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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.

Who should apply?
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entry requirements

Normally students on this programme will have attained a higher second class honours in their primary degree 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.


W105: 1 year full-time, W003: 2 years part-time.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Dominic Shellard
Contact Number: +353 (0)1716 8682

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Egalitarian Theory and Practice

Human Rights Law and Equality

Sociology of Inequality

Researching and Challenging Social Injustice

Critical Political Economy

Gender Theory: Critical Themes

Stage 1 - Option
Equalities, Social Justice and Children's Learning

Minor Thesis

Disability and Equality

Masculinities, Gender and Equality

Equality Studies Research and Professional Practice Portfolio

International Economic Crisis

Geographies of the Global Sth

Latin America: social movements and postcolonial approaches

Gender, Inequality and Public Policy

Gender War and Violence

Reproductive Justice and Sexua

International Human Rights

Asylum and Refugee: Law, Politics and Rights

Topics in Continental Philos

International Political Theory

International Political Economy

Theory of Human Rights

Nationalism and Social Change

Art, Knowledge & Social Change

Crit Race & Decolonial Theory

Feminist & Egalitarian Research

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Equality Studies FT (W105)
1 Years

Full Time

Rolling *

MSc Equality Studies PT (W003)
2 Years

Part Time

Rolling *

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

Course fee

MSc Equality Studies (W003) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4590
nonEU fee per year - € 9600

MSc Equality Studies (W105) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7055
nonEU fee per year - € 19200

***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 and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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