Political Science

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It may sometimes feel like Irish politics is exclusively dominated by outgoing, high-profile personalities, but there is also room in the political world for people who wish to work in a more behind-the-scenes capacity. A qualification in Political Science is perfect for anyone looking to get involved in any section of this area.

Thinking of studying Political Science?

The area of political research is one that offers a more low-key route into the field, as it can groom students for important advisory roles, which need not require a significant public profile. There are currently numerous postgraduate options in Ireland that can help prospective students to build a career in this area.

Postgraduate Courses Available

One notable option is the Integrated Doctorate (MPhil/PhD) offered by Trinity College’s Department Of Political Science. It is a four-year course that, for its first two years, contains modules and taught components (alongside thesis work). Students also have to complete a dissertation, which provides their main focus in the two subsequent years. The course generally paves the way for a career in either political research or academia.

There are several other colleges that offer postgraduate options in politics and political research. The University of Limerick’s Department Of Politics and Public Administration offers prospective students the opportunity to pursue postgraduate research, culminating in a written thesis. Like the Trinity programme, it also provides seminars that help students to hone their skills in other areas, such as Research Management and Academic Presenting.

Other Postgraduate Options

Of course, there are other political postgraduate options that are not so centred on a dissertation or thesis. UCD’s School of Politics and International Relations, for instance, offers a range of taught-module-based one-year courses in political topics (though the completion of a dissertation is also a programme requirement, in addition to the continuous assessment); MSc’s in Human Rights, International Relations and Nationalism and Ethno-Communal Conflict are available in this format.

Also, the Dublin Institute Of Technology offers a full-time one-year MA in Public Affairs and Political Communication, which offers a slightly different range of career options to the aforementioned courses. Upon completion of this programme, students will be qualified to ‘take up full-time employment as liaisons between private, public and not-for-profit organisations, and governmental or political persons and organisations’. They may also work as providers of communication services for people working in the world of politics, and some graduates can even embark on careers as consultants, offering public affairs services. Modules in this programme include Public Affairs, Political Marketing, Political Structures and Public Affairs Writing. Political postgraduates are a well-established and respected qualification, rather than a rising phenomenon.

Trends in Doctorate Programmes & Career Paths

When it comes to Postgraduate Courses in Political Studies, the methods for training PhD researchers have undergone something of a sea change in recent times. One new trend is the professionalisation of the training of PhD researchers. In the past, there was what is referred to as the “apprenticeship model”. These programmes are moving towards a system where there’s a more structured, taught component to courses.

With these significant recent developments in the area of political research instruction coming into effect, now may be the ideal time to pursue a postgraduate study option in this field. A career in politics does not necessarily entail the pursuit of votes; the wide array of courses currently available in Ireland ensures a rich variety of politically focused job possibilities.


troy

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