Comparative Social Change (M.Sc.)

NFQ Level 9
1 year full-time
25 Places


Course Overview

This M.Sc. in Comparative Social Change is offered jointly by the Department of Sociology at Trinity and the School of Sociology at University College Dublin to develop students’ knowledge of the main currents of social change today, the social, cultural and economic forces which are driving them and the different forms they take across states.

The course has a significant international dimension drawing on the rich and informative experiences of other EU member states, North America, the four Asian Tigers, plus the BRIC countries, particularly Brazil, China and India. In addition, the course provides advanced training in conceptualising, designing and conducting comparative research across countries and the role that this can play in policy development. It provides students with both the theoretical frameworks and practical research skills necessary to understand the processes and pressing issues presented by global social change. It aims to show students how everyday experience and practices are shaped by broader social and economic processes.

As the programme is jointly delivered by Trinity’s Department of Sociology and the School of Sociology at UCD, students benefit from a greater range of staff expertise, both in terms of teaching and research supervision, in the areas of comparative research methodologies and social change. Policy-relevant and practice-based components, such as fieldwork projects, have been designed to contribute to the training and employability of the next generation of researchers.

Is This Course For Me?

The Masters in Comparative Social Change is relevant for students with a background in Social Sciences who are interested in pursuing careers in research, policy development, the public sector, non-governmental organisations and national or local government.

Career Opportunities

Students receive academic training in social change issues, such as gender, education and the labour market, which can be applied to real-world problems. This training has the potential to open career opportunities in fields such as advocacy, the media and communications. Furthermore, policy-relevant and practice-based components, such as fieldwork projects, have been designed to contribute to the training and employability of the next generation of researchers, adding an extra dimension to the M.Sc. programme.

Students also learn valuable writing, communication, problem solving and policy assessment skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers and further postgraduate study.

Course Structure

The Masters is worth 90 ECTS, while the Postgraduate Diploma carries 60 ECTS (exit point only). Students who have exited with a Postgraduate Diploma may apply to submit subsequently for the corresponding Masters degree.

Course Content

Students take three core modules, which include: Globalisation and Social Change: India, China, Brazil; Introduction to Comparative Social Change: Concepts and Cases.Research Methods.

Students also select three elective modules, which may vary year to year. Electives offered in recent years include: The Migration Challenge; Comparative Educational Perspectives; Economic Globalisation and Social Change; Gender and Social Change in a Comparative Context; Comparing Healthcare Systems; Migration, Labour and Conflict; Nationalism and Social Change; Religion in Comparative Perspective; Sociological Thinking in the Digital Age; and Social Change and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, Issues and Challenges.

In addition, students will complete a dissertation not exceeding 20,000 words.

Click here for further information on modules/subject.

Study Comparative Social Change (M.Sc.) at Trinity

An overview of the key points of the M.Sc. in Comparative Social Change programme (including module content, structure, admission criteria, scholarships and career options).

Course Details


NFQ Level 9

Number of Places

25 Places

Next Intake

September 2024

Course Coordinator

Dr Gerard Boucher, University College Dublin

Course Director

Professor Daniel Faas

Closing Date

28th June 2024

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Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.


To apply, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Get in Touch

Telephone Number

+353 (0)1 8962701


Register Your Interest

Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

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Without the M.Sc. in Comparative Social Change I would never have got into the Ph.D. programme at the European University Institute.

William Foley


I'd recommend the programme for anyone considering working for international NGOs, public sector, as a social researcher, and even if you want to stay within the world of academia.

Darragh Miller


I would highly recommend this program not only for those who are already pursuing careers in Sociology, but also for those who want to have a broader and clearer view of our current society.

Monika Pedroso