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Structured Research Masters (MLitt)

SLCL Structured Research Masters

Application Code: Structured Research Master Z113 (full-time/ part-time)

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.

M.Litt. in Modern Languages is a two year research degree during which students are expected:
  • to write a substantial research thesis under the guidance of their chosen specialist M.Litt. thesis supervisor: 40,000 to 60,000 words in length.
  • to meet with their Research Studies Panel members to discuss their research thesis progress at regular intervals before thesis submission. The Research Studies Panel typically comprises the Supervisor and two other academics in cognate areas.
  • to participate in the research life of their subject area and the School more generally.
  • students may be advised, in consultation with their supervisor/s, to take 10 or more taught credits.

M.Litt. in Linguistics information coming soon.

Research Masters Panel
Our School 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 requirements, however, students may be advised, in consultation with their supervisor/s, to take 10 or more taught credits. 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 (opens in a new window)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 (opens in a new window)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, Prof Ursula Fanning: (opens in a new window)ursula.fanning@ucd.ie (opens in a new window)

Students who wish to apply for the MLitt must first identify a potential supervisor and contact them directly with their PhD project area to discuss the research proposal. The thesis proposal is not fully binding but allows us to determine the broad area that a candidate wishes to do research in and their interests.

Proposals should include the following information: a precise research question, a discussion of the types of data and (data collection and analysis) methods to be used in the research, a discussion of the academic motivations for the project and an indicative list of references. Before writing the proposal, candidates should contact a potential thesis supervisor at UCD for a preliminary discussion.

Then they must prepare an application: this would normally involve a thesis proposal of approximately 1000-1500 words, including a substantial bibliography, a representative writing sample, a full CV, and two confidential academic references that must be sent directly to the potential supervisor.

Please find further detailed information on the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics (SLCL) application process HERE.

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.

  • Monica Galindo-Gonzales (ongoing): A Portrait of Rosa Chacel: in between European and Spanish Modernism (Supervisor: Dr Mary Farrelly, Co-supervisor: Dr Siobhan Donovan)
  • (opens in a new window)Katherine Gosling (2022): The Cathartic Voyage: Transforming Pain into Knowledge in the Image and Text of Leonora Carrington (Supervisor: Dr Tara Plunkett)
  • Rosemary Shannon (2020): A Corpus Linguistic study of morpho-syntactic features in Irish-English (Supervisor: Prof Bettina Migge)

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8302