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Child & Youth Research - Structured

Course Overview

The PhD in Child and Youth Research is a four year full-time or six year part-time structured PhD programme delivered as part of a collaboration between the School of Psychology and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) at the School of Political Science and Sociology.

This interdisciplinary programme responds to an identified need for researchers with the requisite, high-level and wide-ranging experience and skills to undertake the kind of work that is needed in an evidence-informed policy environment.

The programme combines thesis and taught modules. All students must complete a major dissertation (c.80,000 words). The taught modules which are delivered in years one and two provide course participants with the opportunity to widen their knowledge and skill base as well as feeding into the development of their thesis work.

Programme aims

To prepare programme participants to conduct high quality policy and practice-relevant research and programme evaluation with children and young people

To develop programme participants' knowledge and skills in key theoretical, methodological, policy and practice areas relating to children

To provide graduates with the set of generic work-skills to facilitate their successful entry into the full range of employment settings

Entry requirements

Entrants will be expected to have an upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a social science. If applicants do not have a degree of that kind, they must have demonstrated high ability by some other means (e.g. through publications or achievement in a higher degree). Applications are welcome from individuals with strong policy and practice experience in relation to children and young people. Garda vetting is required for students participating in this programme.


4 years full-time
6 years part-time

Further enquiries

General Programme Queries:
Nuala Donohue:

Subjects taught

A wide range of topics are covered including:

Children's rights
Child protection
Working with Commissioners
Randomised controlled trials in applied social settings
Social context of child development (role of family, peers, culture)
Pro-social behaviour and risk-taking in young people
Masculinity and emerging adulthood
Theories of child development
Early years provision
Spaces and places of childhood
Political Theory, Children, and Young People
Participatory Research Methods with young people
Sociological perspectives on childhood

Application date

1PCY1 PhD (part-time) 1PCY2

Structured PhD (Child and Youth Research), full-time
Structured PhD (Child and Youth Research), part-time

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System.

Research areas

Research Areas

The Social World of the Child
Research Ethics and Pragmatics
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Global Policy and Research
Youth and Society

Researcher Profiles

See and the staff pages on the School of Psychology website for information on staff research interests.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake on the Programme is September 2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!