Course Overview

This new postgraduate programme builds on the rich tradition of 50 years of the teaching of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, offering students the opportunity to critically explore social and political forces that impact on contemporary issues. The MA (Politics and Sociology) provides the theoretical and empirical skills that graduates of Politics and Sociology require for the analyses of why our societies are the way that they are and if they can be improved.

The programme comprises of core taught modules in Politics and Sociology and a thesis  of 20,000 words which will be supervised by a member of academic staff in the School, providing one to one support and expertise in the student’s chosen field of enquiry

 Graduate attributes/learning outcomes for the programme

Students of the programme will acquire essential graduate employment skills, including written and oral communication skills, group work skills, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.

 On successful completion of this programme students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of contemporary and classical political and social theory to issues in contemporary society.
  2. Think critically about a range of political and social issues and problems.
  3. Design and conduct advanced political and social research on a range of political and social problems.
  4. Organise and present their work effectively.
  5. Work effectively in a group setting.


Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Students will benefit from an international, cross-disciplinary group of 40 academic staff members with diverse backgrounds in Politics and Sociology, as well as Anthropology, Business, Community and International Development, Economics, Social Policy, Social Work, Women's Studies, Child, Youth and Family Studies. In particular, the School has a well established reputation for research on Children, Youth and Families; Power, Conflict and Ideologies; Global Women’s Studies and Governance and Sustainable Development.

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

A primary degree (at National Framework of Qualifications level 8; or its equivalent, with Second Class Honours Grade 2 overall. Applicants should additionally have achieved an upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent, GPAs of 3.0 average or equivalent for international students, in a relevant subject such as Sociology, Politics, Public and Social Policy, Geography, History, Economics, Law. An interview may, in addition, form part of the application process.

Applicants who do not fully meet the formal academic entry requirements but have publication/professional experience may be considered under the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

International candidates whose first language is not English will need to present evidence of English language competency equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5. 

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting



Course code


Course Outline

Programme Content and Structure

The MA (Politics and Sociology) is a 90-ECTS programme which is comprised of 60 ECTS of core taught modules and 30 ECTS allocated to a dissertation.

Students who do not wish to continue to MA level can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma (Politics and Sociology) on successfully completing the 60 ECTS of taught modules.

Module TitleSemesterECTS
Philosophy of Social Science One 10
Political Theory One 10
Contemporary Irish Society One 10
Research Methods of Social Science Two 10
Comparative Politics Two 10
Sociological Theory Two 10
Thesis Summer 10

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme is of particular interest to students who wish to pursue careers in the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and research or pursue PhD studies.  Students can pursue doctoral studies in the area of political theory, social theory, politics, sociology, research methodologies and policy studies.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,200 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€5,976 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Find out More

Dr Michelle Millar
Programme Director
School of Political Science and Sociology
T: +353 91 493 634