UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

  • Title


  • Code

    CKA44 Full-time; CKA45 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications

    HDip in Arts

  • EU Fees 2018

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    You will have a degree, preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Applications processed in rounds: See How To Apply section for full details

Course Outline

The Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics) is intended for those who already have a degree and who want to study politics intensively over one academic year full time or two academic years part time (by day).

This is a conversion course so you would not normally have studied politics to honours degree level previously.

It is aimed at graduates who may wish to be considered for a master’s course in politics subsequently (but do not have an honours degree in the relevant area) or who may want to add politics to their qualifications.

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration, the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for teacher subject registration in certain teaching subjects.   In general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.  

The Higher Diploma in Politics consists of modules to the value of 60 credits. You must take two classes that teach core research and analytical skills:

PO2001 – Political Analysis (5 credits)
PO3001 – Dissertation (10 credits)

You must also take 5 credits from each of the Department’s subject groups in second year (15 credits) and 5 credits from each of the Department’s subject groups in third year (15 credits). The remaining 15 credits can be taken from any of the second or third year modules, subject to timetable constraints. This allows you considerable flexibility to build your diploma around your personal interests in politics. 

The list of available modules is a long one, but representative modules include:

  • Issues in Irish Politics
  • Ethics and Moral Psychology
  • Violence and War
  • Comparative European Politics
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Politics in Northern ireland
  • Gender Perspectives on Politics
  • Politics of an individual country (including China and the USA)
  • International Relations
  • Citizen Participation
  • Global Governance
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution

Registration with the Teaching Council:  For applicants who are taking the Higher Diploma with a view to Teaching Council subject registration in Civic Social and Political Education, in general, if you wish to qualify as a teacher, you are advised to refer to the school curriculum and match the modules to that broad field. Modules are chosen in consultation with the programme coordinator in September.  

Many subjects have discipline-specific requirements and you are advised to check the requirements for the subject area by consulting the following:

Full details of module choice and please also see the College Book of Modules for more detailed descriptions of the modules

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

Course Practicalities

While this course is available as both a full-time and part-time option, all classes take place during normal working hours. The amount of lectures you will attend in any given week will vary depending on the modules you choose, but might typically involve between ten and fifteen hours a week. You would be expected to spend around twice as much time reading and completing assignments.


Students will participate in a wide range of challenging assessment methods over the course of the diploma. Core research and communication skills are developed through traditional methods such as reviews and essays but the focus of assessment has moved to creative techniques and you will design posters, write policy reports, make individual and group presentations, participate in negotiation simulation exercises designed around international institutions, write opinion editorials and complete funding applications. The varied assessment profile is designed to ensure that you acquire diverse skills during your degree

Who teaches this course?

The Higher Diploma in Politics is taught by staff members from three academic units; Government, History and Philosophy.  Among others from History, Drs. David Fitzgerald and Mervyn O’Driscoll offer expertise in International Relations, the EU and Terrorism, among others from Government Drs Andrew Cottey and Mary Murphy offer expertise in Global Governance, Northern Ireland and Conflict Resolution, and among others from Philosophy Drs Cara Nine and Vittorio Bufacchi offer expertise in Political Philosophy and Moral responsibility.

Why Choose This Course

The Higher Diploma in Politics at UCC is an interdisciplinary course taught jointly by staff from the Department of Government, School of History and School of Philosophy. The course staff are drawn from a broad range of specialist backgrounds and this contributes to a diverse and creative learning environment for our students.

Over the course of the diploma, you can participate in field trips to Irish and international political institutions, contribute to national policy analysis by making submissions to policy reviews, publish your own work in the student online journal Government and Politics Review and attend and speak at a wide range of conferences organised by staff across the course.

Skills and Careers Information

During your time on the Politics course, you develop a broad set of skills which you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Varied teaching and assessment styles are used to ensure that you develop critical thinking abilities, hone your analytical capabilities and build effective communication skills, including both written and presentation elements.

In recent years, our Politics graduates have gone into a wide range of professions. They have become administrators; recruitment consultants; business analysts; campaign coordinators for charities, interest groups and political parties; policy analysts; and officials in international organisations, to name just some.


You will a degree preferably in the area of Arts or the Sciences.

The Higher Diploma in Arts is a conversion programme and applicants would not normally have studied the relevant subject to Honours Degree level previously.  

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €6000.

Part-time students:

If your course is offered full time and part time, the fee for part time courses is half the full time fee.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The 2017/2018 Postgraduate Fees Schedule is available here

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these supplementary question are available to view here: CKA44AdditionalQuestions (49kB)

Irish/EU Closing Date Rounds

Irish/EU places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here