Award Types

UCD Graduate Degree Awards Explained

Taught Masters

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Introduction to Award Types

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) is a ten-level system (1–10) giving a value to qualifications obtained in Ireland. UCD Graduate Courses have associated levels assigned to them in accordance with this framework.

Taught Degrees

Taught Masters Degrees (NFQ level 9) are delivered and assessed through a series of taught modules of between 90 and 120 ECTS credits. Taught masters may include continuous assessment, examinations and the final assessment for a masters degree is typically often based on the submission of a dissertation, usually of between 10,000–20,000 words

Research Degree Programmes:

A research degree involves the sustained and in-depth study of a specific topic that is then written up as a thesis for examination. Research degrees involve students carrying out their own research and academic study under the guidance of an academic supervisor and in some cases a co-supervisor supported by a Research Studies Panel. Some research degrees will include taught modules as part of the programme.

 

  • Master’s Degree by research: The Master’s Degree by research (NFQ Level 9) provides education and training in a specific subject are through original exploration and research. The programme is between 1 and 2 years in duration for full time students and 2 and 4 years in duration for part time students. The award is based on a research thesis which must demonstrate the candidate’s attainment of skills and competencies in research.
  • MD degree The MD degree (NFQ Level 9), undertaken by medical graduates, develops the skills and competencies required to conduct effective research and to make a significant contribution to new knowledge and understanding in the theory and/or practice of a specific area of medicine or medical science. An MD degree is carried out over 2 years full time or 4 years part time. Students can take up to 20 ECTS credits of taught modules in the course of the programme. The award is based on a research thesis which must demonstrate a new contribution to knowledge
  • PhD Degree: The PhD degree (NFQ level 10) is awarded where the outcome of the research makes an original and substantial contribution to knowledge and where the candidate has demonstrated the capacity to pursue original research and scholarship. A PhD is typically 4 years in duration for full time students and up to 6 years in duration for part time students. Students must take a minimum of 30 ECTS credits of taught modules of advanced education and training. A research thesis forms the basis for the examination for the award of the degree of PhD and is examined through a viva voce examination by a unique PhD Examination Committee.
  • Professional Doctorate Degrees: A professional doctorate degree ( NFQ Level 10) will be awarded where (a) the outcome of the research makes a significant contribution to knowledge and is deemed publishable in a peer-reviewed journal(s), and (b) where the candidate has demonstrated the capacity to apply knowledge within a professional practice setting. Students must take a prescribed number of taught modules of advanced education and training, specific to the programme.  Depending on the Professional Doctorate, the degree duration is 3-4 years full time and up to 6 years part time as detailed in the table below.

 

  • Professional Doctorate Degree
  • Registration period
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medical Specialisation Degree (DVMS)
  • 9-12 Trimesters (full time)
  • Doctor of Educational Psychology Degree (DEdPsych)
  • 9 trimester (full time)
  • 15 trimester (part time)
  • Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree (DPsychSc)

 

  • 9 Trimesters (full time)
  • Doctor of Governance degree (DGov)

 

  • 12-18 trimesters (part time)

 

Taught Graduate Programmes

More interested in a taught programme? Search or browse all graduate courses at UCD

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