What is Politics? Ever switched on “the news”?

Politics is the main focus of “the news” on TV and radio. Politics is more than just about politicians and governments. Issues such as human rights, justice, world trade, the environment, gender, conflict, equality, and energy supply dominate our daily lives. They are all intensely political. The provision of public services (health, education, transport) is also innately political. No one is untouched by Politics, unless they are alone on a desert island.

To understand “the news”, the world we inhabit and our societies study Politics. Inform yourself. Become an active, constructive and informed participant in all the decisions, processes and institutions that shape your life. Find the information you need, analyse it, negotiate, persuade, adapt and, if necessary, compromise.

In studying Politics at UCC you will be introduced to a diverse and dynamic discipline of central relevance to your lives. It is not defined by a particular method or approach. That is why the BA in Politics is a cooperative interdepartmental programme, drawing on the expertise in Politics that has developed in three separate departments: the Philosophy Department, the Government Department and the School of History.

Even though Politics is a youthful programme it has quickly established itself as a dynamic one that has proved a popular choice for students attracted to the valuable training and interesting subject matter it offers. It is taught by a team of dedicated staff actively researching their chosen interest areas. They bring the benefit of their discoveries and insights to the students they teach.

The BA politics programme will provide a sound understanding of three central pillars in the study of politics:

  • Modern history, contemporary politics, regional integration and International Relations;
  • Political philosophy, critical engagement with ideas of freedom, democracy, social justice; and
  • Government, the workings of the machinery of Irish, European and global political institutions.

The programme enables you to develop a set of basic transferable skills that are fundamental to all professional careers:

  • Writing; Presentation; Empirical research; Quantitative and Qualitative analysis; Policy analysis; and Critical Thinking

Some people might fear that while studying Politics could be fascinating for three years, after graduation they will be at a disadvantage compared with their counterparts who opted for less interesting but more marketable degree options. Not so.

Earning a degree is to a large extent about 'training the mind'.

In a rapidly changing world, much of the specific information that you take in during your undergraduate degree studies might not hold true for very long.

But if you have learned how to deal with information, identify and analyse information, how to assess the relative merits of competing arguments, how to evaluate evidence, how to identify the most important aspects of any issue, and how to discuss topics in a small-group setting, these are skills that will stand to you for life.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, politics students across the globe enjoy a versatility of skills and a marvellous range of exciting careers including national and local government; journalism; international organizations; non-profit associations and organizations; business; TV and radio broadcasting; research; and university and college teaching.

With Politics scheduled to become a Leaving Certificate subject it opens up a new teaching opportunity.

The programme has a visiting speaker series which runs annual conferences and seminars and offers fieldtrips to Dáil Éireann and the European Union institutions in Brussels.

In the past students have applied & been accepted for special opportunities during their degree such as the Washington Ireland Programme in Washington DC and the Fleishman Hilliard EU Internship Programme in Brussels. 

 Dr Theresa Reidy





Department of Government & Politics Office

Room 2.48, 2nd floor, T12 YN60