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Postgraduate Research Programme

Doing a PhD at the School of Social Work and Social Policy

Welcome to Trinity College Dublin and to the School of Social Work and Social Policy. Postgraduate research is both challenging and rewarding. It is a chance to make new discoveries about the world - and about yourself. The outcome of postgraduate research is not just the product (the thesis that is produced); it is also about the process of research training that you undergo. Postgraduate research will equip you with the skills, creativity and rigour that are essential to make a contribution to knowledge. We hope that this learning will enrich your life, enhance your intellectual growth, contribute to scholarship in your field and lead you to further opportunities. 

Why Trinity for Your Doctoral Research?

1. Our Reputation

Trinity College is one of the oldest and best-known universities in Europe.

As the oldest university in Ireland, dating from 1592, Trinity has upheld a reputation of tradition and quality in education. Trinity’s excellence in research attracts students, scientists and artists from all over the world.

The doctoral programme of the School of Social Work & Social Policy focuses on educating and training outstanding postgraduate students. Our structured Ph.D. programme has a sustained enrolment of students of high capability, exceptional success in winning scholarships, and a structured approach to advanced research. Over the past five years, some 40 students have graduated with a PhD from our programme. The quality of these theses can be gauged by the significant number of high quality publications stemming from these theses, and by the career trajectories of our PhD graduates.

We will provide you with teaching, supervision and exceptional resources to support your doctoral studies. Working closely with your academic supervisor, you will focus on a specific research project to produce a thesis that represents a significant contribution to knowledge.

Click here to see some of our recent PhD students’ research interests and publications.

2. International Standing

Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s premier university. We are consistently ranked in the top 100 universities in the world by QS World University Rankings, and in the top 25 oldest universities globally in the Times Higher Education ranking. Our students and staff represent leading talent from all over the world.  

3. Located at the Heart of Dublin

Dublin is a city with a one thousand year history, steeped in heritage and with a genuine spirit of friendliness. In the QS ranking for Best Student Cities, Dublin ranks 32nd in the world overall, and 2nd for Student Mix. Small enough to walk around, yet hosting the European headquarters of companies such as Google, eBay, Microsoft, PayPal, LinkedIn and Facebook, Dublin is an ideal place to study and connect in. Our campus exists right in the heart of this and you can take full advantage of the opportunities that this closeness affords through access to employers and networking events.

4. Individual Focus

We currently have 25 PhD students registered in the School. Our philosophy and structure means that you will be part of a small incoming class but you will also be part of a broader cohort of students who stimulate and support their fellow students. Building on Trinity’s 400 year tradition of personalized, tutorial style learning, we get to know each of you and support your academic and personal development and confidence throughout the programme. You will gain from a close, one-to-one relationship with our School, the opportunity to identify and resolve the individual challenges you face, and a chance to discover the talents you possess.

5. Resources

Located at the centre of the city of Dublin our university blends its historic traditions and buildings with the award-winning methods and facilities of a modern institution.

Trinity's Library is the largest in Ireland and as a Legal Deposit library receives copies of all material published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is a research library of international repute and in addition to its extensive collection of over 6 million printed volumes, provides access to an extensive range of academic databases and other services, pioneering modern methods of resource discovery.

For more information please visit Trinity College Dublin website or come and see us for yourself.