MA Political Theory

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

As a crucial part of understanding our human condition, political theory has always been held to be a valuable activity. More recently, however, changes in contemporary societies have made such systematic thinking about politics indispensable to understanding and participating in the life of our own state and a newly global world.
  • Political theory addresses the more immediate practical concerns of politics and policy that are of concern to governments, the media, civil society groups and individual citizens.
  • Combines a rigorous approach to analysing these problems with an imaginative search for solutions.

Careers & Employability

Graduates work with a wide variety of international private-sector employers, government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations in roles such as: academics, policy analysts, diplomats, lawyers, journalists.
Recent graduates of UCD School of Politics & International Relations now work in: UK Foreign Office, US State Department, Irish Civil Service, University College London, and University of Melbourne.

Curricular information is subject to change


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

The applicants should have earned an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject with at least Upper Second Class Honours, or its equivalent, such as an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher in the American system. Relevant professional experience will also be taken into account. 

This programme aspires to allow students become specialists in critical thought and reflection on key issues in political theory, capable of engaging with cutting edge philosophical debates and practical applications thereof in the realm of practical politcs

  • allow students participate in political debates informed by theory
  • develop oral presentation skills
  • develop students' capacities for critical reflection on issues of political theory
  • enhance group work skills
  • enhance students' research and writing skills
  • familiarise students with key issues and schools of thought in political theory

View All Modules Here

The MA Political Theory is a 90-credit programme. Full time students must take three 10-credit modules in the autumn trimester, and three 10-credit modules in the spring trimester. Students must also submit a thesis worth 30-credits  in the summer trimester. 

Core and Option Modules for MA Political Theory

These are the current modules for 2022/23 but are subject to change. Each of the following modules carries 10 credits unless otherwise specified. 

Core Modules

  • POL40140 Global Issues in Pol Theory (Autumn)
  • POL42330 Research Design (Autumn)

Core Options – Select minimum of 2:

  • PHIL40420 The Good Society (Spring)
  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights (Spring)
  • POL42000 Political Theory and the EU (Spring)

Option Modules

Autumn

  • EDUC41520 Children's Rights & Participat
  • EQUL40310 Masculinities & Equality
  • PHIL41280 Feminist & Gender Theory
  • POL40050 Theories of Internat.Relations
  • POL40950 Introduction to Statistics
  • POL40970 Politics European Governance
  • POL41020 Politics of Human Rights
  • POL41510 Middle East & North Africa
  • POL41650 Global Political Econ ofEurope
  • POL41800 Theories of Int'l Rels Stream2
  • POL41860 Governance, Pol, Dev
  • POL42040 Gender & the Political System
  • POL42440 Political Economy of Security

Spring

  • PHIL40420 The Good Society
  • PHIL41510 Ethics in Public Life
  • POL40100 Politics of Development
  • POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
  • POL40370 International Political Econom
  • POL40540 Comparative European Politics
  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
  • POL41640 Qual Research Methods for Pol
  • POL41720 Gender, Peace, and Security
  • POL41780 The Politics of Inequality
  • POL41870 Pol Economy & Comparative Dev
  • POL41930 Psychology of Conflict in MENA
  • POL41980 Peace & Conflict Studies
  • POL42000 Political Theory and the EU
  • POL42050 Quantitative Text Analysis
  • POL42340 Programming for Soc Scientists
  • POL42430 Social Theory & IR

Please note, to be enrolled on POL42430 in Spring, students must have taken and passed either of the following two modules: POL41800 or POL40050.

Summer Trimester Core Module

  • POL42310 Thesis (30 credits)

MA Political Theory (W277) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7610
nonEU    fee per year - € 20500

MA Political Theory (W278) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4950
nonEU    fee per year - € 10250

***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.

SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme, which opens on May 1st. To access details, see SPIRe Graduate Scholarship Scheme. Please note that not all programmes are eligible for this Scholarship, please check the T&C's carefully when they become available.

A primary degree with at least Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2H1) in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law. 2H1 is equivalent to 60 per cent, B minus or 3.08 GPA - in American system: B or 3.00 GPA.

  • Your application will be considered on its individual merits and relevant professional experience will also be taken into account.
  • English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement. Click here for further info.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the  English language requirements, may enter the programme upon  successful completion of UCD’s Pre-Sessional or International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information http://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/ 

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Graduate Profile
Rhona Gaynor,

Project Manager, Civil Service, Ireland
After graduating from UCD with an MA in Political Theory, Rhona completed an MPA in Public Policy and Management in London School of Economics and Political Science. The MA in Political Theory provided a fantastic education in ethics, citizenship, social justice, and, most importantly, critical thinking. Through a programme of challenging, provocative, and diverse courses – including ‘The Political Theory of Violence’, ‘Contemporary Debates in Citizenship’ and ‘Poverty, Development and Global Justice’ – the MA provided me with core skills that continue to shape and influence my thinking. Through the process of participating in seminars and developing my final thesis, I was both challenged and supported to look at old problems in new ways, express complex ideas clearly and build strong, logical, and original arguments. I highly recommend this course, and if given the opportunity, would take it again tomorrow.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Political Theory FT (W277)
Duration
1 Years
Attend
Full Time
Deadline
30-SEP-2022
MA Political Theory PT (W278)
Duration
2 Years
Attend
Part Time
Deadline
30-SEP-2022

A comphrensive FAQ can be found here