Quantitative Social Sciences - Research

The PhD in Quantitative Social Sciences (QSS) programmme is a course of study that focuses on quantitative research techniques applied to research questions in Social Science, with a specific focus on Economics, Politics, International Relations and Development Studies.

The programme integrates the perspectives and research methods of various disciplines such as Economics, Politics and Statistics. QSS provides students with rigorous training in quantitative research, with an emphasis on written and oral communication about research techniques and findings applicable to applied research questions in Social Science.
Students with a quantitative background in any area can undertake the programme. They will undertake various quantitative social science modules offered by UCD School of Politics & International Relations and School of Economics. They may also choose modules that is relevant to their own research interest in other UCD Schools.

Structured PhD Programme in Quantitative Social Sciences
3-4 years full time and 6+ years part time

The PhD QSS programme is a thematic, structured programmes. Doctoral studies at UCD comprise two stages:

Stage 1 is a period when you define your research plan, develop your research skills and initiate original research work for your doctorate.

Stage 2 is primarily dedicated to continuing your original doctoral research but may also include some advanced education and training.

As set out by the requirements of the UCD Structured PhD Programme (PDF), QSS students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits of course works in Stage 1, followed by a programme of original research leading to the award of Doctoral degree by research.

A formal transfer assessment takes place after about 15 months (longer if part-time), in order to progress from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the PhD. Students must submit a body of written work to a review panel, who will conduct an interview on the work submitted, and must also complete a Research and Professional Development Programme (RPDP).

The PhD may take the form of a traditional thesis, or a collection of papers (including published papers or papers submitted or prepared for submission) describing a coherent programme of research which has been published or prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals of international standing, accompanied by a critical and theoretical overview of the work presented in the papers.

For inquiries, please contact the Programme Director, Professor Patrick Paul Walsh (

For the structured PhD programme in Quantitative Social Sciences, applications are welcomed from applicants with a good Master’s degree in Economics, Statistics and other Social Science subjects. If you are interested in exploring your research plans further with a member of staff, please feel free to contact us individually.


W176/W154: 3 years full-time / 6 years part-time

Further enquiries

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Programme Director and the Programme Administrator.

Professor Patrick Paul Walsh
Professor of International Development Studies
UCD School of Politics & International Relations (SPIRe)
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Bernaddete Fox
Programme Administrator
Newman Building (Room D110)
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 716 8643

Subjects taught

Recommended Modules

Semester 1
•POL40950 Introduction to Statistics - 10cr
•POL50160 PhD Research Design- 10cr
•POL50170 Quantitative Methods I- 10cr
•STAT40470 Quantitative Research Methods - 5cr
•STAT40480 Quantitative Research 2 - 5cr (Must be taken with STAT40470)
•ECON41990 Macroeconomics - 7.5cr
•ECON42030 Quantitative Techniques - 2.5cr
•ECON42000 Econometrics - 7.5cr
•ECON42010 Microeconomics - 7.5cr
•ECON42110 Topics in Econometrics - 5cr (Strongly recommended for PhD students in Economics)
•ECON50130 Economics PhD Research Methods - 5cr
•GSHS50050 - Development PhD Roundtable - 5cr

Semester 2
•POL50180 Quantitative Methods II (TCD) - 10cr
•POL50190 Quant Text Analysis (TCD) - 10cr
•POL41640 Research Design and Case Study - 10cr
•GSHS50080 Social Sciences Methodology - 10cr
•ECON41620 Advanced Macroeconomics - 5cr
•ECON41810 Advanced Microeconomics - 5cr
•ECON41850 Advanced Econometrics - 5cr
•ECON42140 International Trade - 5cr

The range of modules subject to change

Application date

PhD QSS - Applications

The students can start the programme in September as well as in January. The corresponding deadlines for submission of applications to the PhD in Quantitative Social Sciences programme are as follows:
•31st of May 2016 (For September 2016 start)
•28th November 2016 (For January 2017 start)

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

Here is the list of required application documents:
• Application Form (MS Word)
• 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;
• Two academic references;
• Curriculum Vitae
• Official (stamped) transcripts from your undergraduate and postgraduate (if applicable) studies. This applies to non-UCD graduates only.
• 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.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of the appropriate and available expertise within the Programme, the quality of the applicant and the nature of the proposed research.

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

Yuko Conlon
Thematic PhD Administrator
UCD Doctoral Programme in QSS
D111 Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!