MA American Politics & Foreign Policy

Academic Year 2020/2021

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The United States is the most influential nation in the world. However, a number of challenges in recent years have called into question the sustainability of American leadership abroad and prosperity at home. This includes, but is not limited to, the notion of American decline in relation to rising powers such as China, a political system that appears to have entered an extended period of dysfunction, recurring problems in race relations, and rising economic inequality. This MA allows students to explore in depth the foreign policy and political challenges facing the United States.

  • This MA , which is the first of its kind in Europe or North America, allows students to explore in depth the foreign policy and political challenges facing the U.S.
  • Drawing upon the disciplines of history and political science, it explores a wide variety of topics such as the origins of American exceptionalism, the importance placed upon individual liberty, the emergence of the U.S as a world power, the cold War, transatlantic relations, presidential and congressional election, race, gender and more. 

Curricular information is subject to change


Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

The programme will interest those seeking a career in government, in the non-profit sector, in business, and those hoping to undertake advanced study in these areas.

This programme explores a wide variety of topics such as the origins of American exceptionalism, the importance placed upon individual liberty, the emergence of the US as a world power, the Cold War, transatlantic relations, presidential and congressional elections, race and gender, partisanship, and more.  

This is an academic programme but is also suited to practitioners/professionals in a related field who wish to gain a broader understanding of processes, policies, and outcomes in the area of American politics and foreign policy, both domestically and within the context of international affairs. We value and therefore encourage our students to be active, motivated, autonomous learners who have a critical and reflective approach to the subject. We aim to provide a learning environment that will encourage students to think critically about policy and the ideas that shape it, both individually and as part of a group. As a result of this approach to learning, the programme uses teaching, learning, and assessment approaches such as the drafting of policy memoranda, one-on-one advising, small group activities, presentations, seminar discussions, policy analysis, and internships.

    • Students should be able to communicate in academic language about American politics and foreign policy using historical and theoretical concepts.
    • apply knowledge in a variety of professional settings or in the form of further study, including at the doctoral level.
    • demonstrate an ability to communicate in writing and in public speaking with a variety of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
    • develop significant expertise in a chosen subject by writing a MA thesis of approximately 12,000 words with individual supervision from an academic member of staff.
    • develop sophisticated judgments about American politics and foreign policy that encompass domestic and international/comparative perspectives.
    • learn skills that will enable them to accumulate further knowledge in this or other subjects in an autonomous manner.

    View All Modules Here

    The programme is composed of 90 credits, 60 of which come from weekly small class seminars and the remaining 30 from a dissertation. Students take 50 credits of core modules taught at the UCD Clinton Institute and the remaining credits are taken from a list of optional modules from other programmes. Students are taught in small group seminars on a weekly basis.
    Compulsory modules include, but may vary from year to year:

    • International Politics of Cyber-Space
    • American Politics Today
    • US and the Middle East
    • Challenges in Contemporary US Foreign Policy

    Students are also required to complete a thesis of 12,000 - 15,0000 words. 

    MA American Politics & Foreign Policy (Z234) Full Time
    EU          fee per year - € 7920
    nonEU    fee per year - € 19900

    MA American Politics & Foreign Policy (Z235) Part Time
    EU          fee per year - € 4760
    nonEU    fee per year - € 9950

    ***Fees are subject to change

    • An upper second class honours degree (NFQ Level 8 ), or the international equivalent in the subject areas such as the  humanities, politics and international relations but not exclusively.  Consideration will be given to students with a lower GPA but they will require an interview (via SKYPE or in person) and maybe asked for additional material
    • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS overall 6.5 (with no band less than 6 in each element), or equivalent.
    • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

    The following entry routes are available:

    MA American Politics & Foreign Policy FT (Z234)
    Duration
    1 Years
    Attendance
    Full Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *
    MA American Politics & Foreign Policy PT (Z235)
    Duration
    2 Years
    Attendance
    Part Time
    Deadline
    Rolling *

    * Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised