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Social Sciences & Philosophy - Research

School Description:

The School of Social Sciences and Philosophy consists of the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Philosophy. With more than 40 full-time academic members of staff and postdoctoral fellows, the School enjoys an international research profile in its constituent departments. Its postgraduate programmes consist of a combination of taught Masters degrees and Ph.D. degrees. All four Departments offer Ph.D. students a rigorous training in their respective disciplines as well as the opportunity to write original and high-quality Ph.D. theses.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Postgraduate work in Trinity College Dublin is very academically challenging and as a result the University has high academic entry requirements.

Applicants will need to hold:

•at least a 2.1 honors degree from an Irish university or equivalent result from a university in another country

•a fluent command of the English language

Some courses may require higher standards or require you to take further tests or attend an interview.

Postgraduate Research Degrees

All students undertaking a research degree are assigned to a single principal supervisor. The supervisor’s role is essentially that of an academic guide and mentor.

If you plan to carry out your degree by research, you are advised to contact the appropriate School with your research proposal and arrange a suitable supervisor before submitting your application. You should initially consult the School website for further information.

Research students are placed either directly on the Ph.D. register or on the Masters register. Research students on the Masters register may then transfer to the Ph.D. register if their progress has been satisfactory. Such transfers usually occur during the second year of full-time study.

Further enquiries

Head of School: Professor Gail McElroy
Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate):
Professor William Phelan

Telephone:+353-1-896 2499

Application date

Research Applications

No closing dates apply for application for higher degrees by research but there are only two registration periods (September and March). Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible prior to their chosen registration period as supervisory capacity may be limited.

In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to register retrospectively. Applicants wishing to be considered for retrospective admission should contact the Graduate Studies Office by emailing research.admissions@tcd.ie

Research areas

The Ph.D. in Economics is a competitive degree aiming to rank among the best flagship Economics programmes in Europe and produces the largest number of research degrees of any Economics department in Ireland. Importantly, it blends an innovative curricular part, which offers optional courses jointly with other departments in Ireland, with a unique research environment that promotes close interaction with the faculty. Currently, the department has 12 full-time academic staff and almost 50 research students.

The Philosophy Department offers an internationally renowned integrated PhD programme in conjunction with the School of Philosophy in University College Dublin (UCD). The programme combines a choice from a set of intensive courses in most areas of philosophy with a traditional emphasis on conducting original research.

Our research students play an active role in shaping the research life of the Department, in particular, by organising a large number of workshops, reading and study groups.

The Ph.D. in Sociology is designed to produce rigorously trained, widely-read and well-rounded sociologists, able to take their place in the forefront of the profession. The Department of Sociology at Trinity ranks 48th in the world link to http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-ra according to independent evaluations of its research and teaching. Many graduates of the programme have gone on to secure full-time academic positions link to http://www.tcd.ie/sociology/postgrad/former-pgs.php. Graduates, or current students, have come from Ireland, Italy, the USA, Poland, Germany, the UK, South Africa, Israel and Palestine, to name just a few. This international mix adds a positive and exciting dimension to the life of the Department. In the first year students follow a methodology course, and develop a literature review and research proposal for the final thesis. In the second year of the PhD programme, students start work on their thesis, including doing fieldwork, and in the third and fourth year they write up their thesis.

The Ph.D. in Political Science is an innovative programme (see entry below), which involves course work in the first two years, and which combines an intensive training in the substance and methodology of research along with a traditional emphasis on conducting original research. Almost all graduates of this programme go on to take on positions in academia. The deadline for applications to the September intake is the 31st March.

Enrolment and start dates

March 2017 Entry

Doctor in Philosophy, Economics (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Economics (Full-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Philosophy (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Philosophy (Full-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Sociology (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Sociology (Full-Time)
Master in Letters, Economics (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Economics (Full-Time)
Master in Letters, Philosophy (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Philosophy (Full-Time)
Master in Letters, Sociology (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Sociology (Full-Time)

September 2017 Entry

Doctor in Philosophy, Economics (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Economics (Full-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Philosophy (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Philosophy (Full-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Sociology (Part-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Sociology (Full-Time)
Doctor in Philosophy, Political Science
Master in Letters, Economics (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Economics (Full-Time)
Master in Letters, Philosophy (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Philosophy (Full-Time)
Master in Letters, Sociology (Part-Time)
Master in Letters, Sociology (Full-Time)

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