Current Stage One Students

Welcome to Stage One (first year) Politics and International Relations.

Level One Politics modules introduce students to the central areas of politics, giving them a solid foundation on which to develop their understanding of the contemporary world.  Those students who continue to Levels 2 and 3 in Politics will be able to deepen their understanding and to pursue the areas of politics and international relations that interest them most. 

The object of the core foundation modules is to introduce students to the main features of politics, and especially of democratic government, in their practical and theoretical aspects. Students attend a combination of lectures and tutorials, and their final assessment is based on various forms of continuous assessment through tutorials, including attendance, participation, exercises and a final examination.

If students successfully complete the two core foundation modules in their first year, they will be able to choose Politics as a joint major in the subsequent years. We recommend strongly that students take at least three modules in their first year, so that they will have a broader choice of modules later.

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INRL10010 Foundation of Political Theory and International Relations (CORE)
Semester One and Two
Dr Graham Finlay

This module has two parts: an Introduction to Political Theory and an Introduction to International Relations. The first part of the course provides an introduction to political theory, focusing on changing conceptions and models of democracy, mainly through the thought of three challenging and influential political thinkers, Aristotle, Mill and Marx. This part of the module focuses in particular on four key themes: the meaning and relative importance of the political principles of liberty, equality and community; how much political participation there should be; the social pre-conditions for democracy; and to what extent the kind of democracy possible depends on how we think of human nature.

The second part of the course offers an introduction to the main issues in contemporary international politics. It first looks at the development of the modern international system, focusing especially on the post-Cold War era. It then examines a range of substantive issues that occupy students of contemporary international politics: war and other forms of inter-state conflict, global trade and communication, migration, economic inequality, global environmental issues, international integration, terrorism, human rights, and the role of multinational corporations and transnational pressure groups.
This module is required for any student wishing to take Politics as a major at Stage Two. In addition to the lectures, an essential part of this module are seven tutorials in which students learn through writing essays and exercises and through participating in discussions.

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POL10160 Foundations of Contemporary Politics (CORE)
Semester One and Two
Dr Eva Wegner

People mean many different things when they talk about ‘politics’.
Politics can be understood as the collective activity through which we organize the life we share in common, and work to give effect to the values we think are important such as freedom, justice, equality, peace, security.
Politics is also the term we use for the practices involved in organizing public life, regulating who gets involved in decision-making and on what terms, and shaping how much influence they get to have over those decisions, whether at local, national or transnational level.
And politics is often equated with the clash of preferences between people or groups, and the efforts people make to get their own way, sometimes by very low means indeed.
This module introduces a variety of ways of thinking about politics, and provides some of the key concepts and analytical frameworks used in analysing politics.

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POL10010 Irish Politics
Semester Two
Professor David Farrell

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the workings of the Irish political system. We start by locating Irish politics in comparative terms, showing how unusual a political system it is in comparison to other European states. The course then examines the historical, constitutional, social and political context of Irish politics. It deals with the ground rules within which Irish elections take place, the evolution of the Irish party system, and voting behaviour in elections and referendums. The course exmaines the operation of the main political institutions: the Dail, the Seanad, the government, the judiciary and major offices such as those of President and Taoiseach. Other important forums for political activity are also considered. This course will be taught entirely by lectures; there will be no tutorials. Assessment will be solely by exam at the end of the semester

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POL10120 Globalisation and Development
Semester One
Dr Andy Storey

This module is designed to introduce students to key themes in global politics and development. The phenomenon of 'globalisation' - which may be described as the increasing interconnectedness of countries, as manifested through closer trade, investment and other economic ties, as well as through the claimed emergence of a common global culture (sometime seen as the imposition of Western culture on other parts of the world) and shared political values (such as human rights) - will be explored in depth. Critiques of the concept - including arguments that economic globalisation is exaggerated and that parts of the world are becoming more, rather than less, culturally distinctive - will also be examined. The so-called 'downside' of globalisation - including cross-border movement of terrorists, drugs and trafficked migrants - will likewise be addressed. The challenges of politically governing an (at least partially) globalising world economy will be discussed through close analysis of institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

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The School also offers a General Elective Discovery Module

DSCY10010 Global Development Goals
Semester One
Professor Patrick Paul Walsh

In this unique, multidisciplinary module, taught by academics from different Colleges and different Schools in UCD, students have the opportunity to learn at first hand about global development. The module takes as its focus the United Nations (UN) agenda for sustainable global development that runs from 2015 to 2030. The agenda includes 17 goals that together aim to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. Students will also hear about research in UCD that will contribute to the achievement of these goals. Taking this module provides an opportunity to learn about topics of critical importance for humanity and the planet.

How will I learn?
• The module uses a range of approaches to teaching and learning including traditional faculty-led seminars, student presentations, experiential learning, classroom role-play and case studies

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‌‌Students who may be interested in pursuing Politics as a single subject major will need to achieve a B- average in their first year modules.

Tutorials are attached to both of our first year core modules.  Lively and informed discussions are at the heart of learning in politics; to enjoy and succeed in Politics, students are expected to be actively engaged in tutorials, as well as regularly attending lectures and completing the exercises and essays set in tutorials.

Link to UCD Prospectus

Dr. Jos Elkink
Stage 1 Coordinator
E-mail: jos.elkink@ucd.ie

Majoring Politics for Your DegreePDF|430KB

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‌‌Semester 1:

  • POL10160: Foundations of Contemporary Politics
  • INRL10010: Foundations of Political Theory & International Relations
  • POL20010: Individuals & the State
  • POL20020: Comparative Politics

Semester 2: 

  • POL10160: Foundations of Contemporary Politics
  • INRL10010: Foundations of Political Theory & International Relations
  • INRL20040: Theories and Concepts in International Relations
  • POL20050: Analysing Politics

Eman Abboud

Module: INRL10010

Email

Jeanne Magnetti

Module: POL10160

Email

Mai Abdalla

Module: POL10160

Email

Tyler McDonough

Module: POL20020

Email

Lita Alita

Module: POL20010

Email

Lynette Moore

Module: POL10160

Email

Leticia Barbabela

Module: POL20020

Email

Apirada Ngamwongsakollert

Module: POL10160

Email

Shamiso Chigorimbo 

Module: INRL10010

Email

Orla Ni Cheallachain

Modules: POL20010/POL20020

Email

Vidushi Dahiya

Module: POL10160

Email

Sadhbh O'Neill

Modules:POL10160/POL20020 

Email

Kevin Deegan

Module: INRL10010

Email

Arya Pillai

Module: INRL10010

Email

Mathieu Doogan

Module: POL20010

Email

Caty Priebe

Module: INRL10010

Email

Sarah El Said 

Modules: INRL10010/POL20020

Email

Sara Sobkowicz

Module: POL10160

Email

Rebecca Ely

Module: INRL10010

Email

Terence Tianyang Song

Module: POL10160

Email

Benjamin Kemp

Module: POL10160

Email

Alana Stewart

Module: POL10160

Email

Yuanxin Li

Module: INRL10010

Email

Paul Turner

Module: POL20010

Email

Leticia Lottis

Module: INRL10010

Email

Sandra Varas Godomar

Module: INRL10010

Email

Students taking the 25-credit joint major take 50 Politics credits over the duration of Stage Two. They must take at least 10, and preferably take 20 Politics credits at Stage One. The 25-credit joint-major in Politics gives students a strong foundation in political science, with a significant grounding in the main areas of comparative politics, political theory, international relations and research methods.  It also gives considerable scope for widening their knowledge by pursuing specialist interests across a wide range of optional modules. It allows students to give equal attention to Politics and their other major, and to build on the synergies between the subjects. Politics may be taken in association with a wide range of other joint majors. History, sociology, economics and philosophy are especially popular, but politics can also be matched very successfully with subjects including many languages, linguistics, music, history of art and Greek and Roman civilization.

Learning Outcome

Through their study, students will develop a wide range of analytical skills and research competencies. They will be well-informed about the social and political world around them, and about the main theoretical and practical approaches to politics. They will be able to analyse and evaluate the information they have gained, will have developed critical thinking skills, and will be able to present both written and oral argument in a compelling and useful way.

Stage 1 students in the DN500 BA Joint Honours FT programme, wishing to take up Politics as a single subject major from Septembrt 2018, should have a B minus (3.2 GPA) average in first year politics modules.

Successful completion of core modules INRL10010 and POL10160 is compulsory for transition.

The deadline for applications will be June 2018.

Please note:

  • This option is only available to students registered to the DN500 BA Joint Honours FT programme in the academic year 2017-18.
  • Leaving cert students who wish to enrol in UCD from September 2018 and are interested in choosing a Politics Single Subject Major in the future should apply for BSc Social Sciences (DN700).

Examinations Feedback

If you wish to check your grade for each exam question, come to Room G314 Newman Building, Politics Admin Office between 10am and 4pm. (Closed for lunch between 1-2pm)

If you wish to review your script, send a request to spire@ucd.ie one working day in advance.

Please include the following information.

  • Student number
  • Full name
  • Module code and name

If you wish to review your script with your lecturer:

  1. Make an appointment with him/her by sending an email. (See here for staff details)  
  2. Also send an email to spire@ucd.ie so that the admin staff members will prepare your script before the appointment. Please indicate your student number, full name and the module code/name.

The Conor Martin Memorial Prize

This prize of up to €200 is awarded annually to the student in Stage Two Politics who achieves the highest combined grade point average in the four core Level Two Politics modules.  The prize has been established by the friends and colleagues of the late Reverend Professor Conor Martin, who was Professor of Ethics and Politics from 1952 until his death in 1980.

2015-16 Winners: Matthieu Doogan, Alexandra Kilmartin and Stephen O'Connell

The Brian Farrell Medal

This award was established by friends and colleagues of Professor Brian Farrell who retired from UCD in 1994. It is awarded annually to the student in Stage 1 Politics who achieves the highest GPA in the two core Stage 1 Politics modules.

Professor Brian Farrell joined the administrative staff of UCD in 1955 and later became Director of Extramural Studies. From 1966, he lectured in the Department of Politics, and went on to become senior lecturer, acting head of department and associate professor. He has written and broadcast widely on the subject of politics in Ireland and is author of 'Chairman or Chief?', and 'The Founding of Dáil Éireann', as well as having a successful broadcasting career presenting programmes of comment and analysis such as Today Tonight and Prime Time. On retirement from UCD in 1994 he became Director-General of the Institute for European Affairs.

2015-16 Winners: Anna Blix, Stephen Crosby, Jack Heron and Roisin O'Neill

The Peter Mair Award

This award was set up in honour of the late Professor Peter Mair, one of Ireland’s leading political scientists. The annual award takes the form of a letter presented to the final stage Politics student who achieves the highest stage GPA in Politics and International Relations modules. 

Professor Peter Mair graduated from UCD in 1974 with an MA in politics. He then began his career at the University of Limerick. He went on to lecture at the universities of Strathclyde and Manchester before moving to the European University Institute of Florence. He was appointed professor of comparative politics at the University of Leiden, Netherlands in 1994. In 2005 he returned to Florence where he was appointed head of the department of politics and social sciences in 2007. Prof Mair specialised in the study of party and party systems and has written a number of books on the subject.

2015-16 Winner: Charlotte Amrouche

The Tom Garvin Award

This is an annual award, in the form of a letter, presented to the student with the highest mark in POL 30300 Advanced Politics.

Tom Garvin is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at University College Dublin and an alumnus of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of UCD with a BA in History and Politics and an MA in Politics. His PhD was awarded by the University of Georgia. He was a founding co-convenor of the Political Studies Association of Ireland from 1982 to 1984 and its first President from 1984 to 1987. In 1991 he became Professor of Politics at UCD and served as Head of Department from then until 2005. Professor Garvin boasts a large academic output including four outstanding works on Irish political life: 'The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics', 'Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland', '1922: The Birth of Irish Democracy', and 'Preventing the Future'.

2015-16 Winner: Lucie Martin

For the full list of SPIRe 2015-16 award winners click here