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Politics & International Relations - Research

General information
We offer a structured MLitt programme that includes (1) training in research methods, (2) coursework in a sub-field of politics and international relations, (3) regular contact with a Research Masters Panel composed of academic staff with expertise related to the student's interests, and (4) the writing of an MLitt thesis based on original research.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements
In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have completed and earned high grades in a taught M.A. programme in the area of politics and international relations and articulate a research interest that fits with the expertise of SPIRe's academic staff. Prospective applicants should visit our website at for a comprehensive listing of the School's research strengths and possible supervision areas.

Applications cannot be considered until we have received the following documentation;
- Thesis proposal (3-5 pages maximum)

- Copies of Academic Transcripts

- C.V. or Resume (2 pages maximum)

- 2 academic references (Actual letters required. If sending by email they should be on headed institutional paper)

- Evidence of English language competence, where non-native English speaking applicants have NOT obtained previous university degrees from an English-speaking university.


W120/W205 2 years full-time / 2 years part-time

Careers or further progression

The programme is designed for all those whose career plans require a capacity for independent research. This includes work in public administration, international organizations, consultancy, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations and the media. The programme is also ideally structured to allow students acquire a good basis for future research in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree. In fact, direct progress into year two of our Ph.D. is possible, conditional upon a transfer assessment.

Further enquiries

UCD School of Politics & International Relations
Room G310
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Dublin 4

PhD Administrator
Ms Dara Gannon
Tel: +353 (0)1 716 8670

The PhD Director is
Dr Johan A. Elkink
Tel: +353 (0)1 716 8126

Subjects taught

All students must designate a primary subject of specialization within politics and international relations and complete a seminar covering that subject's core scholarly literature.

These subjects are:
• comparative politics
• development studies
• European integration and governance
• international relations
• political theory

Students will also take courses in research design, and qualitative and/or quantitative methods. In addition, students have the option of auditing additional postgraduate modules (in SPIRe, the College of Human Sciences, and in neighbouring institutions) in order to deepen their substantive knowledge and/or methodological skills.


To pursue the structured Mlitt students will be required to complete a series of taught modules, in addition to preparing a thesis which makes a substantial original contribution to their field.

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