MA/Postgraduate Diploma (Public Advocacy and Activism)[full-time, part-time]

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies

Course overview

The MA in Public Advocacy and Activism is an interdisciplinary programme, which combines training in practical skills with exploration of the theoretical background of advocacy and activism, leading to a postgraduate qualification, with applications in diverse areas, including community organisation, international relations, development, labour, rights, health and the environment.

Other courses teach management, communications, public relations or human rights, but none combines all of these to offer a focus on the issues and skills crucial for those working in organizations which seek to shift attitudes and understandings in order to initiate change. The work placement enables students to put their developing skills into practice.

Key facts

Entry requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent H2.2. GPA 3.0 or international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Students who do not meet the Honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 (Merit 2) degree may be admitted to the PDip course with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their course work during the year.

Duration: 1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2016

ECTS weighting: MA—90, PgDip—60

Average intake: 15

Closing date: You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

Modules in the wide-ranging syllabus address the theory and practice of advocacy, communications, media and marketing for advocates, economics and globalization, human rights and the social and political context within which advocacy and activism developed. Across the programme, there is a focus on both the socio-political environment in which advocates and campaigners for change must operate and also the tools and techniques by which change can be achieved.

The programme adapts every year to include the most up-to-date social media, evaluating effectiveness and practicality. Students are encouraged to use actual campaigns in their course work analysis, so that critiques and debate are firmly based in the real world and are engaged with current events. In addition to gaining a theoretical understanding of how change may be effected, students learn how to develop and run successful campaigns, how to interact with large organizations, and how to influence public opinion on important issues.

Students work closely with the students of the MA in Production and Direction in writing briefs and commissioning short films on advocacy subjects.

This programme is offered in conjunction with the J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy in association with the Social Sciences Research Centre and the Irish Centre for Human Rights.

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

  • Su-Ming Khoo BA, PhD
  • Terry McDonough BA, PhD
  • Alexis Bushnell BA, LLM
  • Eugene Hickland BA, LLM
  • Emlyn Nardone MA
  • Rod Stoneman BA, HDip
  • Shannonbrook Murphy BA, LLM
  • Edel Robinson BComm, DMP

Requirements and assessment

Assessment is by a combination of essays, presentations, reports and projects. Students will also be required to complete a 16,000–18,000 word minor dissertation as their final assessment, to be submitted in early August.

Find out more

Dr Conn Holohan | Dr Fiona Bateman
T: +353 91 495 686 | +353 91 495 918
Find us on Facebook

PAC code

GYA11 part-time
GYA64 full-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2015/16

M.A. EU Full time programme:  €6,015; P.Dip. EU Full time programme:  €5,965.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.


Past student



‌Lyndia Peters - 2012 

‌"One of the best parts of the MA in Public Advocacy and Activism was the way it fit into my academic, career and personal goals. I aim to be a vital part of my community, to contribute to its health and success and to empower others to do the same - I know this course was an important step on that journey."

Past student

Sarah Clancy

Campaigns Officer, Amnesty Ireland

"No one could call The Masters Programme in Public Advocacy and Activism boring. The whole year was challenging, thought provoking and varied. The subjects ranged from film to economics without ever losing sight of the main goal; It was aimed at informing and educating those who work for positive social change. Its focus was on both the socio political environment in which we must operate and the tools or techniques by which change can be achieved. One of the most challenging aspects of the course was that it forced us all to question our own motivation for seeking social change. I would highly recommend this Masters as an eye opening stimulus to an awareness which will benefit the student in practically any field of work or further study."