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Complex Systems & Computational Social Science - Research

A core challenge for 21st century science is to develop fundamental new insights for understanding and managing the complexity of social systems such as dynamic systems of technological innovation, dynamic networks of electronic communication, diffusion processes which explain the spread of diseases, hidden networks of crime and terrorism, social networks of peer pressure and discrimination and many other such phenomena.

Complex systems are often random and non-linear in their underlying processes. Various and recent research findings suggest these systems are characterised by "multi-scale interactions, emergent behaviour, feed-back across multiple processes, pattern formation and self-organisation".

This thematic PhD in Complex Systems and Computational Social Science (CSCS) equips students to work in this new, fast-growing and innovative field which is characterised by the application of computer simulation and other computer-based methods to the analysis of complex, digital data of social systems and their complexity.

This PhD programme provides a strongly interdisciplinary doctoral training and co-supervision involving faculty from the UCD College of Social Sciences & Law and the College of Science, with a wide range of external research and industry expertise available also. Computational social science is a strongly emergent area of scientific innovation with numerous applications in both the public and private or commercial sectors in Ireland and elsewhere across the world.

CSCS PhD Programme Structure
The CSCS PhD Programme is a thematic, structured programme. CSCS PhD students may register as full-time (4 years) or part-time students (6 years). Some general information on UCD Structured PHDs is available here.
All UCD Doctoral Studies comprise two stages of training:

Stage 1 comprises the first 12-18 months (for full-time students) within which the PhD student defines the research plan, develops specific research skills through a programme of recommended modules and specialized training and initiates original research work for the doctorate degree.

Stage 2 comprising the remaining 30 months, is primarily dedicated to continuing the original doctoral research but may also include some advanced education and training.

The CSCS PhD Programme incorporates a range of recommended taught modules (minimum 50 credits) completed in Stage I, followed by a programme of original research leading to the award of Doctoral degree by research (270 credits) at the end of Stage II. CSCS students may also participate in short, external internships during the four year programme.

Transfer from Stage I to Stage II in the CSCS Programme

In order to progress from Stage I to Stage II of the CSCS PhD Programme, a formal assessment of the student's progress takes place at the end of Stage I. See here for more information on this process. The formal assessment is conducted by the CSCS Transfer Assessment Panel, which usually comprises members of the CSCS Board of Studies. The relevant Head of School, or nominee, may also be a member of the Assessment Panel. The Principal Supervisor, and any co-supervisors, are not normally members of the panel.

The CSCS Transfer Assessment Panel base their judgement on the following materials:
- A written statement of progress from the Principal Supervisor
- A written statement of progress and future research by the student. This includes a research paper which outlines their proposed thesis research, including draft theoretical framework and methodology.
- Student has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 50 credits of recommended CSCS modules by the end of Stage I.
- An oral presentation, referred to as the Transfer Seminar, followed by a question-and-answer session, given by the student to the CSCS Assessment Panel.

Description of CSCS Stage II
A PhD student is required to complete a thesis based on original research, which will form the basis of the final Viva Voce examination. The thesis concludes a programme of research under which the student may produce Working Papers, co-author papers with their supervisors, attend conferences, etc. The research component of the degree programme includes regular meetings with the doctoral supervisory panel (DSP) and a student Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP) which is regularly reviewed.

Entry requirements

Entry normally requires an undergraduate degree in suitable disciplines from the social sciences, mathematical and/or computer sciences or related areas. Students from life sciences may be admitted but may need to take extra electives in the social sciences.

Prior to entry all students must have acquired an undergraduate, intermediate level competence in calculus or equivalent.

Duration

W198 4 Years full time
W265 6 Years Part Time

Further enquiries

Rachel Wang,
Thematic PhD Administrator,
CSCS Thematic PhD Programme,
College of Social Sciences & Law Graduate School,
D111 Newman Building,
University College Dublin,
Belfield, Dublin 4.
Ireland.

Email: rachel@ucd.ie

For academic enquiries, please contact the CSCS Programme Director, Associate Professor Diane Payne (Diane.Payne@ucd.ie).

Application date

PhD Complex Systems and Computational Social Science - Applications

Students may be admitted to the CSCS PhD Programme in either September or January of the academic year.

The corresponding deadlines for submission of applications to the CSCS programme are as follows
•30th October 2018 (For January 2019 start)
•21st May 2019 (For September 2019 start)

Please allow us up to two months for reviewing your application. Applicants from non-EU countries need to apply to us earlier as the visa application process may take time.

Entry normally requires an undergraduate degree in suitable disciplines from the social sciences, mathematical and/or computer sciences or related areas. Students from life sciences may be admitted but may need to take extra electives in the social sciences.

Prior to entry all students must have acquired an undergraduate, intermediate level competence in calculus or equivalent.

All applications should include the following documentation:
•Application Form CSCS
•A letter of application indicating the basis of your interests in this programme and its potential contribution to your career goals;
•Thesis title and abstract on a separate page (maximum 1500 words) or your proposed project proposal
•Curriculum Vitae
•Official (stamped) Transcripts of your undergraduate and postgraduate (if applicable) studies.
•Two completed Academic Referee forms (Download Referee Forms here: word /PDF)
•Students whose education prior to university level has not been carried out through the medium of English must satisfy English language requirements of a minimum score of 600 TOEFL (250 computer based, with a test of written English at 475+) or 6.5 IELTS (minimum of 6.0 in each band). Please also note that in all cases the test results must be less than 2 years old.

Please email scans of your complete applications and post the original hard-copies to:

Rachel Wang,
Thematic PhD Administrator,
CSCS Thematic PhD Programme,
College of Social Sciences & Law Graduate School,
D111 Newman Building,
University College Dublin,
Belfield, Dublin 4.
Ireland.

Email: rachel@ucd.ie

For academic enquiries, please contact the CSCS Programme Director, Associate Professor Diane Payne (Diane.Payne@ucd.ie).

Enrolment and start dates

Start date: To be agreed with School.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!