Structured Research Masters (MLitt) Programme – School of Sociology

The core of the Research Masters degree is a coherent programme of supervised research which requires that the student completes a thesis based on independent research. The primary purpose of this programme is to help the student develop the skills and competencies required to conduct research.

The MLitt in the School of Sociology aims to enable Research students to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. The School encourages MLitt students to given seminar and conference presentations based on their research and to have their work published. The programme includes several innovative measures designed to support you in achieving your academic and professional objectives, which are outlined below.

Research Masters Panel
The School of Sociology will appoint a Research Masters Panel for you at the beginning of your first year.  The purpose of the Research Masters Panel is to support and enhance the supervisor-student relationship, to monitor your progress during the course of your doctoral studies and to provide advice and support both to you and your supervisor(s).  It follows the same format as a Doctoral Studies Panel for a PhD student. See link to Academic Regulations below for more information.

Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP)
Research and professional development planning is an integral part of the MLitt programme at UCD. The purpose of such planning is to ensure that your work is clearly focused on achieving your research and professional development goals. This will play a major part in informing the trajectory of your research and in your training and development as a researcher.  For further information on the RPDP please click here.

Transferable Skills Training
As a Research graduate, your skill-set will naturally include the advanced research and analytical techniques required to undertake high level research in your field. You will also be expected to possess a range of transferable skills, relevant to the successful completion of your research project and to broader career development.  Taught modules, online modules and workshops covering a wide range of transferable skills and research skills topics are available to assist you. Please visit  Research Student Training and Development for further information.

Credits and Modules
The UCD Structured PhD & Research Masters (MLitt) operate within a credit-based framework (270 credits for 3-year full-time, or 5-6 year part-time PhD and 180 credits for 2-year full-time MLitt). Of the 180 credits for the MLitt you must earn 30 credits by attending taught modules that develop your academic and transferable skills. Please see Masters modules available under our "Masters Programmes" in left hand column.

The School runs PhD/MLitt Roundtable  modules in research and theory (2.5 credits per semester) which students are encouraged to take. Students may also take modules from within the School’s taught Masters Programmes (10 credits per module) or from other programmes within the College of Social Sciences and Law, including a wide range of modules in research methods.

Transfer from Research Masters to PhD Degree

Research Masters students may transfer to Stage One of a doctoral programme on successful completion of a transfer assessment following a minimum one calendar year period of registration to the Research masters degree programme and subject to any policy the University may establish.  Further information and guidelines regarding doctoral programmes may be found in Sections 11 – 22 of the University Academic Regulations (Please see link to Academic Regulations below.)

Note on PhD Progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2
Doctoral studies, which are normally completed by full-time students within three years, comprise two stages:

Stage 1 is a period when you define your research plan, develop your research skills and initiate original research work for your doctorate. For doctoral students progression from Stage 1 to Stage 2 normally occurs within the first 12-18 months (or 24-36 months for part-time student).

Stage 2 is primarily dedicated to continuing your original doctoral research but may also include some advanced education and training.

Academic Regulations:
The regulations governing the UCD Structured PhD Programme and Research Masters are available HERE

UCD Research Ethics:
Regulations governing UCD Research Ethics are available HERE

Further Information

For further information, please contact the School’s Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Alice Feldman: