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MSc in Comparative Social Change

An innovative new programme developed by the Department of Sociology at Trinity College and the School of Sociology at University College Dublin (UCD) with the specific objective of developing 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.


What is the MSc in Comparative Social Change?

This one-year full time course, incorporating both taught and research components, provides training in substantive topics relating to issues of comparative social change. Students have the opportunity to study with leading academics, with experience of policy development, who are involved in international research networks.

As the programme is jointly delivered by Trinity and University College Dublin students benefit from a greater range of staff expertise, both in terms of teaching and research supervision, in the areas of comparative research methodology and social change.

Course Structure

The MSc provides students with both the theoretical frameworks and practical research skills necessary to understand the processes and pressing issues presented by global social change. The taught part of the course is comprised of three core modules and six elective modules and students also complete a dissertation with one-to-one supervisory support from an expert in the student’s chosen field.

The programme uses the recent experience of Irish social change in a comparative European and global context to develop students’ knowledge of the social, cultural and economic forces which lead to wider social change. The programme also 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.

Visit the course structure section for more details.

Is it for me?

The MSc in Comparative Social Change is particularly relevant for students who are interested in pursuing careers in research, policy development, the public sector, nongovernmental organisations and national or local government. Students receive a solid academic training in social change issues - such as gender, education and the labour market - which can be applied to real-world problems.

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

What are the admission requirements?

Candidates should normally have achieved an upper second class honors degree (2.1) or equivalent, preferably with a social sciences component and excellent academic references. GPAs of at least 3.0 out of 4.0, or equivalent, will be expected from international applicants.

All applicants whose first language is not English or who have not been educated through the medium of English will need to present evidence of English language competency.

For further details please visit the Graduate Studies website. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2024. Applications are considered on a rolling basis (ie ‘first come first served’), so early application is recommended.

Fees, Funding and Scholarships

Course Fees for 2024/2025 are €10,100 for EU students and €18,878 for Non-EU students. Please note that course fees include the Student Centre Levy at UCD as well as the Student USI Levy Charge Sports Centre Charge at Trinity.

The course fees are priced very competitively and because of that as well as the joint nature of the programme, no full scholarships are available for this programme. A small number of bursaries in the region of €500 to €1,000 might be awarded annually to highly qualified candidates. The availability of scholarships will be reviewed on an annual basis. Applicants should also bear in mind that they become fully registered students at Ireland's top two universities - Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin - and will have full access to all campus facilities including the libraries, sports centres and postgraduate study facilities. Applicants will have a unique opportunity to study issues of comparative social change in a cosmopolitan environment.

Further tuition fee information, including fee payment deadlines, is available on the UCD Fees website

Further information

For further information on the programme please contact the MSc Course Director: Prof Camilla Devitt, Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.