Roisin Deasy

Profile picture of Roisin Deasy

After four decades working in Leinster House and in high-powered communications roles for government departments, Roisin Deasy admits that opting to do a Master’s in Political Communication could be seen as an unusual choice.

“I suppose it was cart before horse for me,” says Roisin. “I did the practical, now I was doing the theoretical.”

Her career included 17 years working in senior communications positions in the Department of Health and the Department of Housing. “I loved it. I loved the cut and thrust of it. I loved the engagement. I suppose I loved the spinning plates.”

Her job also meant she had an up-close experience of major events such as Queen Elizabeth’s state visit to Ireland. Her ‘access-all-areas’ role even gave her the opportunity for a lively chat with President Barack Obama in a Moneygall pub during his 2011 visit. 

Having decided to retire after a busy career, Roisin hadn’t planned on returning to education, but attending her daughter Alex’s graduation at the Helix in DCU sparked the idea of taking on a master’s. 

“She walked across the stage for graduation and like all parents, your heart is bursting with pride,” she says. “I turned to my husband Dermot and I said, I'm going to do that, I'm going to do a master's.”

Roisin looked at various courses in different universities but ultimately chose DCU’s MA in  Political Communication “because it really looked the most interesting.” 

A pragmatic approach was also part of her decision, as she felt her professional experience working in government departments would be a plus.

“For me, it was about linking it to my job because I thought that would give me an advantage. I hadn't been in education in 30 years. I was obviously going to struggle but I wanted to ease the struggle from the outset by at least having a background.”

Roisin says she found that adapting her writing style was her biggest challenge. “Academic writing is very different and I had real difficulty doing it because I wrote in plain English. I suppose it's about raising your writing to another level and it's undoing what I'd been doing for over 40 years.”

The modules with a more practical focus, such as Public Relations, were the ones Roisin enjoyed the most. She also liked the modules touching on political history. “Most of my classmates were my daughter's age and to them, it's all history. But to me, I'm sitting there going yeah, I'll do an essay on that, because I can actually remember it!”

As a retiree, Roisin relished the opportunity of working with younger classmates on group projects. “I had so much to give them, but they had so much to give me as well,” she says.

Her classmates were particularly supportive of her in terms of her writing assignments and any tech challenges she encountered. “You know, it's almost like they adopted me as opposed to me adopting them!” 

Her advice to retirees thinking of a return to university is to consider a course that touches on your professional background. “Look for something that you have some level of interest in so you're not starting afresh.”

Reflecting on the experience of returning to education, Roisin says she would highly recommend it. “Go for it, absolutely go for it. It’s the best thing I've ever done, one of the biggest challenges I've ever had and one of the most rewarding.” 


DCU Prospectus - MA in Political Communications