We greatly value the contribution to the School that our students make during their studies and we very much hope that former students will wish to maintain contact with the school through our alumae mailing list. Students who opt into the list will receive details of special lectures and events run by the School and might, occasionally, be contacted about assisting with marketing of the School’s events and programmes (on a purely voluntary basis!).
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As a prospective graduate of the very first Law with Social Justice class I can say honestly, that choosing to study under the BCL Law with Social Justice combination has been an enjoyable, interesting and rewarding experience. The degree program is unique in allowing study of modules from both the Law School together with modules from the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice leading to a degree with a major in Law and a minor Social Justice. The course combination offers interaction with two contrasting social dynamics and allows you to develop critical thinking skills studying law subjects such as Contract Law, Sports Law, Property Law and many more while broadening your knowledge of global human rights and equality issues. The degree combination allowed me to maintain control over the subjects that I studied and opened doors to a range of career prospects and international study opportunities.
As a mature student I found the Bachelor of Social Science undergraduate degree both challenging and rewarding. Having worked as a civil servant for a number of years, I was particularly interested in choosing subjects which would be of relevance to me when I returned to the workforce. The wide variety of subject choices in both social policy and sociology afforded me great flexibility in how I structured my degree to meet my future career needs. It also provided me with an opportunity to engage in new areas of study such as equality, crime and the environment. I would recommend the Bachelor of Social Science to anyone is looking for an interesting and stimulating undergraduate degree.
Atusko Fujii talks about her Exchange year as part of her BSocSc programme in the University of Tokyo:
My year at the University of Tokyo was a life changing experience. Local Japanese students mixed in naturally with the international students in seminars, which made each discussion dynamic and diverse. While the language classes were challenging, they helped me regain confidence in my oral skills- by the end of the semester I found myself holding a thirty-minute presentation explaining the 8th Amendment of Ireland, to local Japanese students. I also learned about socio-economic problems such as ‘hikikomori’, through Japanese culture and language. After completing my year at UTokyo, I was able to apply the knowledge of various social problems that I gathered and encountered first hand, to several different modules of social policy and psychology in UCD. Beside the elevating intensity of its courses, UTokyo held many events to provide an authentic Japanese experience beyond the classroom, with tickets to Sumo tournaments, culinary classes, and even a trip to the hot springs at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Dorm life was an important part of the enriching experience of studying abroad-we truly became a family that gathered from all different countries around the world. As a BSocSc student, I was given this opportunity of a lifetime – studying at UTokyo meant challenging myself, venturing outside of my comfort zone, and establishing a road to working in a truly international environment in the near future.
The best part of the MSc. in Equality Studies was feeling part of a community of like-minded and inspiring people working towards achieving equality around the world. Being surrounded by committed professors and students, made me feel empowered to continue my own struggles and empathize with other causes.
On a personal level, the program enhanced my critical thinking skills and opened my mind to the complexity of structural global inequalities. On a professional level, Equality Studies gave me the theoretical and practical tools to continue my career in International Development and Emancipatory Research.
The Equality Studies program has provided me with context for a wide range of issues concerning Global inequality, including taxation, economics and human rights legislation. The program is unique in its interdisciplinary approach to understanding inequality: students are allowed to explore the issues that they are most passionate about, while also learning from experts about issues pertaining to inequality that they may have never considered before. Living in Ireland for the duration of the program was truly one of the best experiences of my life. From the passing of gay marriage by popular vote in 2015, to the even more recent calls for the repeal of the 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution, Ireland has taken on a pivotal new role in the Global fight for equality, making it an incredibly exciting place to study these ideas. The skills I attained throughout the program will undoubtedly remain with me in all of my future career endeavors.
My return to education began with a BSocSc followed directly by an MSc in Equality Studies, part-time. My aim was to acquire knowledge and understanding of the foundations, diversity and pervasiveness of inequality in society at home and globally. Through a series of targeted modules that intersected across a diverse range of disciplines we learned how to identify, understand and challenge how society in general accepts the unacceptable and how power and powerlessness disrupts the balance of human existence.
We experienced and benefited from well thought out lectures, readings, assignments and in-class debates with an international group of students, which empowered us to question inequality and advance social change in our respective communities.
By combining these new learned skills with a background in project management, I have the confidence to work in the field of equality and social justice development.
Andrew Hyland is a Community Relations Manager for Google, and also a graduate of the MSc in Equality Studies. Here he talks on his experience with the MSc programme.
Seamus Farrell, who is currently working towards his PhD and is involved with the Irish housing network, speaks on how the MSc helped to broaden his perspectives and understanding of the world.
Sinead Gibney is the first Director in the Irish Human Rights and Eqaulity Commission. She discusses how the MSc Equality Studies programme helped her achieve the role.
Tina Lowe works with the Access and Lifelong Learning Centre in UCD as a Campus Accessibility Officer. She talks on what she learnt through the MSc.
The Social Work, Welfare & Justice Master’s programme has provided me with a great opportunity to explore multiple disciplinary areas within social sciences. My specialist area is child protection, but various modules were available across Social Work, Social Policy and Equality Studies and the courses covered a wide range of topics. It allowed me to learn about a field which was different from my undergraduate degree and to extend my knowledge by selecting the topics I was interested in. I joined this programme, longing to find out especially how social systems as a whole work in Ireland.
I have been allowed to audit several child protection lectures (Social Work) as well. Faculty members I met always encouraged me to explore more, answered my queries patiently and provided me with various self-learning materials. Seminar sessions were also unforgettable. While discussing social issues with people who have different cultural backgrounds, it was not only an opportunity for myself to learn more, but also a chance to break stereotypes and gain a better understanding of something so distant from my own culture. I very much enjoyed sharing a real taste of Chinese culture with others too!
Taken good care of by all the lecturers, tutors and classmates, it made me feel at home and engaged in a campus life. I was warmly welcomed by them all and they have been incredibly patient as it was the first time for me to experience a university life in a different country. As the only Chinese student in class, this really helped me settle down, not feeling isolated. I have been involved in sport clubs such as equestrian and archery. They provided students with attractive learning sessions and events. To chat and socialise with new friends from different countries was fantastic. If you are too shy to make friend with stranger, sport clubs could be the best place to start. It is also a great opportunity to get close to a unique local culture.
Before hearing about this programme, Ireland and Celtic culture were very attractive to me. I have had a love of Irish music, mythology, poems and magnificent landscape in this unique island since my high school days. This SWWJ programme gave me a chance to come closer to this country and experience a college life in person. I cannot forget the first time I participated in a festival parade in Dublin. It was like dream comes true. There were also challenges for me of course, but I learned how to handle them calmly. Overall, it really was an unforgettable journey in my life!
Study at UCD
Practice Placements on the Professional Masters
Study at UCD Part 1
Study at UCD Part 2
Practice Placements on the Professional Masters