The PhD programme incorporates five distinct learning goals including:
- Identifying and developing the critical knowledge, skill, and expertise required to thrive in an international research and teaching environment that is intensive, collaborative, enjoyable, and results-oriented;
- Appreciating and critiquing the philosophical foundations, theories, and practices of social science research;
- Identifying, critiquing, and justifying the key elements of an integrated programme of research leading to the award of a higher degree by research;
- Effectively planning, conducting, and communicating rigorous, valid, and ethical research; and
- Critically examining and evaluating ongoing or completed research projects.
Academic Year and Enrolment
The PhD programme runs throughout the academic year which is organized around three terms: first term (September to December); second term (January to April); and third term (May to August).
New PhD students are enrolled at the beginning of September each year. While students may enrol on either a full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) basis, all students benefit from the same programme of doctoral formation. The obligatory enrolment periods for each option are:
- FT enrolment: minimum of 2 years, maximum of 4 years.
- PT enrolment: minimum of 3 years, maximum of 6 years.
The above enrolment periods also apply to students granted permission to pursue some or all of their studies on a Distance Learning (DL) basis.
Each student is assigned a principal supervisor with whom they are expected to maintain regular contact. If a student’s programme of research is of an inter-, trans-, or multi-disciplinary nature, a co-supervisor may also be appointed. All principal supervisors are appointed from within Trinity Business School while co-supervisors may be appointed from other Schools throughout the University. In certain circumstances, co-supervisors may be appointed from other Universities or industry partners depending on the nature of the research being undertaken.
A strong working relationship between a student and their supervisor(s) is a vital element of any programme of research leading to the award of a PhD degree. Our faculty are committed to building such relationships with their students. Throughout the period of enrolment on the PhD register, faculty provide first-class instruction, teaching, counsel, and oversight on all matters relating to the pursuit of high-quality research.
Structured Elements of the PhD Programme
New entrants and continuing students are required to follow a set of structured components which are central to the effective formation of all doctoral candidates. These components have been designed to support the routine and ongoing work involved in pursuing a programme of research leading to the award of a PhD degree. They provide in-depth learning and development opportunities tailored to meet the needs of PhD students. The structured components include:
In the first year of enrolment, students are required to complete BU8510, BU8530, BU8545, BU8555 or BU8565, and CA7000.
- BU8510: Pursuing Excellence in Doctoral Research (induction module).
- BU8530: Social Science Research Philosophy
- BU8545: Publication Skills Seminar Series.
- BU8555: Quantitative Research Seminar Series.
- BU8565: Qualitative Research Seminar Series.
- CA7000: Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship Era.
Students may elect to complete BU8540 as a foundation module if so required. By way of supporting participation in the Graduate Teaching Practice Programme, students may also elect to complete VP1017 and VP1021.
- BU8540: Foundations in Quantitative Research.
- VP1017: Teaching & Supporting Learning as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
- VP1021: Adapting our Teaching for Learning Online.
The above modules provide a comprehensive introduction to the PhD programme along with an introduction to the philosophy of research in the social sciences. In addition, students must deliver their first Research Practice Seminar and complete the Additional Programme Requirements set out below.
Early in the second year of enrolment, each PhD student is required to design and deliver their second Research Practice Seminar. Working closely with the Director of Doctoral Studies and academic supervisor(s), PhD students are required to focus their research practice seminars on preparing to meet the requirements of the formal Confirmation Process so that their continuation on the PhD register may be confirmed by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
To be Confirmed on the PhD register, students must:
- Have satisfactorily completed the Core Modules in the structured PhD programme;
- Have designed and delivered two Research Practice Seminars; and
- Have prepared and submitted a formal Confirmation Report, made a formal Confirmation Presentation, participated in a formal Confirmation Interview, and satisfactorily met all requirements associated with the Confirmation Process.
Confirmation Panel Presentations and Interviews are normally scheduled on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.
In the third year of enrolment, each PhD student is required to design and deliver their third Research Practice Seminar. Working closely with the Director of Doctoral Studies and academic supervisor(s), PhD students are expected to focus their research practice seminars on a Working Paper / Conference Paper / Book Chapter / Journal Article that addresses a critical element of their programme of research. Such papers, chapters, or articles may focus on themes such as: (i) systematic literature reviews; (ii) research philosophy, methodology, and methods; (iii) data collection and analysis strategies; or (iv) analysis and discussion of research findings. These seminars are intended to display depth and leading-edge research practices in the execution of a PhD student’s programme of research. Open to all PhD students, this seminar series is normally scheduled on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.
In the fourth year of enrolment, each PhD student is required to design and deliver their fourth and final Research Practice Seminar. Working closely with academic supervisors, PhD students make a preliminary defence of their programme of doctoral research. The seminar series has been designed to support PhD students in preparing the final draft of their PhD dissertation and planning for the VIVA VOCE examination. Open to all PhD students, this seminar series is normally scheduled on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.
Years 1, 2, 3, 4 (Full-time & Part-time) and 5, 6 (Part-time)
In the 11th month of each year of enrolment, PhD students are required to submit an Annual Progress Report (APR) to their Academic Supervisor and Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee subsequently finalises and approves the APR, makes a formal recommendation re remaining on the PhD register, and forwards the finalised APR to the Director of Doctoral Studies.
Beyond the structured elements outlined above, all PhD students are required to: complete Additional Programme Requirements as set out below; participate in the School’s Annual Doctoral Colloquium; and pursue a purposeful Academic and Social Engagement strategy.
Additional Programme Requirements
By agreement with the Director of Doctoral Studies and the Academic Supervisor, a PhD student may be encouraged to participate in one or more additional modules to compensate for deficiencies in their knowledge deemed essential to the proposed programme of research. Such modules may be drawn from, but not limited to, the options outlined below:
- Modules offered as part of the suite of taught postgraduate programmes within Trinity Business School (https://www.tcd.ie/business/masters/).
- Modules offered by Business Schools in partner institutions as part of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (TCD, UCD, DCU, NUIM, TUD).
- Modules offered in the areas of research philosophy, methodology and methods offered by other Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (http://ahss.tcd.ie/).
Enrolment in research modules offered by other Schools is subject to both the availability of places and permission to enrol.
Students granted permission to pursue some or all of their studies on a Distance Learning (DL) basis will follow the same programme of studies as students who are Present-in-Person (PiP) throughout the academic year.
Annual Doctoral Colloquium
All new entrants and continuing PhD students are required to actively participate in and contribute to the Annual Doctoral Colloquium.
Academic and Social Engagement
Throughout the period of enrolment on the PhD register, all students are required to immerse themselves in the academic and social life of Trinity Business School. At a minimum, this requires:
- Participation in the structured elements of the PhD programme and involvement in Doctoral Colloquia and International Conferences.
- Commitment to producing high-quality research outputs that contribute directly to a student’s career development goals and objectives (e.g. Working Papers, Conference Papers, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles).
- Active engagement with the School’s research seminar series led by the Director of Research.
- Leading and contributing to outreach initiatives that benefit the wider community in which the School and University are embedded.
The Academic Calendar for the PhD programme is normally published at the beginning of September each year.
Programme Policies and Procedures
If there are discrepancies between PhD programme policies and procedures of Trinity Business School and those of the University, University policies and procedures will act as the principal source of authority and guidance.