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Political science and geography

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Course overview

In a rapidly changing international economic, political, security and environmental context the tools of political science and geography are becoming increasingly important to analyse global problems and provide policy solutions. This course combines analytical rigour with an understanding of real-world variations and complexities. The two disciplines have been associated through the sub-fields of political geography, which covers geographical differences in voting patterns, for example, and through geo-politics, which examines how the great powers influence other parts of the planet. However, in a context of globalisation, interdisciplinary understandings of socio-environmental issues are becoming increasingly key in solving the problems of the future, such as adaptation to climate change in the developing world.

Is this the right course for you?

Yes, if you are interested in the disciplines of political science and geography and you hope to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between the Earth’s natural and human phenomena and its political institutions and systems.

Course content

In the first three years you will take twelve courses that will each require attendance, on average, of two hours of lectures and one tutorial per week. In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year there is a reduction in the number of courses required to allow greater depth of study and more independent work.

The Freshman years

In the first two years, called Junior Freshman and Senior Freshman, you will study foundation courses covering (i) Introduction to geography I (Physical), II (Human-physical environment interface) and III (Human); Changing environments; Human geography – changing worlds, and Geography seminars; (ii) Introduction to political science, Introduction to sociology, Introduction to economic policy, Comparative politics, International relations, and the History of political thought.

The Junior Sophister year

In the Junior Sophister (third) year students take each subject equally. On the geography side modules are drawn from a list of options (see for more information). For those students planning to continue geography in the Senior Sophister (fourth) year as their sole subject, Advanced research methods in geography is compulsory. On the political-science side, students may take any three options (see to view the modules currently offered); students intending to take political science alone in the fourth year must take Research methods for political scientists in their third year.

The Senior Sophister year

In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year, students may take both subjects equally or one subject alone. For students taking geography or political science as their sole subject in this year a research thesis or dissertation is compulsory. See to view the current modules offered for Senior Sophisters (fourth-year students) in geography and for those offered in political science.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for students to spend all or part of the third year studying abroad in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland or Spain. Participating in these opportunities is dependent upon the exchange fulfilling the course requirements of both departments.


Courses are examined by a combination of continuous assessment and formal examination.

Career opportunities

Careers for graduates lie in fields such as public and European affairs, overseas assistance, resource management and risk assessment, the supply of environmental-related advice to governments and industry, the study and practice of environmental policymaking, and teaching and higher education.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 1651

Tel: +353 1 896 1576

Link to handbook: