Nursing Midwifery & Health Systems - Research

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

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 2023 registration: closing date for receipt of full application is November 2022

May 2023 registration: closing date for receipt of full application is March 2023

September 2023 registration: closing date for receipt of full application June 2023

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

If you are considering applying to the programme first contact the Programme Administrator (

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.

After confirming your eligibility and funding you must contact a potential supervisor before you apply.

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

Applications are made online through UCD Applications.

Documents to include with your application- See requirements in 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.

You must upload the following documents with your online application:

A personal statement of 150 - 250 words outlining your reasons for applying: what attracts you to that subject area, how your studies and/or work experience have influenced you, your career plans, any publications to date.

A research proposal of 1500 - 2000 words. The proposal must be approved by the nominating Supervisor.

Official transcripts of your bachelor's and master's degrees as appropriate.

Evidence of meeting the English language requirements (if applicable).

You must download the Academic Reference Form and forward to TWO persons familiar with your academic work. Your referees will provide details about your academic abilities and motivation and they must return a completed form directly to
You must download the Supervisor Nomination Form. Ask your proposed Supervisor who is nominating you to the programme to complete and return the form to you to submit with your application.

UCD comes under the terms of the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003. In the context of the Online Applications system, this means that an applicant can request any documentation presented as part of the applications process, including references sent directly by the referee to the institution.

Application queries should be directed to the Research Degrees Administrator:

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. If RDC has questions in relation to your application you may be contacted for further clarification.

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


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

Enrolment dates

Three possible start dates: January, May or September

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider