Children & Youth Studies - Research

UCD School of Archaeology welcomes applications from potential PhD students. A UCD PhD is a four year research degree, undertaken within a clearly structured programme including training, taught modules, a Research and Professional Development Plan and opportunities to develop teaching skills.. All topics relating to children, adolescents and young adults are welcomed, as are applicants from any disciplinary background.

The relevance of the PhD in Children and Youth Studies to improving the lives of young people makes this a challenging, exciting and rewarding graduate programme for people at any stage in their careers. Graduates bring with them an enhanced understanding of their research area plus a deep awareness of the complex and interdependent social issues facing contemporary childhoods and youth, to any professional role they may inhabit after the programme.

The PhD in Children and Youth Studies can be carried out full time over three to four years or part time over six years. There is also an accelerated option, where students can apply to transfer directly to the third year of the part time route, after successfully completing the two-year part time MSc in Children and Youth Studies.

The production of a written thesis of around 80,000 words detailing the student's original research study and how it has made a significant contribution to knowledge, remains the core objective of the PhD in Children and Youth Studies. Typically, the thesis will consist of, or lead directly to, peer reviewed publications in academic journals or a published monograph. In addition, students must complete thirty credits of taught modules at the School of Education or more broadly within the College of Social Sciences and Law. Those modules must include at least one research methods module and the other two may be any graduate level modules of choice.

A large range of supports are also available within UCD, for all graduate researchers. These include library study pods, training in many aspects of research and research management, and superb library facilities. UCD also has a state-of-the-art leisure centre with an Olympic swimming pool, a cinema, theatre, and a medical centre.

In addition, our students are supported in writing applications for grants and scholarships, and we have a very high level of success in attracting student awards from the Irish Research Council, and the National University of Ireland. Our students present their research at the All-Ireland doctoral conference, hosted annually by UCD and QUB, and they also present at international conferences. Many of our research students have won places on prestigious graduate summer schools.

Offering the gold standard in graduate education, UCD doctoral degrees are highly regarded all over the world. We welcome applications from all areas of Children and Youth Studies, and applicants of all nationalities.

Application dates

Application process

1. Please apply online using the electronic system available here:

2. Once you have applied online, please email the Director of the programme [] to state your application has been made online.

3. If you would like to use our guidelines for writing a PhD proposal you can find them below. However, proposals that are not an exact match to the guidelines are also welcomed. PhD proposal template

4. Your application will be evaluated using the following criteria:

High honours in an appropriate master's degree (or equivalent) and/or evidence of other academic standing and/or relevant professional experience that demonstrates suitability for PhD study.

Evidence of meeting the School's English language requirements for PhD study. These are: IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5, or alternatively a masters' degree graded at 2:1 or above, written in English and obtained from an English speaking institution in an English speaking country, within the past 3-years from date of application.

Research proposal in topic area of interest to the School of Education.

5. If your application meets our criteria, we will also require that you have an agreed Faculty member (an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) at the UCD School of Education to supervise you. If a Faculty member has formally agreed to supervise you (we may require email documentation), please state this in your application.

If you do not have a supervisor before applying, we will attempt to match you to one after receiving your online application. Please note that it is optional for Faculty members to supervise PhD students.

6. Applicants who meet our admissions criteria and who have an agreed supervisor will be recommended for admission to the PhD programme.


3-4 years / 6 years

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider