PhD Programmes

The UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe) is the oldest and largest school of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, UCD School of Politics and International Relations is ranked in the top 100 in the world.

SPIRe  / Joint PhD Programmes 

PhD Politics and International Relations

This is a structured PhD programme offering training in research methods and coursework in the two subject areas of politics and international relations. Applicants to this programme must have completed and earned high grades in a taught Masters (MA, MSc, MLitt, etc.) programme in the area of politics and international relations or a cognate field, and articulate a research interest that fits with the expertise of SPIRe’s academic staff. If you are interested in exploring your research plans further with a member of staff, please feel free to contact staff individually. For more information on the PhD Politics and International Relations click here.

Details of SPIRe staff research interests can be found here. 

PhD European Law and Governance

This structured PhD programme is designed for students who want to develop multidisciplinary expertise on the structures and dynamics of European governance – a complex and increasingly-important field of study. The programme is offered jointly by the UCD School of Law and the UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe), both of which have a large, internationally-renowned faculty in this area. Click here for more details.

Thematic PhD Programmes

SPIRe also hosts a number of thematic PhDs. These are interdisciplinary in nature and involve co-supervision with other schools/universities.

PhD Global Human Development

The PhD in Global Human Development (GHD) is part of the Human Development Initiative (HDI). HDI aims to promote and foster development education, produce quality research in partnership with southern universities and raise awareness of contemporary development issues through various outreach programmes. It is comprised of an inter disciplinary group of academics, researchers and students whose work focuses on contemporary development issues. Click here for more detail.

PhD Quantitative Social Sciences

The PhD in Quantitative Social Sciences (QSS) programmme is a course of study that focuses on quantitative research techniques applied to research questions in Social Science, with a specific focus on Economics, Politics, International Relations and Development Studies. Click here for more detail.

PhD Complex Systems and Computational Social Sciences

Computational social science is a strongly emergent area of scientific innovation. This thematic PhD in Complex Systems and Computational Social Sciences (CSCS) equips students to work in this new, fast-growing and innovative field which is characterised by the application of computer simulation and other computer-based methods to the analysis of complex, digital data of social systems and their complexity. Click here for more detail.