Admission Procedures

Dr Eimear Hurley, Dr Claire Watkins, Ms Chloe Matthews, Dr Hugh Harris, Dr Alli Lynch, Dr Kieran James, Dr Tom O Callaghan and Mr Ciaran O’Brien

Applying for a postgraduate position

  • Any person wishing to pursue an MSc or PhD degree must first make contact with an individual academic member of staff and following meetings and interviews as required an offer of a post-graduate position may be made by that member of staff.
  • The list of academic staff in the School of Microbiology can be found here
  • Following acceptance of the offer of a position, the prospective postgraduate student then needs to formally apply to the University using the on-line application system at This should only be done following consultation with the member of academic staff.


Admission Criteria and Procedures (from the College calendar)

  • To be eligible for consideration to undertake a programme of study for a Master's Degree by Research, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours in an approved primary degree or possess such other qualifications as the Graduate Studies Committee may recommend to Academic Board .
  • To be eligible for consideration to enter on a programme of study and research for the Degree of PhD, a candidate must have obtained a standard of at least Second Class Honours, Grade I, in an approved primary degree, or presented such other evidence as will satisfy the College/Faculty of his/her fitness.


Studentships & Funding

There are generally two sources of available funding:

  • Funding for studentships that individual UCC researchers have as part of their research grants.
  • Funding that is awarded by an external funding agency directly to the student.

Each of these options has their own deadlines and requirements, and both are competitive processes. Studentships are advertised by the School of Microbiology at the UCC HR site Human Resources | University College Cork ( under Research Vacancies. Interested students should follow the application instructions as specified in each advert. 

For applications to external funding agencies, suitably qualified students should get in touch with their desired PhD supervisor well in advance (preferably one to two months) of the deadline. In this case, the student and PhD supervisor will discuss a suitable project and then apply for the funding together.  A limited number of studentships are granted each year by the various funding bodies and competition for these awards is very intense. Typically, students wishing to apply for these studentships should have excellent academic credentials: a first (or equivalent) would normally be a prerequisite for these awards. The Irish Research Council is the main avenue for postgraduate (MSc, PhD and Postdoctorate) funding.

Applications for Irish Research Council studentships open in the Summer and are generally due in October each year. Competition is open to all students wishing to study in Ireland across all science and technology subjects.  For more details, please visit the Irish Research Council


Structured PhD in Microbial Biotechnology


NFQ Level 10, Major Award

The PhD in Microbial Biotechnology is a full-time, thematic PhD programme that runs for 48 months from initial registration. Students complete the equivalent of 90 credits in each 12 month period. The primary component of the PhD programme is original research leading to the completion of a research thesis. At the end of the programme, students are required to submit and defend a thesis on the candidate's research topic. 

Students complete modules that provide training in the three main domains of:

technical skills and knowledge related to the discipline of microbial biotechnology;
complementary and transferrable skills; and
innovation skills.

For further information on this Taught PhD programme check out the Academic Programme Catalogue


Further information on STEM Postgraduate study at UCC

Read more here

School of Microbiology

Scoil na Micribhitheolaíochta

Microbiology Office, Room FSB452, 4th Floor Food Science & Technology Building, University College Cork, Cork T12 Y337