Philosophy - Doctor of Philosophy - Research

Each unique Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) project is carried out over a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years (full-time).

Within this time you will be guided through your research project with the support of your supervisors and the RCSI School of Postgraduate Studies.

Develop your skills as a researcher at RCSI

You will have a range of resources, research development opportunities and training at your disposal during your PhD, including:

• Core modules as part of our Professional Certificate in Research Practice. All PhD scholars are expected to complete all four (PC01-PC04) core modules as part of their degree.

• Access to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework, which allows you to map your competencies, identify areas for improvement and develop transferable skills

• International placements – we have a competitive award for those without funding who can apply for three-month international secondment award (RCSI-funded).

• Dissemination of your research. The perfect starting point for this is our annual Research Day apply for a poster or oral presentation and practice key presenting and communication skills.

• Dedicated write-up space in our Postgraduate Suite in our new Library.

Key milestones

Below is a timeline of a typical four-year PhD programme.

1. Project proposal

With the help of your supervisors, you will submit a comprehensive project proposal when applying to RCSI. This will help you to form a solid plan and kick-start your research.

2. Research development

Participate in the four core modules (PC01 - PC04) on offer as part of the Professional Certificate in Research Practice during your studies.

3. Annual progress review

You submit an annual progress review at the end of your first year. Following each annual review, an oral presentation is conducted to assess your progression, by two independent staff members, who decide on your continued registration.

4. Submit your thesis

You will submit a thesis completion plan six months before your planned submission. Once your thesis is submitted – at any time in your fourth year of study – one external examiner and one internal examiner will assess your thesis. Submit corrections. Opens in new windowThesis examination details are available here.

5. Graduation

If the thesis is deemed of sufficient quality, you will be conferring with a PhD in your chosen field.

Entry requirements

To be considered eligible for the programme, you must:

• Have an upper second class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject or;

• MB/BAO/BCh degrees or;

• An MSc degree in a relevant subject.

• Have an RCSI supervisor with whom you have agreed the topic of your thesis and the logistical details for your candidature (e.g. start date, location for initial research training etc.).

You will also need to supply a copy of an academic IELTS examination or equivalent (for candidates whose first language is not English). See link:


Full-Time and Part-time. Each unique structured Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) project is carried out over a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years (full-time).


EU applicants: €7,150 (per annum)

Non-EU applicants: €13,800 (per annum)

If you chose to complete the programme on a part-time basis – over a minimum of five years – the fees are as follows:

•EU applicants: €4,750 (per annum)

•Non-EU applicants: €9,200 (per annum)

Please note

•An additional NUI fee of €45 (per annum) applies for Years 1 to 3.

•Fees are subject to annual review and can increase by up to 4% per annum.

•It is your own responsibility to register each year. Failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification from the degree programme.

Post Course Info

Your future

Your postgraduate degree at RCSI builds skills, expertise and specialist knowledge in your chosen field, in preparation for career pathways across many employment sectors including higher education, health, and industry and entrepreneurial roles.

Your degree will equip you with a transferable skill-set that is highly valued by employers, ranging from problem-solving, critical reasoning, and thinking in-depth to the ability to project manage, communicate and collaborate effectively.

As a graduate of RCSI, you join a community of over 30,000 alumni worldwide.

With campuses located in Dublin, Dubai, Bahrain and Malaysia, and a global network of strong and productive collaborators, some of the world’s most exciting career opportunities are available to you as a graduate of RCSI.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider