MA in Philosophy and Public Affairs

The Masters of Arts in Philosophy and Public Affairs is is a one-year interdisciplinary programme (or two years part-time), designed to offer graduates of either philosophy or the social sciences (politics, economics, history) the opportunity to study some of the many areas of overlap between the disciplines, and especially to explore foundational questions in public policy formulation. The innovative programme mixes the abstract and the applied, with half the modules from the School of Philosophy, and half from existing MA modules in the School of Politics and International Relations, the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice.

The student must take SIX modules. Please see the indicative module list below offered in 2016-17 academic year. These comprise:

(A) one compulsory module, PHIL 40420 The Good Society (Maeve Cooke), Semester II

(B) two philosophy modules, chosen from the following three:

Semester I Semester II

PHIL41280 Feminist & Gender Theory
PHIL41320 Topics in Continental Philosophy  

PHIL40840 Autonomy
PHIL41370 Philosophy of Criminal Law
PHIL41380 Dealing with Disagreement

 (C) one theoretical social science module, chosen from the following list:

Semester I Semester II

POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
POL41710 Immigration and Citizenship        

EQUL40310 Masculinities, Gender & Equality
POL40140 International Political Theory

(D) two social science modules from the following list (which includes the modules of section C):

Semester I Semester II

POL40050 Theories of Int'l Relations
POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
POL41710 Immigration and Citizenship
POL40380 Ethnicity and Conflict
POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
POL41650 Global Political Economy of Europe
POL40320 Africa: Crisis & Opportunity?
POL40370 International Political Economy
POL40100 Politics of Development
EQUL40010 Racism & Anti-Racism
EQUL40190 Education & Equality
EQUL40200 Disability & Equality


EQUL40310 Masculinities, Gender & Equality
POL40140 International Political Theory
POL40540 Comparative European Politics
POL40820 Governing the Global Economy
POL41510 Middle East & North Africa

Please note: the School of Philosophy is not responsible for modules in other schools. Some of these modules may not be accessible to students on this MA programme because of (i) cancellation, (ii) oversubscription, or (iii) a timetable clash. Some timetable changes might be made as late as August.If you have any questions about the content of these modules, please contact the School in question: POL modules are offered by the School of Politics and International Relations; and EQUL modules are offered by the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice.

In addition to the six modules, students must write a dissertation of 12-15,000 words, due in August 2017. The dissertation must be supervised by a staff member of the School of Philosophy, although students may consult staff in other schools for informal advice.

Any further questions should be directed to the programme co-ordinator, Prof. Brian O'Connor.


All administrative enquiries should be sent to the School Manager:

Helen Kenny MA
UCD School of Philosophy
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Email: helen.kenny@ucd.ie
Tel: +353 1 716 8186

Admissions Requirements