MA in Philosophy and Public Affairs

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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 2017-18 academic year. These comprise:

(A) three philosophy modules, chosen from the following three:

Semester 1

  • PHIL41320 Topics in Continental Philosophy

Semester 2

  • PHIL41280 Feminist & Gender Theory
  • PHIL40840 Autonomy as a Philosophical Problem
  • PHIL41000 Aristotle's Ethics & Politics

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

Semester 1

  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
  • POL40050 Theories of International Relations

Semester 2

  • EQUL40310 Masculinities, Gender & Equality
  • POL40140 International Political Theory

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

Semester 1

  • EQUL40200 Disability & Equality
  • POL40050 Theories of Int'l Relations
  • POL40370 International Political Economy
  • POL40820 Governing the Global Economy
  • POL41000 Politics of Development
  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
  • POL41650 Global Political Economy of Europe

Semester 2

  • EQUL40310 Masculinities, Gender & Equality
  • POL40140 International Political Theory
  • POL40160 Comparative Public Policy
  • POL40540 Comparative European Politics

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 2018. 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