Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Undergraduate > Module Outlines > Junior Sophister > Irish Politics A

Irish Politics A: Constitution, Elections, Parties and Parliament

Module Code: PO3130

Module Name: Irish Politics A: Constitution, Elections, Parties and Parliament 2018–19

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight. Tutorials meet first in week beginning Monday 24 September.
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Professor Michael Gallagher
  • Module Co-Requisite: PO3131
  • Online noticeboard: click here

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

  • have an enhanced understanding of the Irish political process
  • be familiar with academic research into Irish politics
  • have been encouraged, and ideally have learned, to critically assess the material they encounter

Module Learning Aims

The aim of this module is to deepen students’ understanding not only of the substance of Irish politics but also of the academic research that aims to interpret and understand it.

Module Content

The module covers political culture, the constitution, elections and electoral behaviour, parties and the party system, and the role of parliament.

Topic 1: Irish political culture and society
Topic 2: The Constitution: background and development, the role of the president
Topic 3: Irish electoral behaviour. Origins and development of the party system, determinants of voting behaviour
Topic 4: The parties and the party system: comparative perspectives, explanations, organisation, prospects
Topic 5: The electoral system and its political consequences
Topic 6: The Dáil, the Seanad and the government


Back to top

Visiting students

This module is OPEN to full-year visiting students (1-term visiting students may take PO3130 if here for the first term only, PO3131 if here for the second term only). However, visiting students should bear in mind that this module is not designed as a beginners' guide to Irish Politics or as the equivalent of a summer school course, and that those with little or no prior knowledge of the subject will need to do some initial catching up on the basics. Reading chapter 1 of the module textbook (Politics in the Republic of Ireland, see below) in advance of term or early in the term is recommended for those with little background knowledge of Irish history. A useful and fairly introductory overview of the country, designed mainly for visiting students, is Eoin O'Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Incoming Socrates / Erasmus and other non-TCD students are required to fulfil the same module requirements, in terms of coursework and exams, as TCD students. Registering for the module implies acceptance of this.

Recommended Reading List

John Coakley and Michael Gallagher (eds), Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 6th edition (Abingdon: Routledge and PSAI Press, 2018).

Eoin O’Malley, Contemporary Ireland (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) is a general and lively introduction to Ireland, including history and society as well as politics, designed particularly for visiting students

Assessment Details

One essay (1,700 words), counting 25%

One 90-minute exam, counting 75%


Back to top