Current Masters & Grad Dip Students
Welcome to the UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe), the oldest and the largest school of politics in the Republic of Ireland.
Our graduate programmes cover traditional areas of political science such as comparative politics, international relations and political theory, as well as specialized and/or multi-disciplinary subjects such as European public affairs, human rights, international development, and nationalism and ethnic conflict. Regardless of which programme you have chosen, my colleagues and I have worked hard to ensure that your time in SPIRe is both intellectually challenging and professionally valuable.
Please find below the Masters and Graduate Diploma handbook which contains important information regarding your degree. Read the handbook carefully and if you have any questions please contact the administrative staff.
Dr Aidan Regan
Chair, Graduate Studies Committee
UCD School of Politics and International Relations
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Students enrolled in SPIRe’s two Graduate Diploma programmes may apply for mid-year transfer into certain of the school’s master’s programmes.
- Students in the Graduate Diploma in Politics and International Relations may apply for transfer into the MA Politics, MA International Relations, MA Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, MA Political Theory, MA International Political Economy, MA European Politics and Policy, MA Politics and International Relations (part time students only), MSc Human Rights or MEconSc European Public Affairs and Law.
- Students in the Graduate Diploma in International Development may apply for transfer only into the MA International Development.
Due to the structure of their core curricula, the school’s other master’s programmes are generally not available for mid-year transfer. In special cases, exceptions may be made for students who have earned final marks of B or higher in the research design and methods modules that these programmes require in Term 1.
In order to be eligible for transfer into one of the master’s programmes listed above, full-time Grad Dip students must pass (minimum D-) all marked modules taken in their first term and earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 (B-). A single IX in term 1 will not disqualify a student from applying for transfer; students with multiple IXs who wish to transfer will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Students who wish to transfer are therefore responsible for registering on the Term 1 core modules of the relevant programme, which can be found in the Graduate Handbook. (For part-time students, see point 6 below.)
In order to apply for transfer, students must submit the following in a single e-mail to the school’s Postgraduate Administrator no later than the last day of exams in Term 1 (term dates are available on SISWeb).
- A formal letter indicating the student’s name, UCD student number, which Grad Dip s/he is enrolled in and which master’s programme s/he wishes to transfer onto.
- A brief statement (250-350 words) regarding the topic of the thesis s/he wishes to write if admitted to a master’s programme.
It is solely the student’s responsibility to ensure that this application is submitted by the deadline. Applications will not be considered if they are submitted in hard copy or after the deadline. Any Grad Dip student considering applying for transfer should arrange at the start of Term 1 to audit and complete all required assignments for POL 41420 Dissertation Design. If the transfer is approved, this ’audit’ will be converted into a regular enrollment and grade. In addition, all such students are strongly advised to discuss their plans with the relevant Grad Dip coordinator at the start of Term 1. Once applications are submitted, the school’s Postgraduate Administrator will confirm each applicant’s eligibility for transfer and then forward all eligible applications to the Graduate Studies Committee for review and decision. Decisions shall be communicated to the student within the first week of classes in Term 2.
Part-time GradDip students are covered by this same policy, but all requirements related to Term 1 and Term 2 apply instead to Year 1 and Year 2.
Students approved for transfer will be required to pay the difference in fees that will apply. Students whose transfer applications are not approved will remain enrolled in their original Grad Dip programme.
Before you begin the academic year at UCD, you will need to fully register with the University (http://www.ucd.ie/students/registration.html). Registration allows you to obtain your student Ucard and gain access to the wide range of facilities available to our students.
Registration is carried out online and involves the following 3 stages:
- Programme registration: Confirmation of your personal details
- Module registration
- Payment of fees
Online Registration will be accessed through your UCD Connect account. UCD Connect provides access to a wide range of University services and information. Accessed via the Internet, UCD Connect is available on and off campus. To access Connect, go to www.ucd.ie, and log in using 'UCD Connect' button at the top right of the page. Your username will be your UCD Student Number (on your welcome letter). Your password in the first instance is your date of birth in the format ddmmyy, unless you are a continuing student and have already reset your password. Click on the “My Records” tab and then the link to the Student Information System (SIS), click “Enter Registration Process”. This system will guide you through the remaining steps of the process.
If you have any queries concerning the registration process, please contact the student desk via the Student Desk Connector or by telephone: +353 1 716 1555 or by post to Student Desk, Tierney Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
The School will host a Welcome reception for incoming Masters students on Tuesday, 12th September in Room G316 at 1pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org In addition, the University holds orientation meetings and information sessions for all new graduate students. See http://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/studywithus/newstudentsincludingregistration/ for further details.
The methods of assessment vary from module to module, but may contain a combination of written assignments, presentations, and/or final exam. Details can be found in the course outlines or from the module coordinator. Exams take place at the end of each semester, and are scheduled by the UCD Assessment and Logistics Unit (timetables are published on http://www.ucd.ie/students/assessment/).
All students will be required to submit assessed written work in the course of the semesters. The modalities for the submission process vary between courses. If a hard copy has to be submitted (instead or in addition to an electronic copy via blackboard or email to the lecturer), a signed “Declaration of Authorship” form must be attached to the essay (and handed in to the location specified by the lecturer).
All written work must be submitted on or before the due dates. Submission deadlines can be found on the course outlines distributed in the first session of each module. Students will lose one point of a grade per working day late or part thereof (taking B+, B and B- to be ‘points’ of a grade), and receive an NG for essays over 1 week late. (N.b.: This is a harsher penalty than the one applying to undergraduates.) The onus is on you to ensure that you receive a receipt for all work submitted and you should retain this receipt as proof of submission should it be needed at a later date. If you have any questions about deadlines, contact your lecturer. If you have questions about submission receipts, contact the lecturer or the school office.
In case of illness that prevents you from submitting assessed work by the deadline, you need to refer to the university's Extenuating Circumstances Policy and submit an Extenuating Circumstances Application online. You should also submit a medical certificate (a letter from a GP or clinic specifying the dates of your illness or incapacity) to the SPIRe school office (Room G314). Without a med cert, it is not possible to get extenuating circumstance. If you have questions about this, please contact the school office.
In accordance with the University’s procedures for anonymous marking, please do not put your name on the work submitted. Please do ensure, however, that your student number, the module number and title for which work is being submitted, the lecturer to whom it is being submitted, all appear on any piece of work you submit.
All work submitted for assessment must comply with the policy on plagiarism (below) and the policy on re-use of assessed work (below).
Ranges A to D are further subdivided (A+, A, A-, etc. )
A deep and systematic engagement with the assessment task, with consistently impressive demonstration of a comprehensive mastery of the subject matter, reflecting;
- a deep and broad knowledge and critical insight as well as extensive reading;
- a critical and comprehensive appreciation of the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- an exceptional ability to organise, analyse and present arguments fluently and lucidly with a high level of critical analysis, amply supported by evidence, citation or quotation;
- a highly-developed capacity for original, creative and logical thinking.
A substantial engagement with the assessment task, demonstrating
- a thorough familiarity with the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- well-developed capacity to analyse issues, organise material, present arguments clearly and cogently well supported by evidence, citation or quotation;
- some original insights and capacity for creative and logical thinking.
An intellectually competent and factually sound answer with, marked by,
- evidence of a reasonable familiarity with the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- good developed arguments, but more statements of ideas
- arguments or statements adequately but not well supported by evidence, citation or quotation
- some critical awareness and analytical qualities
- some evidence of capacity for original and logical thinking
An acceptable level of intellectual engagement with the assessment task showing
- some familiarity with the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- mostly statements of ideas, with limited development of argument
- limited use of evidence, citation or quotation
- limited critical awareness displayed
- limited evidence of capacity for original and logical thinking
The minimum acceptable level of intellectual engagement with the assessment task with
- the minimum acceptable appreciation of the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- ideas largely expressed as statements, with little or no developed or structured argument
- minimum acceptable use of evidence, citation or quotation
- little or no analysis or critical awareness displayed or is only partially successful
- little or no demonstrated capacity for original and logical thinking
A factually sound answer with a partially successful, but not entirely acceptable, attempt to
- integrate factual knowledge into a broader literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- develop arguments
- support ideas or arguments with evidence, citation or quotation
An unacceptable level of intellectual engagement with the assessment task, with
- no appreciation of the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework
- no developed or structured argument
- no use of evidence, citation or quotation
- no analysis or critical awareness displayed or is only partially successful
- no demonstrated capacity for original and logical thinking
No intellectual engagement with the assessment task
SPIRe understands that you might have circumstances outside your control which means that you will be unable to complete assessments and sit exams. The School of Politics and International Relations and UCD generally have a variety of excellent support services for students who are in need (see other sections on this page).
It is important that you advise us of problems as early as possible; preferably in advance of the deadlines that you are concerned about.
Problems of various kinds may be taken into account in marking work, or considering whether or not a late penalty should apply for an essay. It is important that you speak to the module coordinator or tutor.
You should also familiarise yourself with the university's Extenuating Circumstances Policy and you will be required to do the following:
- Submit an Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Application Form to the School office during open office hours
- Provide an original medical certificate or other supporting documentation in addition to the declaration. This will be placed on file, and may be taken into consideration in assessing your work
A Leave of Absence enables you to take an approved and specified period of time away from your programme. Please see here for additional information about the Leave of Absence process Leave of Absence Policy and Online Application Form
If you wish to withdraw from the programme please complete the online form via your SISWEB account, you can find additional information here