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English Drama & Film - Research

PhDs and MLitts

The School of English Drama and Film at UCD welcomes applications from potential PhD students. A UCD PhD is a three to four year research degree, undertaken within a clearly structured programme. The programme includes taught modules, a Research and Professional Development Plan and the possibility to develop teaching skills.

MLitt Programme

The MLitt is a two-year research programme, leading to the production of a thesis of 40,000 to 60,000 words which will treat its subject in a systematic and independent way. MLitt students may transfer to the PhD after completing one year of research, subject to the recommendation of the supervisor and the approval of the Head of School.

All students are assigned a primary supervisor, and in some cases where the work is interdisciplinary, co-supervision will be offered. Students are supported in their programme of independent research which frequently culminates in the production of research worthy of peer-reviewed publications.

Consistently the School and the Humanities at UCD are ranked highly. Members of the School have attracted some of the most competitive research grants and awards available in Ireland and internationally. School members have also played a significant and recognized role in shaping their respective fields of study.

At the school of English, Drama and Film offer we offer experience in the supervision of PhD students and a wide-ranging expertise. Many of our PhD students have been successful in obtaining Postdoctoral funding following their research.

Entry requirements

It is expected that PhD students will have an academic background necessary to support doctoral level research. The majority of our candidates have a proven strong graduate and postgraduate record (a high MA result of 2:1- 1:1 or GPA above 3.2). We would also be looking for an IELTS score of 8, if English is not your first language. A potential supervisor may be able to advise on the knowledge they expect their potential students to have gained before applying for entry to the programme.

MLitts are also required to have an academic background necessary to support independent research. We would also be looking for an IELTS score of 8, if English is not your first language and a high BA result 2:1- 1:1 or GPA of GPA above 3.2. A potential supervisor may be able to advise on the knowledge they expect their potential students to have gained before applying for entry to the programme. It should be noted that a student if successful during their MLitt research, they may be able to request a transfer to the PhD programme. This does require academic approval.

In addition to subject specific knowledge, all PhD students and MLitt students are expected to have a basic understanding of research methods before applying for entry to the PhD and MLitt programme. If this knowledge needs supporting and the student is offered a place, it is expected that they will complete necessary modules either in the School or on the UCD campus to meet research needs.


English, Drama & Film (Z110) MLitt Research 2 Years FT Full 
English, Drama & Film (Z123/Z124) PhD Research 3 Years FT / 6 Years PT

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Ciara Forristal
Number: +353 (0)1 716 8480

Contact the Graduate Officer Dr. Nerys Williams ( if you have any enquiries about which staff member may be most relevant to your proposed research. For more information about the application process please contact the Graduate Administrator at

Application date

Any candidate considering a PhD or MLitt is required to complete a detailed project proposal. These should be developed in collaboration with your potential supervisor.

First you need to identify what has already been done in your chosen research area, an initial MLA bibliography search is a useful as a starting point. Following this you need to develop with a clear breakdown of provisional chapters. Once complete, you should make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss possible directions to your project.

As well as an in-depth proposal a future supervisor would also need to see
•a short academic CV,
•a sample of academic writing (ideally a chapter from a postgraduate dissertation, or if applying for an MLitt a lengthy chapter or research essay)

You should also arrange to meet with your potential supervisor—meetings and conversations may also take place over skype if you are unable to travel or are living outside Ireland.
If the supervisor provisionally agrees that the work has merit, you can begin the application process.
•Portal for electronic application

Applications must be accepted by both the School and the Graduate School Board. The finalised acceptance can take a little time—at least a month, since the Graduate School Board meet outside of the School. If you are an international student your application will also be processed by the International Office.

Course fee

MLitt English, Drama & Film (Z110) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 6325
nonEU fee per year - € 12180

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!