Social Studies - Applied - Research

Interested individuals are encouraged to make an informal approach to the Department to discuss their proposal and establish an initial fit between their interests and the Department's research priorities and expertise. Formally, an applicant wishing to undertake a research degree should submit a research proposal in writing of 3,000–4,000 words and consult with the Department on the general suitability of the research topic, and on the availability of an appropriate supervisor.

The research proposal should provide the following information:

- Introduction to the central research topic that the student proposes to investigate

- Reference to the key debates and issues relevant to the research

- An indication the body of literature that the research will analyse; the main data that will be collected and/or analysed and the methods that will be used

- An outline of the potential significance of the proposed research for the field under investigation

While the final thesis of some 80,000 words is the only form of assessment for the award of the PhD, students may not submit it for examination without having accumulated a minimum of 30 and maximum of 90 taught credits as agreed with their Supervisor and Department.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 in undergraduate degree. Entry also subject to Departmental approval of application and proposal Departmental ability to provide supervision

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:
• IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
• TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
• TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
• PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850


MHB02 PhD 4 years Full-time
MHB03 PhD 6 years Part-time
MHB04 MLitt by Research 2 years Full-time
MHB05 MLitt by Research 3 years Part-time


In general, there are two levels of fees payable. EU students from EU countries including Ireland pay a subsidised level of fees for both taught courses and research programmes. Tuition fees for students from outside the EU are not subsidised and are thus somewhat higher than for EU students.

Enrolment dates

Commences September annually (or other agreed time)

Post Course Info

Graduates including doctoral graduates of the Department of Applied Social Studies have pursued a range of careers in community and youth work, public administration, NGOs, academic institutions and research/advisory bodies / careers in social policy consulting and teaching.


Research interests of staff in the Department of Applied Social Studies span the following areas:

- Equality and human rights, and more specifically race, racism, ethnicity, Traveller culture, intercultural studies, women's studies, age and ageism

- Youth affairs, youth work and the sociology of youth, policy in respect of children

- Community development and community work, education and training for the social professions

- Criminal justice policy, juvenile justice

- Irish, comparative, and European social policy

- Social policy and older people

- Linking poverty, social inclusion and equality

- Social partnership, civil society, the 'third sector' and public policy

For details on the research specialisms within the Department please visit:

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MLitt & PhD

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


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