New Publication: Why Students Leave Third Level Education in Ireland.

Student non-completion report image

A recently published report on student non-completion in Ireland is now available. The report was compiled by myself, Dr. Niamh Moore-Cherry, and Prof. Suzie Quin. The full document is available here.

The report was referenced by Joe Humphreys in the Irish Times (available here) and by Katherine Donnelly in the Irish Independent (available here).


A Guide to Philosophy and Learning in University


The Pink Guide to Philosophy, introduces philosophy in a clear and concise manner and discusses various myths about philosophy. Although this guide is aimed at philosophy students, I think that this resource would be really useful to all social science undergraduates, as it offers a range of advice on studying in university. Beginning with ten tips on studying, the site then outlines “how to read”, “how to write”, “writing do’s and don’ts”, and “how to revise”. Compiled by Professor Helena de Bres, this website offers practical advice and is a great resource for students.

50 Influential Books of the Last 50 Years



SuperScholar lists the most influential books of the last 50 years. Note that this is not a list of the most enjoyable books, but the books that had most influence in society.

Books from this list that I plan on reading in the near future include:

Chinua Achebe (1958) Things Fall Apart

Toni Morrison (1987) Beloved

Allan Bloom (1987) The Closing of the American Mind

Umberto Eco (1980) The Name of the Rose

Daniel Goleman (1995) Emotional Intelligence



Publication: PhD Training


An article that I wrote with my colleagues Adrienne Hobbs and Jackie S. McGloughlin has been published in GeoJournal. It is part of a Geojournal Special Issue entitled “Rethinking the PhD in Geography”, which examines international PhD programs in geography. Seventeen papers are included in this Special Issue which critique PhD programmes and examine the impact of neoliberalism on the PhD degree. Our article explores PhD training in Ireland, with specific reference to Maynooth University. The abstract is below and the full paper is available here.

Improving formal research training: developments at NUI Maynooth, Ireland

Abstract: As elsewhere, Irish universities are now actively rethinking the PhD degree and striving for improved student experiences and outcomes. We present here a student perspective on reform in the Irish system, using the case of the Department of Geography at the National University of Ireland Maynooth for illustration. Specifically we focus upon the introduction of compulsory and formal graduate education modules. We argue that formalised research training is worthwhile; however, we call attention to the importance of the student’s autonomy and stress the importance of maintaining flexibility for the individual researcher.

Verso Lists Key Reading for Undergraduates


The publishing house Verso have compiled a list of key readings for undergraduates (available here). The 24 books are inclusive of works by Marx, Harvey, Lukes, Zizek, Balibar, and Anderson. This list would also be helpful and informative for post-graduate students and academics alike.

Admittedly there are a number of these publications that I have not read as of yet, but I’m thankful to have discovered this list and to begin reading. I’ll probably start with “The Curios Enlightenment of Professor Caritat” by Steven Lukes. It sounds fascinating!  Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life” by the Fields sisters is also now on my “to read” list. 

Mapping “illegal”/irregular migrtaion


The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) has developed an Interactive Map of Migration (I-Map), available here. This site maps irregular and mixed migration patterns from African countries to Europe. One must be mindful of the agenda of this organization, but it provides a useful tool for understanding the broader context of migration to Europe and could be used as a teaching aid.