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PhD Research

PhD programme 

The School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice offers research degrees in social work, social policy and social justice (PhD programmes). Undertaken full-time over three years, or part-time over six years, a PhD is a research degree in which you will make an original contribution to knowledge by pursuing an extended and focused piece of research on a topic of your interest. 

We offer a lively intellectual environment in which to undertake postgraduate research with a range of thematic research groups and research centres and an active seminar programme. You will benefit from our excellent links to other social policy/social work/social justice scholars, policymakers and practitioners across the world.

The structured programme enables you to acquire a broader set of transferable skills during your time with us. Postgraduate research students can access a range of research training courses tailored to the needs of their project. 

Funding opportunities

The Irish Research Council runs the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme which is an established national initiative, funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and managed by the Council.

IRC Postgraduate funding includes a suite of programmes to support full-time PhD students. In addition to the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme, it also includes the Enterprise Partnership Scheme and the Employment based Postgraduate Programme. Currently we have PhD students who have been successful in securing IRC funding from each of these funding schemes.

Current PhD students

Thesis Title 
Main Supervisor 
Second Supervisor
Allen, Jennifer Advance Care Planning with People Living with Dementia in Practice; A Participatory Action Research Study.  Asst. Prof. Sarah Donnelly  
Brennan, Deborah Patterns of Exclusion, Models of Equality: A systems analysis of obstacles to education for children with diagnoses of intellectual disability or developmental delay. Asst. Prof. Marie Moran   
Burke, Ray   Asst. Prof. Sarah Morton   
Butler, Phil Supporting mothers with acquired brain injuries and their families using a critical participatory action research approach'. Asst. Prof. Sarah Donnelly  
Čižauskaitė, Ausra The Objective and Subjective Quality of Social Investment Interventions for Households with Children Assoc. Prof. Karen Anderson  
Dolan, Stephanie A.  An examination of older peoples' experience of positive ageing:  Implications for social work (education and practice) and social policy  Asst. Prof. Elaine Wilson  
Dunne, Beibhinn Discourse Historical Analysis of State and Institutional Responses to CervicalCheck Non-Disclosures Asst. Prof. Mary McAuliffe  
Garavin, Lisa J.   Asst. Prof. Muireann Ni Raghallaigh  
Hanlon, Stephanie From Laissez-Faire to Anticipatory Criminalisation: Marriages of Convenience in Irish Migration Policy' Assoc. Prof. Karen Anderson  
Ijichi,Nobuko Community of Practice and Public Diplomacy through Japanese cultural learning and exchange  Assoc. Prof. Naonori Kodate  
Kennedy, Matthew Transnormativity and the Everyday Lifeworlds of Young Trans Men in Ireland.  Asst. Prof. Aideen Quilty  
Lambe, Ellen Navigating the Labyrinth: The Role of the Adult Literacy Tutor.  Asst. Prof. Karen Smith  
Lind, Megan Evaluating Response Programming For Child Survivors Of Sexual Abuse In Complex Emergencies Asst. Prof. Mary McAuliffe  
McMahon, Eleanor Social Mixing, Social Cleansing and Social Housing Supply: a political economy analysis of the contradictions in government housing supports for low-income households in Dublin. Prof. Michelle Norris  
Moran, Khalil  Community Wealth Building in Ireland: the potential of utilising alternative economic models to address societal inequalities  Asst. Prof. Marie Moran  
Ntaliou, Sofia
Local citizenship for immigrants.
Asst. Prof. Dorota Szelewa   
Shaw, James The experience of unemployment: additionality, support or constraint? Asst. Prof. Micheál Collins  
Thompson, Sonal Wealth over Health - The impact upon patient health in Ireland when visits to healthcare professionals are sacrificed due to lack of financial means Asst. Prof. Elaine Wilson  
Walsh, Amy A Feminist Re-Visioning of Abortion Healthcare Asst. Prof. Mary Mc Auliffe  

Contact the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8198 | E: sp-sw-sj@ucd.ie | Location Map