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Ethics in International Affairs

The new MA programme in Ethics and International Affairs is a one-year, full-time programme that offers specialised graduate training in political theory with a focus on the global dimension. Many of today's real-world challenges, such as climate change, poverty, inequality, transitional exploitation, are no longer confined to the boundaries of nation-states and raise distinct moral concerns. The programme equips students with the analytical tools for understanding and addressing the ethical dimensions of these issues.

The core modules give students a solid foundation in contemporary political theory, especially theories of justice, both domestic and global. The students have a wide range of optional modules to choose from, including further political theory modules as well as modules in the area of development, international relations or international political economy, allowing them to pursue specific interests.

Entry requirements

A primary degree (with first or second class honours) (Level 8 - QQI) in an appropriate discipline. Applicants with an approved equivalent qualification will be considered.

What to Include with your Application:
- Qualification transcripts and certificates
- English language qualification if English is not your first language
- Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
- A copy of your birth certificate/passport

English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:
- Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
- Irish Leaving Certificate English – Ordinary Level Grade D or above
- TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
- IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.
- English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
- GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
- University of Cambridge ESOL – Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade A
- GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.


1 year full-time.

Careers or further progression

Graduate Profile
This unique MA programme prepares students for a wide range of careers in various fields. The study of political theory offers genuinely transferable skills, such as analytical and critical reasoning and writing skills. Students can also tailor the degree to suit their preferred career path, be it in governmental or non-governmental organisations, think-tanks, media or academia.

Further enquiries

Course Director
Dr Adina Preda
Tel: +353 (0) 61 202630

Subjects taught

Autumn Semester
- Graduate Seminar in Contemporary Political Theory
- Graduate Research Methods
- One Elective Module

Spring Semester
- Global Justice
- Research Methods (progressing dissertation
- Two elective Modules

Graduate Seminar in Comparative Politics, Graduate Seminar in International Relations, Graduate Seminar in Institutions and Policies of the European Union, Graduate Seminar in Development, Political Principles for a Culturally Diverse World, Contemporary Ethical Issues, Multilevel Governance: concepts and practice;Conflict Analysis, Graduate Seminar in Peacebuilding, Graduate Seminar in International Co-operation and Conflict, Graduate Seminar in European Governance, International Political Economy, External Relations of the European Union, Russian and Post Soviet Politics, Foreign Aid and Development, Development Practice and Programme Management, Representative Democracy in Europe.


The MA in Ethics in International Affairs is a unique programme that allows students to combine the study of normative and ethical issues with that of empirical aspects of world politics. It is most suitable for students who are interested in applying ethical and normative analysis to contemporary global issues.

Application date

Taught Programmes - Application Process
All applicants apply through the online application system by choosing a programme from one of the five faculties. If Non-EU applicants wish to contact the International Education Division first before completing an online application, they can do by filling out the International Education Division Enquiry Form. For more information visit the International Office website.

International Office:
Tel: +353 61 202414
Fax: +353 61 213062

Visit the International Office website

What to include (upload) with your application
•Certified results for all examinations mentioned on your application form and/or confirmation of the award of your qualification(s).
•Evidence of English language proficiency.
•Certified translations of your award and transcripts if they are not in English
•A copy of your birth certificate or passport

Please note that certain programmes request additional documentation such as personal statements and/or references. Please check the programme entry requirements to ensure you have included the required information.

What happens after I apply?
Once you submit your application online, you will receive an email acknowledgement. It is important that you upload all your documents at the time of application as you will not be able to upload these at a later stage. If you do not have your documents at the time of application, you will need to mail them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office once they become available.
Your application will then be passed to the Course Director who will decide whether or not to offer you a place. Some programmes require interviews and you will be notified of the date, time and venue.

Decision Letter
You will receive one of the following letters from the Postgraduate Admissions Office:
•An unconditional offer. You satisfy all of the academic conditions required and we are offering you a place.
•A conditional offer. You do not yet satisfy the academic conditions required before entry but you propose to do so. The conditions are listed in the offer letter and may include English language tests as well as degree results.
•Letter of regret. We are unable to offer you a place.

Please note that a decision is authoritative and official only if it has been sent in writing from the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Accepting a place at the University of Limerick
To accept your offer you must pay your acceptance deposit and send in the course acceptance form, stamped by the bank, to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. On receipt of this acceptance form/deposit, the Postgraduate Admissions Office will change the status of your application to Firmly Accepted. You will receive an orientation pack in August. The orientation pack will provide you with full details of orientation and enrolment.

Deferring your offer
You cannot defer a place on a taught postgraduate programme without the permission of the Course Director. If you are offered a deferral, you will receive a letter from the Postgraduate Admissions Office confirming that a deferral has been granted. You should then contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office before March of the following year to confirm that you will be accepting your place. If you are not offered a deferral, then you must re-apply for the programme the following academic year.

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick
Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 04/Sep/2017.

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