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Research Degree Structure


Under University rules, candidates are admitted for a probationary year in the first instance. Candidates are expected to register full-time for a minimum period of two years; the maximum period is four years.

Within the first 18 months of the Ph.D. programme students are expected to complete modules worth a total of 30 ECTS. Currently these modules are being offered in conjunction with the Departments of Economics at University College Dublin (UCD) and the National University of Ireland at Maynooth (NUIM). There are three core modules on offer in addition to a number of other elective modules. The core modules are Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics (each worth 10 ECTS) and students must pass at least two of these modules before their confirmation.

The remaining 10 ECTS will come from the student's choice of available field modules (each worth 5 ECTS). The field modules available each year may vary depending on the expertise of the members of staff but in previous years have included modules in Development Economics, International Macroeconomics, Political Economy and Spatial Economics.

During the second year, students are expected to finalise a research paper and to present a proposal for the remaining two research papers of their thesis. This is when confirmation onto the PhD register takes place under the regulations set out by the Dean of Graduate Studies. If a student is not successful in securing confirmation, an MLitt may still be awarded.

From the very beginning of the programme each student is allocated to a working group, which meets weekly under the supervision and with the presence of members of staff. This has proved to be a valuable resource in facilitating close and informal contact between students and members of staff.

The PhD thesis is normally examined by one internal and one external examiner. A supervisor may not act as an examiner. A viva voce is a requirement in the examination of a PhD candidate.


Candidates are expected to register full-time for a minimum of one year but usually two years.

The MLitt thesis is normally examined by one internal and one external examiner. It is not the School's normal practice to hold a viva voce examination in connection with the submission of an MLitt thesis though this can be required where one or other examiner insists.