Social Work & Social Policy - Research

School Description:
The School offers professional education and training in social work, multidisciplinary courses in the broad social welfare area, courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in general and specialist aspects of social policy, and postgraduate training in applied social research, as well a range of opportunities for postgraduate research students. The School is pleased to acknowledge the special public sector, corporate and philanthropic support it attracts for a number of its teaching and research activities.

Through high quality scholarship, the School seeks to identify, explore and impact on key social issues.

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

School of Social Work and Social Policy
• Head of School: Dr. Eoin O'Sullivan
• Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate): Dr Paula Mayock
• Telephone: + 353-1-896 3593
• Email: Louise O'Brien
• Url:

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.

Prior To Submitting An Electronic Application, All Applicants Should Ensure That They Have Met The Specific Programme Requirements Laid Down By Trinity Business School.

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 areas

Research Programmes
The School has a lively community of postgraduate research students, whether studying independently or within research centres or programmes. Some are full-time students; others combine their studies with their work.

The School has particular strengths and capacity in research supervision in the following areas:

Ageing and social policy; Drug and alcohol policy and services; Child protection and welfare; Criminology and penology, Domestic violence; Family and gender; History of social policy; Immigration and Social Policy, Intellectual disability; Mental health; Social work; Sociology of reproduction.

In addition to the research activities of individual academic staff, the research effort of the School is also focused through the following significant research ventures.

The Children's Research Centre conducts policy relevant research on children's lives and issues and is co-sponsored with the School of Psychology. With other TCD colleagues, Centre personnel will play a significant role in the major National Longitudinal Study on Children's Development, the contract for which was awarded to the Economic and Social Research Institute and Trinity College Dublin.

The Policy Institute is a multi-disciplinary public policy research institute. Based in Trinity College, the Institute has close links with the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, the School of Social Work and Social Policy, and the School of Business.

The School is also one of the three Schools in the University that founded the Trinity Immigration Initiative which brings together key strands of TCD's strategies in research, teaching and contribution to society, positioning the University to play an influential role in developing a more inclusive, multicultural society for Ireland's future.

Enrolment and start dates

March 2019 Entry
• Doctor in Philosophy, Social Work and Social Policy (Part-Time)
• Doctor in Philosophy, Social Work and Social Policy (Full-Time)
• Master in Letters in School of Social Work and Social Policy (Part-Time)
• Master in Letters in School of Social Work and Social Policy (Full-Time)

September 2019 Entry
• Doctor in Philosophy, Social Work and Social Policy (Part-Time)
• Doctor in Philosophy, Social Work and Social Policy (Full-Time)
• Master in Letters in School of Social Work and Social Policy (Part-Time)
• Master in Letters in School of Social Work and Social Policy (Full-Time)

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