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Research Programmes

The aims of the research programme at DIT are aligned with Ireland's National Framework for Doctoral Education. Specifically the framework commits Irish higher education institutions (HEIs) to the highest standards in the provision of research education through the following principles, which have been endorsed by DIT:

1. The core of doctoral education is deep engagement with a question, problem or hypothesis at the frontier of knowledge, and advancement of this frontier under the guidance of expert and committed supervision. To be awarded a doctoral degree, the candidate must have made an original contribution to knowledge.

2. Successful completion and examination of the research thesis, comprising work of publishable quality, is the basis for the award of the doctoral degree. The thesis can be presented in a variety of formats.

3. Doctoral education increases significantly students' depth and breadth of knowledge of their discipline and develops their expertise in research methodology which is applicable to both a specific project and a wider context. It provides a high-quality research experience, training (including a formalised integrated programme of personal and professional development) and output consistent with international norms and best practice.

4. Doctoral education is conducted in a learning community where sufficient critical mass of internationally recognised research activity exists to allow students to gain access to a training programme of appropriate breadth and to interact with peers engaged in their field, nationally and internationally.

5. Recognising that each doctorate is unique, doctoral education is also flexible so as to support students within individual disciplines or within interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary groups.

6. Doctoral education is conducted in a research environment with a high degree of academic quality and infrastructure and where it is consistent with institutional strategies. Academic quality includes quality supervision and training for supervisors.

7. The admission of doctoral students takes into account preparedness of the applicant, the availability of qualified, competent and accessible supervision and the resources necessary to conduct the research.

8. Doctoral education is supported by established structures with: - formal monitoring of progress to completion against published criteria, supported by institutional arrangements; - clearly defined examination processes, involving external examiners, assessment criteria and declared outcomes.

9. A robust quality assurance system underpins all doctoral provision.

There are four main elements:

Element 1 Original Research
Element 2 Research Plans
Element 3 Employability Skills
Element 4 Discipline Skills

This integration of training is designed to ensure that our graduates are well suited to the modern business, commercial and industrial environments as well as the more traditional careers in academia and research.

DIT Colleges and Schools
The current organisation of colleges and schools is as follows:

College of Arts & Tourism

Dublin School of Creative Arts
Culinary Arts and Food Technology
Hospitality Management and Tourism
Languages, Law and Social Sciences
Music and Drama

College of Business
Accounting and Finance
Graduate Business School
Retail and Services Management

College of Engineering & Built Environment
Dublin School of Architecture
Civil Engineering
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Mechanical and Design Engineering
Multi-disciplinary Technologies
Surveying and Construction Management
Spatial Planning and Transport Engineering

College of Sciences & Health
Biological Sciences
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Food Science and Environmental Health
Mathematical Sciences

Entry requirements

4.1 Admission Requirements
The entry requirements for the PhD programme are as follows*:
Minimum of a 2.1 honours degree (level 8) in a relevant discipline
Transfer from the research Masters degree (level 9)

The entry requirements for the MPhil programme are as follows:
Minimum of a 2.2 honours degree at level 8 in a relevant discipline
Transfer from the Postgraduate Diploma by Research (PgDip(Res))

The entry requirements for the PgDip(Res) programme are:
Minimum of a pass degree at level 8 in a relevant discipline

The Graduate Research School Office will verify the equivalency of non-Irish qualifications.

An applicant, whose native language is not English, must display an adequate proficiency in English in 4 categories; speaking, listening (comprehension), listening and writing. The recognised English language tests are listed at

The minimum level required for research programmes is International English Language Testing System 6.0 or equivalent for the overall average score and a score not lower than 5.5 in each category. In exceptional circumstances, an applicant with an overall average score of 5.5 may be considered subject to the approval of the proposed supervisor, Head of School and the Head of the Graduate Research School. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) cannot be used for exemption from the English language requirement.

4.2 Arrangements for Supervision
All graduate research students must register in an academic school and are also members of the Graduate Research School.

*Students on the research Masters register can undergo examination for transfer to the higher register. Similarly students on the Postgraduate Diploma by Research (PgDip(Res)) register can undergo examination for transfer to the research Masters register. The procedures for such transfers are also described in student handbook.


The PhD programme is of 4 years duration.

Research areas

DIT Research Institutes and Research Centres
There are currently two research institutes facilitating research activities across DIT.

Focas Research Institute contributes strongly to the development of self-sustaining research teams in a number of strategic areas, such as bio- and nano-technologies. It underpins graduate research, undergraduate project work and undergraduate and graduate course curriculum development. The Institute houses state-of-the-art microscopy and spectroscopy equipment in core laboratory spaces and provides administrative and technical support to more than 180 staff and students who work in research centres. w:

The Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute (ESHI) is a dedicated research institute for inter-disciplinary environmental health sciences research. It integrates scientific and technical expertise with planning, policy and regulatory capability and relevant industry partners to bridge the science-policy-innovation gap. The overarching mission and vision is to achieve "healthier lives for children, the elderly and vulnerable populations". The inter-disciplinary research teams pursue seven specific areas of research focus: lifestyle & policy, water quality, air quality, radiation & noise, bio-monitoring, energy and food safety & quality. w:

There are currently nineteen designated research centres across DIT.

Antenna and High Frequency Research Centre
The Antenna and High Frequency Research Centre specialises in the analysis, design and measurement of antennas and associated devices for wireless communications and medical applications. With decades of applied research experience it has built an international reputation for innovative futuristic concepts and solutions to contemporary industrial challenges.

Applied Intelligence Research Centre
The Applied Intelligence Research Centre researches the application of computational intelligence technologies to real world problems. The core competencies of the AIRC include machine learning, language technologies, intelligent agents and data analytics.

Business Society and Sustainability Research Centre
The Business Society and Sustainability Research Centre is committed to critical and creative analysis and reflection on the impacts of business on the wider society and vice versa. Central to these impacts is the theme of sustainability understood not only in its ecological sense but also in the sense of the ability of business to maintain ethical and political legitimacy through creating value in the long-term.

Centre for Biomimetic and Therapeutic Research
Researchers at the Centre for Biomimetic and Therapeutic Research synthesise and characterise novel materials for applications as diverse as pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, molecular recognition, biomimetic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry.

Centre for Elastomer Research
The Centre for Elastomer Research has the unique capability of producing reliable visco-elastic data for characterising the multi-axial physical properties of elastomers. Current research interests are: hyper-elastic and visco-elastic material behaviour including elastomer fatigue, stress softening and stress relaxation, biomedical applications, advanced foams and swelling phenomenon.

Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology
The Centre for Research in Engineering Surface Technology is the only dedicated surface coatings laboratory in Ireland. The major research activities of the group are in the areas of nanotechnology, ceramics for functional applications semiconductors, photocatalysis, self-cleaning probes and anti-bacterial functional coatings.

Centre for Social and Educational Research
The Centre for Social and Educational Research is a dynamic and innovative research centre which seeks to improve the quality of life of children, family and society. It aims to impact on social and educational policies and practices through the provision of accurate research data. The centre has a well-established track record of research in five classified research themes: juvenile crime and youth justice, media literacies, early childhood education, higher education policy and social care.

Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice
The Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice offers a distinctive, interdisciplinary graduate and research environment, dedicated to scholarly and public understandings of migration and globalization, media and civil society activism, post-conflict/border zones and transcultural identity formations in Ireland and beyond. The Centre promotes the use of ethnographic and documentary modes of practice in social research, utilising new and established media technologies.

Communications Network Research Institute
The centre specialises in developing technologies to support the delivery of real-time service such as VoIP and video streaming on wireless networks. Researchers are investigating resource aware routing techniques, characteristics of wireless links, interference mitigation, multi-radio hardware platforms, rate selection, output power optimization, and fragmentation threshold tuning.

Consumption and Leisure Studies Group
As many DIT researchers are engaging in consumer-related research, evolving media-based technologies and sport and recreation-based research, we recognise a number of shared interests around the shaping of contemporary consumer Ireland. The Consumption and Leisure Studies group brings together academics researching in the areas of consumption, consumer society, media studies, and sport and leisure studies.

Digital Media Centre
The Digital Media Centre is a multidisciplinary group which focuses on research and commercial projects in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for the following areas: culture & heritage, language learning, multimedia interaction, spatially aware computing, digital heritage and machine learning.

Dublin Energy Lab
The Dublin Energy Lab is a leading energy-related research and development laboratory which conducts research across a range of disciplines with key efforts organised into themes of electrical power, energy policy, solar energy, zero emissions buildings, energy demand analysis & forecasting and life cycle assessment.
Electrical Power Research Centre
The Electrical Power Research Centre provides a world class energy interface facility to sustain and advance leading research in power quality conditioning and in integration of wind and solar energy to the network.

Food and Health Research Centre
Research in the Food and Health Research Centre is interdisciplinary and applied and is both industry and policy relevant. The cross-disciplinary team of researchers focuses on six thematic areas of functional foods and nutraceuticals, post-harvest and non-thermal technologies, food product development and culinary innovation, food safety and diagnostic tools, small molecule biotechnology, human health and nutrition.

Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media
GradCAM is a collaboration of national and all-island significance which builds on the expertise of DIT, the National College of Art & Design and the University of Ulster and delivers PhD training across the arts, creative media content and service development, and the technical, critical, theoretical and historical underpinnings of these disciplines.

Industrial Engineering Optics Centre
The Industrial Engineering Optics Centre specialises in holographic and interferometric techniques and has developed novel technologies with applications in product authentication, sensing, vibration measurement and optical device fabrication.

The Nanolab research centre has unparalleled expertise in state-of-the-art nanomaterial characterisation and the analysis of the interaction of nanomaterials with biological systems. Its researchers explore standards and methods for the characterisation of nanomaterials, including the toxicity and biocompatibility of a variety of nanomaterials such as carbonaceous, polymeric, metallic and composite nanomaterial systems.

Photonics Research Centre
The Photonics Research Centre undertakes research in a number of areas of photonics with a particular emphasis on optical sensing. Its primary research areas are: fibre optic sensors and their applications, fibre optic systems for sensing applications, smart fibre structures, liquid crystal filters for sensing applications, modelling of optical waveguides and photonic integrated circuits.

Radiation and Environmental Science Centre
The Radiation and Environmental Science Centre specialises in radiation biology and environmental toxicology. Non-targeted (non-DNA) effects such as bystander effects, genomic instability and adaptive responses are the main focus. Translational research and the use of vibrational spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool for cancer and for the identification of biochemical markers are also investigated.

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