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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Teaching and Learning in Politics Specialist Group


Dr. Eman Abboud, Trinity College Dublin. Email:

Dr. Philip Murphy, University College Cork. Email:


This specialist group brings together scholars (from post-graduates to established academics) who explore innovations in teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum development, and examine different pedagogical approaches within the discipline. It acts as a forum for networking, debate, publication and grant application and as a locus of communication between scholars of teaching and learning in politics in Ireland and similar international groupings.

The specialist group aims to provide a network for colleagues who are interested in exploring pedagogic developments within the discipline in order to share cutting edge approaches and effective techniques in teaching and learning.


The Teaching and Learning in Politics specialist group is an active source of scholarship and collaboration in this ever-developing field. The focus of such collaboration includes dedicated panels at the annual PSAI conference; occasionally, joint activities at larger conferences (such as the PSA, the ECPR, APSA, and IPSA); workshops and shared research/publishing initiatives. The group is also a forum for professional networking between those working in the area, thereby, fostering research collaborations leading to publications and research funding bids.

In 2015 the Specialist Group was designated as a Disciplinary network by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and successfully bid for funding from the Forum to organise a conference, jointly funded by the Forum and the PSAI.

On September 18th 2015, the PSAI teaching and learning specialist group held a one-day conference on “Teaching politics in our universities: inspiring, inciting and enlightening”. It brought together students, academics, the media, politicians, educationalists and managers to discuss the significance of education in, for and about politics in our institutions of higher education (see PSAI teaching and learning blog for papers).

PSAI Teaching and Learning Award

Each year a teaching and learning prize is awarded.

PSAI Teaching and Learning Blog

The teaching and learning specialist group have created a blog to share information on teaching and learning good practice, to showcase innovative approaches and to highlight research in this area. All posts, comments, articles, photos, videos etc are welcome. Please visit: to participate.

The International Political Education Database (IPED)

IPED is a bibliographic database of journal articles relating to teaching and learning in politics, international relations, public administration and related fields. It aims to raise the profile of teaching and learning publications and encourage further research and scholarly debate.

It includes more than 800 citations and sections covering: Active Learning; Critical thinking; E-learning; Experiential Learning; Films and Novels; Gender; Large Group Teaching; Problem-based Learning; Race and Ethnicity; Research Methods; Service learning, Placement Learning and Internships; Simulations; Small Group Teaching; Surveys of Teaching and Learning Practice. There is also a section covering research published by authors at institutions in the UK and Ireland which includes more than 100 articles. IPED is hosted on the website of the Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Group website at:


The Teaching and Learning in Politics specialist group welcomes members. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.

You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the group.