Nursing Midwifery & Health Systems - Research

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is offered through a structured programme of rigorous training in research and offers students an opportunity to undertake a focused and critical examination of a particular topic with the aim of contributing to the development of knowledge in their field.

The UCD structured PhD programme:

recognises that the essential elements of the PhD remain research, generation and dissemination of new knowledge, and progression of the candidate towards academic autonomy
provides the context for a deep intellectual engagement with a topic, so that the student will develop the intellectual skills and related critical capacities for academic research and related scholarly activities
facilitates the submission of the final thesis in either monograph style or an article-based format (PhD by publication)
The UCD structured PhD degree may be completed on a full or a part-time basis. A full-time PhD will normally involve a registration period of not less than nine trimesters (three years) and not more than 12 trimesters (four years). For part-time students, the period of registration is not less than 15 trimesters (five years) and not more than 18 trimesters (six years). Each student is assigned at least one academic supervisor, and his/her training programme is supported by a research studies panel.

Entrants to the PhD programme are required to undertake 30 credits of taught modules which are based on each student's needs to support their research and from September 2019 all students commencing a research degree are required to complete a Research Integrity Training programme.

The UCD structured PhD programme is pursued in two stages. Stage 1 doctoral studies must be completed by a full-time student within five trimesters from the date of registration and by a part-time student within seven trimesters from the time of registration.

a) Stage 1 is an initial period of advanced education, training and research.
b) Stage 2 is dedicated to original doctoral research (but may also include advanced education and research and generic training) and submission of a final thesis in either monograph style or an article-based format (PhD by publication).

Applications for entry to the programme are welcome from those in nursing, midwifery or a health-related discipline.

Entry requirements

Applicants seeking admission to a course of study and research leading to a PhD or research master's degree must fulfil of the following criteria

a) The candidate has obtained a minimum of an upper second-class degree or equivalent in a relevant honours Bachelor's degree;

b) The candidate has obtained a relevant master's degree;

c) In certain circumstances, the candidate has demonstrated other evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience as satisfies the Governing Board of their suitability for admission to the degree programme. These criteria are considered non-standard admission requirements.

If you are unsure if you are eligible you should contact the Programme Administrator.

English Language Requirements for entry to Graduate Programmes at UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Candidates whose first language is not English and whose primary degree was obtained in a country where English is not the official language of instruction must provide proof of proficiency in English such as IELTS or TOEFL.

The original certificate of completion of an English language test must be enclosed with the application. In all cases the test results must not be more than two years old. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Candidates whose existing degree was obtained in a country where the official language of instruction is English may, at the request of the School, still be subject to the same requirements where English is not the candidate's first language.

The following are the English language tests and scores accepted by this School:

IELTS [International English Language Testing System–Academic]
Minimum Overall Band Score of 7.0, with a result NOT LESS than 6.5 in EACH of the individual sections.

TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language]
Internet Based Test: Minimum total score of 100 out of 120, with a score NOT LESS than 22 in Reading and Listening. NOT LESS than 26 in Speaking and NOT LESS than 24 in the test of written English.

Paper Based Test
Minimum total score of 600 with a score NOT LESS than 5.0 in the Test of Written English.

Application dates

Major code: X239 (FT) X240 (PT)

If you are considering applying to the programme first contact the Director of Research Degrees (

1. Check your eligibility for the programme -Open blue tab ' Eligibility requirements and English language requirements' for further guidance. In addition consider and identify who will be funding your research degree. Contact the administrator if any queries.

2. After confirming your eligibility and funding you must contact a potential supervisor before you apply. Open blue tabs ' How to find a Supervisor' and 'Contacting potential Supervisors' for further guidance.

You can apply once you have the agreement of a member of Faculty who has developed your research proposal with you and, is supporting your application

Applicants are required to meet either face-to-face or via telecommunication with their nominated supervisor prior to submitting an application as part of the development process

A further interview with the Director of the Programme may be required as part of the admission process

Applications are made online through UCD Applications..

Documents to include with your application- See requirements in blue tab 'Documents to include with your application'

Please note closing dates - apply as early as possible as all documents must be received prior to the closing date.

These are the final dates for submission of applications. Is it advisable to submit your application as early as possible as it will be reviewed by separate School and College committees:

January 2022 registration: closing date for receipt of full application is 1st November 2021

May registration: closing date for receipt of full application is 31st March 2022

September registration: closing date for receipt of full application 25th June 2022

For queries about required documentation or submission dates, please contact the Programme Administrator (

Applicants may be required to undertake an interview with the Director of the Programme (either face-to-face or via telecommunication) as part of the admission process.

Your application and nomination form will be reviewed by the School's Research Degrees Committee to determine your suitability for registration on the PhD programme.

Only when you have been approved by the College Graduate School Board will you be eligible to register to the PhD programme.


Full time X239 4 years / X240 6 years Part-time

Enrolment dates

Three possible start dates: January, May or September

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider