.

Applications within these areas, and/or which combine a Sociological with Political Science/Theory approach, would be particularly welcome, although, others should not feel precluded from applying. In choosing a research topic, it is particularly important to identify a potential supervisor with appropriate research interests.

An MLitt is a route to a Master's qualification by dissertation only. The thesis is shorter than a PhD, and is usually done over one or two years. MLitt research is meant to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the area. Admission to a research degree by MLitt is at the discretion of the research committee of the School, and is based on a proposal from the applicant following discussion with the member of staff whose academic area of interest is most appropriate.

Entry requirements

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

Course Code: PHDS-PSS

PhD full-time & part-time
MLitt full-time & part-time

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


PhD full-time & part-time
MLitt full-time & part-time


Research Areas

Processes and practices of social in/exclusion, gender, poverty, in equalities, and rural development.

Community and local development-theory, policy and practice; disputes and dispute settlements; family support-policy and evaluation.

Argumentation, wisdom and rhetoric; culture/interculturality; qualitative methods in the human sciences; sociology of ageing and the life course.

Theories of ethnicity and nationalism; theories of ideology; postcommunism; intellectuals and political elites; sociology of war and violence.

Sociology of religion; sociology of sexuality; civil society and the Catholic Church.

Political activism online; conflict in Northern Ireland; conflict and territory; territory and minority languages.

Power and exclusion, social practices relating to freedom and discipline, post-structuralist theory, government theory.

Normative international relations, human rights, global civil society, buddhism and politics, prostitution policy, sex trafficking and women and politics.

Gender and development; youth politicization; activism and citizenship; youth policy; children in difficult circumstances-street children, child solders, child labour, and sexual exploitation of children.

State theory; environmental politics; risk and public policy.
Mobility and sustainability, time (use) and temporality; culture/interculturality; cross-cultural comparative research and social research methods.

Political anthropology; political culture; political identities; Latin America; migration.

Family support; community based models for working with adolescents; social support and resiliency.

Processes of acculturation and cultural integration; approaches to cross-cultural comparative research; social research methods in general and time use research in particular.

Political conflict and social exclusion; postmodernity; discourse and semiotics.

Agrarian politics; populism; the collective action associated with social movements; ethnography.

Social exclusion; youth transitions; community development-theory and policy; rural change and development; heritage in community.

E.U. environmental policy; E.U. policy analysis (theory and case studies); Irish environmental policy; E.U. constitutional politics (subsidiarity, enhanced co-operation, open method, etc.); E.U. as a 'regulatory state'.

Social theory, power, social structure, modernity; the relationship between sociological theory and political theory; nationalism and liberalism.

Globalization, culture, theory and practice of alternative development-especially environmental; southern and feminist perspectives and movements.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PhD MLitt

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider