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Nursing Midwifery & Health Systems - Research

PhD Degree
Research Degrees
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is offered through a structured programme of rigorous training in research and offers students an opportunity to undertake a focused and critical examination of a particular topic with the aim contributing to the development of knowledge in their field. The PhD degree normally requires a registration period of not less than three years and not more than four years for full-time students. For part-time students the period of registration is usually not more than six years. Each student is assigned an academic supervisor and his/her training programme is overseen by a doctoral studies panel. Applications for entry to the programme are welcome from those in nursing, midwifery or a health-related discipline.

Entrants to the PhD programme from September 2014 are required to undertake 30 credits of taught modules which are based on the student’s needs to support the thesis work. Recognition of prior learning (RPL) may be considered for up to two-thirds of these 30 credits. Application for RPL credits should be considered in discussion with the supervisor after registration to the programme. Such credits must be approved by the School’s Research Degrees Committee and the College of Sciences Graduate School Board.

Overseas students registered to the PhD programme at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems may, subject to approval, remain in their home country for all or most of their PhD studies and receive supervision remotely. For these students, up to 20 credits may be gained though the RPL process. The additional mandatory 10 credits may be undertaken at an institution in the home country during the time they are registered for the PhD at UCD. Gaining credits in this way is subject to the approval of the student’s doctoral studies panel and other governance mechanisms of the university. Students applying to the PhD programme with the intention of remaining in their home country for the duration of their studies should submit a clear plan at the time of their application as to how they envisage meeting the requirement of having completed 30 mandatory taught credits.

Research Masters Degree
The research masters degree provides students with rigorous research training and an opportunity to complete an independent research study, presented as a major thesis. The programme may encompass additional formal instruction in research methods. The period of registration for the Research Masters degree will normally be not less than 1 calendar year and not more than 2 years for a full-time student and not less than 2 years and not more than 4 years for a part-time student. Applications for entry to the programme are welcome from those in nursing, midwifery or a health-related discipline.


X219/X290 MSc: 1 year full-time / 2 years part-time
X239/X240 PhD: 4 years full-time / 6 years part-time

Careers or further progression

Career opportunities
A research masters degree or PhD is a major academic award and gives the graduate a significant advantage in advancing a clinical career or entering a career in research and teaching. A professional doctorate is also a major academic award that gives the graduate excellent opportunities for career advancement in the fields of clinical practice, practice development, service administration, education, or policy development and planning.

Further enquiries

General Enquiries:
Nicola Berry
Senior Executive Assistant
B105, UCD Health Sciences Centre
t: +353 1 716 6409

Academic Enquiries:
Dr Kate Frazer
Research Degrees Coordinator
B224, UCD Health Sciences Centre
t: +353 1 716 6479

Enrolment and start dates

Three possible start dates: January, May or September.

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