MLitt & Structured PhD

Application Code

PhD: Z129 (full-time) & Z130 (part-time)
MLitt:  Z113 (full-time) & Z184 (part-time)

A love of research can sometimes blossom early, but it may also emerge more gradually. It may be fostered during your undergraduate study, but could equally develop at a later stage based on an idea for a project, or following travel, work or general life experience. It may be sparked by a particular cultural or intellectual encounter or simply from curiosity and interest in further study. Carrying out postgraduate research can be an enriching experience as well as leading to an internationally recognized qualification that can not only open doors to career opportunities, but can – for those research graduates who may not be certain whether they wish to remain entirely in academic life – greatly enhance the opportunities for progression within companies, organisations and a wide range of professions. An MLitt or PhD in a Modern Language and/or Literature in their related cultures or in any aspect of Linguistics is a key specialization for many walks of life, as well as being a pathway to a career in the academic and educational spheres.

If you are thinking about further study, we would like to welcome you to come to speak with us at any time; our staff are actively conducting research, they will share your enthusiasm and will be very happy to help you find a research project. You can view their research interests and see those areas in which they offer supervision here. Both MLitt and PhD degrees involve working with an academic supervisor. She or he will guide you from the early stages of developing a research project to bringing it to conclusion.

Typically, an MLitt research degree (full-time) will take two years. A PhD is a research degree that usually takes between 3-4 years. (Both degrees are also available part-time*, and an MLitt student can transfer into a PhD degree or vice versa, shortening or extending the length of time for that programme). Both the MLitt and PhD programmes involve writing a longer research Dissertation and also incorporate some taught elements.

*Please note that the part-time option is only available to EU students.


Please send an email to slclgraduates@ucd.ie should you require further information.

Information on the Structured PhD from the UCD Graduate School can be found here. Specific information to SLCL can be found below. Applicants and SLCL PhD students must adhere to SLCL regulations.


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Step 1:

To apply you will need to first identify a potential supervisor with similar research interests to yourself in one of these subject areas and then make contact with them about preparing a proposal. Individual staff research profiles may be found on our Research page and through our staff profiles

Download the brochure here.

Step 2:

Once you have the agreement of an academic member of staff to support your application, you should complete the application form in the next section.

The following documents will need to be attached to your submission of the application form:

  • Research Proposal (1000-1500 words)
  • Personal Statement (max 500 words)
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • English Language Requirements (more information on language requirements and test scores can be found HERE)

In addition to these documents we require two confidential academic references. Please provide the name, position and official address and email address of two academic referees who are acquainted with your academic work a in your application form and who are prepared to write on your behalf. Both references should be submitted directly to slclgraduates@ucd.ie by your referees.

Step 3:

Your application will be reviewed by the School Graduate Committee and then the College Graduate School Board to determine your suitability to take a place on your chosen PhD programme. Your application will be assessed on the basis of your academic qualifications, the alignment of the proposed research with the Schools academic strategy, your personal statement and, where relevant, your English language proficiency as well as the availability of supervisors within the School.

Only when you have been approved by the College Graduate School Board will you be eligible to register to the PhD programme. For this reason it is important that you make your application about 4-5 months prior to your expected start date. You can register for a PhD in UCD in September, January or May, but SLCL recommends a September start.

  • Download the Application Form HERE
  • Registration periods are at the beginning of: September, January or May.
  • The School strongly recommends entering the programme in September, which is the beginning of the academic year.
  • Applications should be made at least 4-5 months prior to the Registration deadline.
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed on a rolling basis generally until early August.*
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application following an assessment process which takes approximately 2-3 weeks (5-6 weeks during the summer break, June to August).

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

*Non-EU students should apply as early as possible – between January and March, and ideally no later than early May – as most of the scholarship competitions take place between February and April and the issuing of visas may take up to three months, particularly during the summer when there is usually a high volume of applications. For information about funding, please contact the UCD International Office.

The UCD Structured PhD aims to enable PhD students to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. Making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, normally leading to peer-reviewed publications, remains the core objective of doctoral studies. The Structured PhD includes several innovative measures designed to support you in achieving your academic and professional objectives, which are outlined below.

Doctoral Studies Panel 
SLCL will appoint a Doctoral Studies Panel for you before you commence your PhD. The purpose of the Doctoral Studies 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).  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 Structured PhD 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 PhD research and in your training and development as a researcher as we as in helping you to acquire transferable skills for work after your PhD. For further information on the RPDP please click here.

Transferable Skills Training 
As a PhD 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
Students will need to gain 30 credits through core and optional modules in the course of their PhD programme. One credit corresponds to 20-25 hours student effort. There is a large selection of modules available across the university, both discipline-specific modules to broaden and deepen your knowledge of your discipline and research skills modules to provide advanced training in relevant research methodologies. All modules will be selected in consultation with your Principal Supervisor.

Progression
Doctoral studies, which are normally completed by full-time students within four 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 students).

In order to move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 PhD students will need to successfully complete a transfer assessment following a minimum one calendar year period of registration to the Research 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.

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

Further information can be found in Section 18 of the Academic Regulations.

Academic Regulations
The regulations governing the UCD Structured PhD Programme 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, Associate Professor Síofra Pierse at siofra.pierse@ucd.ie

The core of the Research Masters degree is a coherent programme of supervised research which requires that student complete 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 at SLCL 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 elements of their final thesis 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
In comparison to the PhD, students registered to the MLitt Degree Programme are not required to undertake any taught credit requirments. However, there is a large selection of modules available across the university, both discipline-specific modules to broaden and deepen your knowledge of your discipline and research skills modules to provide advanced training in relevant research methodologies. All modules will be selected in consultation with your Principal Supervisor.

Transfer from Research Masters to PhD Degree (TAP VIVA)
Research Masters students may transfer to 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.

Note on PhD Progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2
Doctoral studies, which are normally completed by full-time students within four 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 Head of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor Síofra Pierse: siofra.pierse@ucd.ie

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website: http://www.ucd.ie/students/fees/index.html

Fees are subject to change.

  • For further academic enquiries please contact the SLCL Head of Graduate Studies: Dr Síofra Pierse (siofra.pierse@ucd.ie)
  • Other enquiries about the PhD/MLitt programmes please contact our Postgraduate Administrator: Melanie Pape (slclgraduates@ucd.ie)

Become a part of the SLCL Graduate Community

The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics offers a welcoming research and learning environment for MA, MLitt and PhD students.
We have an active and supportive Graduate community in our School with regular events and get-togethers organised throughout the year.

Find out more about the SLCL Graduate Community HERE.

Meet our current PhD students and learn about their resarch projects on the SLCL Media Portal.