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UCD School of Politics and International Relations

Scoil na Polaitíochta agus Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta UCD

Graduate Programmes PhD Programmes
MEconSc European Public Affairs and Law

Duration: One year full-time or 2 years part-time

The Eurozone crisis, and the post-Lisbon Treaty broadening and deepening of the European Union’s policy responsibilities, has made the EU an increasingly diverse and complex system of regional governance. These developments have created exciting new opportunities for professionals who are capable of working in a cross-national context, who understand the new political, economic, legal and social structures of post-crisis Europe, and who can engage in innovative processes of policy-making. Drawing on UCD’s international expertise in these areas, the MEconSc in European Public Affairs and Law is ideal for those seeking to launch or advance a career in the institutions of the EU and other international organizations. It also provides a strong foundation for further academic research on the politics of regional cooperation in a global economy.

The MEconSc in European Public Affairs and Law is designed to equip graduates with strong expertise in contemporary European affairs, based on a genuinely inter-disciplinary approach to the comparative study of Europe and the European Union. Close co-operation between the UCD School of Politics and International Relations and the UCD School of Law integrates core modules in the internal and external affairs of the European Union, paying particular attention to contemporary changes in political and economic governance of the Euro area. A complementary core module on the political economy of European monetary integration, and a range of elective options, is designed to ensure that students graduate with a capacity to engage in critical debates on the future of Europe from diverse disciplinary perspectives. Students must also submit a thesis in the area of European politics, international relations, political economy or public affairs.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend various seminars organized by the UCD School of Politics and UCD's Dublin European Institute.

The MEconSc in European Public Affairs and Law is a 90-credit programme.

Students take 30 credits of coursework – three taught modules - per semester. In total, they derive 20 credits from Politics, 20 credits from Law, 10 credits from Economics, and 10 credits from an elective module in these disciplines or Business. To complete the degree students must also take a 5-credit Dissertation Design module and complete a thesis (25 credits). There is also an option to pursue an internship instead of a final thesis.

Course Content and structure

90 credit taught master’s:
65 credits taught modules
25 credits dissertation or internship

Core Courses

Semester One
•    LAW 41040 Law and Governance of the EU
•    POL 41420 Dissertation Design
•    POL 41650 European Political Economy

Semester Two
•    POL 40610 EU Foreign and Security Policy
•    POL 40970 Politics of European Governance

Semester Three
•    POL 40190 Thesis
•    POL 41390 Internship

Optional Modules


You will be assessed by in-course or continuous assessment (essays, report writing, projects, mid-term tests, presentations) and a final examination.

Whether working in the private, public or voluntary sectors, the ability to explain Europe’s past, to analyze it’s present and to advise on its future is of crucial importance. The MEconSc qualifies students to work in variety of spheres, including the institutions of the EU and other international organizations; national government structures; think tanks and other policy-oriented research groups.

View a full list of employers of UCD SPIRe Graduates


Ivana Jagar, Croatia, Graduate

Ivana Jagar MEconSC Public Affairs"This master’s was a great choice primarily due to its multidisciplinary design of modules, which offered in-depth and integrated understanding of contemporary issues of the EU. The programme provided an overview of the European economic integration on which the analytical approach to the EU politics and policies was further developed while, at the same time, the implications of these processes on EU law were explored. In my experience the underlying value of this course is in the dynamic academic environment that encourages students to use critical thinking - helping them to acquire knowledge and develop skills that can be applied in both a professional career and further academic studies".

Each application is considered on its individual merits. The applicants should have earned an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as political science, international relations, social science, sociology, history, geography, economics, global studies, public policy, development studies, EU studies, law/international law with at least Upper Second Class Honours, or its equivalent (an overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher in the American system). Relevant professional experience will also be taken into account. 

English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 7, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C). Applicants who obtained a previous degree from an English-speaking university may be exempted from this requirement. Click here further info.

Note that meet the requirements do not guarantee admission. Applicants in their final year of undergraduate study may be admitted conditional on satisfactory completion of their undergraduate degree.

Application Information

Applications to this programme are considered on a rolling basis. SPIRe recommends that you make your application as early as possible, as late applications may mean no further places are available.


For more information on SPIRe's application and supporting document requirements click here

Fees and Scholarships

Tuition fee information is available by clicking on the button below.  Politics & International Relations programmes are listed under College of Human Sciences.


UCD is offering a number of postgraduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on master's programmes.

Read More

SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship programme.  Applications for 2015-16 are currently being accepted, with a closing date of 15th May 2015. For more information click here

Related Masters Programmes of Interest

MSc International Political Economy
MA Philosophy & Public Affairs
Master of Public Policy



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Visit the blog of MEConSc European Public Affairs and Law

UCD School of Politics & International Relations
Room G310
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Dublin 4


General Enquiries


Ms Katarzyna Glosnicka
Tel: +353 (0)1 716 8182

The Programme Coordinator is

Dr Aidan Regan
Tel: +353 (0)1 716 8154

Information for International Students