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MSc in International Politics - Frequently Asked Questions

Before Applying

Where can I find the online application system?

To apply online for the MSc in International Politics please go to the Trinity Courses website. We recommend that you look at the Admissions Requirements pages before beginning your online application.

Can I pursue the MSc programme on a part-time basis?

Yes, please see the Part-Time Option page.

Can I continue working while taking a full-time MSc degree programme?

The full-time MSc in International Politics is demanding and requires a full-time commitment if students are to get the best out of their education experience. It is not compatible with continuing with paid employment, or any similarly demanding non-academic obligations, even part-time. You will be expected to be available for teaching and other activities from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday during term time. If you wish to continue with paid employment during your postgraduate studies, you may wish to consider the part-time option instead.

For non-EU students, it is possible to stay and work in Ireland following course completion using a Stamp 1G visa; see the Trinity Careers Service and the Department of Justice and Equality site for details.

Can I pursue the MSc in International Politics programme through distance learning?

Students must expect to be resident in Dublin throughout the MSc programme and attend all taught classes and other relevant events.

What sort of qualifications do I need to be admitted to the MSc programme?

Candidates should have an undergraduate degree from an established college or university. A background in a social science will be an advantage but not a necessity. Applications are expected from candidates with a single or joint honours degree in Political Science, Economics, European Studies, History, Sociology, Business and Law. Other subject areas will also be considered. Students must also fulfil the College entry requirements and international students must also fulfil the international student requirements.

Candidates should normally have achieved an upper second class honour degree, or higher from an established university. GPA scores of at least 3.3 out of 4, or equivalent, will be expected from international applicants. Students whose qualifications do not meet these standards may still choose to apply and the Department will then consider whether such applications demonstrate sufficient preparation for the postgraduate study of Political Science to merit admission. However, the Department cannot enter into a discussion of individual circumstances or qualifications in advance of a formal application being made.

There is no flexibility on the language requirement. Students who do not fulfil the minimum language requirements will not be considered.

How competitive is admission to the MSc in International Politics programme?

You are encouraged to apply early as competition for the limited number of places is intense; applications are assessed and course places offered on a rolling basis.

What are the requirements for the students who do not speak English as their first language?

Regarding English language requirements, the programme follows the standardised requirements set by Trinity College; in summary, if an applicant has not been educated through the medium of English, they must provide English language test scores. Note - there is no flexibility on the language requirement, and students who do not fulfil the minimum language requirement cannot be considered. In exceptional circumstances, English language test scores can be submitted after submission of the rest of the application.

Where can I find information on visa requirements?

General information on visa requirements can be found on the Citizens Information website. Details of visa requirements for international students coming to Trinity College Dublin are listed here. For non-EU students, it is possible to stay and work in Ireland following course completion using a Stamp 1G visa; see the Trinity Careers Service and the Department of Justice site for details.

Where can I find information on financial supports for students?

The Department is not in a position to offer scholarships/fee waivers to applicants / incoming students; prospective applicants are recommended to investigate funding/scholarship options before making an application e.g. see information on the Citizen's Information site, Trinity College Postgraduate scholarships, and funding supports offered in home countries (in the case of international students). It may also be possible to claim tax relief on tuition fees, see the Revenue site for details.

What other expenses, above and beyond fees, should I expect as a student living in Dublin?

Please see the Global Relations website for details regarding the cost of living in Dublin. Of course, the cost of living will vary depending on the student's lifestyle and living standards.

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Application Process

Are there any guidelines for the writing sample to be submitted with an application?

The writing sample can be a paper written for a previous course, or a chapter from an undergraduate thesis if you are writing one. The committee would expect it to be somewhere between 12 and 20 pages long. A sample of academic or research-related writing - an essay or term paper, for example - is much preferred, but where the applicant cannot provide a sample of academic writing, we will consider other writing samples.

Are there any guidelines for the motivation letter/personal statement to be submitted with an application?

There is no required length for the letter, a single page would suffice.

I'm having an issue with the online application system, who should I contact?

The application system is managed by the Academic Registry department so any questions regarding uploading documentation, changing referees, application fees should be directed there: academic.registry@tcd.ie.

When supplying references, do they have to be from academic referees?

Two academic references are preferable but where two are not available, one academic reference and one professional reference will be accepted.

I would like to nominate new referees, how can I do so?

You should email Academic Registry (the department which manages the application process across College), listing contact details for the new referees and requesting that they are emailed the reference template and upload link.

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After Submitting an Application

I have an offer of a place from another programme and I need an early decision from Trinity - what can I do?

Ensure that all your application documentation is in place and contact the Associate Course Director, Dr Noah Buckley, with details of your other offer.

I have been made an "unconditional offer" – what happens now?

Congratulations! You have three weeks to accept the offer (which includes the payment of a non-refundable deposit of €500) in order to reserve your place in the MSc programme. If you do not accept your offer by the deadline set by the Academic Registry department, you may lose your place. We look forward to seeing you in September!

I have been made a "conditional offer" – what happens now?

Congratulations! You have three weeks to accept the offer (which includes the payment of a non-refundable deposit of €500) in order to reserve your place in the MSc programme. If you do not accept your offer by the deadline set by the Academic Registry department, you may lose your place. You will also need to submit your missing documentation - for example your final grade transcript for your undergraduate degree - as soon as you receive it and then Academic Registry should formally issue you with an unconditional offer. You can accept your offer while it is 'conditional', it can be updated to 'unconditional' only when the outstanding documentation is in place.

I have been offered a place on the programme and cannot accept the offer within the specified time - what can I do?

Please contact the Course Administrator

Why has no decision been reached on my application?

Your application can be assessed only after ALL required materials have been uploaded to your application, as listed on the Admission Requirements and Application Procedure page. When all materials are in place, your application will be assessed together with other applications which are completed at the same time and a recomendation made. This recommendation will then be reviewed by the Academic Registry department and a decision will be listed on the application portal.

Can I have feedback on my application?

We regret that we cannot offer feedback on unsuccessful MSc applications.

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Incoming Students

I have been admitted to the MSc programme and would like to make plans for travel/the summer. When does the programme begin?

There is a University-wide orientation for postgraduate students (see the Graduate Studies Website) and the Department hosts a course orientation in mid-September each year, at which attendance is required. MSc module classes begin in mid-September.

When and where is the orientation for new MSc students for 2022-23?

The orientation meeting for MSc in International Politics 2022-23 students will take place in mid-September 2022 - details will be confirmed and communicated to incoming students closer to that time.

What modules will be taught in the MSc in International Politics programme in the next academic year?

The MSc course programme always includes training in research design and quantitative methods, while the topics covered by other modules varies from year to year. Please visit the course content section for more details.

Are there any opportunities to work as a Teaching Assistant in Trinity's Political Science Department while participating in the MSc programme?

It is possible for MSc students to work as Teaching Assistants in the Political Science Department. Please note your interest in your motivation letter/personal statement. This opportunity may be especially relevant to applicants who have previously been undergraduate students at Trinity.

What kind of career does the course prepare MSc students for?

The MSc in International Politics course prepares students for a range of careers dealing with European and global issues. This includes students who wish to pursue careers in the public and private sectors, in European Union institutions, non-governmental organizations and the media. For non-EU students, it is possible to stay and work in Ireland following course completion using a Stamp 1G visa; see the Trinity Careers Service and the Department of Justice site for details.

The course is also suitable for students who wish to progress to doctoral research. The graduate testimonials page shows you the experiences of some of our graduates since they completed their masters, and you can also view a complete list of graduates from the masters programmes.

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