Doctoral Degree - MPhil/PhD

Duration: 2 years full-time

What is MPhil/PhD?

The School of Applied Social Studies is a research-active school, which has a strong commitment to both applied and theoretical research in the social sciences.  The research interests of staff in the School are quite varied and details of individual areas of expertise can be found on the School's website (see Staff).  The School also has an active postgraduate research community with students undertaking postgraduate degrees at master and doctoral level across a range of subject areas in the social sciences. For a list of PhD theses recently completed in the School see Doctoral Research.  The School offers a number of research based postgraduate degree including:

  • PhD
  • MPhil 
  • Master of Social Science (MSocSc by Research)

Ph.D (Doctor in Philosophy)

The PhD allows students to pursue a significant piece of research over a period of three years full-time, or six years part-time, which culminates in the production of a thesis of a maximum of 80,000 words. To be eligible for consideration to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD, students should have reached a standard of Second Class Honours, Grade I in their primary degree or equivalent, in the social sciences. It is usually the case that prospective students are registered for an MPhil in the first instance and transfer to PhD after at least one year on the recommendation of the Supervisor and the School's Graduate Studies Committee (SGSC). For further details on application procedures, please see the relevant section below.

The Postgraduate Academic Calendar contains information on all the programmes offered by the School of Applied Social Studies. The Postgraduate Academic Calendar can be accessed at: UCC Academic Calendar 

Application Procedure

All applicants to research degree programmes are required to make an application through UCC Apply (for details of the application process see UCC Apply). However it is not possible to make an application for a research degree programme through UCC Apply without including a proposal detailing a research topic and naming a supervisor. 

Applicants to School of Applied Social Studies should contact the Chair of the School's Graduate Studies Committee, Dr. Elizabeth Kiely (, or a Prospective Supervisor to discuss their proposed area of research prior to applying through UCC Apply.

Following this consultation the applicant should submit a research proposal of between 1,500 and 3,000 words and an academic CV to the Chair of the SGSC (See Appendix B for guidelines for preparing the research proposal).  The documents will be reviewed by the committee and assessed in relation to three key variables namely, the quality of the proposal, the academic/research track-record of the applicant and the availability of a suitable supervisor (for details of the criteria applied when assessing the compatibility of proposals in relation to these variables see Appendix C). The SGSC may accept the proposal, refer it back to the applicant with suggestions for improvement or refuse the proposal.  In the case of the latter option the student will be given the reason (s) for the non-acceptance of the proposal.  If a proposal is accepted by the SGSC the committee will suggest a supervisor in consultation with the applicant.  The application form, including the name of the proposed supervisor and a copy of the proposal, will be forwarded to the Head of School for his/her approval and on receipt of this approval will be forwarded to the university Graduate Studies Office for approval by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.  Subsequent to this approval the student will be invited to formally register for the degree.

Students can apply to start a research degree (MSocSc by research, MPhil or PhD) in January, April, July or October. Further information about postgraduate research and work in the School of Applied Social Studies can be found in the Handbook for students completing postgrad. research degrees: Handbook for Postgrad. Students Completing Research Degrees  

Further Information

Further information on all aspects of postgraduate study can be obtained from the

Graduate Studies Office,

University College Cork,

Cork, Ireland,

Tel:  +353 (0)21 490 2876 

Fax: +353 (0)21 490 1897,




School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

William Thompson House, Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland.