How to Apply

How to Apply for a Research Course

1. Choose a Course 

Academic requirements

  • PhD applicants need an honours level degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum of a 2H1 (second class honours, grade 1) to apply.
  • Master by Research applicants need an honours level degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum of a 2H2 (second class honours, grade 2) to apply.
  • Check our qualification comparison website here for equivalencies.
  • Check our English language requirements here
  • Although students generally choose a topic for their research from their degree discipline you are not restricted to your primary degree subjects.

Find a supervisory team

  • Once applicants know which area or topic they wish to research, they then need to find a supervisor. This site offers a list of academics listed under a wide range of schools/departments/disciplines
  • Applicants can also contact UCC Department/Schools relevant to that area of research and check the availability of appropriate supervisors.
  • You must choose a supervisor and discuss your prospective research with them before applying. Your supervisor will let you know if you need to prepare a research proposal and will need to approve your proposal before you submit it. You may need to submit this proposal directly to the School/Department and/or submit it with your online application. Applicants who apply to research programmes in Arts, Celtics Studies and Social Sciences, Law and Medicine & Health are required to submit a research proposal of approximately 1,500 words, and in Business a proposal of approximately 500 words is required.

2. Apply Online 

After confirming your research area and supervisor in UCC, applicants apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). You may apply for up to 3 research courses in your application (applicants are limited to one application per year). A non-refundable application fee of €50 applies. 

You will need to apply at least three months in advance of your estimated start date. There are 4 start dates each year for research students; October, January, April and July.

All Non-EU applicants must apply through the International Education Office.

3. Gather Supporting Documentation 

The following documents must be uploaded to in support of your application.

  • Evidence of all qualifications listed on your application, including transcripts of examination results for each year to date that have not been completed at University College Cork
  • Your Passport or Birth Certificate (applies to non-NUI graduates only). You will be registered in the name that appears on your passport or birth certificate. 
  • Your research proposal (check with your Supervisor if this should also be submitted to the School/Department)
  • Any supplementary forms requested

You do not need to supply originals of any document in support of your application at the application stage. However, you will be asked to produce the original documents in support of your application to UCC when you register.

Your application cannot be processed until all supporting documentation has been uploaded to your PAC account. If you are unable to scan and upload the requisite documentation, hard copies may be posted to the following address and uploaded on your behalf: Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway, H91 VF21.


Fees for postgraduate research courses are payable in two instalments for EU students. The first instalment is payable upon online registration. The second instalment is payable six months later. 

For more details on Fees and Funding see . 

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to all questions relating to the application process, visit PAC frequently asked questions here

Check out our for questions relating to research at UCC. 

Checklist Before Making an Application 

  • Valid Email Address - Applicants must have a valid email address to use this online application facility. It is your responsibility to check your account regularly for updates.
  • Credit/Laser card - A non-refundable application fee of €50 applies. Alternatively, you can pay by Bank Draft or Bank Transfer at a later date, subject to an extra €5 processing charge.
  • PPS Number - Irish applicants are required to provide their PPS number. This is not mandatory for non-Irish applicants. 
  • UCC Student Number - Applicants who are currently attending UCC or have previously attended UCC must include their UCC Student Number. If you have forgotten your student number, please email

How to Check Your Application Status

Once you have completed your taught application, check your PAC account regularly for updates on the progress of your application. 

  • Login to your PAC account
  • Go to the MY ACCOUNT section
  • Click on 'Status'

English Language Requirement

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency. 

To view the minimum English language requirements currently accepted at University College Cork please click here

Graduate Studies Office

Oifig na Staidéar Iarchéime

2nd Floor, West Wing, Main Quad, UCC , T12 YN60

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