Institution / Pontifical University St Patricks College Maynooth
City scape


The Doctoral Degree of PhD in Theology is awarded to those holding the MTh who satisfactorily complete the course and research requirements for the Degree.

Programme of Study:
• Candidates must normally complete at least three years of study, one of which must include four postgraduate seminar courses. Two of these courses will normally be Research in Theology: Historical and Methodological Approaches and The Soul of Theology.

• Candidates must have or must acquire a good reading knowledge of a modern continental European language.

• The doctoral dissertation, which forms the basis for the award of the degree, must be a substantial and original piece of research, which offers a notable contribution to the advancement of the theological sciences.

• The dissertation must be prepared under the direction of a member of the Faculty of Theology on a topic approved by the Faculty.

Regulations for the PhD Defence
A defence of the dissertation is required for the awarding of the PhD.

1. The candidate shall in the first place submit three copies of the dissertation which may be ring-bound.

2. The examiners shall be the supervisor of the dissertation, an extern chosen by the Faculty, and a member of the Faculty appointed by the Faculty.T he Faculty will also appoint a chairperson for the defence, and members of the Faculty are invited to attend.

3. The examiners may accept or reject the dissertation for defence.

4. The format of the defence shall be decided by the examiners but shall not exceed one and a half-hour’s duration.

5. The examiners shall make a written recommendation to the Faculty.

6. The dissertation may be accepted without change or with some modifications, or it may be rejected on the basis of the defence.

7. In the event of a successful defence the candidate must submit a hard-bound copy of the dissertation incorporating any changes which the examiners may require. Changes are verified by at least one of the examiners. The degree shall not be conferred until receipt of a duly revised copy has been confirmed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

8. A copy of the dissertation will be lodged in the College Library, and candidates will be invited to complete the following form: I hereby agree that the copy of my dissertation deposited in the Library shall be available for consultation under conditions laid down by the Pontifical University.

9. All dissertations shall remain the property of the University.

Entry requirements

• A Master’s Degree in Theology of at least a high Second Class Honours Grade I

• The Faculty of Theology may also accept applicants whom it deems to have achieved an equivalent standard

• A competence in at least two theological languages (Hebrew, Greek or Latin).

Postgraduate Degree students will normally be expected to register year by year on a continuous basis until they have completed their degree. Students wishing to suspend registration may do so only on the express permission of the Faculty. Upon registration, PhD students will be assigned a staff mentor to assist them in their choice of courses and thesis director.

Further enquiries

The Admissions Office
Pontifical University
Saint Patrick’s College
County Kildare, Ireland
Ireland: 01-708-4772 / 708-3600
International: +353-1-708-4772
Fax Ireland: 01-708-3441
Fax International: +353-1-708-3441

Programme Director
Reverend Liam Tracey OSM, STB, SLD, Dip Mar, Dip Pastoral Theol
Phone +353 (0)1 708 3442

Application date

Closing date for submission of completed application forms: 1st June. Late applications will be accepted. Please contact the Admissions Office.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!