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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences

This highly focused internship program enhances career prospects in politics because it allows you to experience Irish politics and culture right from within its governing body, Oireachtas (Irish Parliament). Supporting your internship experience, you enroll in courses on Ireland's history, society, politics, and literature.

Unique study opportunities

  • Participate in an enriching internship with a member of the Irish parliament.
  • Discover Ireland’s transition from a traditional to modern society through the rich and comedic stories in Irish literature.
  • Learn the history of Northern Ireland from a national perspective and what its current autonomy means to Irish politics.
  • Assess recent developments in Ireland’s economy and the nation’s experience with EU membership.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: None

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Three upper-division courses and an internship for a total of 21 quarter/14 semester UC units.
  • The internship can be taken for a letter grade or pass/no pass. If you take it pass/no pass, you must take all other courses for a letter grade.
  • If you take the internship for a letter grade, you may take one of the three courses pass/no pass.
  • Regularly report internship progress to the program director.

Current Program Courses

This program has two components: the internship and academic courses.

Internship (7.5 quarter/5 semester UC units): From week two onwards, you will spend two days per week in Parliament. Based on your skills and experience, you may be assigned research, report writing, drafting of press releases, or corresponding with constituents or organizations on local matters. For more details see Internships.

Academic Courses (4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units each): You will be enrolled in three upper-division courses at the Institute of Public Administration:

  • History of Modern Ireland: Surveys Irish history from the beginning of Home Rule movement, through the War of Independence, the establishment of the Republic of Ireland, to Ireland's role in Europe today.
  • Modern Irish Literature: Focuses on the socio-political aspects of Irish writing from 1880 to 2010.
  • Irish Society and Politics: Examines Irish culture and how it impacts Ireland today; focusing on Irish society, politics, and economy, and Ireland and the European Union.

Additional or optional coursework, internships, and research for academic credit are not possible on this program.

Catalogs and resources

  • Academic Offerings: See an overview of academic offerings at all Irish partner institutions.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

​The Institute of Public Administration (IPA) is the leading provider of education and training programs for the wider public service. The Institute provides training courses as well as a range of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. IPA awards degrees through the National University of Ireland system and is the national center for civil service training in public administration and public management. IPA courses are taught by full-time professional staff, all of whom have many years of teaching, training, and consulting combined with a deep understanding of the challenges and constraints facing the public sector.

The internship is an officially authorized program working within the Irish Houses of Parliament: the Dail and the Senate. It is governed by the House Committee on Procedures and Privileges. Interns have the status of adjunct staff. Work in parliament is subject to conditions laid down by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges covering such matters as access to facilities, dress code, dealings with press and televised media, etc.

As an intern, you’ll be part of a small staff: Irish parliamentarians commonly have a staff complement of just one or two. Interns work between two and three days per week. The nature of the work varies greatly but can be summarized as either administration or research. Typically interns undertake some combination of these research and administration tasks. Throughout the internship, you’ll give an account of progress to the program director.​


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades for the fall semester are typically available late January or early February. Grades for the spring semester are typically available late June.