Application Procedures for PhD & MLitt in Sociology

Applications will be accepted from suitably qualified applicants regardless of nationality or residence. Applicants, however, must make their own visa/consular arrangements to ensure that they are eligible to reside in Ireland for the duration of their studies.

Applicants must complete the application form and include the relevant supporting documentation and original transcripts of their full academic record.

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  • Applicants must normally have a first or upper second-class honours primary degree or masters degree, or the equivalent. In circumstances where examination results are not known at the time of application, the School of Sociology may make a Conditional Offer subject to receiving a complete and final transcript confirming that the applicant has met the above requirements. Notarised English translations, as well as the original transcript, should be provided where relevant giving details of all courses taken and examination marks obtained.  

    Transcripts can usually be obtained from one of the following offices, or their equivalent: the Registrar, faculty, or department/school of the applicant’s institution. All transcripts must be appropriately stamped or endorsed. Please see Application Form for fuller details.
  • 2 academic references. From referees acquainted with the candidate's academic work and who are prepared to write on their behalf.  These references MUST be provided in a sealed envelope.  The envelope should be signed across the seal by the referee and sent to the School of Sociology along with all other original documentation, in one  application package. A reference sent independently of the application will not be accepted.  One exception, a member of the UCD School of Sociology may submit directly to the School.

  • Candidate's curriculum vitae / resumé.

  • Covering letter outlining the candidate's reasons for choosing to apply to UCD School of Sociology and our research programme.

  • Writing Sample. Comprising one of the following: the candidate's completed Masters thesis,  2-3 draft chapters if thesis is not yet submitted,  samples of published work or other relevant written work.

  • English Language Proficiency.  Candidates whose primary language is not English, must provide a certificate of proficiency in the English language (such as TOEFL, Cambridge or IELTS). Results must be less than 2 years old.  Please see the university's International Office link for full details.

  • Copy of birth certificate or relevant pages from the candidate's passport to confirm their official name and date of birth (non UCD applicants only).

Applications will be evaluated by a School Selection Board on the basis of their excellence, originality and potential.  Applications will also be evaluated and ranked by the Board according to the following criteria and must not exceed the stated word limits below.

  • Comprehensive research proposal (a) - (d) below

(a) Description of the PhD/MLitt proposal (no more than 500 words). This should include a brief outline of how the candidate sees his/her project developing from year to year.
(b) Location of the proposed project within the current state of research and bibliography in the area (no more than 500 words)
(c) Relative significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to the area (no more than 500 words)
(d) Methodology (no more than 400 words)
(e) The candidate's record and academic achievements (no more than 250 words)

  1. Complete the Application Form
  2. Email the completed application form and supporting documentation (except references) to: 
    Veronica Barker at
  3. Post all original documentation (including references) to: 

Veronica Barker,
PhD/MLitt Programme Manager,
UCD School of Sociology,
University College Dublin,
Dublin 4.

The School of Sociology reserves the right to revise these application procedures at any time.