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Doctoral and Post-doctoral Research


The Department of French at Trinity College Dublin has a long and distinguished tradition in the fostering and promoting of doctoral research. Nearly all of our research students benefit from College or Irish Research Council (IRC) funding (for a list of current and recently completed PhD projects in the French Department, please click here).

The Department offers PhD supervision in a wide range of areas of French, notably Medieval and Renaissance Literature, History and Ideas; Enlightenment History, Literature and Culture; French Nationalisms and Fascisms; Contemporary French History; Francophone Literature and Culture; Travel Writing; Translation Theory; Marginal Writing; Autobiography; Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century French Literature and Thought; Literary Theory; Aesthetics; Deconstruction; Eco-criticism; and Sociolinguistics.

The Department boasts one of the oldest Chairs of French in the world (1776) and has, among its alumni, Samuel Beckett. The Discipline of French is a constituent department of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies, which has consistently been ranked in the top Modern Languages Schools in the QS subject rankings. French Department staff members are actively involved in the School’s research centres – the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation – as well as in Trinity’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute, the Trinity Long Room Hub.

The Old Library at Trinity College Dublin is the largest library in Ireland, with invaluable manuscripts and world-class collections in the early modern and later periods. The Library is a legal deposit library for books published in Ireland and the UK. It has significant holdings in French and extensive electronic resources.

For more general information on the French Department, please consult the departmental website:

How to apply

Prospective doctoral candidates are invited to consult the Department’s research areas (, select a potential supervisor, and direct initial enquiries to the specific member of staff and then to the Head of Department, providing a full CV and an outline of the research project envisaged.

The research proposal (maximum three pages) should include: aims and objectives, status of research in terms of the project’s central research questions, the proposed methodology, and compatibility of the project with the host institution (supervisor, research facilities, etc.). Please note that normally candidates must have a first- or upper-second-class degree in French (or in the French component of their degree) to be considered for research in the Department.

Although there are no closing dates for applications for higher degrees by research, there are only two registration periods (September and March). Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible prior to their chosen registration period as supervisory capacity may be limited.

Funding opportunities

For doctoral and postdoctoral funding opportunities at Trinity, please consult our dedicated funding page.

For general information on postgraduate study at TCD, application procedures and forms, please contact Graduate Admissions.