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Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Social Research

Welcome to the home page of the Masters in Applied Social Research. This Masters course aims to equip students with the skills necessary for the conduct of social research, including advanced training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies. This is achieved through teaching across three core modules, the completion of a work placement, and the completion a dissertation based on an applied research project. The course is designed for students who want to gain employment in the area of research but is equally suited to those who wish to build research skills for application in their current work environments. The course provides a strong foundation for further post-graduate study, particularly for PhD research.

This degree is multi-disciplinary and career-focused. We aim to create a stimulating learning environment for our students and put great store in the search for innovative directions in research. We teach through a combination of lectures and workshops which encourage interaction, dialogue and debate between students and between students and their lecturers. Our teaching team comprises individuals with high-level research and teaching skills who have a strong repertoire of experience in the design, conduct, and publication of research.

As you navigate this web page, I hope you will get a good sense of what this Masters course involves and of the application of the skills you will learn to ‘real world’ research environments. The course has a strong reputation, both in Ireland and internationally, and we particularly strive to equip our students with core, widely transferable research skills. The work placement is a unique feature of this Masters course and provides students with the opportunity to work alongside highly experienced researchers in a range of reputable research environments. Our graduates typically go on to work in a range of research, policy and advocacy environments including university departments, research institutes, private research consultancies, policy arenas, the NGO sector, and government departments. Others apply their research skills in their current work environments and/or go on to develop research agendas and research priorities in their work places. Many of our graduates progress to further post-graduate study, particular to PhD research.

I invite you to spend a few minutes on our web page learning more about this Masters. You will, no doubt, have questions about the course and I encourage you to call or email our Course Administrator, Laura Cusack, or myself if you have any queries. I am happy to meet with you if you think that would be helpful.

Paula Mayock, PhD, Course Director

Duration 1 year full-time / 2 years part-time Download the (M.Sc) in Applied Social Research Brochure
Next Intake September 2016
Maximum Intake 25 students Download the M.Sc. in Applied Social Research Handbook 2015-2016
Course Code

DPTSW-ASRE-1F09 Full-time DPTSW-ASRE-1P09 Part-time

Applications Now open Download the Semester 2, 15-16 Guest Lecture Series
Closing date 31st May 2016
Programme Content +

The Masters programme consists of a number of integrated modules which run over 2-4 semesters (depending on full or part-time registration). Students also complete a work placement over a period of eight weeks. Students are required to complete a research dissertation which they submit following the completion of all course assignments.

The programme consists of the following modules:

1. Qualitative Research Methods and Research Ethics
This course aims to impart a thorough understanding of qualitative research methodology and to help students to develop skills and competencies in the conduct of qualitative research. The module is delivered through a combination of lectures and workshops. Students will sometimes be asked to read one or more articles/chapters in preparation for a lecture or workshop and will be strongly encouraged to contribute to class discussions on various methodological issues, procedures and challenges.

While the lectures aim to cover a wide range of theoretical and methodological issues, the course is designed to equip students with the skills to carry out a qualitative research project and will cover the planning, data collection and analysis phases of the research process. Students will receive practical guidance on how to set up and manage a qualitative research project, collect data via individual in-depth interviews and other qualitative data collection methods, turn their data into meaningful findings, and write them up in a research report. Issues such as project planning and administration, sampling, access negotiation, analysis of interview data, and the writing up and presentation of qualitative data will be covered.

2. Quantitative Research Methods
This module consists of courses in Survey Design and Quantitative Data Analysis. Survey Design focuses on the use of surveys for the collection of quantitative data and includes an introduction to such issues as the formulation of testable hypotheses, questionnaire design, sampling, administrative procedures and the reporting of results. Quantitative Data Analysis covers the use of data from samples to statistically describe large populations and introduces the most widely used family of linear techniques used to model complex social phenomena. This module includes a full course in the use of the software SPSS. No prior knowledge of statistics or statistical software is required.

3. Research Design, Evaluation Research and Accessing Resources
Research Design
This section of the course provides students with an understanding of the importance of research design and its place in the research process. It introduces students to the main types of research designs and encourages them to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different designs. It also covers practical aspects of the research process such as negotiating access, the role of stakeholders, ethics and the preparation of research tenders and proposals.

Evaluation Research
The evaluation component provides an introduction to the theory and practice of evaluation. It equips students with the skills to analyse critically important issues in the design, conduct and use of evaluation in a social context. Students will be able to understand the purposes, contexts, competing theories and models of monitoring and evaluation including ethical, methodological and political issues in evaluation research. The module will impart practical skills to students so that they may develop the technical proficiency to undertake project/programme monitoring and evaluation.

Accessing Resources
The object of this course is to equip students with the skills to access relevant resources. Computerised resources, including bibliographical databases, citation indexes, electronic journals and the Internet (websites, search engines and portals) facilitate this task. Students will be trained in how to plan searches, including using Boolean operators and truncation symbols, and adding limits to searches, and how and where to access appropriate material from Irish and international sources. They will also be taught advanced use of the Internet, including customising search engines and using RSS feeds. Students’ bibliographies in completed research projects should exhibit such skills.

4. Work Placement
Students spend eight weeks on a work placement where they have the opportunity to apply their skills in a research environment. Students are offered placement opportunities within a range of the most reputable Irish research institutes and consultancies, government departments, semi-state agencies, as well as various trade and professional organisations. Students already in relevant employment can complete their work placement in that setting. Exemptions from the work placement may be granted at the discretion of the Course Director in exceptional cases.

5. Research Dissertation
The dissertation is an essential component of the degree and is completed over the summer months (of Year 1 for full-time and Year 2 for part-time students). It must demonstrate students’ ability to complete an applied research project from the initial stages of accessing data to the presentation of a final written report. It includes a thorough review of the literature on the substantive topic chosen for study and a comprehensive account of the research methods employed. The data collected for the research is analysed using, as required, appropriate computer packages. The dissertation is a maximum length of 20,000 words and is supervised by a member of the academic staff.

Course Calendar and Course Delivery +

Attendance in College
Full-time students attend college on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

Part-time students attend college on Mondays in Year 1 and on Tuesdays in Year 2.

Please follow this link to the Course Calendar for full details on Teaching Weeks and Reading Weeks.

Course Modules


Full-time Students

Part-time Students

Taught Modules

Year 1:

  • Quantitative Research Methods 1&2: Survey Design; Applied Social Statistics.
  • Qualitative Research Methods.
  • Research Design, Accessing Resources and Research Ethics.

Year 1:

  • Quantitative Research Methods 1: Survey Design.
  • Qualitative Research Methods.
  • Research Design, Accessing Resources and Research Ethics.

Year 2:

  • Quantitative Research Methods 2: Applied Social Statistics.

Guest Lectures

Year 1

Year 2

Work Placement

Year 1 (Mid-April to Mid-June)

Year 2 (Mid-April to Mid-June)


Year 1 (mid-June to End August)

Year 2 (mid-June to End August)

Work Placements +

The Work placement module carries 10 ECTS. Full-time students spend eight weeks on a work placementduring the third semester (Trinity Term). Part-time students complete the work placement during the third semester of Year 2. Students already in relevant employment can complete their work placement in that setting. Exemptions from the work placement may be granted at the discretion of the Course Director in exceptional cases.

During the work placement students get the opportunity to work on research projects alongside experienced researchers/research teams within their host organisations. Each year students are offered placement opportunities with a range of the most reputable Irish research institutes and consultancies, Government Departments and semi-state agencies, as well as various professional organisations. Normally students are on work placement from mid-April to mid-June.

Dissertation +

The research dissertation is a major component of the degree of M.Sc. in Applied Social Research, comprising 40% of the overall grade with 30 ECTS. The dissertation should demonstrate that students have the ability to complete an applied research assignment from the initial stages of collecting primary data/accessing secondary data to the presentation of a final report. It should include: a complete review of relevant research literature; a description of the research design and research methods used; presentation of research findings; and a discussion of the research findings with conclusions drawn. Quantitative data collected for the research should be analysed using appropriate statistical techniques. In the case of qualitative research, data should be analysed using the recommended coding and data management procedures.

Guest Lectures +

Throughout the academic year, there will be a number of Guest Lectures. These guest lectures are included on the timetable to ensure that students:

  • are aware of a range of research projects currently ongoing in Ireland;
  • learn about the diverse range of research designs, approaches and methodologies currently in use;
  • gain exposure to the working intricacies (including methodological challenges) associated with the conduct of social science research;
  • become acquainted with the wider research community.

Guest lectures are delivered by subject specialists from the public and private sectors who have effectively conducted applied research in one or a number of areas. These lectures vary from year to year and may include the following types of topics: crisis pregnancy, health related topics, ageing, ethnic minorities, poverty/socio-economic disadvantage, equality policies and legislation, population health, sexuality/sexual health, mental health, educational disadvantage, and research involving children and young people.

Click here to download the Semester 2 Guest Lecture Schedule

Applicants for Masters in Applied Social Research +

Students who apply for the Masters in Applied Social Research typically have an undergraduate degree in a social science discipline. However, we accept graduates in other disciplines including health sciences, business studies, marketing, history etc.

Many of our part-time students are employed on either a full- or part-time basis and apply for this course because they want to build a suite of research skills for application in their current work environments.
In summary, applicants for the Masters in Applied Social Research include:

  • Graduates from relevant disciplines (e.g., Social Sciences, Education, Psychology, Health Sciences, Business, Marketing, Economics).
  • Professionals who work in a range of statutory and NGO services and agencies.
  • Professionals who work in government departments.
  • Policy makers.
Careers +

This Master’s degree is career-focused and strongly orientated towards preparing students for the work force. We aim, through the following key components of the course, to prepare our students for a labour market that increasingly values the highly transferrable skills that you will have acquired on completing this Masters:

  • The work placement component of the course: This essentially allows students to transition from ‘textbook’ understanding of research methodology to ‘real world’ research experience. We have established relationships with a wide range of research institutions and environments and we provide our students with significant choices and options in this regard. Click here to view some of the organisations that typically host you, our students.
  • The Careers Advisory Service, Trinity College Dublin: At a number of intervals throughout the academic year a member of staff from the Careers Advisory Service provides advice to student on how to: 1) build a career and sustain a career path; 2) prepare a CV for job applications; and 3) prepare for job interviews. All registered students at TCD can avail of the wide range of services provided by the Careers Advisory Service.
  • Our Alumni: We maintain contact with our graduates via email and alert them to job opportunities and to research events and conferences that will enable them to ‘network’ and build connections in the fields of research, policy and advocacy. You can view the recent testimonials of some of our graduates under the 'Our Alumni' tab.

Researchers and data analysts are in high demand in all areas of employment. There are excellent career opportunities, both in Ireland and abroad, for scientists and social scientists with both quantitative and qualitative research skills. The research and data analysis skills taught on this course have application in a wide range of areas, including scientific and health research, social work, education, child and youth studies, migration research, ageing and life course research, gender studies, marketing, management science, economics, psychology and sociology.

Our recent MSc graduates work in diverse areas such as public health, social science and market research, social policy, and statistics. A large number are employed in university-based departments and research institutes, Government departments, statutory organisations, the NGO sector, and private research consultancies. Many of our graduates have gone on to study for PhDs.

In other words, this degree provides a stand-alone qualification that enables career entry and progression in a diverse range of employment contexts whilst also providing a strong foundation for further (fourth-level or PhD) study.

Our Alumni +

Our Graduates

Graduates of the Masters in Applied Social Research typically gain employment in a variety of organisations including public and private research institutes, consultancies, university departments, government departments, semi-state agencies, the NGO sector, and in a range of policy environments. Others go on to pursue further post-graduate study, particularly PhD research.

Annette Burns, 2012

I completed the MSc in Applied Social Research programme in 2012 and am now a PhD scholar on the SPHeRE programme (Structured Population and Health-service Research Education). I am now in the second year of my PhD which focuses on smoking and mental health. Prior to commencing my PhD I worked as a research assistant within the General Practice department of RCSI and also worked with the Tobacco Free Research Institute, assisting with funding applications, survey design and analysis. Before this, I was employed as a research assistant at a specialist research company. 

The MSc in Applied Social Research gave me an excellent grounding in applied research. I emerged from the programme with a great understanding of both qualitative and quantitative methods and the skills and confidence to conduct both types of research. The modules in statistical analysis, research design, effective literature searching and ethics continue to stand to me. The placement element of the MSc was invaluable and hugely educational for me as was the opportunity to work as a research team on a group project. It was with the continued assistance of my supervisor and placement host that I recently managed to publish my dissertation study as a journal article. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone pursuing a career in social research in Ireland.

Nerilee Ceatha, 2014

For anyone considering this course you are in for a treat! The M.Sc. in Applied Social Research provided me with a strong foundation in both qualitative and quantitative research. The highly regarded course facilitated my entry to a welcoming research alumni. The well-deserved reputation owes much to the calibre of teaching staff and their approachability and commitment to providing high-quality lectures and workshops. Following this very positive experience I am planning to complete a PhD in future.

The social application of research is emphasised on the course and encouraged me to focus on dissemination including poster presentations (SPHeRE conference, Health and Social Care Professionals’ conference), publication (GCN magazine feature) and an oral presentation (Rainbow Week at TCD). I returned to my Social Work Team Leader role where I have been encouraged to actively follow up opportunities around research within the organisation.  

Oona Kenny, 2014

Oona is currently working in Focus Ireland as a research assistant in the Service Standards office. She holds a B.Sc. (hons) in Psychology from the Open University and before completing the MSc in Applied Social Research programme in 2014, worked as a settlement officer in Simon Community. For the Master’s work placement module she completed an eight week internship with the Growing Up in Ireland study team in the ESRI and for her dissertation designed a multi-dimensional measure of children’s social capital using data collected in the GUI study.  Following the MSc course, Oona also spent 3 months working as a data analyst in the Housing Agency. Her main research interests are homelessness, housing rights, social capital and involving ‘hard to reach’ populations.

Daniela Rohde, 2013

Following my undergrad in Psychology, I worked for several years with homeless people with mental health and addiction problems. I completed the MSc in Applied Social Research on a part-time basis (2011-2013), which was challenging but also a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. As part of my MSc work placement in RCSI I worked on a systematic review that has since been published. Following this I worked as a research assistant in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems in UCD on a number of different projects, including a national review of the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework. In 2014 I started a HRB-funded PhD in RCSI as part of the SPHeRE Programme in Population Health and Health Services Research.

Casey M, Fealy G, Brady AM, Hegarty J, Kennedy C, McNamara M, O’Reilly P, Prizeman G, Rohde D (2015). Nurses’, Midwives’ and Key Stakeholders’ experiences and perceptions of a Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework. Journal of Advanced Nursing: 00(0), 000–000. doi: 10.1111/jan.12603

Doyle F, Rohde D, Rutkowska A, Morgan K, Cousins G, McGee H (2014). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of depression on subsequent smoking in patients with coronary heart disease: 1990–2013. Psychosomatic Medicine, 76 (1): 44-57.

Siobhan Scarlett, 2013

I hold a B.A in Sociology, a M.A in Addiction Studies and completed the M.Sc in Applied Social Research in 2013. The course was fantastic for honing both my qualitative and quantitative skills in properly preparing me for engaging in research outside of college. The teaching staff offered excellent support throughout the year and have continued to stay in touch after the course. The work placement module within the course was incredibly helpful for allowing us to put the skills we had been taught throughout the year into practice.

I currently work with the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA), initially starting out as a Research Assistant focussing on the area of Frailty. I’m now also a Data Manager for the study while continuing research into frailty and pursing a PhD looking at accelerometer data collected from the older population.

Scarlett, S. et al., (2014) ‘Frailty and disability,’ Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland CARDI

Lucy Whiston, 2012

Having complete the MSc in Applied Social Research in 2012 I am now in the first year of my PhD as an Irish Research Council Scholar and working as the Adelaide Research Assistant in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care in Trinity College. During my first two years in the Department of Public Heath and Primary Care I worked primarily with the addiction research team on projects such as an RCT on the feasibility of Brief Interventions for alcohol and illicit substance in a methadone maintained cohort. Currently I am working on a national survey of chronic disease management in Ireland by practice nurses and patients, a health asset and need assessment of Tallaght and my PhD which focuses on patient and family participation in healthcare design and delivery in Ireland.

The MSc in Applied Social Research has been particularly advantageous to me in many ways. Throughout the course I found the teaching staff to be approachable, helpful and of a very high standard. Modules in qualitative research, literature searching, SPSS and quantitative analysis provided materials, knowledge and experience which I find myself using on a regular basis. The MSc and placement provided practical experience of the whole research process from concept to write up and provided the necessary key skills for publication. My MSc placement in the Coolmine Therapeutic Community was pivotal in me obtaining my current research assistant position. I would highly recommend this to anybody looking for employment in research or further study.

Darker CD, Palmer D, O’Reilly G, Whiston L, Smyth B. Young people in drug treatment in Ireland: their views on substance use aetiology, trajectory, parents’ role in substance use and coping skills. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2014;FirstView:1-12.
Gilroy D, O'Brien S, Barry J, Ivers J-H, Whiston L, Keenan E, et al. Benzodiazepine use in a Methadone Maintained Opiate Dependent Cohort in Ireland. Heroin Addiction and Clinical Related Problems. 2014;16(2).
Darker C, Whiston L, Jordan S, Doogue R, Colins C, Ryan K, et al. A National Survey of Chronic Disease Management by Practice Nurses in Ireland. 2015.

Destination Survey 2012

In 2012 we conducted a survey of graduates of the Masters In applied Social Research during the previous six years.

Among those who responded, the most commonly cited reasons for taking our course were: 1) to gain employment and; 2) to pursue further study. Eighty three percent of our graduates were pursuing one of these activities within six years of graduation, with 58.6% in full-time employment and an additional 24.1% engaged in further study.

Of those currently in full-time employment 63.4% are working in areas directly related to research. Eighty eight percent of those who have continued to study are pursuing a doctoral degree and the remainder are completing another Masters course.

Of those who responded, 66% reported that they now use the research design skills they acquired at least once a month, 62.2% reported that they use the qualitative research skills they acquired at least once a month, and 51% reported that they use the quantitative research skills they acquired at least once a month.

Eighty percent of students reported that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the research skills they acquired on the course.

Recent Graduate Publications
Please see a list of recent graduate publications below (the names of graduates are in bold font). Many of the listed publications are linked to research projects that students worked on during their work placements.

Bane, G., Deely, M., Donohoe, B., Dooher, B., Flaherty, J., Garcia Iriarte, E., Hopkins, R., Mahon, A., Minogue, G., Mc Donagh, M., O’ Doherty, S., Curry, M., Shannon, S., Tierney, E., & Wolfe, M. (2012). Relationships of people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(2), 109-122.

Brennan, C., Linehan, C., O’ Doherty, S., O’ Malley, E., O’ Rathaile, C., Roberts, W., Shannon, S., Weldon, F., & Wolfe, M. (2011). The Anti - Bullying Research Project. Final Report Submitted to the National Disability Authority in Respect of a Grant Awarded under the Research Promotion Scheme 2011. Dublin: National Disability Authority; Trinity College Dublin.

Callahan, A. & Inckle, K. (2012) Cybertherapy or psychobabble? A mixed methods study of online emotional support. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 40(3), 261-278.

Cosco, T., Doyle, F., Ward, M., & McGee, H. (2012) Latent structure of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: A 10-year systematic review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 72(3),180-4.

Cosco, T., Doyle, F., Watson, R., Ward, M., & McGee, H. (2012) Mokken scaling analysis of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale in individuals with cardiovascular disease. General Hospital Psychiatry, 34, 167-172.

Conry, M., Morgan, K., Curry, P., McGee, H., Harrington, J., Ward, M., & Shelley, E. (2011) The clustering of health behaviours in Ireland and their relationship with mental health, self rated-health and quality of life. BMC Public Health, 11, 692.

Conry, M.C., Humphries, N., Morgan K., McGowan, Y., Montgomery. A., Vedhara, K., Panagopoulou, E. & McGee, H. (2012) A 10-year (2000-2010) systematic review of interventions to improve quality of care in hospitals. BMC Health Serv Res., 24;12(1):275.

Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. & Parker, S. (2012) Migrant women and homelessness: The role of gender-based violence. European Journal of Homelessness,

Moore, E .(2012) Renegotiating Roles Postdivorce: A Decisive Break From Tradition?, Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 53(5), 402-419.

Moore, E. (2012) Paternal Banking and Maternal Gatekeeping: Gendered Practices in Post-divorce Families. Journal of Family Issues, 33 (6),

Moore, E., Timonen, V., Dwyer, C. & Doyle, M. (2012) Divorce and Intergenerational Support: Comparing the Perceptions of Divorced Adults and Their Parents. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 43 (2),

O’ Rathaille, C., Linehan, C., O’ Doherty, S., Roberts, W., Weldon, F., & Wolfe, M. (2012) Easy to Read Anti Bullying Information Guide. Dublin: National Disability Authority; Trinity College, Dublin.

Teaching Team +

Dr. Paula Mayock is the Course Director of the Masters in Applied Social Research and also delivers the Qualitative Research Methods and Research Ethics Module. Dr. Philip Curry delivers the Quantitative Research Methods Module, while Dr. Mark Ward and Gillian Kingston teach quantitative research analysis techniques using SPSS. Dr. Michelle Share teaches Evaluation Research and Dr. Brid McGrath teaches Accessing Resources. Dr. Kate Babineau is Teaching Assistant to the Qualitative Research Methods Module.

Dr. Paula Mayock
Dr. Paula Mayock is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy and Senior Researcher at the Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin. She is a qualitative methodologist with a particular interest in biographical and qualitative longitudinal research methods and is currently Course Director of the Masters in Applied Social Research. Her research focuses primarily on the lives and experiences of marginalised youth, covering areas such as homelessness, drug use and drug problems, sexuality, and mental health. Paula is the recipient of numerous research awards from statutory and voluntary agencies (e.g. Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Health Service Executive, Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Homeless Agency, National Office for Suicide Prevention, Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Focus Ireland). She is a NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) INVEST Post-doctoral Fellow (2006-07) and an IRC (Irish Research Council) Research Fellow (2009-10). She was also the recipient of an IRCHSS 'New Ideas' Award (2011). Paula is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and research reports. She is an Assistant Editor of the international journal Addiction and the founder and chairperson of the Women’s Homelessness in Europe Network.

Dr. Philip Curry
Dr. Philip Curry is a social psychologist and Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin. He teaches quantitative research methods to students of the Masters in Applied Social Research and Psychology to undergraduate Social Work students. His research focuses on the perspectives, experiences and behaviours of children and young people in relation to migration and diversity. He is particularly interested in empirical evaluation of policy initiatives to enhance inter-ethnic relations among children, the driving question behind his research being to determine what children, schools and communities can do to ensure that all parties get the most out of multi-cultural societies.

Dr. Michelle Share
Dr. Michelle Share is a Senior Research Fellow at the Children's Research Centre.Michelle’s work involves the design and conduct of large-scale programme evaluations, involving quantitative and qualitative methods in child and youth settings. She has conducted child and youth focused research in areas of nutrition, smoking, mental health, school health education, widening participation, and intellectual disability service provision. Michelle has considerable experience in conducting needs assessments and research in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and with marginalised groups of children and young people. Michelle also teaches evaluation research in Trinity’s MSc in Applied Research Methods programme. She has published in Ireland and internationally on topics from community development and capacity building to adolescent food choice. Michelle holds a Masters in Education (Higher Education) (Trinity College Dublin), a Masters degree in International and Community Development Studies (Deakin University, Australia) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Sociology (Charles Sturt University, Australia). Her PhD (University of Ulster) funded by Safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board) examined food provision and education issues amongst students, teachers, parents and caterers in different school types in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Her Masters in Education examined the PhD viva in three Irish higher education institutions.

Dr. Catherine Conlon
Catherine is Asst Prof in Social Policy at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.  Her research interests are: gender, sexuality and reproductive health; intergenerational family relations; sexual socialization and; critical qualitative methodologies.  Her teaching areas currently include Families and Social Policy in Ireland and Research Methods for Practitioners.  She has a strong track record of applied policy research including for the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme/Crisis Pregnancy Agency, the Equality Authority and the Combat Poverty Agency. She co-authored, with Evelyn Mahon and Lucy Dillon Women and Crisis Pregnancy published by Government Publications in 1998.   Recent academic publications include lead authored articles in Gender & Society (Women (Re)Negotiating Care across Family Generations: Intersections of Gender and Socioeconomic Status. 28, (5) 729-751, 2014. ) and Qualitative Research (Emergent Reconstruction’ in Grounded Theory: Learning from Team Based Interview Research.  15, (1) 39-56, 2015).  Forthcoming publications include a co-edited collected (with Aideen Quilty and Sinead Kennedy) entitled The Abortion Papers Ireland Volume Two with Cork University Press.  An interest in innovative translation of applied policy research led to a recent project translating research with women concealing pregnancy into an Opera performance in collaboration with colleagues in Music and English.

Dr. Bríd McGrath
Dr. Bríd McGrath (B.A. (Mod.), M. Litt., Ph. D., D.L.I.S.) is a researcher and information consultant who has worked in the health and social services sector in Ireland for more than 30 years.  She is an expert in sources of quality information in the social services and social policy areas and in their effective exploitation. Bríd is a former Research Fellow in the Departments of Social Policy and Pyschology in Trinity College Dublin and has also lectured in the Department of Library and Information Studies, U.C.D. She has worked as a Research Associate in the School of Social Work and Social Policy since 1994. Bríd has published reports, papers and articles on issues related to social affairs in Ireland, information services and policy, and also early modern Irish history.

Dr. Kate Babineau
Dr. Kate Babineau completed the MSc in Applied Social Research programme in 2009 and earned a PhD in Child and Youth Research from Trinity College Dublin in 2014. For her doctoral studies funded by the Trinity Immigration Initiative, she designed and validated a child-centred measure of inter-ethnic relations using a mixed methods approach. Prior to entering into social research, Kate worked as a primary school teacher and as a youth development project manager. She current works as a postdoctoral researcher with the TobaccoFree Research Institute of Ireland and as a freelance researcher. Her interests include child and youth centred research, migration, ethnicity and health, and creative / emerging methodologies.

Entry requirements +
  • Applicants should normally have an upper second-class honors degree in one of the Social Sciences. Applications from graduates in other disciplines (e.g. health sciences, business studies, marketing, history etc.) who have relevant experience will be considered.

  • For applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English please click here
Fees +
Tuition 2015/2016
PT / FT EU / Non-EU Tuition per annum













Additional charges include the students Sports Centre charge of €90 and the €8 U.S.I. Levy. There is a commencement fee of €135 payable by all students.

Please Note: There is currently no Trinity awards for postgraduate students on taught courses but there may be limited funding from external sources. Please see here

Fees may be subject to change

Application +

Required Documentation

  • Application Form completed online via
  • 2 Reference Letters - applicants are not required to get two hard copy references. You must list two referee contact details on the online application form. An automated email will be sent to both referees asking them to complete a template and send it back. It is preferable that references are either academic or professional.
  • Official Transcripts - a transcript is a breakdown of the modules you completed and the grades you obtained. Please contact your University to request a transcript as soon as possible as some Universities can take up to 21 days to process transcripts. This includes undergraduate transcripts and graduate transcripts if applicable.
  • Curriculum Vitae

Application Procedure

Applications are completed electronically via

Course codes:
Full-time M.Sc. in Applied Social Research DPTSW-ASRE-1F09

Part-time M.Sc. in Applied Social Research DPTSW-ASRE-1P09

For any questions with the online application process please contact:
Contact details +

Ms. Laura Cusack, Executive Officer
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Tel: +353 1 896 3593

Dr Paula Mayock, Course Director
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Tel: +353 1 896 2636

Last updated 29 January 2016 Social Work & Social Policy (Email).