Short guide to doing a PhD at Trinity

A Short Step by Step Guide to doing a PhD at Trinity
How to find a supervisor
Many PhD positions in Trinity are advertised locally on noticeboards, on websites in printed press etc. Such adverts will provide contact details of the project supervisor and information on the proposed project and/or thematic PhD programme if applicable. If you would like to do a PhD at Trinity and need to find a supervisor, you can find information on the academic staff and their research on the Trinity website:

How to apply
The following link here explains how you apply to do a postgraduate degree in Trinity. It lists entry requirements and outlines the supporting documents that are needed in order to complete the online application form. In order to access the application form, click on the ‘Postgraduate Research’ link on the left hand side of the page, then select the School where you want to do a PhD and finally the relevant discipline. You can choose to click on a ‘full-time’ or ‘part-time’ option both of which lead to the application form on the portal. There you will set up an account and can complete the application. Once the application has been assessed, it will either be rejected, a conditional offer will be made (there may be something outstanding in the application or clarification required) or an unconditional offer will be made. On fulfilling the requirements of the conditional offer or in the event than an unconditional offer is made, a position on the PhD register may then be accepted (on You will then be invited to register.
Once registered, you are on a 4-year (full-time)/6-year (part-time) structured PhD in Trinity – what does this mean?

  • You have a PhD project which is the focus of your research for the 4/6 year period.
  • You must complete modules to the value of between 10 (min) and 30 (max) ECTS. These can be modules set up by your School specifically for PhD students, modules from taught masters programmes (running in your School or in another School by permission) or modules provided by non-academic units in College for PhD students. These include modules provided by the Innovation Academy, Academic Practice and eLearning (CAPSL), Student Learning Development and the Library. Further information on modules for credit available to PhD students can be obtained from School Research Handbooks, your Supervisor and the School Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) (DTLPG). Some Schools have specific requirements in terms of the modules/programme of modules their PhD students should take. This information will be provided by the DTLPG. In addition to the modules taken for credit as described, PhD students in Trinity may additionally, with permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies, register for and complete either a PG Cert in Statistics or PG Cert in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These ‘structured’ elements of the PhD should be completed within the first 2 years (3 years for part-time students).
  • You must complete an annual report with your supervisor at the end of the first and third years.
  • You must complete a continuation report/examination before the end of the second year on register. Successful completion of this process means you can proceed to the third year on the PhD register. If you are not successful in this examination, you may either be requested to submit a thesis for consideration for a lower degree (MSc by research or MLitt) or be removed from the register.
  • If you remain on the PhD register, you should submit your PhD thesis (soft-bound copy) at the end of the fourth/sixth year (30th September). Information on what happens/what you need to do following submission of the thesis can be found here
  • The regulations which govern students admission to, progression on, and examination on the research register are available in the University of Dublin Calendar Part III and all prospective and current students are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with these. Other useful documents include:
  • National Framework for Doctoral Education
  • Irish Universities PHD Graduate Skills Statement
  • Information on graduation is available at here