UCC Postgraduate courses

Government and Politics

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Government and Politics

  • Code

    CKE70 Full-time; CKE12 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

    MSc

  • EU Fees 2019

    €7,500
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2019

    €15,000

  • Entry Requirements

    Honours Bachelors Degree with at least 2H2 Honours (or an equivalent academic or professional qualification) in one of the following areas: Social Science, Arts, Commerce, Law or a related discipline See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Open for EU applications, check rounds closing dates under How to Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    15 June

  • Start Date

    7 September 2020

Course Outline

The MSc in Government and Politics is an exciting interdisciplinary taught master’s programme that provides graduates with the expertise and work experience required for successful careers in public policy environments.

The focus of the MSc Government and Politics is on governance. Government affects our day-to-day lives. It affects the food we eat, the healthcare we receive and the taxes we pay. Modern-day governance occurs at many levels: local, regional, national, European and international.

To provide an understanding of contemporary governments, the MSc in Government and Politics examines issues such as developments in democratic theory, regulatory reform and international relations. It also examines contemporary policy debates at a range of levels, looking at political reform in the Irish context, the changing dynamics of European governance as well as the challenges faced by democracy and the protection/advancement of human rights in the twenty-first century.

The MSc Government and Politics is oriented towards vocational skills training, through coursework, and the opportunity to undertake a work placement.  The work placement is one of the unique selling points of this master's programme and is unlike any other postgraduate offerings from other universities. We have a dedicated placement officer who sources an internship tailored to each individual students' specific interests. In the majority of cases these internships are paid, although this cannot be guaranteed. The placement offering builds on the success of this scheme at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in other programmes offered by the Department of Government and Politics, which has been a pioneer in offering internships for students of political science. These placements are located in a wide variety of policy organisations, such as the Irish parliament, the Scottish parliament, the Office of the President, the Central Bank and Ervia, in which students will be able to utilise the knowledge learned on the programme and learn invaluable vocational and practical skills.

The MSc will enable you to develop your research and analytical skills in the areas of government, political science and public policy. It will also give you a number of other skills, including: data analysis; research, communication and writing skills; policy analysis, critical, systematic and independent thinking; and presentation skills. The work placement will give you a unique opportunity to develop important professional skills and to immediately apply your learning to the professional world.

The programme will prepare you for positions in government, international organisations, the private, community and voluntary sectors and PhD research. Our graduates have found employment as public affairs consultants, legal officers, parliamentary researchers, journalists, analysts in the banking and IT industries, press officers, teachers and some have gone on to PhD research.

The MSc in Government is suitable for graduates of social science, arts, commerce, law or related disciplines.

You can take this program in one year full-time or in two years part-time, and it is divided into two parts:

Part I:

In Part I, students take a combination of compulsory and elective modules.

There are 40 credits of compulsory core modules:

  • GV6010 Contemporary Global Politics (5 credits)
  • GV6011 EU Political System and Policies (5 credits)
  • GV6118 Political Science Research Methods (10 credits)
  • GV6121 Comparative Political Institutions (5 credits)
  • GV6124 Political Participation and Mobilisation (5 credits) 
  • ES6014 European Democracy, Citizenship, Memory and Identity (5 credits)
  • PH6055 Core Themes in Political Philosophy (5 credits)

In addition, students take 20 credits from a list of elective modules provided by the Departments of Government and Politics, History and Philosophy.

Part II:

Part II of the course challenges you to apply the skills acquired in Part 1 either by undertaking:

  • GV6106 Dissertation in Government and Politics (30 credits). This is a 20,000 word research dissertation. 

    Or

  •  GV6123L Work Based Dissertation in Government and Politics (30 credits). This is a work placement in a national policy environment and a placement-based dissertation. The length of the work placement is usually four months.

Specialist career advice is available to students through the Work Placement Officer and support is given in the planning for and application to work placement organisations. Our graduates have found the work placement to be an extremely valuable first step in their professional careers giving them unrivalled opportunities to make professional contacts and gain first-hand experience of the public policy world.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Additional Teaching Mode Information

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

Modules

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

Students studying for the degree full-time take all modules in one year. 

Students studying for the degree part-time take all the core modules GV6124, GV6011, GV6010, ES6014, GV6118, GV6121 and PH6055 (40 credits in total) in Year 1 and the remaining credits from the list of elective modules, as well as GV6106 or GV6123 (30 credits) in Year 2. 

The taught part of the course runs from mid-September to the end of the following March. You will take the work placement or research dissertation between the beginning of April and the end of September. The length of the work placement may vary from three to five months.

During the taught part of the course, students have approximately 8-10 hours per week of lectures/seminars. This is supplemented by recommended reading, preparation of presentations and other group work and time spent completing assignments (essays, policy reports, research projects, etc). During the taught part of the course you will also take classes in preparation for the work placement.

In part 1, the course is assessed through a variety of course work assignments, including:

  • in-class presentations
  • reports
  • article reviews
  • book reviews
  • blog contributions
  • posters
  • portfolios and essays

In part 2 of the course, the assessment involves

  • a placement-based dissertation of 10,000 words if you are undertaking the work placement, or
  • researching and writing a 15,000-20,000-word dissertation (if you are completing the dissertation).

Who teaches this course

The members of staff teaching on this course include:

 

Why Choose This Course

The MSc Government at University College Cork equipped me with transferrable skills that were an asset in my professional life

Saba Loftus - Sustainable Development Specialist at Global Policy Forum

Find Out More

A key feature of the MSc in Government and Politics is its focus on governance and public policy issues, and the way in which it gives you the practical skills necessary to work in policy environments. In addition, the work placement and the skills focus of the assessment for the programme are central to its effectiveness.

If you are a graduate in social science, arts, commerce or law, this course will help you to specialise in political science and will provide you with key transferable practical skills (data analysis, presentations, team work).

These features of the MSc Government and Politics give our graduates a competitive edge. Past students repeatedly comment on the value of the skills component of the course and the work placements in exposing them to policy-related environments and in engendering a deep understanding of this exciting and evolving field.

Scholarships

A number of scholarships to undertake postgraduate study at UCC are available.   The Excellence Scholarship from UCC pays the equivalent of EU Fees:  Excellence Scholarship

There is also Irish government funding (€10,000 and full fees) available specifically for non-EU/EEA students, the deadline for which is usually the end of March, so applicants are encouraged to aply early:  Irish Government Funding

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Uniquely for a taught masters of this type, the MSc Government and Politics offers you the choice of either a traditional minor thesis or the opportunity to undertake a work placement of four months.

Students take work placements in a variety of organisations/institutions working in areas related to national affairs, such as government ministries, the offices of elected representatives, think-tanks and non-governmental organisations. We have relationships with a variety of organisations who take students from the course and students are provided with expert support in sourcing and applying for work placements.

Click here for more details.

Skills and Careers Information

The course prepares you for many types of employment and/or further study. Our graduates have found employment in the civil service, journalism, political institutions, international organisations, NGOs, teaching, banking, IT and PhD research.

Requirements

Applicants should have an Honours Bachelors Degree with at least 2H2 Honours (or an equivalent academic or professional qualification) in one of the following areas: Social Science, Arts, Commerce, Law or a related discipline or equivalent professional experience as deemed appropriate by the Head of Department of Government Politics and the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science.  Applicants may be required to attend for interview or may be short-listed for interview.

All applicants will be required to submit a 'personal statement' (indicating why they are interested in taking the MSc Government and Politics, and why they think they would be suited to the programme.

Prospective applicants should contact the Department of Government and Politics for further information.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

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

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €7,500.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €15,000.

Full-time/Part-time fee:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.

Deposits:

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.

Questions?

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

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 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 for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 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 for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

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 additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKE70AdditionalQuestions

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15 June

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact

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