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Postgraduate Programme by Research


The School has a variety of research activities spanning a diverse range of areas. The School is prominently associated with five research groups in the College: the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity Research in Social Sciences (TRiSS), the Centre for Global Health, the Centre for Psychological Health and the Centre for Innovative Human Systems. The School is equipped with a computer laboratory, multi-media facilities, EEG and behavioural neuroscience laboratories, video-observation suites, sound attenuated experimental testing suites and fMRI analysis capability. There are ongoing innovative collaborations with hospitals and medical services. Members of the School consistently publish in high-impact international scientific journals and receive significant research funding from national and international sources.
Our Postgraduate Programme develops high calibre psychologists who advance psychological science and practice. Leading international experts provide excellent training in research methodology and foster academic excellence in a range of research areas on our M.Sc. and structured Ph.D. programmes. The School encourages active participation in national and international collaborations, and attracts many visiting academics and international graduate students.

M.Sc. Research

The minimum registration period for the M.Sc. (full-time) is one year, and the thesis of not more than 60,000 words must normally be submitted within two years.*

Ph.D. Research

The minimum registration period for a Ph.D. (full-time) is two years and the thesis of not more than 100,000 words must normally be submitted within four years.*

*Depending on the subject nature of the thesis, word count guidelines as laid out above may not apply. Your supervisor will advise on an acceptable length for the thesis.

In association with other Schools in the College, the following structured Ph.D. programme is offered:

Ph.D. in Global Health (Indigo Programme)

The International Doctorate in Global Health (Indigo) is coordinated by the Centre for Global Health and directed by Psychology academic staff, Frédérique Vallières. The programme is specifically aimed at those with a keen interest in improving health and wellbeing through research, education, and service, in collaboration with communities, other academic institutions, civil-society, and governments throughout the world.

Non-resident Ph.D.

The option to study by distance is available to students who are interested in undertaking a structured Ph.D. programme under the supervision of our world class research talent and to access our unrivalled academic resources, but who are not in a position to be resident in Dublin for the duration of their studies. 

As part of this programme, you will be a fully registered student of Trinity College Dublin with access to our libraries and services whether you are on or off campus. A programme of online seminars and discussion groups will be made available to enable connection with fellow Trinity researchers within and across disciplines.

Tuition fees for non-resident students are the same as those for students who attend the campus and a student who begins their studies on the Non-Resident register cannot transfer to the ordinary PhD register during their studies. Students on the Non-Resident register are not eligible for any university studentship awards and are not normally eligible for other funding schemes that require residency within Ireland. 

In order to be admitted to the research register, candidates should normally have a minimum 2.1 honours degree or GPA of 3.2; other general Admissions requirements can be found on the Trinity Study website. Individual participating Schools may have a further minimum set of requirements and expectations for studying on this programme. Additionally, your Supervisor and you may establish further agreements in this regard.

From September 2024, students must attend the Trinity campus in Dublin for three mandatory components of their PhD over the course of their studies. Students must be present on campus for a four day orientation and induction programme in early September. They must also attend for their Confirmation Interview approximately halfway through their studies and their Viva Voce examination at the end of their studies.

Our Ph.D. programme follows a structured model and those studying from a distance will need to achieve at least 20 ECTS of taught credits to meet those requirements. Five of these credits will be fulfilled by completing the mandatory Induction and Orientation module (commencing September 2024) with five more being fulfilled by the Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship Era module, which all Ph.D. students must complete. 10 credits must be achieved by completing modules with the agreement of your Supervisor. A full list of these modules can be found here. Before selecting a module, students should check that the module can be taken online i.e., that lectures and assessment can be undertaken remotely. Non-Resident PhD students are advised to consider the Planning and Managing Your Research Process (PMRP1001) module when agreeing module options with their Supervisor.

There are opportunities to study for a Ph.D. full-time taking approximately 4 years or part-time taking 6 years. Normally, students can commence their programme of study from September or March each academic year although some Schools do not permit a March registration. Visa requirements for non-EU students should be carefully considered to ensure there are no barriers to attending campus as required for the three mandatory components - the minimum requirements associated with the programme. These visa requirements are outside the control of the university and may affect non-EU students differently depending on their country of origin. 

From September 2023, the following Schools will be taking applications from suitable and qualified candidates for Non-Resident Ph.D. programmes:

  • School of Creative Arts (Dept. of Music only)
  • School of English
  • School of History and Humanities
  • School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies
  • School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences
  • School of Psychology
  • School of Religion, Theology, and Peace Studies
  • School of Natural Sciences
  • School of Dental Science
  • School of Medicine
  • School or Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For general queries, please contact the Graduate Studies Office or individual School contacts.

Admission to all research programmes

There are two start/registration dates for postgraduate research programmes: September and March of each academic year.

Closing Date for Applications:

While there is no deadline for applications, please note that any new student wishing to apply for School or College research funding must submit their application by the 31st May 2024 for the 2024/2025 academic year (September 2024 and March 2025 intake). Please note that funding is currently contingent on registration as a full-time Ph.D. student. Students must make their application for Postgraduate studentship awards in conjunction with their Ph.D. application.This process is done online via

How to Apply:

New entrants to the Research Register must make their applications online via .

If you wish to be considered for a school based funding award please submit a research proposal with your application using the following criteria:

  • Background, rationale, aims & objectives
  • Proposed research design and method
  • Expected outcome and impact statement

The research proposal should be 1500 words in length maximum.

Funding Sources:

There are a number of Postgraduate research student funding schemes operated by the College and external funding agencies. After the first year some postgraduates can earn a modest amount by undertaking part-time teaching or demonstrating in the School or elsewhere in the College. Some staff may be able to provide support from their own research grants or from other sources.

Guidelines for Application:

It is important for intending research students to consult the current Graduate Studies Prospectus.

  1. The guidelines below should be read in conjunction with the Trinity College Calendar Part 3.
  2. ANY APPLICATION THAT DOES NOT HAVE SUPERVISION ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE, AGREED BY AN ACADEMIC STAFF MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED. Consequently, intending applicants must discuss research ideas with potential supervisors before making a formal application for admission. This discussion should address the resources needed to support the proposed research including sources of funding. A list of staff members and their research interests may be accessed at
  3. Applicants must normally have a good undergraduate honours degree in psychology or in an area of study deemed by their potential supervisor and the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate), to be sufficient for studying the area of research proposed.
  4. Full time postgraduate research students are required to complete a structured 10 ECTS module in their first year of registration and/or any transferable or discipline-specific modules as prescribed by either the Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) or their supervisor.
  5. If the applicant has secured research funding this should be clearly indicated in the application
  6. For PG research applicants, the Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) will review the college application form, letters of reference, and research proposal. The Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) must be satisfied that the supervisory capacity in the School exists to see the student through to the awarding of their degree and will take into account the particular expertise of the potential supervisor. Should all documents be consistent, the student will be deemed eligible for admission under the supervision of the designated supervisor.
  7. In any instance where the student is deemed ineligible, the grounds on which this decision was made, will be transmitted in writing to the student and the potential supervisor. Such applicants may re-apply to the committee when any omissions or difficulties identified are resolved
  8. Applicants will be notified through the online applications’ system: *

* In cases where distance prohibits a face to face interview, an interview may be held on Zoom/MS Teams

Course Fees

A list of current course fees is available in the Course Fees section of the Academic Registry website.

IMPORTANT: Fees may increase annually.

Please consult information about eligibility for admission as an EU/Non-EU student and note that EU applicants must satisfy specific requirements to be deemed eligible for EU fee status.

Please note that all research students registered to the School of Psychology will be charged the M.Sc. Science or Ph.D. Science course fees as set out by College.

Progress and Support

Annual progress reporting is an essential requirement for all postgraduate students on the research register (full and part time) in Trinity College Dublin. In addition to academic supervisor(s), two academic members of staff in the School of Psychology are assigned as the student’s thesis committee at the beginning of their studies. As part of this system each student is required to submit a progress report and attend a meeting with their thesis committee every year. In addition, students must make a research presentation to academic staff and fellow research students in their first and last year of registration. A process of academic assessment for all Ph.D. students to confirm their continuation on the Ph.D. register is normally arranged within the first eighteen months of registration. This timeline is extended by a further year for Ph.D. students on the part-time register from year 1. The process is an essential part in the student's learning experience. Students must attend a confirmation interview. Your thesis committee will attend along with your supervisor/s and the Director of Teaching and Learning (PG). Written feedback is given to the student as soon as possible after the Ph.D. confirmation interview. The recommendations of the panel are: (a) continuation on the Ph.D. register; (b) continuation on the Ph.D. register after some minor changes have been made to the Ph.D. confirmation report; (c) continuation on the Ph.D. not recommended at this time: a new report to be written and confirmation interview to be held again as soon as possible thereafter; (d) a recommendation to change to the general Masters register to submit a Masters thesis; or (e) not to continue as a postgraduate research student. Postgraduate research students are also expected to attend the School’s research seminars, which take place on a regular basis during the teaching terms.

Student Handbook

The current PG Student handbook can be found here .

For more information please contact