Psychology - Research

The UCD School of Psychology PhD enables candidates to achieve the best possible experience of graduate research and training. This programme provides the highest level of specialisation in applied or experimental research. It is designed for students who wish to pursue research, teaching or applied psychology positions in academia or industry.

PhD candidates work under the supervision of a Faculty member and are supported by a number of other key programmes and personnel to guide them through the process and achieve their academic and professional objectives. Making a substantial and original contribution to knowledge, normally leading to peer-reviewed publications remains the core objective of doctoral studies.

A PhD typically takes 3 years full-time (9 trimesters) or 6 years part time (18 trimesters) to complete. The examination of the degree of PhD is based on a description of the candidate's research, written up as a thesis and defended in a viva voce (oral examination).

Entry requirements

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes

International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region: Yes

Candidates may apply for admission to the PhD programme if they have the following:

1. Primary Degree

Candidates must have:

A Bachelor's degree in Psychology, with upper second-class honours or international equivalent.

Or a Higher Diploma in Psychology with at least upper second-class honours

We will also consider applicants with at least an upper second-class honours degree in a cognate area that provides appropriate background to their proposed research programme.

2. Graduate Degree

Direct entry to the PhD programme requires candidates to have obtained:

An upper second-class honours in a Master's degree.

Or at least three years' experience in a field relevant to your PhD topic.

Without a graduate degree, successful applicants will be first registered to the MLitt research degree with a view to transferring to the PhD programme after one year.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 7.0 (no band less than 6.5 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

Applications to the programme in collaboration with a research supervisor. Before making an application to the programme interested candidates are ask to submit an Enquiry form following the steps below. Please follow these instructions carefully.

Step one: (Enquiry Phase)

All interested candidates are asked to download and complete an Enquiry Form (Form A): download here.

Step two: (Enquiry Phase)

Fill in your Enquiry Form referencing the faculty member whom you would like to work with (this is your potential supervisor). The Faculty profiles and their research interests may be found here.

Please note: at any given time, particular Faculty members may not be
accepting students, for example, if they already have a large cohort or if they are on sabbatical.

Step three: (Enquiry Phase)

Once completed, candidates are asked to upload their Enquiry Form (Form A) here: Before uploading your file, we ask you to name the file using the following format, forename and surname (i.e Smith, Mary).

Once this step is completed, the Faculty member you have selected will review your enquiry form (Form A). If the Faculty member wishes to work with you as a potential research student, they will contact you directly and you will both work together towards a formal application for entry to the M.Litt PhD Application (Form B).

If the Faculty member cannot take you on as a potential research student the School will notify you that you have been unsuccessful in obtaining a supervisor. You may then repeat the process choosing another Faculty member and submitting another Enquiry Form.


A PhD typically takes 3 years full-time (9 trimesters) or 6 years part time (18 trimesters) to complete.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider