The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy has  33 full-time academics, making it by some distance the largest institutional centre for the study of these subjects in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.

The UK Research Assessment Exercise – RAE 2008 – has produced very impressive results in its assessment of research carried out in the School.  Over 50% of the research was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, and the School performed very well in relation to Departments in other UK Universities. Of 58 UK Politics Departments, QUB came 11th, in terms of the average grade for research multiplied by the number of people submitted; within the prestigious Russell Group, QUB Politics was ranked 8th.   Queen’s Philosophy was also confirmed as excellent, with 65% of its research activity rated either in Category 4* or Category 3* (i.e. world leading or internationally excellent). These impressive results reinforce QUB’s position as one of the leading centres in the UK for world-class research in Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.

QUB has five areas of distinctive research strength:

  • Philosophy
  • Political Theory
  • Irish Political History
  • Governance and Public Policy
  • International Politics and Ethnic Conflict

List of modules completed:

  • The politics of deeply divided societies
  • Modern Irish politics (20th century)
  • Contemporary theories of justice (John Rawls vs Robert Nozick)
  • Social anthropology (Michel Foucault)
  • Issues and decision-making in the European Union


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) is one of the six faculties at Maastricht University. It was founded in 1994. The format of the education is, like at all the faculties of Maastricht University, based on the principle of Problem-Based Learning (PBL). The faculty is internationally oriented and the programmes are offered in English.

The Research Institute for Arts and Culture encompasses all research of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The Research Institute comprises three programmes:

  1. Political Culture.
  2. Science, Technology and Society.
  3. Cultural Memory and Diversity.

The research area encompasses both the humanities and the social sciences.

Political Culture

It is an exciting time, as this generation will see the emergence of new forms and functions of politics and political institutions. Our traditional view of politics revolves around the democratic nation-state. However, the power of traditional political institutions is now being tested.

European integration is limiting the auton­omy of individual countries and independence movements are challenging the authority of nation-states. Fewer citizens are joining political parties and new, supranational institutions that influence politics, are developing.

The Political Culture specialisation examines politics from a variety of perspectives and deals with various political theories.

The courses focus on important questions about representative government, examine various political issues, including poverty and wealth, globalisation and localism and inclusion and exclusion. Topics covered are challenges of developments in the European Union, in environmental policies, and specifically the multicultural society.

List of modules completed:

  • The history of the body in Western philosophy
  • The concept of Good Life in classical philosophy
  • Enlightenment and Romance in Western philosophy and literature
  • The demystifying of the world
  • The realism debate in the Arts of the 19th century
  • The philosophy of science
  • The conceptualisation of ‘the human’
  • Avant-garde and mass culture
  • The social construct of Dutch society
  • Sexuality in the welfare state
  • Postmodernism in the Arts and philosophy
  • The social construct of Europe in the 20th century
  • The lure of totalitarianism
  • The European state
  • Ethnicity, race and colour


  • Medical ethics in a pluralistic society (faculty of Medicine & Health, Maastricht)
  • Theories of Law in a multicultural society (faculty of Law, Maastricht)
  • The Philosophy of Law (faculty of Law, Maastricht)
  • Globalisation and the development of third world countries (faculty of Economics, Maastricht)