Research Postgraduates

Current Research Postgraduate Students

‌Research Students Handbook

The Research Student Handbook is intended as a resource regarding the facilities offered by the Department and the University, rules and regulations, and various important practical matters.  Students are recommended to familiarise themselves with its content.

Review of Postgraduate Research Students

The progress of research postgraduate students is reviewed at regular intervals. The aim of the review procedure is to improve quality in our research programmes and to facilitate successful completion by the student in question of his or her research degree. The process is intended to serve as a mechanism for the timely identification and rectification of any problems which may arise in relation to a student’s progress. Where difficulties are identified at a review, students will be afforded the opportunity to address those difficulties at a subsequent supplemental review. However, students are required to demonstrate satisfactory progress throughout their degree, and failures in successive reviews may ultimately lead to a recommendation that a student’s registration be terminated.

This process is independent of other reviews which may be necessary in the context of scholarships which may be held by a student. It may be possible for students/supervisors to make use of material prepared in the context of other reviews in order to complete the departmental review process (and vice versa). However, having passed other non-departmental reviews does not provide any exemption from the process described in this document.

The procedures for the review of the progress of research students (PhD, PhD Track and LLM by Research) in the Law Department are set out below. They also deal with the process of progression from PhD (Track) to full PhD status and applications to transfer from the LLM by Research to the PhD programme.

Students should be fully aware that positive results in progress reviews should not lead them to assume that their thesis examination is in any way pre-determined, as the examination process will be conducted in a manner that is entirely independent of preceding reviews and commences on submission of the thesis.

It should be mentioned that the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC) has a broader role, outside the context of the annual review, in terms of advising and mediating between students and supervisors in the event of any difficulty which may arise between them. Thus, students or supervisors need not wait until the formal review comes up to approach the DGSC for assistance (normally this would be done in the first instance by contacting the Chair of that Committee, currently Dr Conor O’Mahony). Further detail on UCC policy on the resolution of difficulties for postgraduate students is available at

The Law Department operates a progress review system that makes allowances for the differences between LLM by Research and PhD students, and between full-time and part-time students. The following is a summary of the stages of review:

Full-Time PhD

End of Year 1: PhD Track – 10,000 words; 200 word abstract; table of contents; 20 minute presentation; jointly completed review form.

End of Year 2: 10,000 words (different material to year before); 200 word abstract; table of contents; 25 minute presentation; jointly completed review form.

End of Year 3 (and any subsequent years) – jointly completed review form.

Supplemental reviews where necessary.

Part-Time PhD

End of Year 1: 6,000 words and jointly completed review form.

End of Year 2: PhD Track – 10,000 words; 200 word abstract; table of contents; 20 minute presentation; jointly completed review form.

End of Year 3: 10,000 words (different material to year before); 200 word abstract; table of contents; 25 minute presentation; jointly completed review form.

End of Year 4 (and any subsequent years) – jointly completed review form.

Supplemental reviews where necessary.

LLM by Research – Full-Time and Part-Time

6 months after initial registration: 15 minute presentation and jointly completed review form.

12 months after initial registration: jointly completed review form.

In the case of part-time students: jointly completed review forms at subsequent annual intervals.

Supplemental reviews where necessary.

PhD Track

All PhD students are registered in the first instance as PhD Track rather than as full PhD students. The PhD Track review consists of a review of a 10,000 word piece of written work, a 20 minute presentation and a review form jointly completed by students and supervisors. The material presented for review will be reviewed by the supervisor(s), another member of the academic staff and the DGSC. The DGSC will make the decision on whether the review has shown that the student is making satisfactory progress Students who are deemed to be making satisfactory progress may, on the recommendation of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee, and with the approval of the Faculty of Law, progress to full PhD registration.

Standard Annual Review

All postgraduate research students are required to complete a standard annual review and to demonstrate that they are making satisfactory progress.

6 Month Review for LLM by Research

As LLM by Research students may potentially complete their degree in 12 months, an initial (and less burdensome) review will take place after 6 months.

Supplemental Reviews

Where students do not demonstrate satisfactory progress in a review (whether at PhD Track stage or any other stage), a supplemental review will be scheduled by the DGSC between 3-6 months after the failed review. The DGSC will prescribe a format for this review in consultation with the supervisor(s), setting specifics tasks and goals.

Failure of Supplemental Review

Where a student fails to demonstrate satisfactory progress in a supplemental review, the DGSC has three options available to it:

1)   Schedule a further supplemental review.

2)  Recommend (in the case of PhD students) that the student transfer to the LLM by Research degree.

3)  Recommend that the student’s registration be terminated.

Adjudication Process

In cases where the DGSC recommends that a student’s registration be changed to LLM by Research or terminated, but the student wishes to continue with his or her degree, the case will be referred to an adjudication process. An Adjudication Panel will be constituted, consisting of the Head of the Law Department, the Head of a cognate department in UCC, and an External Adjudicator with expertise in the area of research. This panel will be provided with all relevant information and will make one of the following determinations:

1) Student continues PhD study and guidance is provided to supervisor(s) and student, where appropriate, on any measures required to enable the student to progress (including a possible recommendation of change of supervisor); or

2) Student registration is changed to a Masters programme and guidance is provided to supervisor(s) and student, where appropriate, on any measures required to enable the student to progress; or

3) Student is deregistered, on the basis of lack of sufficient progress.

Further detail on UCC policy on progress reviews of postgraduate research students is available at

Transfer Between PhD and LLM Programmes

(i) Transfer from the LLM to PhD

Where a student wishes to transfer to the PhD programme, he or she must submit a revised research proposal and, in addition, the student and supervisor must fill out the Law Department “Request to Transfer to PhD” form (available below).

The student may be required to make an oral presentation in relation to their thesis and will normally be expected to have completed one chapter of the thesis to the appropriate standard. The DGSC may approve the transfer, decline to approve it, or specify a period for which the student must undertake further work on his or her research before submitting a fresh application to transfer.

If the DGSC is satisfied that the transfer is appropriate, the student must then apply formally to Faculty to make the transfer, using the (separate) university application form (available below)

Please note that, in accordance with what has been explained above, there are two forms involved in this process; the first is a Law Department form and the second is a university document.

(ii) Transfer from the PhD to the LLM

A student who wishes to transfer to the LLM by Research should discuss this, in the first instance, with his or her supervisor. Following this, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Chair of the DGSC. Making such a transfer may, in some circumstances, have an impact on a student’s funding.

Progress Review Form

Law Dept Transfer‌‎

Change in Registration Form ‌‎

Law School Postgraduate Fieldtrip Fund

The Law School operates a scheme designed to assist research students in respect of academic travel. The scheme provides awards of up to €100 per research trip (or up to €200 where the application is in respect of the delivery of an academic paper outside the country). In cases where there is any uncertainty as to what constitutes a conference paper in this context, the decision will be made by the Law School Graduate Studies Committee (or its nominee) taking into account the opinion of the supervisor/s.

Please complete the online Fieldtrip Form and submit. The Postgrad Administrator will seek approval from your supervisor and will notify you once approval has been received. 

Once the travel has taken place, the expenses for the trip can be claimed using the University online expense system called Agresso.

Detailed information on using Agresso is available at However with regard to Law School Postgraduate Field Trip Fund, the following are important points to note.

  1. In order to use Agresso students must register their details with Agresso by completing and submitting the online registration form available at

  2. To complete the registration a Staff Number is needed. Students are asked to contact the Postgraduate Administrator who will supply them with their number.

  3. When submitting a claim three codes are required.

(a)  A "cost code” - the cost code for the Law School is 2550

(b)  A “Project Code” - the project code for the Fieldtrip Funding Account is AS0221 – this identifies the Postgraduate Fieldtrip Fund within the Law Department’s overall account. All claims under the Postgraduate Fieldtrip funding scheme must use this code.

(c )  An “expense code” for the type of cost incurred. The codes that are mainly used for travel and conferences are as follows:

3066 Membership Subscriptions (Learned Society, Professional)
3086 Tranining Courses
3401 Books
3406 Journals & Periodicals
3831 Mobile Phones - Rental & Charges
3865 Flowers
3875 Office Sundries
4006 Conference Fees - within EU
4011 Conference Fees - outside EU
4016 Accommodation - Hotels & Guest Houses - within EU
4021 Accommodation - Hotels & Guest Houses - outside EU
4026 Air Travel - within EU
4031 Air Travel - outside EU
4036 Rail Travel - within EU
4041 Rail Travel - outside EU
4046 Taxi Hire - within EU
4051 Taxi Hire - outside EU
4056 Car Hire
4062 Parking Charges
4066 Room Hire re Meetings & Conferences
4071 Restaurants, Meals, Entertainment, Hospitality - within EU
4076 Restaurants, Meals, Entertainment, Hospitality - outside EU
4080 Subsistence Allowances (within EU)
4085 Subsistence Allowances (outside EU)
4090 Re-location & Household Removal Expenses (within EU)
4095 Re-location & Household Removal Expenses (outside EU)
4101 Bus Travel - within EU
4106 Bus Travel - outside EU
4286 Internet & Intranet Services

So for example a full code for a train journey to Dublin would look like: 4036 2550 AS0221

4. Once the claim has been submitted, the hard copy of the claim must be printed and submitted to the Postgraduate Administrator together with receipts showing proof of payment of expenses claims. The claim is forwarded electronically to the Postgraduate Administrator who approves it online and also approves the hard copy and posts it to accounts. The expense is then refunded directly to the students bank account. In keeping with the rules of the Postgraduate Fieldtrip funding scheme students are asked not to submit claims higher than the amounts for which they have been approved i.e. €100 or €200.

5. Students should be aware of the UCC Travel Policies in relation to expenses which can be reimbursed. Please see

Agresso can now be accessed remotely i.e from outside of UCC which means that all employees can now complete their expense claims on Agresso regardless of location.

In order to access Agresso remotely you will need to have a NetID / password, available from the Computer Centre Helpdesk and also an Agresso username and password. For further information on setting yourself up to use Agresso remotely please see the following link:

Travel Support Scheme for PhD Students

[Note: Students who receive funding under this scheme cannot also receive funding from the Law Department Fieldtrip funding for the same trip]

This scheme is designed to provide sponsoring to PhD students of the College of Business and Law, where they must travel to a conference to present their research.

Any PhD student in the College of Business and Law who is not in receipt of IRCHSS funding (or other equivalent external funding) may apply for support to travel to a conference to present their research. Emails of support from the supervisor and another member of staff in the relevant discipline must be presented as proof that the conference is a suitable event and that the paper to be presented is in line with the student’s doctoral research.

Support is set to a maximum of €400 per student per annum. All expenses must be vouched for up to the €400 limit. Surplus funding can be used for another event, subject to approval. This surplus cannot be used for any purpose other than attending research related events and must be used within the calendar year where it is allocated. A short feed back report and a copy of the paper as published in the proceedings of the conference must be submitted to the scheme administrator after the event, as a condition for reimbursement. Recipients must acknowledge the support of the College of Business and Law in their papers.

Award Decisions

All award decisions will be made by a committee made up of the Head of the College (Chair), the Head of the Graduate School and the two Chairs of the Research Committees of the Commerce and Law faculties. 

Scheme Administration

The scheme administrator is Mr. Amin Mousavinejad and all communication pertaining to the scheme and its administration must be emailed to Mr. Amin Mousavinejad at:

All paper documentation pertaining to the scheme (eg: claiming of vouched expenses) should be addressed to the Graduate School as follows:

College of Business and Law – Graduate School
Attn: Mr. Amin Mousavinejad
O’Rahilly Building – 3rd floor – room 3.03
University College Cork

Aidan Synnott Prize

Thanks to the generosity of Aidan Synnott, a UCC Law Graduate based in the USA (a former holder of the Law Faculty Alumni Achievement Award), a fund has been made available each year to facilitate travel to research locations outside UCC for PhD and LLM by Research students. The fund is valued at €4,000 ($3,000 provided by Aidan Synnott and the remainder provided by the Law Faculty). Travel must take place and all expenses must be claimed before the end of September 2013. The Graduate Studies Committee will consider the applications. The entire sum may be awarded to one person or the fund may be split between two or more candidates, at the discretion of the Committee. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously been awarded the prize or a share therein. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the Committee's view of the value of the proposed travel from an academic point of view in the context of the candidate's overall project, taking into account the input of the supervisor/s.

Applications should be made on the following form: Aidan Synnott Application Form 2014 and emailed to to arrive by 5 p.m. on the 14th January 2013. Applicants should also arrange for their supervisor/s to send a supporting email or letter to Veronica Calnan to arrive by the same closing date.

Oslo Exchange

The Faculty of Law has established an exchange programme with the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, Norway’s leading law school. The Law Faculty is located in the historic buildings of the University, located in the heart of the city of Oslo. As part of this exchange programme, one postgraduate research student may visit Oslo for a term during the course of his or her PhD.S/he will be given an academic contact within the Faculty of Law and will have access to the University’s excellent library facilities. The primary purpose of the student’s visit will be to advance the completion of his or her thesis. To this end, with the permission of the Graduate Studies Committee on the recommendation of the supervisor, the student may take a limited number of the range of undergraduate or postgraduate courses taught through English which are relevant to his or her research. A number of specialised LLM programmes are available at the Faculty of Law, Oslo:

Further information on Oslo Exchange
·Information and Communication Technology Law
·Maritime Law
·Risk Management and Marine Insurance
·Public International Law
·Theory and Practice of Human Rights

Research areas

The Faculty is the largest in Norway in the classical fields of Law research. Other well established areas of research at the Faculty are Criminology, Sociology of Law, and Human Rights and Development.

The research is organised in permanent research fields at the various Departments. In addition to this, the Faculty has identified eight multidisciplinary research areas which are given top priority. Within each of these areas, Research Groups consisting of scholars from several of the Faculty's Departments have been established.

The eight multidisciplinary research areas which are given top priority are:

·Constitutional Studies
·The Market, Innovation, and Technology
·Social Control, and Rule of Law
·International Relations
·Natural Resources Law
·Law, Society and Historical Change
·Rights, Individuals, Culture and Society
·Human Rights and Development

Full details concerning the Law Faculty, University of Oslo, are available at: http://www.jus.uiono/english/

Application for Oslo Exchange Programme

Interested students should discuss it with their supervisors and then submit a proposal for a research visit to Oslo, setting out the reasons for going and a research plan for the duration of the visit.Applications should be sent electronically to Veronica Calnan, ( The application must include a letter a letter of support from his/her supervisor stating how the visit would benefit the student’s research.

The application will then be considered by the Graduate Studies Committee and if it is approved, the arrangements for the visit will be set in motion.

Thesis Submission

Detailed information on submitting your thesis is available on the Graduate Studies Website at:

UCC Graduate Studies website

A key website for research students is the Graduate Studies website at  This contains important information and documents on policies for research students such as Code of Practice for Supervision of Research Students, information on submission of thesis procedures and other useful documents and forms. 

School of Law

Scoil an Dlí

Room 1.63, T12 T656