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Comparative Social Change

MSc Comparative Social Change

Graduate Taught (level 9 NFQ credits 90)

The MSc Comparative Social Change is a one year full time programme which is jointly delivered by Trinity's Department of Sociology and the School of Sociology at UCD. It provides students with the theoretical frameworks and practical research skills necessary to understand the processes and pressing issues presented by global social change.

-The programme uses the recent experience of Irish social change in a comparative European and global context to provide training in substantive topics relating to issues of comparative social change.
-The MSc has a strong international dimension drawing on rich and informative experiences from Ireland, Europe and further afield particularly India, China and Brazil (BRICs).
-The programme provides advanced training in conceptualising, designing and conducting comparative research, across countries, and examines the role that this can play in policy development.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSc Comparative Social Change is suitable for graduates with a primary degree in Sociology or Social Science or a closely related discipline, such as psychology, philosophy, human geography, history, politics, and economics, who want to develop the skills required to critically explore the social, cultural and economic forces that drive social change today.

Course Description
The MSc Comparative Social Change has been developed by the Department of Sociology at Trinity College and the School of Sociology at University College Dublin to critically explore the social, cultural and economic forces that drive social change today.

The programme aims to develop students' knowledge of major social change issues, such as globalisation, the changing roles of women and the interrelated areas of migration, education and employment, and to offer insights into the different forms they take across states.

Programme outcomes
-Explain the deployment of different theoretical models of social change
-Critically assess the causes and consequences of the major dimensions of social change that have occurred in the last 50 years
-Apply different models of social change in constructing a sociologically informed argument about a specific instance of social change
-Explain the sociological research on the relationship between individuals and social institutions
-Apply the range of research strategies and methodologies available to collect evidence around social change
-Demonstrate communication, writing, presentation and debating skills
-Successfully carry out a substantial piece of research through an individually-supervised dissertation

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a primary degree in sociology or social science, or a closely related discipline.

A Second Class Honours Grade One (2:1) or higher is required but Second Class Honours Grade Two (2:2) standard or equivalent may be considered.

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements but can confirm professional qualifications and/or experience will be considered. Applicants may be called for an interview.

All candidates are expected to be proficient in written and spoken English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit evidence of a certificate of proficiency (such as TOEFL, Cambridge or IELTS). Test results must be less than two years old.


1 year full-time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

The MSc Comparative Social Change is particularly relevant for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the public and private sector, international institutions and civil society organisations. Students receive a solid academic training in social change issues - such as gender, education and the labour market - which can be applied to real-world problems. This training has the potential to open up career opportunities in fields such as research, policy development and advocacy.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Gerard W Boucher
Contact Number: 353 1 716 8506

Subjects taught

Students are required to accumulate 90 credits in total. The taught part of the course, worth 60 ECTS, is comprised of three core modules and three optional modules. In addition, students complete a dissertation, not exceeding 20,000 words, which counts for 30 ECTS.

90 Credits: 60 Credits Taught Modules 30 Credits Dissertation

Core Modules:
Introduction to Comparative Social Change
Globalisation and Social Change
Research Methods

Optional Modules:
Students must select a minimum of 10 credits and a maximum of 20 credits from each partner University:

University College Dublin options:
Everyday Nationhood in Comparative Perspective
Economic Globalisation and Social Change
Comparing Healthcare Systems

Trinity College Dublin options:
Migration, Labour and Conflict
Gender and Social Change
The Migration Challenge: Comparative Educational Perspectives

Application date

Deadline Rolling *

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

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!