Postgraduate Research Programmes

Postgraduate Research Programmes

Postgraduate Research Programmes

Research degrees at PhD and MSc level are available on a full-time or part-time basis in four subject areas:

Clinical Pharmacy/Pharmacy Practice; Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Pharmaceutics; Pharmacology. Current PhD postgraduate research opportunities can be found here.

School of Pharmacy Postgraduate Research Studies Handbook

As part of the School’s mission of developing excellent research programmes across the breadth of the discipline of pharmacy, generating new knowledge and highly skilled researchers, we aim to provide our postgraduate students with a challenging and comprehensive experience across all aspects of Pharmacy. The School is uniquely populated with researchers from diverse areas of expertise and it is equipped with state-of-the-art research infrastructure. 

This document aims to provide a portal to the School’s postgraduate research student to access all relevant information that will aid in their development as a “high calibre, successful post-graduate researcher”.

Post-graduate Research Progress in the School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy’s Research and Graduate Studies Committee (RGSC) would like the student and supervisor to note the policy of the “Code of Practice for Supervision of Research Students”.

As a fundamental background to your research studies, the following statement should be noted:

During a research degree, research students are expected to undertake original research, under the guidance of a supervisor or supervisors, leading to a thesis which describes the outcomes of their research. In the case of a doctoral degree, the research should make sufficient contribution to your field of study as to be publishable in the relevant academic literature and the award of the degree follows a successful viva voce examination, in which the candidate demonstrates the ability to engage in a high-level academic discussion of their work with internal and external examiners.

In order to reach these objectives, research students are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure the satisfactory progress of their studies and conduct their research in a professional manner as befitting a postgraduate research student.

It is particularly important for students to take ownership and responsibility for their research, and engage with all the supports and advice available to them, through the University.

A key role of the supervisor is to review the student’s progress in their research in a structured manner, both on an ongoing basis, formal and/or informal, and through a formal annual review process carried out in conjunction with the Graduate Studies Committee of the academic unit, which is compulsory for doctoral students, and encouraged for all research students.

Research and Graduate Studies Committee

The School’s RGSC oversees graduate education by monitoring each student’s progress on an annual basis. The objectives of the RGSC are to support good practice and fair procedures in operation and to support both students and supervisors in a way which does not interfere with core supervisory arrangements. Details on UCC’s guidance on the role and operation of progress reviews can be found at: .

In particular, the committee wishes to highlight the following section from this guidance; “the GSC’s primary role is to monitor and support the progress of students. The committee interfaces with students, supervisors and the university for the purpose of monitoring student progress (including the transfer of students from Masters/PhD track to PhD programmes, if appropriate), assisting supervisors and improving the research student experience. It provides a mechanism for local identification and resolution of any problems that may emerge in relation to a student’s progress.”

The School’s RGSC oversees the monitoring of each student’s progress. Details of this can be found in the Postgraduate

Within the School of Pharmacy, Annual Progress Reviews are undertaken for all students. These are intended to assess whether:

(i) The student has knowledge and skills appropriate to the stage of his/her research programme

(ii) S/he has completed work of a quality to justify continuation, that the research methods are appropriate and practical;

(iii) A realistic plan is in place for progression and eventual completion of the research within the expected timeframe;

Annual monitoring is as follows:

In addition:

  • First year students should complete an oral presentation on the Annual Ph.D. day and a transfer report within 12 months of registration ( (following 12 months of research.doc)).
  • Second year students present a poster at the Annual Ph.D. Day
  • Third year students should make an oral presentation as part of the School Seminar Series.

Guidelines for keeping laboratory notebooks

In addition, the RGSC advises that the supervisor and student agree on a policy for laboratory data and notebooks.

A well-maintained and properly documented laboratory notebook establishes a permanent record of research protocols and results which can be referred to in the future, most commonly in the preparation of scientific papers and reports. Additionally, it can be an invaluable source of information for a variety of purposes, including determination of claims of discovery where new inventions are concerned; demonstration of adherence to standards of good practice, and of academic and ethical integrity; and compliance with contractual provisions permitting sponsors to audit work carried out in pursuit of sponsored research

Researchers and supervisors should adhere to UCC guidelines on this matter, which should be downloaded from the following link:

Additional Skills Training Available to Research Students


UCC offers an extensive range of modules to research students which incorporate research and generic skills development opportunities. The suite of modules is currently being development and details of additional modules will be e-mailed to students and will be included in the postgraduate research newsletter.

Useful Links

In addition to links referenced above, the following links will be valuable in conducting and completing research studies:

  • The webpage of the UCC Graduate Studies Office has excellent resources and information available for both the student and supervisor.


  • Guidelines on thesis preparation:


  • University Calendar – PhD Regulations:

The RGSC strongly recommends that the following policies (from the Graduate Studies Office website: are read and discussed by the student and their supervisor(s) at the initiation of their postgraduate research:

  • Code of Practice for Supervision of Research Students


  • The Graduate School of the College of Medicine and Health also has useful resources along with news and opportunities for post-graduate students:

School of Pharmacy


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