This is a creative departure from the traditional Ph.D. offered elsewhere in much of Europe and is designed to produce rigorously trained, widely-read and well-rounded political scientists, able to take their place in the forefront of the profession. The programme combines an intensive set of courses on the substance and methodology of research along with a traditional emphasis on conducting original research. Political Science has eight full time academic staff and currently has thirty research postgraduate students.
In the first year students follow a number of courses in the qualitative and quantitative aspects of research, a course in political behaviour and comparative politics, which reflects the expertise and interests of most members of the department, and develops a research proposal for the final thesis. In the first year of the Ph.D programme, students are required to perform well on their coursework and to defend their draft thesis proposal successfully. In the second year of the Ph.D. programme, there are further optional courses and students start work on their thesis.
Successful applicants have a good honors degree in political science or a related discipline. Political Science seeks to recruit a varied mix of students from different disciplinary, cultural and educational backgrounds. Multiple awards are available each year for competitive candidates which cover fees and provide a stipend to meet living costs. In addition, our students have been very successful in attracting funding from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) after their first year.