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).

Applications that do not wish to be considered for the iSchool PhD Scholarship must be submitted by July 3rd 2017.

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 (3.08 GPA) in any field of study; OR

b. A 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.

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 an ICS academic staff member directly and ask if they would be willing to supervisor you.

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 programme using the UCD Online applications system.
    This is the only acceptable method to apply to the PhD programme, no email applications or post applications are accepted.

The online application system will provide you to respond to the following prompts. Each section of the application will be weighted using the corresponding percentage.

1. Applicant statement (500-1000 words) (35%)

a. Please provide details of your proposed research to include (a) aims, objectives and central research questions of the project, (b) how existing literature on the topic has been used to inform the proposal and (c) how the project will advance state of the art and make a contribution to existing knowledge:

b. Please detail the research design and methodologies to be employed in carrying out your scholarship which should be described in sufficient detail to demonstrate your thorough understanding of the research topic:

2. Personal statement (500-1000 words) (40%)

a. What are your career goals and how would obtaining a PhD in Information and Communication studies help you to achieve them?

b. How will you go about acquiring the expert knowledge and transferable skills necessary for your professional development, e.g. technical skills, communication skills, analytical skills?

c. How would the PhD degree enable you to gain skills relevant to employment outside the traditional academic sector?

3. Additional information (300-500 words) (10%)

    Please highlight any additional information which has not been included elsewhere in the application, e.g.:

Why do you wish to pursue a higher degree by research?

Why have you proposed this research topic?

Why do you feel there is a specific demand for the skill set that you wish to build?

Why are you particularly suited to this research field?

Which of your attributes demonstrate your capability to be a good researcher, e.g. motivation, commitment, thirst for knowledge?

4. Academic background CV/resume (15%) including detail about work experience and research achievements (publications, research awards, exhibits, media recognition, etc.)

5. The online application system opens in February each year. Although you may submit at any time, applications are not reviewed until after the May 15th deadline (if you are applying for the UCD China Scholarship Scheme 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: amber.cushing@ucd.ie

For current UCD Postgraduate research fees:

EU fees

Non EU fees

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

When funds allow, UCD ICS may offer PhD scholarships.  This varies from year to year. All PhD applications submitted by the May 15th deadline will be considered for a scholarship (if available) unless otherwise indicated.

What?

2017 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.

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. Student levy is not included.

How?

Any applicant that submits an application to the full time PhD programme (code W139) on the UCD Online Applications system by May 15th 2017, will be considered for the iSchool PhD Scholarship.

When?

Applications that wish to be considered for the iSchool PhD Scholarship must be submitted by May 15th 2017

Applications that do not wish to be considered for the iSchool PhD Scholarship must be submitted by July 3rd 2017.

Scholarship-terms-conditions-2017 for iSchool PhD Scholarships. 

 

Other sources of funding:

Irish Research Council

Fulbright

Mitchell

UCD/China 

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

(https://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/feesfundingandscholarships/scholarships/chinasch

olarshipinformation/)

Applications must include all necessary documents to be considered.

Visiting PhD Students Application Form (pdf)

UCD ICS PhD HandbookPDF|974 kB