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Politics is central to understanding both our own lives and the world that surrounds us. This is a course that takes an interdisciplinary approach to a subject that defies traditional academic boundaries. By drawing on the expertise of a variety of specialists from the Schools of History, Government and Philosophy, you will gain an advanced understanding of a range of critical issues in politics.

The MA in Politics may be taken full-time over 12 months or part-time over 24 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The taught element of the programme runs from early September to the end of March.

Entry requirements

You will have a 2.1 primary degree (or equivalent) in one of the following areas: arts, humanities, social science or law.

If you hold a 2.2 primary degree, you will also be considered subject to a written expression of interest and/or interview acceptable to the director of the course.


1 year full-time or 2 Years Part Time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Number of credits

90 credits

Careers or further progression

What can I do after I graduate with an MA in Politics?

Throughout the Politics MA course, you develop a broad set of skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Varied teaching and assessment styles are used to ensure that you develop critical thinking abilities, hone your analytical and research capabilities and build effective communication skills that include both written and presentation elements.

Occupations associated with Politics degrees:

Teaching: Schools, Universities

International Organizations: NGOs, European Union, United Nations

Media: Publishing, Journalism, TV and Radio, Copywriting, Events Management, Web Copy Editor, Reporter.
Public Relations & Communications

Writer: Freelance, columnist, blogger, editor.

Marketing: Marketing Executive.

Public Sector: Government, policy analyst, political consultant, campaign manager

Pursue studies further and register to do a PhD

Further enquiries

Course Co-ordinator: Dr. David Fitzgerald;
Tel. 021-4903755/4902718

Subjects taught

In Part I, students take modules to the value of 30 credits in Teaching Period 1 and to the value of 30 credits in Teaching Period 2, at least 10 credits of which is chosen from each participating Department/School (i.e. Government, History, Philosophy). The details of the modules offered vary from one year to another, however, they include modules on democracy and rights, terrorism, international relations, international justice, globalisation and political philosophy.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part I
Semester 1

Department of Government

GV6113 Governance and policy processes in the European Union (10 credits)
GV6114 Changing Dynamics of Governance (10 credits)

School of History
HI6092 International Relations Theories and Approaches (10 credits)
PO6003 Revolution, decolonization and the Arab Spring

Department of Philosophy
PH6051 Advanced Metaethics (10 credits)
PH6016 Territorial Rights (10 credits)
PH6053 Professional Ethics: Advanced (10 credits)

Semester 2

Department of Government
GV6103 Re-imagining Democratic Politics in a Changing World (10 credits)
GV6115 European Security (10 credits)
GV6104 Political Participation and Mobilisation (10 credits

School of History
HI6060 The Politics of Terrorism (10 credits)
HI6063 Work Placement and Portfolio (10 credits)

Department of Philosophy
PH6012 Human Rights 1 (10 Credits)
PH6052 Advanced Moral Psychology (10 credits)

Part II
PO6001 Dissertation (30 credits)

In Part II, you complete a dissertation to the value of 30 credits, where you conduct advanced research on a topic of your choosing, while working closely with a subject matter expert from one of the three participating departments. You are also supported in this through a series of research seminars, where staff guide you through the various skills, methodologies and research strategies you will need to employ. Outside speakers also share their tips on research practice through guest seminars.

Students studying for the degree full-time take all modules in one year.

Students studying for the degree part-time take 40 credits of modules in Year 1 and 20 credits of taught modules in Year 2. Students also take the Dissertation module (PO6001) in Year 2.

and PO6001 (Dissertation) (30 credits).

Postgraduate Diploma in Politics (NFQ Level 9, Major award)
Students passing only the taught modules in Part 1 (60 credits), or choosing not to complete the research dissertation may opt to exit the programme and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Politics.

Students who successfully complete the course will have fostered advanced knowledge and understanding of a range of political issues, methodologies and theories. You should also have developed the ability to critically analyse a range of sources and intellectual debates within a given topic. Finally, those who complete the dissertation, will have developed good research practice leading to the ability to construct and write a thesis.


Course Practicalities
Teaching takes place in small group. The standard method of teaching is the seminar, which gives you an opportunity to refine your thinking and communication abilities in a stimulating and collegial environment. You will also complete a dissertation on a topic of your own choice, which gives you the opportunity to work closely with a member of staff and to develop advanced research and analysis skills. Students in the MA in Politics also have access to a wide range of visiting speakers and other activities of the three departments, each of which has a vibrant research culture.

Unique Aspects of the Course
The MA Politics at UCC is an interdisciplinary course taught jointly by staff from the Department of Government, School of History and School of Philosophy. Our staff are drawn from a broad range of specialist backgrounds and this contributes to a diverse and creative learning environment for students.

Assessment method

The assessment in the taught element of the course varies from essays to presentations to policy reports to crisis simulation exercises but all module assessments help to build core research and communications skills. These skills are further developed in the 20,000-word dissertation, in which you conduct advanced research on a subject of your choice, working closely with an expert in the area. You are supported in this by a series of research seminars and events.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,000 full-time; €3,000 per year part-time

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!