Research Programmes

Reflecting the national and international trends in postgraduate research we strive to ensure that WIT research students are equipped with transferrable and disciplinespecific skills that will significantly contribute to ongoing success in their career following graduation. Each research postgraduate pursues a unique programme that is designed based on their skills, their prior experience and on their research interests. WIT awards Masters by Research and PhD degrees through assessement of a substantial final dissertation that describes the research work undertaken by the student and the research outputs generated. In performing their research work students are supervised by two or more academic staff having expertise in the research topic. We foster well-rounded graduates, capable of formulating and executing independent research projects that hold the potential of producing impactful and important research outputs of scientific, social, cultural and/or economic value.

Generic and Transferrable Skills Training
WIT offers its research postgraduate a range of formal and informal training opportunities that allow them develop both professionally and personally. This training is explicitly designed to be applicable to research students from all WIT schools, so it additionally provides an excellent opportunity to network with postgraduate researchers working in other scholarly disciplines. During semester time the Graduates Studies Office runs a generic skills programme involving weekly seminars on a range of topics and weekly training sessions targeting practical skills; whilst participation in the programme is optional the experience of our graduates indicates that it greatly assists them in pursuing their research programmes.

PhD students additionally have the opportunity to further develop transferrable skills through participation in taught modules targeted specifically to our cohort of structured PhD students. These modules are typically delivered by research active WIT staff members. Examples include: Research Integrity and Ethics; Academic Writing for Research Postgraduates; and Research Communication.

Discipline-specific Training
WIT provides the training to research postgraduates necessary for them to complete their core research work in a productive and timely manner. This training is referred to as discipline-specific training – it normally focusses on advanced concepts, methodologies, techniques and scholarly discourse that have a direct bearing on the research work done by students within a given WIT academic department or research centre. This training can be provided informally, via seminars, workshops, invited talks and discussion groups.

Structured PhD students can attain this training more formally, via participation in approved taught modules. The latter are typically postgraduate modules delivered as part of WIT taught postgraduate programmes. However, subject to approval by the school/departmental Research Programme Board, PhD students are also able to complete accredited modules offered by other academic institutions in Ireland and abroad.

Structured PhD
All PhD students registering at WIT will pursue a "structured" PhD. This requires them to earn at least 30 ECTS credits for generic/transferrable skills and discipline-specific skills prior to submitting their research dissertation. Typically, these modules will be taken in the first two years of the programme where the student is registered as full time. More information on the WIT structured PhD can be found at


Programme fee details are available on the Postgraduate Fee Schedule displayed on our website at

Enrolment dates

The application process for research degrees in WIT varies depending on whether the candidate plans to pay fees and other costs themselves ("self-funded") or whether they are applying for a position funded by a research grant awarded to a WIT staff member ("funded"). The latter usually means that fees and/or research costs and/or a student stipend are paid via the research grant. Candidates seeking to self-fund their research typically approach the institute with their own concepts for a research project and engage with WIT staff members to develop an initial research proposal before formally applying for a place on the programme. Where such candidates are offered a place they often subsequently apply for a research grant to fully or partly fund the project.

Note that the application processes for self-funded and funded research degree positions are different, please follow the relevant procedure, as outlined at:

Application Procedure for Self-Funded Research Programmes:
1. Candidates interested in pursuing a research postgraduate degree in WIT are encouraged to first discuss potential topics for research projects with WIT academic staff who have the relevant expertise and experience to supervise the project. WIT Heads of Department are available to help candidates identify potential supervisors;

2.Working with the potential supervisor(s) the candidates develop an initial outline research proposal. The potential supervisor(s) seek approval for the proposed research programme from the Institute's Academic Council;

3. Following approval the candidate will be asked to formally apply for the position via the PAC online system (, following the procedure outlined at;

4. Following eligibility checks and final approvals the candidate will be offered the place and invited to register as a WIT postgraduate student. Registration dates are September and January.

Application Procedure for Funded Research Programmes:
1. Funded positions for research postgraduates in WIT are advertised on the WIT website and through a number of other channels. Candidates interested in future funded positions in given research groups and centres are encouraged to directly contact those groups (contact persons are listed on page 12);

2. Candidates interested in applying for an advertised funded research position are strongly encouraged to contact the WIT academic staff members associated with the position to discuss the research project and their suitability for it;

3. Candidates formally apply for the position via the procedure outlined at;

4.Where the number of eligible candidates exceeds the number of available positions WIT will organise interviews, which can be conducted in person or via video-conferencing;

5. Successful candidates will be offered a place on the programme and will be invited to register as a WIT postgraduate student. Registration dates are September and January; however, in some circumstances, candidates can be facilitated to commence their programme at other times of the year.


Non-Funded Opportunities
Waterford Institute of Technology has a strong commitment to learning, research, development and innovation and has had success in all major research funding cycles in Ireland and Europe placing it at the forefront of the higher education sector in these areas.

Opportunities for research postgraduate studies may be available in the following areas:

•Entrepreneurship, Healthcare Management, Reputation Management Branding, Tourism Services Management, Finance and International Business, Change management

•Applied Arts - Literature, Art, Law, Music, Social Studies

•Languages, Tourism and Hospitality - History

•Building Technology

•Engineering - Manufacturing, Electronics and Materials

•Computing and Physics - Telecommunications Software, Information Systems, E-Learning, Opto-Electronics and Automotive IT

•Science - Bioremediation, Separation Science, Pharmaceuticals, Forestry, Environmental Science Processes

•Nursing, Health Sciences and Sports Studies

•Education - Adult learning, Multiple Intelligences, Reflective Learning and Teaching

Interested in research at WIT?

If you are interested in pursuing research at WIT, it is advisable that you talk to researchers in the specific department.

Contact us

If you are interested in research at WIT, we would advise you to visit the departmental research section initially. This should give you an understanding of the areas of research persued in the department. We would then suggest you talk to the head of department to discuss your options.

Department of Graduate Business Studies
Head of Dept: Prof. Denis Harrington,

Department of Education
Head of Dept: Dr. Mary Fenton,

Department of Lifelong Learning
Head of Dept: Neil Quinlan,

Department of Architecture
Head of Dept: Aleksander Kostic,

Department of Built Environment
Head of Dept: Dr. Derek Sinnott,

Department of Engineering Technology
Head of Dept: Albert Byrne,

Department of Nursing and Health Care
Head of Dep/Head of School: Prof. John Wells, (pending appointment of HoD)

Department of Sport & Exercise Science
Head of Dept: Dr. Michael Harrison,

Department of Applied Arts
Head of Dept: Dr. Michael Bergin,

Department of Creative & Performing Arts
Head of Dept: Marian O'Neill,

Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality
Head of Dept: Ray Cullen,

Department of Science
Head of Dept: Dr. Orla O'Donavan,

Department of Computing & Maths
Head of Dept: Dr. Padraig Kirwan,

Current Funded Research Opportunities
There are currently three funded research postgraduate opportunities. Please check back again soon as new opportunities may arise. To apply for scholarships please download the Funded Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to

Project Title Closing Date
Radioactivity in the Coastal Environment Friday 21st February 2020 at 4pm GMT

Amorphous formulations to improve the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs Monday 2nd March 2020 at 9am GMT

Impact of soil and grassland management on microbially mediated soil organic matter mineralisation Friday 20th March 2020 at 4pm GMT

More details
  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider