Course Overview

The MA in Public Policy prepares its graduates to work in government, public bodies, civil society organisations, NGOs, International organisations, businesses and other fields and organisations that require an expert understanding of policy-making. It offers specialised modules in specific policy areas including: Environmental and Rural policy; Peace, Security and Development; Gender; Disability policy; Ageing policy; Child and Family policy. At a time when policy formulation and implementation is increasingly subject to political scrutiny and negotiation, the course emphasizes the political contexts in which policy is made and implemented and the development of digital government and new forms of public consultation and participation.

The programme is aimed at Arts graduates seeking a qualification that will help them to secure policy-related employment; graduates from other fields including Commerce and Law seeking to improve their employment prospects; graduates interested in pursuing PhD research in an area where NUI Galway has specialist policy expertise. 

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Equip students with theoretical knowledge of policy-making processes and key issues such as participation, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Enhance students' skills in communication, innovative thinking, negotiation, presentation, teamwork, and writing skills
  • Offer direct experience of contributing to policy-making processes, analysing current policies, and suggesting solutions to policy problems while working in teams and as individuals.
  • Introduce students to expert knowledge on a range of key national and international policy issues.
  • Introduce students to the concept of participation in policy-making, with particular emphasis on the forms of advocacy and lobbying.

As an international student you might be able to apply for a scholarship and here is a link to those available at NUI Galway. 

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

  • Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh (Political Science and Sociology)
  • Dr Michele Crepaz, Political Science and Sociology
  • Professor Kevin Leyden, Political Science and Sociology
  • Dr Brendan Flynn,  Political Science and Sociology
  • Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute
  • Professor Alma McCarthy, Management
  • Dr Maureen O'Sullivan, Law
  • Professor John McHale, Economics
  • Dr Ronán Kennedy, Law
  • Dr Stephen Hynes, Economics
  • Dr Ann Torres, Marketing
  • Dr Kevin O'Sullivan

Requirements and Assessment

  • Personal statement: all applicants must enclose a typed personal statement of approximately 600 words explaining why you wish to undertake the programme(s) of your choice, outlining how it fits into your career objectives, and discussing your research interests.
  • Referees: you are required to supply two references. One must be an academic reference (in the case of applicants currently undertaking studies) OR an employer (in the case of applicants currently in employment).

In addition, non-NUI Galway students are required to provide the following

  • Official qualifications and exam results (transcripts) to date: required for all non-NUIG applicants and for NUIG graduates who did not receive their undergraduate degrees from NUI Galway. Copies of originals must be certified as true copies. Applicants who have still to graduate must send in these on receipt.
  • Passport or Birth certificate: non NUIG-applicants onlya copy of your passport or birth certificate must also be submitted.
  • English language competency: if necessary, evidence of English language competency.

Further details can be found here.

If the selection committee deems it necessary, applicants can be called for an interview to better assess their application.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

A primary degree or its equivalent, with Second Class Honours Grade 2 overall. Applicants should also have achieved an upper Second Class Honours degree (2.1) or equivalent, GPAs of at least 3.0 of 4.0 or equivalent for international students, in a relevant subject such as Sociology, Politics, Public or Social Policy, Geography, History, a language, Economics, Business, Law. An interview may, in addition, form part of the application process.


Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

25

Closing Date

Please view the offer rounds website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1PPM1 (full-time, MA); 1PPM2 (part-time, MA); 1PPM3 (PDip)

Course Outline

The MA in Public Policy prepares its graduates to work in government, public bodies, civil society organisations, NGOs, International organisations, businesses and other fields and organisations that require an expert understanding of policy-making. It offers specialised modules in specific policy areas including: Environmental and Rural policy; Peace, Security and Development; Gender; Disability policy; Ageing policy; Child and Family policy. At a time when policy formulation and implementation is increasingly subject to political scrutiny and negotiation, the course emphasizes the political contexts in which policy is made and implemented and the development of digital government and new forms of public consultation and participation.

Overall structure of the programme

  • 40 ECTS core modules
  • 30 ECTS Dissertation
  • 20 ECTS optional modules 

Core modules (40 ECTS)
These modules provide students with the theoretical and empirical tools that are necessary for the analysis of public policy and the completion of the research dissertation.

1. Public Policy and Politics (10 ECTS) is team-taught by policy experts in the School of Soc and Pol and covers theory, the policy process, public participation, and digital government (Semester 1).

2. Policy Challenges: Irish, European and Global(10 ECTS) is taught by policy experts from across CASSCS and CBPPL. It gives students access to a wide range of policy expertise at NUI Galway. Students prepare policy briefs and provide direct inputs into policy via public consultation processes. There is a particular emphasis on developments in e-government (Semester 1). 

3. Methodologies and Methods (10 ECTS)  A joint module with other MA programmes in the School of Political Science and Sociology (Semesters 1 and 2). It familiarises students with quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry as well as data collection and evaluation techniques.

4. Research seminar (10 ECTS) A joint module with other MA programmes in the School of Political Science and Sociology (Semesters 1 and 2). 

SP6117 Research Dissertation (30 ECTS)

The dissertation on an original research topic is completed over the summer months. 

Optional modules (20 ECTS)

The optional modules enable students to specialise in areas of interest, build on foundational knowledge, and develop focused expertise, and choose a research area for the final dissertation. Students can concentrate on a specific policy area by choosing a 'specialist stream' consisting of closely-related modules. Specialist streams include: Environment and Rural Development; Peace and Security; Gender; Ageing and Public Policy; Advocacy, Lobbying and Interest Group Politics

The field experience module offers students a field trip to Brussels to meet and network with practitioners and visit institutional venues (N.B. availability of this module is subject to public health advice). 

List of optional modules 

Agreed

SP module

Field Experience

5

2

Optional

SPL315

Smart & Liveable Cities and Suburbs

10

2

Optional

SP6120

Irish Politics North and South

10

2

Optional

SP6114

Welfare, Social Change and Irish Society

10

2

Optional

NEW SP

European Security Policy

5

2

Optional

MK5116

Negotiations

5

2

Optional

SP574

Families and Children in Society and Policy I

5

2

Optional

SP581

Families and Children in Society and Policy II

5

2

Optional

SPL316

Ocean and Marine Politics and Policy

10

2

Optional

SP695

Social and Political Context of International Public Activism and Advocacy

10

2

Optional

SP6119

Peace, Power & Conflict

10

2

Optional

EC5116

Global Issues in Agricultural, Marine and Renewable Energy Economics

10

2

Optional

EC5117

Natural Resource Governance and Sustainability

10

2

Optional

EC5132

Introduction to Ageing Studies and Policy

5

1

Optional

EC5131

International Policy and Ageing across the Life Course

5

1

Optional

EC5123

Dynamics of Ageing and Public Policy

10

 

Optional

GG6108

Engaged Research Practice: Women in Agriculture

5

2

Optional

GG113

Applied Gender Analysis

5

2

Optional

LW5205

Advanced Intellectual Property Law

10

1&2

Optional

LW552

Foundational Theoretical Framework for Disability Law and Policy

10

1

Optional

LW558

Legal Capacity Law and Policy

10

1

Optional

LW 485

Sentencing & Penal Policy

10

2

Optional

HI6100

NGOs in the 20th Century

10

2

Optional

N.B. Some optional modules require students to have taken certain prerequisite courses. The list of available modules may vary from year to year. Availability of optional modules in some disciplines will be subject to minimum head counts as determined by the disciplines involved. 

Assessment methods include: essays, exams, continuous assessments, policy briefs, policy papers, and the research dissertation.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme will be particularly useful for students wishing to work in national or local government, public bodies, civil society organisations, NGOs, European and international organisations (eg EU, Council of Europe, UN agencies) businesses (eg Google, Facebook, LinkedIn), public affairs, consultancy, public relations, journalism, and other fields and organisations that require an expert understanding of policy-making.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,200 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,976 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,500 p.a. 2021/22

EU Part time fee €3,655 p.a. 

Find out More

Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh
E: niall.odochartaigh@nuigalway.ie

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Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)