Hear from our Graduates
Class of 2018, currently a PhD student at the European University Institute
Without the MSc in Comparative Social Change I would never have got into the PhD programme at the European University Institute. I first developed the idea for my doctoral thesis through seminar materials and discussions with lecturers and classmates. When I decided I wanted to apply, many of the lecturers in the Sociology department devoted significant amounts of time to helping me prepare. They wrote reference letters, met with me to discuss in detail methodological and conceptual aspects of my submission, read over documents, and held interview prep sessions to help me practice for the face-to-face meetings with the admissions board. I remain extremely grateful for the time and effort that the departmental staff invested in my development, and I will also remember with fondness the many interesting people I met on the masters and the interesting conversations I had with them.
Class of 2018
The MSc in Comparative Social Change really succeeded in offering me, firstly, a deeper understanding of sociological research, and secondly, provided me with the essential critical skills to analyse the various broad social forces operating in global society. The layout of the programme, across two universities, allowed for a rich learning environment, with access to many libraries and work spaces for self-study and learning, and gave me a chance to get to know the professors and lecturers from Ireland's best universities whom are studying diversely across the field of sociology. When choosing a supervisor for my thesis in the second semester - I felt that I was very well placed to make that decision, primarily because the programme provided many chances to meet those professors and learn about their expertise, but also by providing some great social events and evenings for all of the students, so mixing with staff and fellow academics felt natural. The students in the programme were great! We came from all sorts of backgrounds and nationalities so discussion in class was always enriched by different perspectives. 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.
Class of 2017, currently a PhD student in the School of Sociology, UCD
When I first came to find this MSc in Comparative Social Change I felt like my search for a postgraduate programme, which lasted almost four years, had finally come to an end. Its comparative approach provides a better understanding of the current international scenario, going beyond European affairs and addressing the dynamics of emergent countries such as Brazil, India and China through the lenses of a contemporary globalisation. Discussions involved ongoing, at times provoking themes such as migration processes and their social and educational implications, the emergence of the neoliberal economy and its political, financial and social repercussions, ethnicity, race and patterns of social exclusion/stratification, among many other relevant themes. Discussions were further enriched by having colleagues from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as by having a remarkable team of professors and staff who were at all times very approachable and tried their best to inspire, support and challenge all of us. Furthermore, it was a very interesting experience to be part of a course offered jointly by TCD and UCD as I had the opportunity to meet professionals and to enjoy the structure and facilities of two of the leading educational institutions in Ireland. 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.
Class of 2017
Obtaining my masters in social work from India made me aware about the society and its problems but I still had limited understanding and knowledge about it from a global perspective. My enrolment in the MSc course was motivated by my constant questioning of how other countries in the world deal with the same issues. The topics this course offered seemed like a way to get the answers. The modules gave me theoretical as well as practical insights happening in different systems and countries across the globe. The comparative aspect of the course helped in analyzing the differences between two systems but also simultaneously making me look at things from a developing nation’s perspective. Coming from a different culture and education structure I was a bit uncertain and nervous about the class but the support from all the professors and classmates made me comfortable. Class was diverse and engaging in discussions helped me develop myself on a personal and professional level. The course engagement with diverse issues made me aware about how each issue is inter-related and different at the same time. Even in terms of assignments and essays, the professors were very open about the topic selection. I highly recommend this course for people aspiring to be in academia or the development sector.
Class of 2017, currently a PhD student in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity
Being part of the first class of the MSc Comparative Social Change program has been an incredibly unique experience. The ten of us were given the opportunity to give feedback at every turn to ensure that this program continues to be a success for many years into the future. The program being shared between Trinity and UCD allowed us to take advantage of what each university had to offer and learn from teachers in the two top universities in Ireland. The comparative element in the course is in large part why I chose the program; the international focus makes for a dynamic course curriculum that creates informed, well-rounded graduates who have the ability to enter a multitude of career paths anywhere in the world. The emphasis on research in the program has helped me grow as an academic, and the life skills I have gained throughout the year have made me grow as a person. I am going on to do my PhD in the School of Social Work and Social Policy continuing my research into the An Garda Síochána, and this opportunity is due in large part to the experiences and connections I made during this program.
Phil J. Ryan
Class of 2017,currently Business Manager at Ryan Immigration, Dublin
I choose the course for its cutting-edge focus and bi-location as a joint programme. I wanted to develop my fundamental research skills in a taught setting and while I was broadly interested in the study of social change my main interest is migration due to my experience running an immigration consultancy. Annually I am directly involved with the consultation of several hundred migrants. This requires an understanding of the administrative structures of several government departments and how they apply policy, understandings that have been enriched through insights from the course. The collaboration between the universities is the MSc’s unique selling point. You get two sets of academic staff for the price of one. All the lectures are experts in their field and there was a great selection of modules. The timetable is separated out into half of the week in Trinity and half in UCD so there are never overlaps. My original research was expertly supervised through the dissertation, and I have been able to present this work at several conferences. Through the course the quality of my professional work has been increasingly recognised and I have had options opening to me I could not have imagined before the programme.
Class of 2017
I began this MSc with little or no experience in Sociology or its methods of research. Having studied Ireland and its relationship with the world through History at Trinity College, I took a specific interest in Irish society and its relationship with the world more generally. Having attended the Trinity Postgraduate Open Day, I was impressed with the direction of this course, the dual relationship between both UCD and Trinity, and the knowledge and experience I would gain in some of the most important social issues today. The course offers great choice between both Universities in terms of the different modules available, as well dissertation supervision support. The choice of supervisor from a selection of experts across two schools is certainly advantageous. The course has broadened my understanding of current social change through economic, political, and social observations in the variety of modules available. The modules in sociological theory and research methods also provide the less experienced sociologist with a better understanding of the subject, and the empirical nature of its research. The research skills, practical knowledge of the social consequences of change, and connections with a great mixture of international students has been both enjoyable and beneficial to my ambitions of being directly involved in policies which influence positive social change in the future.
Class of 2017
As a new programme, the Comparative Social Change MSc provides an opportunity that I did not find offered in any other institution. As the first cohort to complete this programme, we had a variety of students from all over the world, which offered unique views and perspectives in every class. Our classes gave us the chance to delve in to theory as well as real-world issues, and discuss them with both our classmates and esteemed professors. The benefit of having classes through two of the top universities in Ireland is having access to excellent professors who invested in their lectures, as well as access to two academic libraries! Each university brings something different to the programme, and enriches it in a way I do not believe a programme at only one university could. My network has grown as a result of having access to two academic departments, and there is no end to the support we receive from our professors. I chose this MSc for the opportunities it provided as a brand-new programme and a truly international one at that!