Our research PhD and MLitt Programmes

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Prospective students are encouraged to contact possible supervisors to discuss PhD projects before application. See our faculty pages for the areas of research expertise.

UCD Philosophy runs a structured PhD programme of typically four years full-time study.  In their first year, doctoral candidates are required to successfully complete four graduate modules, up to two of which may be taken at Trinity College.  After this, they complete a dissertation of approximately 80,000 words under the guidance of a doctoral panel. The panel is made up of the primary supervisor with whom the student works most closely, and two other members of staff. 

There is also the option to finish earlier by writing an MLitt dissertation, which is half the length, and does not have such stringent requirements of originality.

We have significant placement success with our PhD graduates, some of whom now work in Philosophy departments across Europe, the United States and China.

 Recognising the PhD as a professional training for academia, UCD Philosophy supports its graduate researchers in a number of ways:

  • Candidates are encouraged to take part in the numerous professional conferences and workshops held at the university and to travel to others abroad in their research areas;
  • Candidates are facilitated in running conferences and workshops of their own, as well as organising and participating in reading groups/research seminars;
  • Importantly, all doctoral candidates have the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience by tutoring undergraduate courses (and are of course remunerated accordingly). Some opportunities to give occasional lectures may be provided to advanced candidates.

Special Option: Writing a PhD thesis in the French or German Language

The UCD School of Philosophy will consider, as part of a general application to its PhD programme, any request to submit a PhD thesis in the French or German language.

Please note: this option is only available under the usual admission conditions, namely,

  • the applicant should be otherwise academically suitable;
  • the applicant must have certified competence in written English enabling him/her to take part in taught courses and to write work for such courses alongside English native speakers;
  • availability of an appropriate supervisor.
  • Further conditions may also be stipulated after consideration on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the philosophy@ucd.ie if you wish to discuss this possibility.