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Information for Staff

In this section, academic staff members will find helpful guidelines and information for Research Supervisors, Research Co-ordinators, and Directors of Taught Courses. 

Graduate Studies Committee Meetings 2021/22

Graduate Studies Committee Meetings take place on Thursdays from 10.00am to 12.00pm. Please visit the Graduate Studies page for more details.

Covid-19 Guidelines for Academic Staff

The guidelines below outline the recommended approaches to adapting our teaching for learning online.

Course Development

The development of new and innovative postgraduate programmes at Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters level by Schools and Faculties is supported by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, with the expertise and guidance of staff in Trinity Teaching and Learning.  More Info.

Student Academic Standing

Academic staff dealing with queries from students can find information for topics such as Student Cases, Progress Reports, Thesis Submission, Confirmation on the Ph.D. Register and Appointing Examiners below.

Student Cases

Student case requests must be submitted by the student's Course Director/ Course Co-Ordinator/ Supervisor. In exceptional cases, the Dean may consider requests originating elsewhere.
Postgraduate student case requests should be emailed to, with any supporting documentation available. Please ensure that your email includes the student's name, student number, current registration status of student, course title, SITS course code, and the student’s standing on the course.
All enquiries regarding postgraduate student cases will be responded to, and are treated in the strictest confidence.


If your student's research has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, your student can apply for a free of fees extension to his/her thesis submission deadline. The Supervisor’s Extension Form should be submitted by PhD / Research MSc Supervisors in support of the extensions requests made by their students to During the current academic year requests for extensions based on the impact of Covid-19 will only be considered from students who are on the final year of their research programme. Where an extension is requested on medical grounds, medical certificate(s) should be available as they may be requested as part of the conditions of approval.


If a postgraduate student wishes to withdraw from College they must notify the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Supervisor/Course Co-ordinator in writing. Please submit a copy of PG Withdrawal Form to
Graduate students who are seeking to withdraw from their course of study are urged to remain mindful of their tuition fee liability.


Application to go off-books should be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies via the student's Supervisor/Course Co-ordinator or the relevant Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate). Students may not apply directly to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Supervisors / DTLPGs are requested to email submitting a copy of an off-books form on behalf of their student.

Progress Reports

All supervisors must complete a progress report with their students before the end of the academic year. The student is required to submit it to a designated administrator within the School by the end of August, for students who registered in September, and by the end of February, for those who registered in March.

Download the latest annual Progress Report Form. (Available in DOC format below)

Progress Report Form New Students from 2019/20

Thesis Submission Regulations

The normal deadline for thesis submission is the last day of August for September registrants, and the last day of February for March registrants. Consult the Calendar Part III for regulations on theses submission. Please contact with any queries relating to Thesis Submissions.

Confirmation on Ph.D. Register

A process of academic assessment for all Ph.D. students to confirm their continuation on the Ph.D. register is 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. As part of the process each Ph.D. student must prepare a Ph.D. Confirmation Report and submit it to their Supervisor in time for them to read it and provide feedback before submission.

Ph.D students then attend a Ph.D. confirmation interview. The Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) makes the final decision about membership of the Ph.D. confirmation panel, but will consult with the Supervisor before deciding, taking the student’s opinion into consideration. The Supervisor cannot be a member of the Ph.D. confirmation panel, but the Supervisor (and Co-Supervisors) are present at the interview. When necessary, an external discipline expert may be appointed. The Supervisor’s attendance at the interview ensures that he or she is aware of the panel’s critique of the student’s work.

Appointing Examiners

In this section academic staff members will find guidelines, information and the required forms for appointing External Examiners for both research and taught courses, and internal examiners for research courses.

The University Council approved Trinity's Policy on External Examiners at its meeting on the 4th April 2018. The policy, which can be downloaded below, outlines the role and responsibilities, criteria for selection, appointment and payment of External Examiners. An overview of the process can be found in the External Examiner Process Map. (PDF 121KB)

Nominations - Taught Courses


Heads of School in consultation with Course Co-Ordinators and Directors of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) submit nominations for external examiners to the Dean of Graduate Studies for approval on behalf of Council.

On the basis of approved nominations, Trinity Teaching and Learning maintains a consolidated list of external examiners appointed to examine postgraduate taught courses.

This register is presented to the University Council for noting annually and the names of new appointees should be presented on this list in the academic year preceding the first year of their appointment.

Heads of Schools should note that the term of appointment of external examiners is three years. Requests to extend the term of any external examiner should be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies and will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Download the nomination form for an External Examiner below.

Nominations – Research Courses

When Academic Registry receives a candidate’s soft bound thesis submission, they will notify the Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) in the relevant school of the requirement to nominate examiners and a Nomination Form is forwarded to the School for completion.  The Dean of Graduate Studies reviews each nomination, appoints the examiners and the thesis is then dispatched.

The nominated examiners submit independent pre-viva reports, 7 days before the viva, and then submit a joint post-viva report within 24 hours.

Examiners are asked to return their independent reports and results recommendation forms post viva directly to the Dean of Graduate Studies for consideration, and a result is then issued to the candidate. 

External examiner payments and expenses are decoupled from the receipt of examination reports and are dealt with by the administrative staff within the School. 

Guidelines for PhD Examiners

External Examiners Nomination Form - Research Thesis

Pre-Viva Examiner's Report Form

Post-Viva Examiner's Report Form


Graduate Student Supervision

The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies provides advice,  guidelines and workshops on best practises for effective supervision of research and taught Masters students.  The current Regulations for Eligibility to Supervise Research Students are available in the Calendar Part III. Information on yearly workshops and seminars, held internally and external to the college, are emailed to Academic Staff and will be posted on our homepage. Contact us with any questions on your eligibility to supervise. We also offer advice on supervision issues.

Any proposed changes in supervision must be notified to, and approved by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies. Copies of the required forms and our Supervision Guidelines are available to download below. Please read the following carefully and ensure you complete the correct form:

Research Supervision Development Programme

Graduate Studies Office and Trinity Teaching & Learning host a series of workshops aimed at research supervisors new to their role as well as more experienced supervisors who wish to share and expand their knowledge and experience. The aim of the programme is to prepare and support research staff in their roles as supervisors. Please register and check the dates for the upcoming events at the Academic Practice website. In 2021 we delivered the following events:

  1. Mental Health and Well-being for Postgraduate Students, 25th February 2021. The recording of the workshop can be accessed here:

  2. Introduction to Research Supervision at Trinity College Dublin, 4th March 2021. The recording can be viewed below.

  3. Supervising Part-time PhD Students, 8th April 2021. The recording of the event is available below.

  4. Supporting Disabled Students through the Supervision Process, 29th April 2021, which can be viewed below.

Calendar Part III

The University of Dublin Calendar is produced annually in three parts.

Part I contains details about important dates, general information about the University, staff details and information on recent publications by academic staff and students under their supervision. 

Part II contains information on undergraduate studies including course regulations. 

Part III contains information on graduate studies and higher degrees including individual course regulations.  

All graduate students agree as part of their annual registration to familiarise themselves with, and be bound by the regulations within the Calendar and both staff and students are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the regulations (course and general) relating to their area of study. Where there is a discrepancy between the regulations in the Calendar and those in School or Course Handbooks, the Calendar regulations will prevail. 

Staff in the The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Trinity Teaching and Learning collate proposed changes to the Calendar Part III annually for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee and then by University Council. 

Staff members with queries on this process may contact the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies at Ext. 3671 or Ext. 2722 for information.