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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.

Vision and Values Statement
This programme is suitable for full-time students who are interested in the study of international comparative social change to further their academic, research or professional careers in the public sector, private sector and civil society organisations. The core values of the programme are intended to encourage active, independent learners, who are critical and reflective about international society, and who ideally seek to participate in social change to improve the lives of all. The learning environment is structured around a select range of core and optional modules at Trinity and UCD that critically examine major societal changes in a number of regions and countries across the world, and assess and apply current theories of social change to specific cross-country, institutional and individual cases, provided in small-group settings that encourage and facilitate in-depth discussions of comparative social change. Teaching, learning and assessment are based on critical engagement with the material and skill enhancement involving students as active participants in seminar discussions, presentations and practice-based examples of comparative social change; critical readers, thinkers and writers in their written assignments; and independent researchers in their individually supervised thesis.

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 Student Grade Point Average (GPA) Equivalent 3.0 out of 4.0 is required (where the grading scale is 0.0 to 4.0) or equivalent result where other grading scale is presented.

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

Careers & Employability
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.

Stage 1 - Core
Introduction to Comparative Social Change: Concepts and Cases

Research Methods(MSc)

Globalisation & Soc Change MSc

Dissertation Soc Change MSc

Stage 1 - Option
Nationalism and Social Change

Economic Globalisation and Social Change MSc

Comparing Healthcare Systems MSc

Gender and Soc Change MSc

Migration: Educational Per MSc (TCD)

Migration, Labour, Conflict MS (TCD)

Art Knowledge Soc Change MSc

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Comparative Social Change FT (W360)
1 Years

Full Time

Rolling *

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

Course fee

MSc Comparative Social Change (W360) Full Time
EU fee per year €8645 dc
nonEU fee per year €16115 dc

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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