The UCD structured PhD programme:
- recognises that the essential elements of the PhD remain research, generation and dissemination of new knowledge, and progression of the candidate towards academic autonomy
- provides the context for a deep intellectual engagement with a topic, so that the student will develop the intellectual skills and related critical capacities for academic research and related scholarly activities
- facilitates the submission of the final thesis in either monograph style or an article-based format (PhD by publication)
The UCD structured PhD degree may be completed on a full or a part-time basis. A full-time PhD will normally involve a registration period of not less than nine trimesters (three years) and not more than 12 trimesters (four years). For part-time students, the period of registration is not less than 15 trimesters (five years) and not more than 18 trimesters (six years). Each student is assigned at least one academic supervisor, and his/her training programme is supported by a research studies panel.
Entrants to the PhD programme are required to undertake 30 credits of taught modules which are based on each student’s needs to support their research and from September 2019 all students commencing a research degree are required to complete a Research Integrity Training programme.
The UCD structured PhD programme is pursued in two stages. Stage 1 doctoral studies must be completed by a full-time student within five trimesters from the date of registration and by a part-time student within seven trimesters from the time of registration.
a) Stage 1 is an initial period of advanced education, training and research.
b) Stage 2 is dedicated to original doctoral research (but may also include advanced education and research and generic training) and submission of a final thesis in either monograph style or an article-based format (PhD by publication).
Applications for entry to the programme are welcome from those in nursing, midwifery or a health-related discipline.
If you are considering applying to the programme please contact the Director of Graduate Research for an informal chat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The UCD structured PhD enables students to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. Making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, normally leading to peer-reviewed publications remains the core objective of doctoral studies. The UCD structured PhD includes several innovative measures designed to support you in achieving your academic and professional objectives.
Entrants to the PhD programme are required to undertake 30 credits of taught modules which are based on the student’s needs to support the thesis work. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be considered for up to two-thirds of these 30 credits. Application for RPL credits should be considered in discussion with your Supervisor after registration to the programme. Such credits must be approved by the School’s Research Degrees Committee and the College Graduate School Board.
UCD is committed to the promotion of an environment which maintains the highest standards in relation to its educational mission and research activity. As part of this policy, all new entrants to a research degree programme from September 2019 are required to complete a programme of Research Integrity training. For more information on Research Integrity Training for students, please click here
The UCD structured PhD programme is pursued in two stages. Stage 1 doctoral studies must be completed by a full-time student within five trimesters from the date of registration and by a part-time student within seven trimesters from the date of registration.
a) Stage 1 is an initial period of advanced education, training and research.
b) Stage 2 is largely dedicated to original doctoral research (but may also include advanced education and research and generic training) leading to the submission of the final thesis in either monograph style or in an article-based format (PhD by publication)
Use the links below to access detailed information on the structured PhD programme from UCD Graduate Studies including: details on supervision, Research Studies Panels, Research Integrity Training, Transferable Skills programme and Research and Professional Development planning:
Structured PhD support
Research and PhD support including the Graduate Research student Handbook
Applications will be considered from students who are not living in Ireland. Applicants who are not resident in Ireland and who wish to register to the Ph.D. programme may, subject to approval, remain in their home country for all or most of their Ph.D. studies and receive supervision remotely.
For these students, up to 20 credits of the required 30 credits of taught modules may be gained through the Recognition of Prior Learning process. Gaining credits in this way is subject to the approval of the student’s research studies panel and other governance mechanisms of the university. Engagement with taught modules offerings in UCD to support your PhD study is recommended.
Students applying to the Ph.D. programme with the intention of remaining in their home country for the duration of their studies should discuss with the nominated Supervisor in advance of an application how they will complete the 30 mandatory taught credits.
It is anticipated that a student would complete one semester based in UCD as part of their programme of learning in addition to the requirement for attendance at formal Stage Transfer Assessment. A written plan of proposed attendance must be discussed with the nominated Supervisor before application to the programme.
Please open the next blue tab: 'What to do before applying' for more information.
Applicants seeking admission to a course of study and research leading to a PhD or research master's degree must fulfil of the following criteria
a) The candidate has obtained a minimum of an upper second-class degree or equivalent in a relevant honours Bachelor’s degree;
b) The candidate has obtained a relevant master’s degree;
c) In certain circumstances, the candidate has demonstrated other evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience as satisfies the Governing Board of their suitability for admission to the degree programme. These criteria are considered non-standard admission requirements.
If you are unsure if you are eligible you should contact the Programme Administrator.
English Language Requirements for entry to Graduate Programmes at UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Candidates whose first language is not English and whose primary degree was obtained in a country where English is not the official language of instruction must provide proof of proficiency in English such as IELTS or TOEFL.
The original certificate of completion of an English language test must be enclosed with the application. In all cases the test results must not be more than two years old. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Candidates whose existing degree was obtained in a country where the official language of instruction is English may, at the request of the School, still be subject to the same requirements where English is not the candidate’s first language.
The following are the English language tests and scores accepted by this School:
IELTS [International English Language Testing System–Academic]
Minimum Overall Band Score of 7.0, with a result NOT LESS than 6.5 in EACH of the individual sections.
TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language]
Internet Based Test: Minimum total score of 100 out of 120, with a score NOT LESS than 22 in Reading and Listening. NOT LESS than 26 in Speaking and NOT LESS than 24 in the test of written English.
Paper Based Test
Minimum total score of 600 with a score NOT LESS than 5.0 in the Test of Written English.