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Studying in DCU: words from current students 

Studying in DCU can be challenging, overwhelming but also a life changing experience.

This video is from one our former PhD student, Priyanka Talwar, who is to graduate in April. 2016. Here is what she is says about her experience in DCU.


Currently the School of Law and Governmet (DCU) has four postgraduate scholars pursuing their PhD and one pursuing a Master by research. 

 Anurag Sharma

With an academic background in Information Technology, Anurag Sharma is a postgraduate research student (M.Phil. in Politics and International Relations) at School of Law and Government, Dublin City University.  Anurag’s research interest includes Internet and Terrorism, online radicalisation, influence of terrorist website or online content on public. His academic supervisor is Dr. Maura Conway from School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. Anurag is in DCU since November 2015.


Arpita Chakraborty Arpita Chakraborty

With a M.A. Media & Cultural Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (2012) and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Calcutta (2010), Arpita joined the Institute as the Ireland India Institute scholar in 2014. She has worked briefly as an Editor in academic publications before starting her PhD. She co-directed ‘Bharatmata Ki Jai’, a national award winning documentary film in 2012. 

Her PhD, entitled ‘The Influence of the women’s movement on public discourse around political violence: The case of India’, explores the influence of Indian women’s movement on public discourses of political violence. Events of political violence are crucial because of the critical role they play in initiating and evolving public perception around violence, its effect on women, and necessary steps towards their mitigation. Across the world women’s movements have been beginning, revolving and connecting amongst themselves around eruptions of political violence. Discourses around political violence and violence against women are intricately connected, as traced most prominently in International Relations theory in the works of feminist scholars like Cynthia Weber, Katherine Moon, and others. This research will focus on three cases of political violence in India: Bathanitola (1996), Godhra riots (2002) and Khairlanji (2006). All the cases belong to the post-neoliberalisation age where positive assertion policies for lower castes, rise of dalits (a word used by the previously untouchables to assert themselves as a political group), feminism as well as Hindu nationalism has decisively changed the discourse around violence. This research will seek to ascertain the effect of all these factors on the popular perceptions around these massacres. All three cases had mostly female victims, and an analysis of the portrayal of these cases in the media will be undertaken to enquire into whether the feminist engagement with violence has been successful in making the public discourse more gender sensitive. Throughout the analysis, I will reflect on the role women’s’ movements and trans-national feminist networks can play in discussions around political violence. The conclusions from the discourse analysis will be helpful in determining how discourses around political violence can be made more perceptive of the involvement of women.

Arpita’s research interests are postcolonial feminism, casteism, feminist IR. Her supervisor is Dr. Maura Conway. Arpita is in DCU since October 2014.



Bitopi Dutta  Bitopi Dutta

Bitopi Dutta is a Ph.D. student at the school of law and Government. She got her B.A. in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University (2010) and her Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (2012). During her work as a research associate in North Eastern Social Research Centre in Guwahati, Bitopi has conducted extensive studies on development induced displacement in India and traditional method of conflict resolution in tribal indigenous societies. She has also been closely associated with gender and queer activism in India and co-founded the first queer collective called Xukia in the state of Assam. She is also in the editorial team of the very first queer zine of the region called “Forbidden” published quarterly by Xukia.

Her research thesis, entitled ‘Gendering Development Induced Displacement: The case of North East India’, work deals with how development induced displacement reorders gendered relationships in tribal matrilineal societies. It analyses how patriarchy engrained in modern development discourses intersects with the discourse of customary rights of indigenous tribal societies leading to a massive gendered reordering of indigenous societies. Focusing on the state of Meghalaya of North East India, the study contextualises the case to three matrilineal tribes of the region in the light of the displacement caused by the coal mining activities in Meghalaya.

Her research interest encompasses the politics of globalisation and development, displacement, gender and sexuality rights, Indigenous people, peace and conflict, queer studies.

Bitopi’s supervisor is Dr. Eileen Connolly. She is in DCU since September 2015.

Hari Sasikumar  Hari Sasikumar

With a M.A. in International Political Economy from King’s College London (2015), a M.A. in Development Studies From the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (2013) and a B.Sc. (Economics) from the Symbiosis International University, Pune (India, 2011), Hari’s interests covers Nationalism, Political Economy, Cultural Studies, Middle-East, Identity, Religion Studies, International Relations, Political Science. His PhD, which title is ‘Ethnic Mobilisation and Identity: The Paradox of Kerala’s Hindu Nationalists’, intends to explore how ethnic and religious nationalisms have been on the rise in different parts of the world for at-least the last three decades. In India, the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its affiliate organisations and their dominant ideology of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ have also gained increasing support during this time. The 2014 general elections saw the BJP win a clear mandate, forming the government in India. The south-western state of Kerala stands as an interesting deviant case in this rising trend of right wing nationalistic politics. The BJP has failed to make any electoral presence in the state, despite its attempts since early 20th century. Conventionally a conservative society, Kerala would seem to be an obvious most-likely case for right wing communal politics to thrive. But the failure of BJP in the state makes an interesting case. This study aims to explore this case from the theoretical perspective of Banal Nationalism, and answer the following questions: What explains religious mobilisation for political purposes? Can institutionalisation of religion explain the paradox of Hindu Nationalism in a conservative Kerala society?

 His supervisor is Dr Ken McDonagh. Hari is in DCU since September 2015.


Mohd Tahir Ganie  Mohd Tahir Ganie

With a B.A. in English Literature from Aligarh Muslim University (2008), a M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Studies from the Islamic University of Science and Technology (2011), and a M.A. in International Peace Studies (IR), from the International University of Japan (2014), Tahir has many workigns previous experience ebfore starting a Ph.D. in Dublin City Unviersity. He was correspondent and feature writer for Srinagar-based newspaper Greater Kashmir  (2011-2012). He co-authored Mercy Corps’ “One Young Kashmir: Summit Report” (2011) and was an editor for Tribune, the student newsletter for International University of Japan (2012-2014). Tahir was also a columnist for Calcutta-based Kindle Magazine (present).

Tahir is a second year PhD candidate of Politics and International Relations in the School of Law and Government. He has worked on the theme of identity and nationalist politics in his two previous (masters) theses, exploring historical, socio-economic, and political factors that engendered ethnic-nationalist movement in Kashmir. In his current work, entitle ‘Youth Discourses on the Kashmir Conflict: A Framing Analysis Perspective’, he is researching the recent trends in the Kashmiri self-determination movement (called Tehreek, in local parlance) and examining the frames of reference that the youth of Kashmir employ in their discourses on the Kashmir conflict -  the focus is on the youth discourses in the post-2008 period. The study draws on the framing analysis perspective as developed by the social movement scholars like William Gamson, Robert Benford, David Snow, Pamila Oliver, and Hank Johnston.    

Tahir’s supervisor is Dr John Doyle. 


Other students have joined DCU. Here are their testimonies.


 Lijesh Samson

Lijesh Samson is a MEng in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering 2015. He is from  Ghaziabad, India.

About studying in DCU, he declares: ‘My modules in my Masters program are perfect for me. I get chance to do a project on Sustainable Energy for the huge campus. The Engineering Department, the labs and the equipment are just like the ones I always wished for. Summer research project will be on waste water treatment. With the over consumption of water in the world, the resource is depleting and the scarcity is increasing. So what we are trying to do is find a better way than the reverse osmosis water filter system and other expensive systems. We want to develop a cheaper and effective system which will be feasible to use in many sectors. This will all be done by Membrane Distillation.’

For him, ‘Making the decision to be in DCU was really good, I am having a great time in every way. This place will give you more than what you want.’


 Naheed Zaman

Naheed Zaman is a MSc in Cloud Computing & Commerce 2013 and a Government of Ireland Scholar. For him, the most interesting about coming to DCU and in Ireland is ‘finding it interesting to be able to attend many a workshops, seminars, events that are always happening in Dublin across many different fields, and it was easy to locate few and relate them back to studies, something which was encouraged by the lecturers. Besides the vibrant startup community in Ireland made opportunities/resources available in universities for budding student entrepreneurs, something that I found extremely valuable.’

For him, ‘besides the emphasis and efforts on quality of education and collaboration with industry, DCU is in a very good location, there are a lot of student societies across different themes and areas of interests, the fitness centre & pool is awesome, the campus accommodation is very well looked after as well.‘

Naheed can alos be found at Education in Ireland, where he has a blog.