UCC Postgraduate courses


About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The MSc in Government programme is currently being restructured  as part of the transition of the Department of Government and Politics to the College of Arts, Celtic Studies And Social Sciences and will be relaunched as the MSc in Government and Politics in February 2018.

In the meantime, please contact the Department of Government directly for enquiries on postgraduate options in Government and Politics for 2018/2019

E: Dr Liam Weeks

P: +353-21-490-2941


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.

The MSc in Government helps you understand contemporary government governance. In doing so it examines issues such as developments in democratic theory, regulatory reform, governance and international relations. It also examines contemporary policy debates at the local, national, European and international 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 in Government is suitable for graduates of social science, arts, commerce, law or related disciplines.

You can take this course in one year full-time or in two years part-time.

Video about this course

The course combines six taught modules with a 15,000–20,000 word research dissertation. 

Modules (60 credits)

GV6102 Political Science Research Methods (10 credits)

GV6103 Re-imagining Democratic Politics in a Changing World (10 credits)

GV6113 Governance and policy processes in the European Union (10 credits)

GV6114 Changing Dynamics of Governance (10 credits)

GV6115 European Security (10 credits)

GV6118 Political Participation and Mobilisation (10 credits)

All modules are examined through continuous assessment.

The course 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
  • presentation skills

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

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.

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

Lectures for full-time students of the MSc Government take place all day Thursday and Friday. The course is designed in this way to provide students with ample time to read the materials discussed in advance of the seminar style classes and to prepare the presentations that are part of the ongoing continuing assessment.

This format also facilitates part-time students.

In year 1, part-time students take the following modules:

GV6113 Governance and policy processes in the European Union

GV6114 The Changing Dynamics of Governance

GV6115 European Security

GV6104 Political Participation and Mobilisation

These modules take place on Fridays in semesters 1 and 2.

 In year 2 part-time students take:

GV6102 Political Science Research Methods

GV6103 Re-imagining Democratic Politics in a Changing World

GV6106 Dissertation

These modules are timetabled for Thursdays in semesters 1 and 2.

In recent years, students on the MSc Government have travelled on a field trip to PSAI (Political Science Association of Ireland) public events in Dublin.


All of the modules on this course are examined through continuous assessment. A variety of assessment methods are used. Examples include:

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

Who teaches this course

The members of staff teaching on this course include:

Why Choose This Course

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).

It is the only course of its type in UCC that recognises prior learning and relevant professional experience in the place of an undergraduate qualification.

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.


Applicants should have an Honours Bachelors Degree with at least 2.2 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 and the School of Business. Applicants may be required to attend for interview or may be short-listed for interview.

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 site. 

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 €5,530.

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 additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: Supplementary Form CKL07 (27kB)

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