PhD Research Programme

The UCD School of Information and Communication Studies doctoral programme aims to provide an environment that enables creative, energetic, and internally motivated students to complete original research that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge related to information, communication, and/or library science. The Doctor of Philosophy in Information and Communication Studies achieves this by providing students the flexibility to select relevant modules to their field of study and work with research active supervisors in the field.

Recommended timeline:
Full-time: 3-4 years, Part-time 5-6 years. For a recommended timeline along with PhD policies and procedures, please see the UCD ICS PhD Handbook (pdf).

The PhD research programme at UCD School of Information and Communication Studies provides the highest level of specialisation in:

  • Digital Curation and Digital Heritage
  • Information and Digital Literacy
  • Human Computer Interaction and Informatics
  • Communication with and through Technology
  • Critical Information Studies
  • Information Behaviour 
  • Data and Society
  • Data Journalism

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It is expected that PhD students will have an academic background necessary to support doctoral level research. Information and communication studies is a broad, interdisciplinary field and all students will need different knowledge to complete their thesis. A potential supervisor may be able to advise on the knowledge they expect their potential students to have gained before applying for entry to the programme.

In addition to subject specific knowledge, all PhD students are expected to have a basic understanding of social science research methods before applying for entry to the programme. If this knowledge is lacking and the student is offered a place, it is expected that they will complete necessary taught modules in research methods to meet basic requirements set by the department.

1. Check admission requirements.

a. A minimum 2.1 primary degree (GPA greater than 3.08) in any field of study*; OR
b. A minimum 2.1 (GPA greater than 3.08)master’s degree in information science, library science, communication studies or a related field.
For non-native English speakers, an English language certificate is required: IELTS overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each section.
*If an applicant does not hold a master’s degree, they will be required to enter the PhD programme via the MLitt programme and will be provided the option of advancing to stage two of the PhD programme after successful completion of a Transfer Assessment Panel (TAP). Only applicants who meet the master’s degree requirement will be considered for funding.

2. The online application system opens in February each year.

Although you may submit at any time, applications are not reviewed until after the May 1st deadline (if you are applying for the UCD China Scholarship Scheme or other schemes the deadlines are usually much earlier- please contact the PhD Coordinator or UCD Graduate studies). We will attempt to notify you about the outcome of your application as soon as possible. After your application is preliminarily reviewed, you may or may not be asked to complete a Skype interview, to provide the application committee with more information. An interview does not mean you are or are not more likely to be accepted to the programme, it is just a way to gather more information about your application.
If you have further questions please contact the PhD coordinator:

For current UCD Postgraduate research fees:

EU fees

Non EU fees

For information about moving to and the cost of living in Dublin.

Complete PhD applications submitted by the annual May 1st deadline will be considered for a scholarship if interest in funding is stated in the PhD application.


2018 iSchool PhD Scholarship
Tuition remission at the EU rate, renewable for up to 3 years €10,000 stipend per year, renewable for 3 years.

Full-time enrollment in the PhD in Information and Communication Studies is required (Apply for programme code W139). In order to enrol in the programme, students must have completed a minimum 2.1 master’s degree.

The total value of the scholarship will be equivalent to the EU fee rate and an annual stipend of €10,000 for a period of up to three years. Non-EU students may be offered the scholarship at EU rate and apply the stipend to make of the difference between the EU and the Non-EU tuition rate. The scholarship does not cover the cost of the annual student levy fee.

In order to be considered for funding, an applicant should select “yes” ” to the application question “I would like to be considered for funding” AND complete the text box describing their interest in offering teaching or research support in exchange for the scholarship stipend, on the UCD Online Applications system by 1st May 2018 to be considered for the iSchool PhD Scholarship.


In order to be considered for the iSchool PhD scholarship, the entire application package (complete answers to application prompts, necessary transcripts, references, IELTS scores, letters of reference, application fee paid, etc.) must be complete by 11:59pm GMT on 1 May 2018. Incomplete packages will not be considered for funding.

Scholarship-terms-conditions-2018 for iSchool PhD Scholarships. 

Other sources of funding:

Irish Research Council




UCD ICS hosts visiting PhD scholars for less than 6 months or less than 12 months. As a visiting Phd student scholar you will be provided a desk to complete your work, library access and be invited to participate in school speaker series.

Application process

1. Check eligibility requirements

Currently enrolled in an accredited PhD Programme in information science, library science, communication studies or a related discipline.

Be in good financial standing with your home university

For non-native English speakers, an English language certificate is required: IELTS overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each section.

2. Conduct research on School staff areas of expertise.

Search the UCD staff profiles and search published literature on Google scholar to get an idea about staff research expertise.

3. Contact a school staff member and ask if they would be willing to supervisor you for a temporary proposed project. You will not be considered for a place in the programme if a staff member has not

agreed to supervise you. While the PhD Coordinator may be able to offer advice, it is

not the role of the PhD Coordinator to match applicants with supervisors. It is

expected that exceptional applicants will locate their own supervisor.

4. Apply to the PhD Programme Coodinator using the attached application. (link) If

applying for the UCD China Scholarship Scheme, please see this page for details as the

application process differs



Applications must include all necessary documents to be considered.

Visiting PhD Students Application Form (pdf)

UCD ICS PhD HandbookPDF|974 kB