The PhD in European Law and Governance (ELG) is designed for students who want to develop multidisciplinary expertise on the structures and dynamics of European governance. This complex and increasingly important field of study encompasses relations between the member states and institutions of the European Union, Council of Europe and other European bodies, processes of treaty negotiation and supranational law-making, issues of political economy, citizenship and human rights, foreign policy, and environmental protection, and controversies related to sovereignty and democratic legitimacy, compliance and enforcement, and lobbying and social mobilisation, among many others.
The ELG programme is offered jointly by the UCD School of Law and the UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe), both of which have large, internationally-renowned academic staffs in this area. The programme includes (1) substantive coursework in both of the sponsoring schools, (2) training in research methods, (3) regular contact with a supervisor from either of the sponsoring schools and a Doctoral Studies Panel of three staff including at least one from each sponsoring school, and (4) the writing of a doctoral thesis based on original research. Students in the programme register to the school where their supervisor is located. They are also associated during their studies with the UCD Dublin European Institute, Irelands largest and oldest university research centre on European integration and governance.
In addition to writing a research thesis, ELG students must complete 40 credits of taught coursework. The content of this requirement differ slightly (see below) depending on whether they are registered through Law or SPIRe. All ELG students also have the option of pursuing additional coursework in Law, SPIRe or other Schools (such as Business, Economics, Sociology, etc.) to deepen their substantive knowledge and/or methodological skills.