Research Programmes

Graduate Research at the School of Law

UCC School of Law boasts Ireland’s most successful graduate research programme in Law. Students are provided with an unparalleled experience within a well-established and vibrant community of doctoral scholars, with easy access to experienced supervisors who are internationally recognised experts in their fields and a suite of tailored supports, facilities and activities. The quality of the programme is evidenced by success rates in external funding competitions, publication outputs by students in the programme and employment outcomes for graduates. The UCC Research Quality Review exercise in 2015 described the programme as “outstanding in all aspects”. See more below:

  • Programmes: candidates may undertake a PhD degree (80,000-100,000 words over a minimum of three years full-time or six years part-time) or an LLM by Research (40,000 words over a minimum of one year full-time or two years part-time). All PhD students must register in the first instance for the PhD (Track). LLM by Research candidates may apply to transfer to the PhD degree upon demonstration of sufficient progress and doctoral potential.
  • Current students: the graduate programme at the School of Law has approximately 40 students undertaking PhD and LLM by Research degrees on a range of topics.
  • Supports, facilities and activities: research training modules are provided as part of a structured PhD programme, and access is afforded to modules on the Law School's suite of specialist LLM degrees. Graduate research students may participate in events and activities run by a range of research centres and clusters (e.g. the CCJHR and the Child Law Clinic). Dedicated office space is provided in the School of Law, and students may access kitchen and other facilities on-site. Funding is provided to support travel to conferences and for research field trips.
  • Success in External Funding Competitions: PhD students in the School of Law have secured over €2.5 million in external research funding since 2004. 41 applicants have been successful in the Irish Research Council scheme alone with a success rate of 34% of applications, compared to a national average of 20%. Other scholarships have been secured from the National University of Ireland, the Office of the Minister for Children and a number of Government of Ireland schemes targeted at particular countries (including Russia and India). For details of past awardees, click [here].
  • Publications and Research Dissemination: graduate students in the School of Law are actively encouraged and supported to publish their work during as well as after completion of their thesis. Publications generated by postgraduate researchers has generated multiple research monographs and appeared in such journals as the Modern Law Review, Public Law, Social and Legal Studies, the International Journal of Human Rights, the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, the European Intellectual Property Review and the Georgetown Journal of International Law. For details of sample publications, click [here].
  • Employment outcomes: graduates from the research programme have an exceptional record in quickly transitioning to high-quality employment in academia, research and advocacy, and the legal profession. Over 40 graduates of the programme are employed on the academic staff of over 20 Law Schools in five countries. A detailed list is available [here].
  • Application Process: for details on how to apply, click [here].

Extract from UCC Research Quality Review 2015:

“The level of funding attracted to support PhD study is particularly impressive as is the evidence of strong job prospects for PhD graduates. The training, monitoring and evaluation procedures adopted are excellent throughout. The School is also commended for its stunning record of PGR publications. During the School visit, the Panel was taken on a tour of facilities including the moot room (with impressive AVA equipment) and the PGR study spaces, which were light and spacious. The presentations by the PGR students shed helpful light on the PGR experience. The students were incredibly engaged and articulate and clearly doing really great work. The Panel was particularly impressed by the degree of travel, visits to other institutions, and opportunities for students to present their work, as evidences in the student presentations …

The provision of PGR education is outstanding in all aspects but the Panel would particularly wish to highlight the mentoring and career development of PGRs and the effective way in which the School has managed to balance strategies designed to promote timely completion with an environment in which students also seek to and successfully publish their research, supported by supervisors and other academic staff.”

PhD Programme

The Law School is home to a thriving PhD programme. Reflecting the School’s international reputation for research excellence, the PhD programme has expanded in recent years and now hosts more than 40 international graduate students, many of whom are the recipients of prestigious scholarship awards. The Law School provides graduate research students with dedicated IT facilities, work spaces and seminar rooms.

Acceptance onto the PhD programme is subject to the availability of appropriate supervision and expertise. The Law School offers supervision across a wide range of subjects, reflecting the strength of its research programmes. Full details of staff research interests and publication profiles are available in the Staff Directory.

The Law School at University College Cork is currently accepting applications for its PhD and degree programmes.  All applicants for PhD or LLM by Research full-time or part-time for a September 2017 start must apply by the closing date of 16 June 2017.  A detailed research proposal is required for all applications, and students are advised to make contact with a potential research supervisor in advance of applying.  For details on applications procedures please see section below How to Apply for a Research Degree in Law

Any administrative queries about the application process should be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator (lawpostgrad@ucc.ie).  Any academic queries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Conor O'Mahony (conor.omahony@ucc.ie).

 Graduate Training

  • The PhD programme includes structured graduate training on advanced legal research methods, a graduate law student forum and interdisciplinary training modules on quantitative and qualitative research methods. This training programme is designed to provide PhD researchers with the skills necessary to pursue careers both within and outside the University sector. Students may also participate in workshops, seminars and masterclasses hosted by visiting speakers. Recent graduate seminars have included masterclasses with Professors Cass Sunstein and Samantha Power.
  • The Law School hosts a dynamic seminar and conference series. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to participate in Law School events. Students may also audit modules offered by the School of Law.
  • Reflecting its international reputation for clinical legal education, the Law School maintains strong links with the legal profession, the judiciary, public bodies and civil society organisations.

Internationalisation

  • The Law School has strong international links with Universities in the US, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Germany and China. PhD students may pursue study abroad opportunities or internships/work placements as part of their PhD programme, subject to the approval of their supervisors.
  • To support research related activities, the Law School provides travel bursaries to research students participating in conferences and to support research study trips.

Research Centres

  • The Law School hosts the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights. The centre hosts an annual graduate student conference which includes workshops on publishing and career development skills. The CCJHR also hosts an annual conference and distinguished lecture series.
  • The Law School is a member of the Environmental Research Institute and hosts an Annual Environmental Law Conference and Doctoral student workshop.
  • As a member of the College of Business and Law, UCC, the Law School has strong links with business disciplines and with the Business School at UCC.
  • The Law School is home to the Child Law Clinic, a pro-bono legal research service provided by students for lawyers that aims to enhance the quality of litigation in children's cases with a view to achieving progressive reform of child law in Ireland and internationally.

 

Graduate Programmes at UCC are supported by the Graduate Studies Office 

LLM by Research

Suitably qualified candidates may be accepted onto the LLM by Research programme (also known as LLM Mode B) on submission of a detailed research proposal. (Note also the existence of our PhD Programme). The LLM by Research Degree involves writing a thesis of approximately 40,000 words under academic supervision. The degree can be completed in one or two years full-time (or two or four years part-time). It is possible to register for the degree in October, January, April or July of each year. Information on some of our recent graduates is available here: Research Graduate Profiles

Eligibility for LLM by Research Degree

Candidates must hold a Second Class Honours Grade 1 BCL Degree from the National University of Ireland or a Second Class Honours LLB Degree from University College Cork or a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from University College Cork with Honours and have such other relevant third level educational and/or professional experience as, in the opinion of the School of Law, qualifies the candidate to undertake the LLM Degree. For an authoritative statement of the rules governing the LLM by Research, see the UCC Postgraduate Calendar .

Candidates with an interest in pursuing this kind of research should contact the Postgraduate Administrator. Acceptance onto the programme is conditional upon the availability of suitable supervision within the department. Information on the research interests and publications of our staff is available in the  Staff Directory section of this website.

For further details regarding making an application and for information on scholarships and funding opportunities (and fees), please scroll down. 

Contact Details:

Postgraduate Administrator
School of of Law
University College Cork
Tel:  353 (0)21 4903995
Email: lawpostgrad@ucc.ie  

How to apply for a Research Degree in Law

The closing date for a September 2017 start is 16 June 2017.

There are three elements of an application to undertake a research degree at the School of Law UCC:

  • Preparation of a detailed research proposal (Steps 1 & 2 below)

  • Formal application through the online Postgraduate Applications Centre website at www.pac.ie (Step 3 below)

  • Submission of two academic references with application documentation.

  • Applicants who wish to be considered for Law School PhD Studentship Funding, should outline what teaching experience (if any) they have to date and what areas they would be interested in teaching/tutoring under the requirements of the studentship. 

1.  Research Programmes Applications 

Prospective applicants for a Research degree should prepare a proposal using the format set out below. This proposal should then be sent to the proposed supervisor (selected from the Law School academic staff) and/or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Conor O'Mahony (conor.omahony@ucc.ie). Once the proposal has been provisionally approved by a potential supervisor, a formal application should be made on the online application system www.pac.ie/ucc.  Applicants are also requested to supply two academic references with their application documentation.  Applications are assessed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Law School, which makes a recommendation to a meeting of the Law School, where the decision regarding the application is made.

2.  Criteria for Selection and Application Process

To be eligible for a research degree in law, “a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1, in an approved primary degree, or presented such other evidence as will satisfy the Faculty of his/her fitness.” This is a minimum requirement. The Law School has a strong preference that PhD candidates have completed a Masters degree with grades at first class honours or high 2.1 honours level, but reserves the discretion to take professional experience or other factors into account as part of a holistic assessment of the application.


The following criteria are assessed as part of the application process:

  • Academic record and other relevant qualifications or experience
  • Availability of suitable supervisor with relevant expertise and available supervision capacity
  • Demonstration of aptitude for original research through the submission of a Research Proposal, which should contain the following elements:
  1. Description of project, including aims and central research questions (1,000 words)
  2. Methodology, including theoretical framework and investigative and analytical methods (500 words)
  3. Relationship to existing literature and proposed contribution to knowledge in the field of study (500 words)
  4. Outline research plan, including organisation and scheduling of work (500 words)
  5. Statement of suitability of UCC Law Faculty to host your proposed research project (including available supervision and other resources) (500 words)
  6. Bibliography
  • Applicants who wish to be considered for Law School PhD Studentship Funding, should outline what teaching experience (if any) they have to date and what areas they would be interested in teaching/tutoring under the requirements of the studentship. 

3.  How to Make an Application on PAC

For admission purpose all applicants are categorised into two categories: EU and Non-EU.

It is important that you establish your status before you make an application to UCC as you will retain your status (EU/Non-EU) during your study and you will be unable to change from one category to the other in the middle of a course. Also there are different application procedures for each category.   Please view the following document to determine whether you are an EU applicant or a Non-EU applicant: CriteriaForDeterminingFeeStatus (35kB)

For full details on the application procedure and documentation required, please click on the following links:

If you are experiencing difficulty with this, please contact the Postgraduate Applications Centre at 091 509825.

4.  Application Dates

Applications for Masters by Research and PhD are accepted throughout the academic year. Research degrees may be commenced in September, January, April or July.

Although candidates can be admitted to a research degree in January, April or July, the Law School prefers new research students to commence in September, so that a cohort of new students begins together, and so that new students can immediately commence research training modules.

All applicants for PhD or LLM by Research full-time or part-time for a September 2017 start must apply by the closing date of 16 June 2017. 

5. Fees

6. Contact Information

Any administrative queries about the application process should be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator lawpostgrad@ucc.ie   Any academic queries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Conor O'Mahony (conor.omahony@ucc.ie).

For further information please contact:
Postgraduate Administrator
School of Law
University College Cork 
Tel:  353 (0)21 4903995
Email: lawpostgrad@ucc.ie 

   

School of Law Research Degree Funding 2017

The School of Law at University College Cork, Ireland is a well-established, modern academic unit and is home to 58 full-time and part-time teaching and research staff. It has an outstanding record of research and publication, a strong and vibrant research culture and has been the recipient of numerous major national and international grants and awards.  The School of Law is home to the country’s leading graduate school, with PhD students having secured the greatest level of scholarship funding of any Irish Law School since 2001. 

PhD Studentships 2017

Based on full-time applications received for the PhD Programme by 16 June 2017, the Law School at University College Cork will provide at least one scholarship to support full-time PhD research on an area of law of the candidate's choice, subject to available supervision. The scholarships will be up to the value of a stipend of €12,000 per annum plus EU fees of €5,770. The studentship will be tenable for up to 3 years, although renewal each year is contingent on demonstration of adequate progress.  The holder will be required to deliver tutorials to undergraduate students, and to apply to any external scholarship schemes relevant to their research project (e.g. IRC).

How to Apply:   Applicants who wish to be considered for Law School PhD Studentship Funding, should make an application for the full-time PhD programme by the usual application process see How to Apply for a Research Degree in Law below.   In addition to submiting a proposal and references, they should outline what teaching experience (if any) they have to date and what areas they would be interested in teaching/tutoring under the requirements of the studentship. 

College of Business and Law Research Masters Scholarship

Based on applications received for the full-time LLM by Research by 16 June 2017, the College of Business and Law may offer a scholarship valued at €5,770 (EU Fee for the LLM by Research). It will be tenable for one year and is non-renewable. Applications will be assessed by the Law School's Graduate Studies Committee.  

How to Apply:  Applicants who wish to be considered for the College of Business and Law Research Masters Scholarship, should make an application for the full-time LLM by Research programme by the usual application process see How to Apply for Research Degree in Law.

For further details see College of Business and Law Research Masters Scholarship below. 

Any administrative queries about the application process should be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator lawpostgrad@ucc.ie Any academic queries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Conor O'Mahony (conor.omahony@ucc.ie).

 

‌OTHER FUNDING SPECIFIC TO POSTGRADUATE STUDY AT UCC LAW FACULTY

 

Comyn Kelleher Tobin Graduate Bursary

This graduate bursary will be awarded to support LLM by Research or PhD studies in the School of Law. The bursary is valued at €2,000. The Head of the School of Law and the Director of Graduate Studies School of Law, or their nominees, will choose the successful candidate.

The President James Slattery Prize and Medal

Dr. D.A. Slattery MBE, a descendent of James Slattery, 3rd President of Queens College Cork from 1890 - 1897, in agreement with the School y of Law has established an annual prize and a medal in President Slattery's name, to be awarded to a student in the Law School, UCC.

  1. The award shall be known as "Slattery Prize and Medal in Law".

  2. The award is valued at €2,000 and the Prize shall also include a medal.

  3. It shall be open to competition annually amongst UCC Law graduates commencing a research postgraduate degree in the Law School, UCC (i.e. an LLM by Research or a PhD Degree). The winner shall be determined on the basis of a competitive application process, with the decision being made by the Dean of Law and the Director of Graduate Studies, School of Law or their nominees.

The general arrangements for the competition and any other functions in connection therewith shall be the responsibility of the Dean of Law and the Director of Graduate Studies, School of Law or their nominees.

Aidan Synnott Prize: Research Postgraduate Travel Bursary Scheme 2017
[This bursary is available only to registered Law Faculty research postgraduates]

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 approximately €6,000 ($4,000 provided by Aidan Synnott and the remainder provided by the Law Faculty). Travel must take place and expenses must be claimed before the end of September 2017. 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.

 

EXTERNAL SOURCES OF FUNDING

Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme 

Irish candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. These scholarships are tenable for between one and three years and are available to candidates pursuing a PhD or LLM by Major Thesis. The scholarships are valued at €16,000 plus the payment of fees. Candidates must have (or expect to achieve) a First Class Honours or Second Class Honours Grade One Degree. Candidates who are interested in the possibility of applying should contact Dr Conor O'Mahony (conor.omahony@ucc.ie).

Information on the Scholarship Scheme is available at http://www.research.ie/funding/postgraduate-funding.

National University of Ireland Travelling Studentships 

At least two Travelling Studentships in the Humanities and Social Sciences will be offered for 2016 (€96,000, i.e., max of €24,000 per annum up to 4 years). The closing date for entries is 31 March 2017 . Details of the scholarships are posted at http://www.nui.ie/awards/travelling_Studentships.asp.    

NUI EJ Phelan Fellowship in International Law

This Fellowship, funded by a special bequest from the late Mr and Mrs Edward J Phelan was first awarded in 2002. The Fellowship is intended to encourage and support a postgraduate student of proven academic excellence to advance his/her scholarly research in the field of International Law.

For the purposes of the Fellowship, International Law is taken to include: International Commercial Transactions; International Comparative Law; International Intellectual Property Law; International Labour law; International Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage; International Media Law; International Protection of Human Rights; International Trade Law; Globalisation and the Law; The Law of the Sea; World Legal Systems.

The value of the Fellowship is €25,000 to be paid in instalments up to 18 months. Details of the Fellowship are posted http://www.nui.ie/awards/Doctoral_Research_scholarships.asp    - Not on offer in 2017

College of Business and Law Research Masters Scholarship

LLM by Research:  The LLM by Research Degree involves writing a thesis of approximately 40,000 words under academic supervision

Value of Fellowship: The Scholarship will be valued at €5,770, which will cover the EU student’s fees for the LLM by Research. It will be tenable for one year and is non-renewable.

Supports: At least one member of the academic staff of the School of Law will act as academic supervisor to the student, and will be available for regular consultation meetings and will give feedback on draft work. A second member of the academic staff will act in a more general advisory role. The student will have access to the postgraduate research student facilities in the Law School, including dedicated office space, IT facilities and kitchen facilities. The student will be expected to attend and participate in the fortnightly School of Law Research Colloquium. A research training module tailored to the needs of legal researchers is a strongly encouraged option, and various other support workshops are run throughout the year.

Progress Review: The progress of the student will be continuously monitored by the Graduate Studies Committee in conjunction with the supervisor(s). A formal oral presentation will be required after 6 months.

Completion or Progression to PhD: The student will be expected to submit the completed thesis for examination after 12 months. In cases where progress has been excellent and there is potential for the project to progress to PhD standard, the student may (with the support of the supervisor) apply to progress from LLM to PhD (Track) registration without submitting a completed thesis for examination. All such applications are considered by the Graduate Studies Committee pursuant to an oral presentation and submission of written work and a progress report. Approval of progression to PhD does not carry automatic approval of funding for the additional two years; students would have to apply separately for any such competitive scholarship schemes as may be available at that time.

Applications will be assessed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the School of Law.

To be eligible for a research degree in law, “a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade 1, in an approved primary degree, or presented such other evidence as will satisfy the School of Law of his/her fitness.”

The following criteria must be satisfied:

  • Possession of a good upper second class or first class (or equivalent) degree in law (or a related discipline);
  • Availability of suitable supervisor
  • Demonstration of aptitude for original research through the submission of a Research Proposal, which should contain the following elements:
  1. Description of project, including aim and central research questions (1000 words)
  2. Methodology, including theoretical framework and investigative and analytical methods (500 words)
  3. Relationship to existing literature and proposed contribution to knowledge in the field of study (500 words)
  4. Research plan, including organisation and scheduling of work (500 words)
  5. Sample Bibliography
  6. Satement of suitability of UCC Law School to host your proposed research project (including available supervision and other resources)(500 words).
  • Two academic references must be submitted with the application documentation.

The research postgraduate programme at UCC Law is home to a very dynamic group of research students and enjoys dedicated office facilities and research training. Our research students are active participants in the research community in the School of Law, through attendance at seminars, clinics, workshops, conferences etc, as appropriate.

 

School of Law

Scoil an Dlí

Room 1.63, T12 T656

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