Young Sociologist of the Year

The Young Sociologist of the Year award is an essay-based competition hosted by the UCD School of Sociology.
The faculty at UCD Sociology are delighted to see so many students begin their studies in Politics and Society.
This subject teaches secondary-school students how to begin questioning and analysing the world around them
and developing the ability to become reflective and active citizens in our society.
This is the inaugural year of this competition and so we encourage as many schools as possible to get involved.

Competition Prizes

  •  The student who is named Young Sociologist of the Year 2019 will win anandroid tablet
  •  The runner-up will be awarded a €100 One4All voucher
  • The teachers of both the winning student and runner-up will also receive One4All vouchers

If your students are interested in societal structures, themes such as gender, class, migration, or development,
or even if they just would like to have their essay read and assessed by a UCD academic, then this competition is for them.

Application Guidelines and Assessment Criteria

  • Students who wish to participate must submit the essay to their teacher
  • This essay can be a piece of work that has already been completed by the students as part of the coursework for the Politics and Society programme.
  • The essay could also be a piece of work that will be relevant to the student’s citizenship project focusing on one of the following topics:

Strand 1: Power and decision-making
• Topic 1 Power and decision-making in school
• Topic 2 Power and decision-making at national and European level
Strand 2: Active citizenship
• Topic 3 Effectively contributing to communities
• Topic 4 Rights and responsibilities in communication with others
Strand 3: Human rights and responsibilities
• Topic 5 Human rights and responsibilities in Ireland
• Topic 6 Human rights and responsibilities in Europe and the wider world
Strand 4: Globalisation and localisation
• Topic 7 Globalisation and identity
• Topic 8 Sustainable development

  • Word count 800-1,000 words
  • The teacher will select the “top 3” essays within the class and submit to UCD Sociology for assessment
  • Up to a maximum of 3 essay submissions per class is permitted
  • The competition is open to both 5th and 6th year students
  • Essays must be submitted to UCD Sociology by Friday February 1st, 2019
  • The winners of the competition will be announced by the end of March, and will receive a prize
  • Prizes will be presented to the winning student and runner-up, and to each of their teachers
  • The names and essay titles of the winner and runner-up will be displayed on the School of Sociology website
  • Feedback will only be provided on winning essay entries
  • Essays can be hand written or typed

This competition is an opportunity for students to address themes relevant within our Society today. The
essay will be assessed by a panel of academics from the UCD School of Sociology. The essay that
presents the most insightful analysis of a sociologically relevant theme will win.

Contact Details

Contact: Daniel O'Sullivan


Phone: (01) 716 8532

How to Submit the Essays: 

Complete application form

The application form must be completed and submitted with the essays

Option 1:
Teachers can email their selected essays to


Option 2:
Post hard copies of the essays to:
Rachel Mc Evoy
School of Sociology
D419 Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4. Ireland‌ ‌‌

Download Flyer here

Young Sociologist of the Year 2019 - The Winners

Winner: Caitlin Parnell, 5th year, Santa Sabina, Howth, Dublin.

Karl Marx: Why his ideas are still relevant today.

Runner Up: Matthew Murnane, 6th year, Oatlands College, Mount Merrion, Dublin.

Is the “Invisible Woman” still a phenomenon in Irish Society Today?