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M.Sc. in European Employment Studies (Full-time or Part-time)

Please note that this course is currently under review and will not be offered in 2012/2013.

The MSc in European Employment Studies at Trinity College Dublin’s Employment Research Centre (ERC)is the fruit of collaboration between Trinity, one of Europe’s leading research universities, and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), a policy oriented research institute of international repute.



Unique in Europe, this new and vibrant MSc fills a gap in postgraduate training in one of the most dynamic and relevant areas of policy: employment. Ireland, a country, which has experienced extreme shifts in employment and changes in socio-economic governance, provides a stimulating context for the in-depth study of employment in Europe.

Employment is one of the most consequential social relationships in modern society. The current crisis in Europe is a crisis of employment: it has meant changes in many people’s working conditions; for many in Ireland it has meant unemployment and a new pressure to emigrate.quote

Despite their variety, European labour markets are interwoven; much European employment policy stems from the European Union and the regulation of employment is one distinctive feature of the European Social Model. The course provides a rigorous understanding of employment dynamics in Europe by linking the sociology of work to industrial relations, human resource management and public policy.

Our aim is to provide students with the knowledge and qualification to compete for jobs in local, national and international employment focused organisations, including government departments and agencies, vocational training organisations, trade unions, employer associations, think tanks, EuroFound, the ILO and the OECD.

The MSc includes several modules on research methods and a dissertation and is particularly appropriate for those planning a research career in a policy or academic context. The course also provides a basis for those who wish to pursue doctoral research in this area. The postgraduate diploma is especially suitable for students who wish to upgrade their professional knowledge for a career dealing with employment issues in the private or public sectors.

The programme begins in September of each year. The MSc is a whole year course: there are two teaching semesters (September –December and January-May) with an individual dissertation during the summer. The MSc can also be taken part time over two academic years.

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The course consists of mandatory modules covering the development and regulation of work and employment in Europe as well as courses in research design and methods. Additionally, students can choose from a variety of elective modules on specific topics.

Modules include:

  • Work and employment in Europe
  • Work, skills and education
  • Inequality and discrimination in the workplace
  • Industrial relations and employment policy in Europe
  • Employment policy in Ireland
  • Active labour market policies in Europe
  • Migration and the European labour market
  • Management of labour migration
  • Social research methods
  • Designing research in employment studies
  • Applied regression analysis

Find out more about course contents.

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Teaching Staff

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Research Seminars and Visiting Speakers

The ERC holds regular research seminars, research symposia and policy conferences involving the input of international scholars and policy practitioners. Students on the programme are encouraged to participate in these events as well as events held by related institutes and departments, in particular, The Policy Institute, the Institute for International Integration Studies and the Sociology Department.

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About Us

The Employment Research Centre

The European Employment Studies programme builds on ten years of research in the area within Trinity College’s Employment Research Centre. ERC staff members possess a wealth of expertise and have widely published in the field of employment. The ERC has also developed substantial practical experience through policy analysis and labour market consultancy. The centre is part of a network of employment research centres across and beyond Europe.

Economic and Social Research Institute

The internationally renowned ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland. Key features of the research are its strong empirical base, its policy focus and its coverage of many of the major areas of relevance to current policy issues in Ireland and the European Union.

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Contact Details

For additional information please contact Peter Mühlau, Course Coordinator, Department of Sociology, TCD.






Last updated: May 08 2012.