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Admission Requirements

We seek outstanding and motivated graduates from different disciplinary, cultural and educational backgrounds for entry to our doctoral programme; successful applicants must have an honours degree in political science or a related discipline. The research interests of staff cover a wide range of subject areas from transitions to democracy through political philosophy to the politics of electoral systems and the Department has gained international renown for its work in all of these areas.

Applications are particularly welcome from students who wish to conduct research in areas in which the Department has particular research strengths: comparative European politics, European Union politics and policies, European Law, Irish politics, public policies, electoral systems, political parties including extreme right parties, public opinion and electoral behaviour, the politics of international law, international organisations, and political theory. The Department also invites applications from students whose research develops innovative quantitative methods, such as the quantitative analysis of political texts, as this is another strong area of research among staff.

Application procedure and contacts

In your application you are required to indicate your proposed field of research.  You should, therefore look at the research page and the research profiles of staff members to see if one of the faculty members is a potential supervisor. Although we encourage preliminary contacts in advance of working up a research project, staff members are best able to respond to emails containing both a CV and a short research project proposal, including some discussion of the relevant scholarly literature. Much as we would like to take on every good student who applies, there are some topics that we simply do not have the expertise to supervise, and this can be cleared up by informal contact in advance of any formal application.

Many of the questions you might have prior to application should be answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have questions not dealt with there, these may be directed to the Executive Officer for Postgraduate Courses or the Director of the PhD programme, Dr Gizem Arikan.

Application Documentation:

Applicants must upload the following documentation via the online application portal (all must be supplied in English, or the original document plus official translation submitted):

  • Copy of full and official academic transcript(s)
  • Copy of degree certificate(s)
  • Research Proposal
  • Detailed CV
  • Two academic references
  • Valid English language test result (if applicable - see below)

Students must also fulfill the College entry requirements and international students must also fulfil the international student entry requirements. Regarding English language requirements, if the applicant has not been educated through the medium of English, the applicant will need a minimum of the listed score on one of the following exams (note - test scores are valid for two years only):

  • IELTS: Grade 6.5 overall
  • TOEFL: 88 internet-based, 570 paper-based, 230 computer-based. The test taken here should be TOEFL IBT
  • University of Cambridge:
    • Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
    • Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 to be eligible (with no section score below 59)
  • An award certificate with a minimum II.1 overall score from Trinity's Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching's Pre-sessional Pathway Programme

Queries regarding documentation can be addressed to the Executive Officer for Postgraduate Courses; queries regarding portal functionality should be directed to Academic Registry.

Apply for this programme