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Philosophy - Research

Research PhD
This section describes the opportunities for studying a PhD research degree at the School of Philosophy of University College Dublin. The School has 15 full-time, permanent faculty (academic staff), offering a wide variety of expertise, including analytic philosophy, contemporary European traditions, as well as ancient and medieval philosophy. There is a vibrant graduate student community of roughly 25 MA students and 25 PhD students in any given year. There are close links with the Department of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The School are also home to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies and the international postgraduate philosophy journal Perspectives.

The structure of the PhD
The PhD typically lasts four years. In their first year, students are required to successfully complete any four modules from those on offer in that year. See the Graduate Modules of the current year -- most of the modules should remain the same next year. In addition, UCD students may take one or two of their four modules over at Trinity College. The UCD graduate modules are designed primarily for MA students, but doctoral students will be assessed more strictly.

After the four modules, the student has to write a dissertation of approximately 80,000 words, under the guidance of a supervisor (one of the permanent members of staff), and with the support of a doctoral panel (two other members of staff). There is also the option to finish earlier by writing an MLitt dissertation, which is half the length, and does not have such stringent requirements of originality.

For more details of the programme, please see the current Graduate Studies Handbook 2016-17.

Applications to the PhD programme
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.)

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 Markus Schlosser, 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. After completing the online application and paying the application fee, applicants should also upload the following supporting documents:

1. Transcripts of any previous degrees, including bachelor's and master's level.

2. Two letters of academic reference. These may be uploaded online or contact Helen Kenny if you wish to submit them by post or electronically.

3. Philosophical writing sample. Maximum length - 8,000 words

4. Research proposal (see above).

5. English language requirement, if necessary.

6. Statement of interest (OPTIONAL). Maximum length - 1,500 words

Any administrative questions should be sent to the School Manager, Helen Kenny.

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 Helen Kenny if you wish to discuss this possibility.


W141/W142: 3 Years Full-Time / 6 Years Part-Time

W119: 2 Years Full-Time
W228: 4 Years Part-Time

Further enquiries

Graduate Administration
Helen Kenny
Newman Building Room D503
Tel.: + 353 1 716 8186

Research areas

Bizri, Rana
Supervisor: Joseph Cohen
Topic: Understanding our Fundamental Ways of engaging with the World: Beyond Discursive Action

Brockman, Harvey
Supervisor: Maria Baghramian
Topic: Experimental philosophy & traditional philosophy

Di Basilio, Giulio
Supervisor: Tim Crowley
Topic: The Notion of Prohairesis in Aristotle's Philosophy of Action (Funded by the IRC)

Dong, Le
Supervisor: Joseph Cohen
Topic: Difference in Deleuze and Hegel

Doyle, Siobhan
Supervisor: Tim Crowley
Topic: The Philosophy of the Self: reflections of Plotinus’ metaphysics in the philosophical ideas of Soren Kierkegaard

Drumm, Eugene (MLitt)
Supervisor: Dermot Moran
Topic: Psychoanalysis, Deleuze and Husserl

Dwyer, Austin (PhD in Cognitive Science)
Supervisor: Dermot Moran
Topic: TBA

Grünfeld, Martin
Supervisor: Brian O’Connor
Topic: Towards a Poetics of Knowledge: The Dominance of Scientific Writing and the Demolition of Thinking (funded by the IRC)

Hariri, Muhannad
Supervisor: Jim O'Shea
Topic: Inferential Intuitions: The Role of the Imagination in Sellars' Theory of Experience

Kelly, Maeve
Supervisor: Rowland Stout
Topic: Breaking the Glass Jar: Can Autism bring a new understanding to the Philosophy of Mind?

Konovalchuk, Mayya
Supervisor: Gerard Casey
Topic: An analysis of the Christian Legal Philosophy of Harold Berman

Kretzschmar, Sven (MLitt)
Supervisor: Christopher Cowley
Topic: Health and Responsibility. Arguments for a Hybrid Account of Responsibility for Health

Lennon, Damien
Supervisor: Joseph Cohen
Topic: Eliot, Joyce and the Hermeneutic of Ruin

Lim, Kimberly (MLitt)
Supervisor: Maria Baghramian
Topic: The Rise, Fall and Imminent Rise of Ordinary Language Philosophy

Markwell, David
Supervisor: Tim Mooney
Topic: Merleau-Ponty and Ethics

McGrath, Fionn
Supervisor: Maeve Cooke
Topic: The Good Society: Realism, Idealism and the scientific model

McPartland, Nilantha
Supervisor: Brian O'Connor
Topic: The Anxiety of Decline: A Genealogy of the Idea of a 'Western' Canon of Art

Mitchell, Jonathan
Supervisor: Tim Mooney
Topic: De-forming Bodies: Disability, Time and Becoming (Funded by the IRC)

Morris, Conor
Supervisors: Jim O’Shea
Topic: Work and Spirit: John Dewey’s Theory of Inquiry and the nature of regulative assumptions

Morrissey, Brian
Supervisor: Maria Baghramian
Topic: Addressing the challenge of relativism about science: Can relativism itself be used to posit an adaptive, evolving, responsive foundation for the sciences? (Funded by the IRC)

Murphy, Chris
Supervisor: Jim O’Shea
Topic: How Problematic is Kant’s Solution?

Papazian, Meline (PhD in Cognitive Science)
Supervisor: Rowland Stout
Topic: TBA

Pringle, John (MLitt)
Supervisor: Jim O'Shea
Topic: Empirical Method applied to a Problem in Ethics , such as Intuitionism or Mind/Body and Behaviourism

Petropoulos, Georgios
Supervisor: Joseph Cohen
Topic: Social Reality, Truth and Interpersonal Relationships

Robinson, Gerard
Supervisor: Markus Schlosser
Topic: Philosophy, Physics and the Problem of Conceptual Meaning

Ruggeri, Cinzia
Supervisor: Dermot Moran
Topic: The figures of intersubjectivity in Max Scheler’s thought (Funded by the IRC)

Setola, Patrizia
Supervisor: Maria Baghramian and Christopher Cowley
Topic: Ethics and animals with regard to scientific evidence

Trotter, Frida
Supervisor: Jim O'Shea
Topic: The connection between theory and nature. Wilfrid Sellars' analysis on language and perception

Wong, Shuk
Supervisor: Tim Mooney
Topic: A Phenomenological Account of the Constitution of an Intersubjective World of Self-silencing

Zhang, Junguo
Supervisor: Dermot Moran
Topic: The Logical Contradiction of Anselm's Ontological Argument

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