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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

Graduate Diploma Programmes:

Graduate Diploma students take a total of 60 credits. 

  • 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.

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, and to see which programmes are eligible for transfer, please look at the section titled 'How can I transfer from the Grad Dip to the MA on this page.

Our modules are generally 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.

Part-time students take a total of 90 credits (60 for Grad Dip) but over two years instead of one. Most students take one or two modules in the Autumn and Spring semesters, so 2-4 hours of lectures per week. It is advisable for part-time students to take core modules in their first year, with the exception of 'Research Design'.

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

We do not offer any weekend or evening modules, 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 (opens in a new window)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 most will allow you to choose to complete a thesis or to apply for an internship to develop your professional skills in the field.
In general, all MSc programmes require a thesis, with the exception of the MSc Human Rights and the MSc Politics and Data Science, both of which offer the option of undertaking a thesis or internship .

Please take a look at the core/optional modules available on your chosen programme structure to determine the requirements.

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/

Information on Visas and Immigration and Accommodation can be found here

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:

(opens in a new window)internationalenquiries@ucd.ie can also be used for more general queries related to registration, accommodation etc.

Yes, the application fee is €60, but this covers multiple applications.

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

In most cases, the application fee cannot be waived. 

However, Asylum Seekers, Refugees and those with subsidiary protection or Leave to remain are not required to pay the application fee. Please contact the applications team if you are in one of these categories.

You can find more information on the UCD Registry website.

For applications to SPIRe programmes, the following is required:

  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • English proficiency certificate (if relevant). See here for UCD English language requirements
  • The name of one academic referee
  • The application fee - €60

You are also encouraged to submit a CV or any other documentation that may help your application e.g. volunteer or work experience in a relevant field.

An application FAQ can be found here

No, SPIRe does not require an academic reference.

You just need to supply the details of one academic referee.

Yes, you can. As part of the admission process, most emphasis is placed on applicants’ academic transcripts. However, relevant work/life experiences will also be taken into account.

It is encouraged to submit any document that supports your application.

Completing the online application form- FAQ's

Although application deadlines are on a rolling basis, we would recommend that you submit your application by early August at the latest. If you are an international student, we would recommend submitting earlier so that you can organise accommodation, visas etc.

Yes, you will need to research and choose your organisation for your internship. All advice and guidance on how to choose your organisation will be available on Brightspace once you register for the internship module.

More information on the SPIRe Intern process can be found here

You do not need to do your internship in Ireland only. You can go anywhere in the world to do your internship, as long as the internship agreement is signed. But please be aware of the different employment laws and visa requirements of the country you want to go to.

While submitting your thesis proposal, you will have the opportunity to nominate three academics that you would like to work with. The final assigned supervisor is determined by the School.

Generally, you do not need to stay in Ireland, as you can contact your supervisor over Zoom if necessary, but it is up to the discretion of the supervisor.

Students who wish to apply for a mid-year transfer must complete the core modules of the programme they wish to pursue. 

Here are the details on what you can transfer to:

Please see this page for information on how to accept your offer.

UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe)

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