PhD Programmes

Applicants to our research degree programmes 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 us individually.

Applications from EU applicants should be submitted to the school by 10th August 2018. 
Applications from non-EU applicants must be submitted to the school by 31st May 2018.
Entry to the programme is in September.  

Application Procedure

Applications cannot be considered until we have received the following documentation, which should be emailed to cathrina.gaffney@ucd.ie

  • Cover letter stating the reasons for your interest in the SPIRe programme
  • Thesis proposal (3-5 pages maximum)
  • Copies of all Academic Transcripts (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • C.V. or Resume (2 pages maximum)
  • Two academic references (Actual letters, on headed institutional paper, required. If sent by email, they should be from an institutional email address. SPIRe reserves the right to verify all references.
  • Evidence of English language competence, where non-native English speaking applicants have NOT obtained previous university degrees from a university in an English-speaking country. Click on the link below for further details
    English Language Requirements

For information, a list of SPIRe academics and their research profiles can be found here

This documentation should be emailed to Ms Cathrina Gaffney (cathrina.gaffney@ucd.ie). 

The submission of original academic transcripts and other documentation will be required as a condition of the final award of a place on the programme. SPIRe reserves the right to verify references.

You may also be requested to conduct a Skype interview as part of the application process.

One of our PhD research areas (above)

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

For information on EU graduate research fees for the academic year 2018/19 click here.

For information on Non-EU graduate research fees for the academic year 2018/19 click here.

For further information relating to fees click here

SPIRe Doctoral Scholarship 2018/19- Deadline: Friday, 30th March 2018

The UCD School of Politics and International Relations seeks applications for the UCD SPIRe Doctoral Scholarship. This scholarship covers full fees and a living stipend of 14,000 euro per year for up to four years. It is open to EU and non-EU applicants.


Awards will be primarily based on the academic track record of the applicants and the academic merits of the proposal, but social relevance and fit with the school will also be taken into account.

Applicants need to proceed through the standard application process for the PhD programme before they can be considered for the scholarships. Application to the PhD requires submission of:

•    Full proposal (3 to 5 pages maximum)
•    Copies of all academic transcripts
•    CV or resume (1 to 2 pages)
•    Two academic references (Actual references required. If sent by email, they should be from an institutional address. If not sent by email, they should be on headed institutional paper)
•    Evidence of English language competence (where non-native English speaking applicants have NOT obtained previous university degrees from a university in an English-speaking country)
To be eligible for consideration under the scholarship, the application form below should be included as part of the application process.

Scholarship Application Form
Applications are to be submitted by email to Ms Cathrina Gaffney (cathrina.gaffney@ucd.ie).

For those interested in the scholarship, applications to the PhD programme and the application form should be submitted by 5pm GMT on Friday, 30th March 2018.


Click here for Terms and Conditions

Scholarship results will be announced on 4th May 2018

Enrolment for all PhD students is in September 2018 only.

UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe) is the oldest and the largest school of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, published on the 7th of March, UCD School of Politics and International Relations is ranked in the top 100 in the world and No. 1 in Ireland by subject.  In the subject area of Development Studies, which is also housed by the school, UCD is also ranked in the top 100 in the world and No. 1 in Ireland.

UCD SPIRe operates a Graduate Scholarship scheme for PhD and Masters applicants.  The overall aim of the scheme is to attract applicants of the highest academic standards to participate in the UCD SPIRe graduate programme (PhD and Masters) and provide them with the training, experience and mentorship necessary to their professional development. These Graduate Scholarships comprise a fee remission plus a tax-free annual stipend.

The deadline for the 2017/18 round has now passed but this link can be accessed for informational purposes only.

For information on UCD scholarships for prospective students, please follow the link below
https://myucd.ucd.ie/scholarships-awards/index.ezc

Additional information can be found here
http://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/coursefinder/researchprogrammes/scholarships/

Information for international students planning to attend UCD can be found here