Politics & International Relations - Quantitative Social Sciences - Research

QSS provides students with rigorous training in quantitative research.

The PhD in Quantitative Social Sciences (QSS) programmme is a course of study that focuses on quantitative research techniques applied to research questions in Social Science, with a specific focus on Economics, Politics, International Relations and Development Studies.

The programme integrates the perspectives and research methods of various disciplines such as Economics, Politics and Statistics. QSS provides students with rigorous training in quantitative research, with an emphasis on written and oral communication about research techniques and findings applicable to applied research questions in Social Science.

Students with a quantitative background in any area can undertake the programme. They will undertake various quantitative social science modules offered by the UCD School of Politics & International Relations and the School of Economics. They may also choose modules that are relevant to their own research interest in other UCD Schools.

The PhD QSS programme is a thematic, structured programmes. Doctoral studies at UCD comprise two stages:

Stage 1 is a period when you define your research plan, develop your research skills and initiate original research work for your doctorate.

Stage 2 is primarily dedicated to continuing your original doctoral research but may also include some advanced education and training.

Some general information on UCD Structured PhDs is available here.

As set out by the requirements of UCD Graduate Studies, QSS students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits of course works in Stage 1, followed by a programme of original research leading to the award of Doctoral degree by research. More information can be found here.

A formal Stage Transfer Assessment (STA) takes place in order to progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the PhD. The STA should be completed within 5 trimesters for a full-time student or 7 for a part-time student. Students must submit a body of written work to a review panel, who will conduct an interview on the work submitted, and must also complete a Research and Professional Development Planning (RPDP). For more information on the RPDP click here.

The PhD may take the form of a traditional thesis, or a collection of papers (including published papers or papers submitted or prepared for submission) describing a coherent programme of research which has been published or prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals of international standing, accompanied by a critical and theoretical overview of the work presented in the papers.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Dara Gannon (dara.gannon@ucd.ie) in the School of Politics and International Relations.

For the structured PhD programme in Quantitative Social Sciences, applications are welcomed from applicants with a good Master's degree in Economics, Statistics and other Social Science subjects. If you are interested in exploring your research plans further with a member of staff, please feel free to contact us individually.

Subjects taught

Recommended Modules
Semester 1

POL40950 Introduction to Statistics - 10cr
POL50160 PhD Research Design- 10cr
POL50170 Quantitative Methods I- 10cr
STAT40470 Quantitative Research Methods - 5cr
STAT40480 Quantitative Research 2 - 5cr (Must be taken with STAT40470)
ECON41990 Macroeconomics - 7.5cr
ECON42030 Quantitative Techniques - 2.5cr
ECON42000 Econometrics - 7.5cr
ECON42010 Microeconomics - 7.5cr
ECON42110 Topics in Econometrics - 5cr (Strongly recommended for PhD students in Economics)
ECON50130 Economics PhD Research Methods - 5cr
GSHS50050 Development PhD Roundtable - 5cr
Semester 2

POL50180 Quantitative Methods II (TCD) - 10cr
POL50190 Quant Text Analysis (TCD) - 10cr
POL41640 Research Design and Case Study - 10cr
GSHS50080 Social Sciences Methodology - 10cr
ECON41620 Advanced Macroeconomics - 5cr
ECON41810 Advanced Microeconomics - 5cr
ECON41850 Advanced Econometrics - 5cr
ECON42140 International Trade - 5cr

The range of modules is subject to change.

The students may register for other modules depending on their research theme with permission from their Supervisor and the Module Coordinator. Please see this page for PhD module registration information.

Entry requirements

For the structured PhD programme in Quantitative Social Sciences, applications are welcomed from applicants with a good Master's degree in Economics, Statistics and other Social Science subjects.


3-4 years full time and 6+ years part time

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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