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Philosophy - Research

UCD Philosophy was ranked among the top 100 departments of Philosophy worldwide according to the recent QS World Rankings survey (2017 and 2018).

Entry requirements

Normally a student should have an undergraduate degree with a strong philosophy component and an overall average of B in the philosophy courses. In addition, we normally require an MA in philosophy, or in some close subject such as political or literary theory. If the student is enrolled in an MA at the time of applying to UCD, we may make a conditional offer based on their performance to date.

Before applying, we strongly recommend that applicants peruse the School's staff members and their research interests. Ideally they will contact a staff member directly and discuss possible PhD projects informally. Alternatively, applicants can contact the PhD co-ordinator, Dr Tatjana von Solodkoff, to discuss possible ideas and supervisors. Applicants should note that some staff members may be on research leave in a given year, or may already have too many supervisory commitments to take on new PhD students. Applicants are still welcome to apply without contacting a staff member; if they meet all the admission criteria, the School will endeavour to find an appropriate supervisor for them.

Applications should be made online. In addition, applicants should submit a detailed 2-page research proposal, together with a Table of Contents, and a Bibliography of at least ten items.

English Language Requirement
For all programmes, fluency in written English is required. If you are not a native speaker of English and your secondary education or university degree has not been carried out in English, then you must satisfy the English language requirement: a minimum score of 600 TOEFL (250 computer based, with test of written English at 475+) or 6.5 IELTS (minimum of 6.0 in each band).

Special Option: Writing a PhD thesis in French or German

The UCD School of Philosophy will consider, as part of a general application to its PhD programme, any request to submit a PhD thesis in the French or German language.

Please note: this option is only available under the usual admission conditions, namely,

the applicant should be otherwise academically suitable;
the applicant must have certified competence in written English enabling him/her to take part in taught courses and to write work for such courses alongside English native speakers;
availability of an appropriate supervisor.
Further conditions may also be stipulated after consideration on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the School Manager if you wish to discuss this possibility.


PhD: W1413 Years Full-Time / 6 Years Part-Time
MLitt: W119: 2 Years Full-Time /4 Years Part-Time

Further enquiries

Application date

We accept applications for the PhD right up until the end of June prior to a September starting date. It is also possible to apply up until the end of November for a January start date. (Note that applicants who wish to apply for the PhD awards in the UCD School of Philosophy should apply by 1st of June.)

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!