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Undergraduate

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Studying Political Science in Trinity does not entail four years of studying nothing but politics. Indeed, the great majority of our students combine Political Science with another subject, such as Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Law, Philosophy or Sociology.

Degree Programmes

If you’d like to study Political Science at Trinity there are five different degree programmes (all of which run for four years) to be considered.

  1. History and Political Science (TR012)
    This involves the joint study of History and Political Science for all four years, with students taking courses in both departments. A choice may be made to confine one's studies to either History or Political Science in the final year, or to continue with both equally.
  2. PPES (TR015)
    This permits students to study either for a single honours degree in Political Science, or a joint honours degree in which Political Science is combined with Philosophy, Economics, and Sociology. All PPES students have a common first year and students begin to focus their studies more in later years.
  3. Law and Political Science (TR020)
    Students take courses in both Political Science and Law: on an equal basis for the first three years, with the opportunity in the final year of continuing this pattern, or concentrating entirely on one or other subject.
  4. Political Science and Geography (TR029)
    Students take courses in both Political Science and Geography: on an equal basis for the first three years, with the opportunity in the final year of either continuing this pattern, or concentrating entirely on one or other subject.
  5. BESS (TR081)
    This permits students to study either for a single honours degree in Political Science, or a joint honours degree in which Political Science is combined with Economics, Sociology or Business Studies. All BESS students have a common first year and students begin to focus their studies more in later years.
  • Further details on the admissions process are available from the Admissions Office.

Whichever programme you choose, you will attend Political Science lectures and tutorials with students from the other programmes. Moreover, students from the European Studies, Sociology and Social Policy, TSM Economics and TSM Sociology degree courses also take some Political Science courses, so there is plenty of opportunity for interaction.

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Teaching

Undergraduate teaching is a core activity of the Political Science department and one that receives top priority. Students are given lectures by world-renowned authorities in their field, and these are supplemented by small-group tutorials given by teaching assistants, which enables them to discuss, with the teaching assistants and with each other, the ideas outlined in the lectures. Continuous assessment is built into all courses. In the final year of the Political Science programme courses are characteristically taught through seminars, enabling students to learn the vital skills of small-group discussion and presentation.

Click here to download a plagiarism cover sheet (word document).

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After College

With a politics degree from Trinity, you can go far, as the list of some Political Science alumni shows. A degree from Trinity College Dublin is recognised nationally and internationally as a mark of quality. Trinity is Ireland's leading university, and the Department of Political Science is especially highly regarded; in the 2016 QS rankings it was rated number 1 in Ireland, number 15 in Europe and number 43 in the world for 'Politics and International Studies'. The skills taught are highly transferable and our graduates go on to a wide range of careers. Of course, there are some careers for which a demonstrated interest in Politics is a definite plus and gives you a real head start. Journalism, other kinds of media work, the civil service, public relations, anything in business that requires knowing how government works, work in international organisations such as the EU or a not-for-profit organisation, all come into this category. A demonstrated knowledge of how the world works is obviously an asset for many types of career. An increasing number of undergraduates go on to do further study by means of postgraduate work, benefiting from the department's wide range of international contacts. For an elaboration of this, see our Prospective Undergraduates document (PDF, 160 KB).

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Last updated 7 November 2016 polsci@tcd.ie.