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Prospective MA and Grad Dip Commonly Asked Questions

The structure of full time and part-time programmes is the same, the timetable also. Both FT and PT programmes are 90 credits. Modules normally run from Monday to Friday between 09:00 – 18:00.

Your timetable will depend on your module choices.

Full-time programmes:

  • Autumn Trimester – 30 credits of modules = roughly 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.
  • Spring Trimester – 30 credits of modules = roughly 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.
  • Summer Trimester – Thesis/Internship or SDG Project 30 credit module, depending on your programme

Not all Majors have an Internship option, please check your chosen programme structure

Part-time programmes:

Part-time students take a total of 90 credits (60 for Grad Dip) but over the two-year duration of the part-time course. It is advisable for part-time students to take core modules in their first year, with the exception of Research Design. Module choice is more flexible for part-time students.

Part-time students take the Thesis/Internship or SDG Project 30 credit module in their 2nd year of study

Graduate Diploma Programmes:

Graduate Diploma students take a total of 60 credits. Depending on their performance, aspirations and selection of modules, students may be able to transfer from the graduate diploma into a Masters programme after the first trimester. For more information, please look at the transfer policy of your chosen Graduate Diploma.

  • Autumn Trimester – 30 credits of modules = roughly 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.
  • Spring Trimester – 30 credits of modules = roughly 6 hours per week for a duration of 12 weeks.

Our modules aregenerally delivered in two-hour lecture sessions every week for 12 weeks. The majority of lectures take place between 09:00 and 18:00, Monday-Friday.

A part-time student will spread the workload over two years. See Q1.

We have no plans to offer modules on weekends.We do not currently run any weekend or evening masters programmes, with the exception of the online MSc Sustainable Development. This can be taken during your own time, although you are encouraged to attend classes live online where possible

Currently, you cannot study any of our Master’s degrees online and must be present in-person in Dublin to attend class. The exception to this is the MSc Sustainable Development, which is online only.

Some courses have the option of either an MA or MSc version of the same programme

Students opting for the MSc variation of the programme will, in addition, take core modules in research methods and statistics. This will provide a solid understanding of doing research and critically evaluating claims made by academics and other researchers. Those considering further study at PhD level or a career in research, policy analysis or journalism should certainly consider the MSc variant.

The MA track is broader and allows you to choose to complete a dissertation or apply for an internship to develop your professional skills in the field. In general, all MSc’s nust complete a thesis.

There are exceptions to this, so take a close look at your chosen programme structure and the core/optional modules offered.

Please see here for the current timetables for all MA/MSc/MEconScand Grad Dip programmes. Note that this changes year on year.

Yes there is the SPIRe Masters Scholarship. This page is updated regularly for information on how to apply and when applications open. When this opens, please read the Terms and Conditons carefully as not all Master's are eligible.

 There is a lot of information available for international students on the UCD Global site: https://www.ucd.ie/global/

If you are an international student and are seeking further information, you should get in touch with your Global Centre.  The Global Centre is determined by the origin of the student.

If you have already applied, please quote your Application Number when you do. Here is a list of our UCD Global Centres and their contact information:

internationalenquiries@ucd.ie can also be used for more general queries related to registration, accommodation etc.

The application fee must be paid before the UCD Application System will allow us to review it.

Your reference should come from a lecturer of your undergraduate degree at your previous/current university. It should include a history of academic grades and why you should be recommended for the programme. It should be signed and on headed paper. You need to upload this to your application, SPIRe does not contact your references directly.

We only require one reference. 

You may ask them to send the reference by email to graduatespire@ucd.ie. The email must be sent from a professional email account (g.XYZ@harvard.edu, XYZ@politics.ox.ac.uk, XYZ@tcd.ie) and not from a personal email account.

We primarily require an academic reference. However, we may accept a reference from your current/recent employer as an exception provided the programme coordinator is willing to accept this.

Yes, you can. As part of the admission process, most emphasis is placed on applicants’ academic transcripts and references. Relevant work/life experiences will also betaken into account.

Completing the online application form- FAQ's

UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe)

School Office: G301, Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.