Work Placement

Work Placement

"The Work Placement experience is invaluable...I had a range of tasks on a daily basis and was given as much responsibility as I was willing to take on. I specialised in research, strategic communications and event planning..."


In an increasingly competitive graduate employment environment, it is important to gain professional experience as well as a strong postgraduate qualification.

With this in mind, students of the MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy (previously MBS International Public Policy and Diplomacy) are given the option to undertake a 3 months or 5 months Work Placement as an alternative to the traditional research dissertation.

Why do a work placement?

Where can I do my work placement?

What other work placement options do I have?

Where have previous students done their work placement?

Student Experiences of Work Placement

Please contact if you have any queries regarding the Work Placement element of the MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy.


Why do a Work Placement?

The work placement allows students to apply their expert knowledge and learning to a professional working environment. The work placement consolidates the vocational skills acquired during the taught modules of the programme giving our students confidence in their skills when entering the jobs market and an important competitive edge over other graduates.

While our students are responsible for finding their own placement, thereby developing important career development skills, they are supported by a dedicated Work Placement Manager and Work Placement workshops and by the UCC Careers Service.

Back to the top

Where can I do my Work Placement?

The MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy programme has built strong relationships with a number of international organisations who have committed to accepting one of our students on placement each year. Students apply to these Work Placement providers and undergo a competitive recruitment process. These organisations include;


The Egmont Institute

European Movement, Brussels


Villa Decius Association, Warsaw

Irish Embassy, Berlin

Mass State Legislature, Boston

  Back to the top


What other Work Placement options do I have?

 The scope for work placement in the field of international public policy is essentially unlimited.

An ever more complex international environment has led to an ever increasing number of specialised think tanks and research institutions, local and international non-governmental organisations, advocacy groups and specialised government agencies.

Ireland is a member of a number of international agencies such as the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the OSCE and is home to a number of major development NGOs such as Trocaire, Concern and Goal.

Furthermore, international advocacy groups such as Transparency International, Amnesty International and Oxfam all have a presence in Ireland.

Ireland is also well connected by air to all the major European cities, opening up further opportunities to our students.

 Back to the top


Where have previous students done their Work Placements?

Our students have undertaken placements in a variety of locations: some have remained in Cork, to work with the Irish Marine Energy Research Centre (IMERC) and IBEC, others have gone to London to work with the World Security Network while others travelled to Europe to work with the UK Permanent Representative Office, the Irish Embassy in Germany and the International Security Information Service.

Some students have gone as far as North America to work with the Massachusetts State Legislature Representative Kate Hogan, BASIC Washington, and in the Irish Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. Others worked with NGOs such as Transparency International, Amnesty International, European Movement, Dublin, and with TDs in Dáil Eireann (Ireland's parliament).

Below you will find brief summaries of a selection of work placements undertaken by graduates of the MSB International Public Policy and Diplomacy.

Back to the top


Student Experiences


Transparency International Ireland

What the student said

‘I have learned many new skills from my time working with Transparency International Ireland. I have gained an extensive background and experience in communications and public relations. I have also increased my ability to incorporate public awareness and effectively campaign an issue.’

Outline of Role

As Advocacy and Communications Executive the role was to support the organisation’s team in the work of advocacy, research, campaigning, and external communications.

  • Engage with people across Ireland through membership, partnerships, coalitions, meetings, media, and services by researching and opening value-based dialogues to assert TI Ireland’s values. Inform people of the role our values and work play in addressing corruption and related problems, and the opportunities to make Ireland a more open and fair society.
  • Take strategic and tactical control of the communications at the office and manage interaction with key decision-makers within the organisation whilst also managing its website maintenance and social media presence.
  • Establish a link between TI Ireland and the public. Assess who our audience exactly was and then target that particular group of people in our engagement.
  • The main projects that were assigned specifically to the student were to establish TI Ireland’s first quarterly newsletter since 2007 and to create the initial planning requirements for the National Integrity Award.

Student Highlights

‘The highlight of my work placement was the extensive correspondence with journalists, executives, politicians, and radio broadcasters. Arranging advisory and general meetings as well as interviews with these people was exciting to be involved in and it boosted my communication skills because I would deal with many media inquiries, sometimes on a daily basis. I also had the opportunity to gain media contacts of my own which may prove beneficial in future career prospects.’


European Movement Ireland

What the student said

The breadth of experience in a dynamic office, defined by high-standards and enthusiasm meant that my traineeship equipped me well for future roles and is the ideal launching pad for a career in EU affairs and beyond.’

Outline of Role

The internship involved a variety of areas of work;

  • Research and Writing: research contemporary topical issues, e.g. the Fiscal Treaty, the Cypriot Presidency, relevant events in Brussels, European statistics and Eurozone matters in general; write articles for a variety of forums, e.g. Public Affairs Ireland Journal and Talk to EU; draft letters, press releases, speeches and compile presentations
  • Social Media, Media and Event Management: update and use social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to inform the public and to advertise events; Contribute to the development of a new website; Support the organisation of and attend European Commission Conferences; Attend launches and functions for various campaigns and projects; Media Monitoring- track the news every day to post on social media sites
  • Membership and General Administration: compile membership packs and engage with stakeholders; assist with general admin of office – petty cash, postage, phone cover, correspondence, maintaining stationary supplies.

Student Highlights

  • -  Attending the Taoiseach’s address at the Seanad
  • -  Visiting the school where Minister Creighton awarded the Blue Star Award
  • -  Hearing Ed Vulliamy’s presentation at the EU Affairs Committee
  • -  The European Commission Conference in Tralee


Embassy of Ireland (Canada)

What the student said

The internship gave ‘exposure to work in an Irish Government office’ and a ‘greater appreciation of the demands of working in a DFAT mission’. The intern gained ‘practical experience in research and report-writing’ received ‘valuable feedback on writing style’ and gained an ‘appreciation of dynamics of office environment’ in addition to ‘exposure to Canadian politics and economy’ and a ‘new perspective of Ireland as viewed from abroad’ in a multicultural environment.

 Outline of Role

  • Daily Media Reporting
  • Assist with Consular Services
  • Assist with the compilation of Crisis Response Plan for Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas
  • Research: Atlantic Corridors Opportunities Agency; Quebec-Ireland Bilateral Relations: Canadian Government ODA Spending
  • Ad hoc administrative tasks
  • Attend a meeting of the EU Economic and Commercial Counsellors at the EU Delegation

Student Highlights

Attending the Rwandan reception celebrating both the 50the anniversary of their Independence and the 18the anniversary marking the end of the Genocide and attending OYDISA – Diplomatic Training Meetings at the EU Delegation


See our Alumni pages for further information on where our graduates have found jobs and how the Work Placement has supported their career development.

Back to the top

MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy

University College Cork