The School of Social Sciences and Philosophy consists of the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Philosophy. With more than 50 full-time academic members of staff and postdoctoral fellows, the School enjoys an international research profile in its constituent departments. Its postgraduate programmes consist of a combination of taught Masters degrees and Ph.D. degrees. All four Departments offer Ph.D. students a rigorous training in their respective disciplines as well as the opportunity to write original and high-quality Ph.D. theses.
The Ph.D. in Economics is a competitive degree aiming to rank among the best flagship Economics programmes in Europe and produces the largest number of research degrees of any Economics department in Ireland. Importantly, it blends an innovative curricular part, which offers optional courses jointly with other departments in Ireland, with a unique research environment that promotes close interaction with the faculty. Currently, the department has 18 full-time academic staff and almost 30 research students.
The Philosophy Department offers an internationally renowned integrated PhD programme in conjunction with the School of Philosophy in University College Dublin (UCD). The programme combines a choice from a set of intensive courses in most areas of philosophy with a traditional emphasis on conducting original research.
Our research students play an active role in shaping the research life of the Department, in particular, by organising a large number of workshops, reading and study groups.
The Ph.D. in Sociology is designed to produce rigorously trained, widely-read and well-rounded sociologists, able to take their place in the forefront of the profession. The Department of Sociology at Trinity ranks 48th in the world according to independent evaluations of its research and teaching. Many graduates of the programme have gone on to secure full-time academic positions. Graduates, or current students, have come from Ireland, Italy, the USA, Poland, Germany, the UK, South Africa, Israel and Palestine, to name just a few. This international mix adds a positive and exciting dimension to the life of the Department. In the first year students follow a methodology course, and develop a literature review and research proposal for the final thesis. In the second year of the PhD programme, students start work on their thesis, including doing fieldwork, and in the third and fourth year they write up their thesis.
The Ph.D. in Political Science is an innovative programme (see entry below), which involves course work in the first two years, and which combines an intensive training in the substance and methodology of research along with a traditional emphasis on conducting original research. Almost all graduates of this programme go on to take on positions in academia.