MSc by Research: Master of Philosophy

MSc by Research: Master of Philosophy

NFQ Level 9, Major Award


The Degree of MPhil involves research work by thesis (approx. 40,000 words) and is normally completed in two years from the date of first registration for the programme. See also under General Regulations for the Degree of Master.

Entry Requirements and Application

See under Regulations for the Degree of MA.

The MPhil is available in the following areas:

Applied Mathematics, Applied Psychology, Asian Studies, Archaeology, Celtic Civilisation, Chinese Studies, Composition, Drama and Theatre Studies, Early and Medieval Irish, Economics, Education, English, European Studies, Folklore, French, Geography, German, Greek and Roman Civilisation, Hispanic Studies, History, History of Art, Italian, An LĂ©ann DĂșchais, Mathematical Studies, Mathematics, Modern Irish, Music, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Politics, Religions and Global Diversity, Social Policy, Social Work, Sociology, Women's Studies.

Students registering for the MPhil may, on the recommendation of the Head of Department and/or Supervisor and the approval of the academic bodies be permitted to transfer to the PhD after at least one year from the date of first registration for the programme.

In addition to the foregoing requirements, the regulations set out below apply to MPhil degree applicants in the subjects indicated.


An applicant for the MPhil degree in Composition must have obtained the BMus (Hons) Degree or equivalent, and have obtained at least a Second Class Honours in the relevant technical or historical part of the examination in which he/she wishes to proceed to the Master's degree.

A programme of study not involving formal tuition will be devised and supervised by a member of the teaching staff of the department in accordance with the candidate's ability, interests, and progress; the programme will be subject to the approval of the Head of Department. The degree will be awarded on a portfolio of original works, each accompanied by a commentary, to be submitted for assessment on completion of the Second Year from the date of first registration for the programme.

The Head of Department necessarily takes responsibility for all departmental decisions concerning higher degrees in Music, but will seek the advice of supervisors in particular areas of study. Prospective applicants are strongly advised to discuss their circumstances and intentions informally with the Head of Department before submitting a formal application.

Further Information

Ms. Helen Lynch (Lecturer) 021-4901535  OR  Ms. Kerry Murphy (Dept Administrator) 021-4901569  Dept of Occupational Therapy.

General Regulations for MPhil

A Master's Degree may be obtained in one of two main modes namely by:

(a) Research only, or by

(b) Coursework, Examination and Dissertation/Minor Thesis (Taught Masters).

(b) Coursework, Examination and Dissertation/Minor Thesis (Taught Masters)


1.  To be eligible for consideration to undertake a programme of study for a Master's Degree, a candidate must have achieved an honours standard in an approved primary degree or possess such other qualifications as may be deemed suitable by the Head of Department/School, following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee. All applications must also be approved by the relevant College/Faculty.

2.  Approval for Taught Master's Degrees must be processed through College/Faculty. It should specify the number of years (1 or 2 normally) and whether full-time or part-time.

3.  In cases where candidates are writing up theses, and no longer use University facilities, a registration for submission of thesis only (submission only) may be permitted on receipt of written confirmation from the Supervisor that the candidate is registering only for the purpose of presenting the thesis. All applications for submission only should be made to the Student Records & Examinations Office.

4.  All EU applications should be made online at All Non-EU applications should be made to the International Education Office.

5.  All applications for admission to any programme of study for a Master's Degree by coursework, examination and dissertation must be recommended by the Head of Department/School following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee, and be approved by the relevant College/Faculty. The period of study will be determined by the relevant College/Faculty in accordance with the provisions applicable to the particular programme. If the application is approved, the student will register for the Master's Degree for the duration prescribed as a minimum.

1.  A candidate who wishes to obtain a Master's Degree by coursework, examination and dissertation/minor thesis must:

(i) pursue a prescribed postgraduate programme for the required duration of the programme from the date of first registration

(ii) must pass an examination on the programme and reach a required standard and

(iii) must submit a dissertation/minor thesis or a research project. The candidate may also be required to pass an examination on the subject matter of the dissertation/minor thesis.


6.  The candidate's research must be carried out, and the dissertation/minor thesis for the degree must be prepared, under the direction of the Supervisor. The Supervisor should assess the progress of the candidate and, if he/she arrives at the view that the candidate is unlikely to achieve the degree for which he/she is registered, this should be notified to the Head of Department/School who, following consultation with the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee, should communicate with the candidate without delay.

7.  Three copies of the minor thesis are lodged in the Department or School. One copy is for the Extern Examiner* and the other copy is for the Supervisor, who is normally the Intern Examiner. Another copy is held in the Department or School, pending the award of the Degree. The Department or School must lodge the final hard bound copy of the thesis in the Library. *Where Department/School Externs have to cope with large numbers of Masters' dissertations, those Departments/Schools should appoint more than one Extern Examiner.

8.  A leaflet giving full information on the format, layout and presentation of dissertation/minor thesis for a Master's Degree is available here. Dissertations/Minor Theses may be submitted at any time during the year, up to the first Friday in October. Submissions after the first Friday in October will require registering for the next academic year and will incur a fee.

9. The Minor Thesis submission form must be signed by the Supervisor and the Head of Department/School. Where a candidate considers that such signatures for entry have been withheld unreasonably, he/she may appeal to the President of the University.

10.  Recommendations on the awards will be made by the relevant Examination Board, appointed annually by the Academic Board in accordance with the general regulations relating to the composition of such Boards. Examination Board meetings will be held in June, September and November. A candidate's conferring is dependent on receipt of the Examiners' Reports. Conferring Ceremonies are normally held in September and December.

11.  In those programmes where the examination is constructed in two or more parts, the marks for part one will be considered by the Board with a view to a recommendation where appropriate, on whether that candidate should progress to the next part of the examination.

12.  If the Examination Board recommends that the Master's Degree be awarded, pending minor corrections, the candidate must re-submit a hard bound copy of the Master's dissertation/minor thesis to the Department/School, embodying any changes prescribed by the Examiners, where recommended. A recommendation by the Examination Board to Academic Board, for the award of the degree will not be made until a report of the confirmation of recommended changes having been incorporated, confirmed by the Supervisor, has been lodged with the Student Records and Examinations Office.

13.  Unless candidates indicate otherwise, a copy of the dissertation/minor thesis will be lodged in the University Library. Candidates will be asked to agree that a copy of their dissertation/minor thesis, deposited in the Library, will be available for consultation under conditions laid down by the University.

14.  All hard copies of dissertations/minor theses deposited in the University Library shall be the property of the University.

15.  In the case of interdisciplinary programmes, the Chair of the Board of Studies may assume the role of a Head of Department/School and the Board of Studies may assume the role of the Departmental/School Graduate Studies Committee, where appropriate, and where approved by College/Faculty.

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