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Political science and geography

B.A.; 15 places

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What is Political Science and Geography?

In a rapidly changing international economic, political, security and environmental context the tools of Political Science and Geography are becoming increasingly important to analyse global problems and provide policy solutions.

The two disciplines have been associated through the sub-fields of political geography, which covers geographical differences in voting patterns, for example, and through geo-politics, which examines how the great powers influence other parts of the planet. Recent global changes, such as climate change, the refugee crisis in Europe, and separatist movements require an interdisciplinary understandings of socio-environmental issues. The course Political Science and Geography aims to provide the student with the interdisciplinary set of tools necessary to understand and address these growing challenges.

Political Science and Geography: The course for you?

If you are interested in the disciplines of Political Science and Geography and you hope to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between the earth’s natural and human phenomena and its political institutions and systems, then this may be the course for you. Trinity, with its world-renowned research faculty, facilities, and unique emphasis on transferrable methodological skills, will provide you the tools that you need and that employers seek.

Political Science and Geography @ Trinity

The Departments of Political Science and Geography have some of the foremost scholars and lecturers in their field who are committed to providing cutting edge research and teaching.

The Department of Political Science is one of the top political science departments in Europe. In the 2016 QS rankings it was ranked 33rd in the world. Political Science has been an important part of the curriculum since 1855 and Trinity has developed an international reputation for its research work on the European Union, comparative politics, comparative public opinion, international relations as well as democracy and development. You will acquire highly desirable skills, from the ability to analyse facts and theory critically, to more tangible methodological tools needed in nearly every career.

Geography at Trinity is a world leading department, ranked in the top 100 in the world (by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). Staff have received major research grants from the European Research Council, United States National Science Foundation and many others. The department delivers an exciting curriculum which covers topics from global sustainability to the landscapes of Mars, delivered by world leading experts in their fields. Students also have the opportunity to undertake overseas fieldwork, in Mallorca, for example, to study overseas and to undertake substantial (guided) independent research projects. One first year student noted “It was the right choice as it is challenging and engaging because of its applicability to current affairs”.

Graduate skills and career opportunities

Careers for graduates lie in fields such as public and European affairs, overseas assistance, resource management and risk

assessment, the supply of environmental-related advice to governments and industry, the study and practice of environmental policymaking, and teaching and higher education.

The varied and exciting career paths of some of our graduates can be found at:

Your degree and what you’ll study

In the first two years you will take twelve modules that will each require attendance, on average, of two hours of lectures and one tutorial per week. In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year there is a reduction in the number of modules required to allow greater depth of study and more independent work.


In the Junior Freshman year you will study 3 Geography modules, covering Introduction to geography I (Physical), Introduction to geography II (Human-physical environment interface) and Introduction to geography III (Human).

And three Political science modules covering Introduction to political science, Introduction to sociology and Introduction to economic policy.


In the Senior Freshman (second) year you will study 3 Geography modules covering Physical geography, Human geography and Geography Seminars, and 3 Political Science modules covering Comparative politics, International relations, and the History of political thought. You will also have the option to study a Broad Curriculum module.


In the Junior Sophister (third) year students take each subject equally. On the geography side modules are drawn from a list of options (see for more information). For those students planning to continue geography in the Senior Sophister (fourth) year as their sole subject, Advanced research methods in geography is compulsory. On the political-science side, students may take any three options (see to view the modules currently offered); students intending to take political science alone in the fourth year must take Research methods for political scientists in their third year.


In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year, students may take both subjects equally or one subject alone. For students taking geography or political science as their sole subject in this year a research thesis or dissertation is compulsory. See to view the current modules offered for Senior Sophisters (fourth-year students) in geography and  for those offered in political science.

Most modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination performance.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for students to spend all or part of the third year studying abroad in the Czech Republic (Charles University Prague), United Kingdom (Exeter University), France (University of Bordeaux III, and The University of Paris Sorbonne), the Netherlands (University of Utrecht), Sweden (Stockholm University), Poland or Spain.

Participating in these opportunities is dependent upon the exchange fulfilling the course requirements of both departments.



Tel: +353 1 896 1298

Course Director
Professor Raj Chari


What our graduates say

Éamonn Fahey, Political Science and Geography (Single Honors Political Science), June 2014

“The Political Science Department provided me with an exceptional academic experience. Over my four years of study, I developed a well-rounded understanding of the subject. With one of the country’s best resourced libraries, a vast online academic infrastructure and a department staffed by world leading academics, the university really helped develop my capabilities as a political scientist. I would recommend the department to any student with an interest in social science looking to begin a challenging and rewarding journey.”

What our current students say

María Fernández-Pita – Senior Sophister

“I chose Trinity first and foremost because it amazed me; its beautiful silence, the campus with all the historical buildings surrounded by the buzz of a European capital, all drew me to the university. It also offered the degree I wanted to do; Geography and Political Science. It is the perfect overlap between science and humanities, providing a very solid base for any future career path I may wish to take. My main areas of focus have been European politics, human development and climate change. It is therefore a degree that deals with hot, current affairs whilst providing a strong theoretical basis and independence to study. I spent my third year abroad in Bordeaux thanks to the Erasmus programme, where I became fluent in French and met friends that I keep to this day. Lastly, Trinity has also given me the chance to make a difference; in second year I was part of the S2S Mentoring programme to help first year students within my own degree cope with university life.”

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Special Entry Requirements

Note: Students may apply to transfer to Geography in the single honours Science for their final two years


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Non-EU Applicants

  • Political Science and Geography, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 30/JUN/2018
  • Advanced Entry Applications

    Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.