Nursing Midwifery & Health Systems - Research

Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degree
NFQ Level: 10

Major Code: X239 (FT) / X240 (PT)

Start Date(s): January, May or September

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) 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 Ph.D. programme:
- recognises that the essential elements of the Ph.D. 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 (Ph.D. by publication)

The UCD structured Ph.D. degree may be completed on a full or a part-time basis. A full-time Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.

Stage 1 is an initial period of advanced education, training and research.
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 (Ph.D. by publication).

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

Entry requirements

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

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

The candidate has obtained a relevant master’s degree;

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:

Application dates

Closing dates for applications
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 2024 registration: closing date for receipt of full application is November 2023
May 2024 registration: closing date for receipt of full application is March 2024
September 2024 registration: closing date for receipt of full application June 2024

For queries about required documentation or submission dates, please contact the Programme Administrator ((opens in a new window)

What to do before applying
If you are considering applying to the programme first contact the Programme Administrator ((opens in a new window)

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.

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

How to find a Supervisor
The following links will guide you to information on research activity in the School, details for Faculty and if you click on their names you can access details on their research profiles, interests and publications.

View the strategic research priorities of our School
View our Research Staff Directory

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Programme Administrator to assist you to identify a supervisor through a general call to faculty for expressions of interest:



Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems (X239) PhD 3 years FT
Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems (X240) PhD 6 years PT

Enrolment dates

Start Date(s): January, May or September.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider