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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

NEW Funded Social Policy PhD Fellowship Opportunity for  Volkswagen Foundation project 'Intergenerational Inequalities:  Transformations in Housing and Intergenerational Contracts in Europe (THICE)'

(opens in a new window)Dr Stephan Köppe is recruiting to fill one PhD fellowship (fees and scholarship) on a new international research project investigating Transformations in Housing and Intergenerational Contracts in Europe (THICE), funded by the (opens in a new window)Volkswagen Foundation. The PhD supervision will be supported by a joint, co-tutelle arrangement between University College Dublin in Ireland and the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The successful applicant will be part of an international research team consisting of four PhD students, one postdoc, and five professors, working at the forefront of housing research within Europe. MORE

Other Opportunities

The (opens in a new window)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 (opens in a new window)suite of programmes to support full-time PhD students. In addition to the (opens in a new window)Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme, it also includes the (opens in a new window)Enterprise Partnership Scheme and (opens in a new window)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

Student Name

Thesis title

Primary Supervisor

Secondary Supervisor

Alabood, Laila

Evaluating the Role of School-Based Social Workers in Facing Bullying among Teenagers in Public Schools in Saudi Arabia

(opens in a new window)Joseph Mooney

Aldama, Inigo

Understanding the Role of Social Welfare Systems on the Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict in European Regions

(opens in a new window)Matthew Donoghue

(opens in a new window)Stephan Köppe

Allen, Jennifer

Advance Care Planning in Older Persons Mental Health; A Participatory Action Research Study.

(opens in a new window)Sarah Donnelly

(opens in a new window)Sarah Morton

Butler, Philomena

Exploring the Lived Experience and Support Needs of Mothers with Acquired Brain Injury and their Families, using a Feminist Participatory Action Research approach.

(opens in a new window)Sarah Donnelly

(opens in a new window)Sarah Morton

Chaitaveepporn, Varee

Funding: (opens in a new window)Full Scholarship from the Royal Thai Government 

Community-based care for older people with dementia in Ireland and Thailand

(opens in a new window)Naonori Kodate

(opens in a new window)Maria Pierce

Cizauskaite, Ausra

The Objective and Subjective Quality of Social Investment Interventions for Households with Children MORE

(opens in a new window)Karen Anderson

(opens in a new window)Micheal Collins

Dingley, Orla

Energy Justice: addressing transport & residential energy deprivation in Ireland

(opens in a new window)Nessa Winston

Páraic Carroll

Garavin, Lisa

‘A qualitative exploration of the relationship between social workers and guardians ad litem in the Republic of Ireland.’

(opens in a new window)Muireann Ní Raghallaigh

(opens in a new window)Jim Campbell

Hamoudi, Ali

(PhD completed, 2023)

(opens in a new window)Funded by IRC Postgraduate Scheme, 2020

Civil Society Organisations Providing Social Services in Iraq: Geography, Structure and Accountability post-2003

(opens in a new window)Stephan Koeppe

(opens in a new window)Nessa Winston

Hanlon, Stephanie

From Laissez-Faire to Anticipatory Criminalisation: Marriages of Convenience in Irish Migration Policy

(opens in a new window)Karen Anderson

(opens in a new window)Bryan Fanning

Hughes, Beatrice

((opens in a new window)Funded by IRC Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme)

Unwanted Consensual Sex - The Implications For Women

(opens in a new window)Aideen Quilty

Kennedy, Matt

(PhD awarded, 2023)

Transnormativity and the Everyday Lifeworlds of Young Trans Men in Ireland.

(opens in a new window)Aideen Quilty

Lind, Megan

How can responding to child survivors of sexual abuse in complex emergencies be influenced?

(opens in a new window)Mary McAuliffe

(opens in a new window)Joe Mooney

Maeda, Yurie

Community Initiatives for Ageing in Place in Rural Ireland and Japan: The Role of Welfare Technologies and Diffusion of Social Innovation

(opens in a new window)Naonori Kodate

Moran, Khalil ((opens in a new window)Funded by IRC Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme)

Community Wealth Building in Ireland: the potential of utilising alternative economic models to address societal inequalities

(opens in a new window)Orla Kelly/(opens in a new window)Marie Moran

Donna Marschall

Ntaliou, Sofia

Urban Citizenship and Immigration

(opens in a new window)Dorota Szelewa

(opens in a new window)Michael Byrne

Olusa, Oluromade

Social Work in a new multicultural Ireland: a qualitative study of the experience of black African social workers

(opens in a new window)Muireann NiRaghallaigh

Ryan, Ann

Developing Survivor-Led Child Abuse Intervention and Practice: Examining Current Policy, Practice and Law regarding Disclosures and Sexual Violence"

(opens in a new window)Joseph Mooney

Schilling, Theresa

Queer Relationships and Masculinities: Friendship, Intimacy and Community Among Young Queer People in Ireland

(opens in a new window)Ernesto Vasquez Del Aguila

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 |