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Postgraduate Research Students

In this section, research students can find information on topics like Fees and Registration, Exams, Thesis Submission Deadlines, Progress Reports and Graduate Supervision.  

The Graduate Studies Office can help postgraduate students with a wide variety of queries relating to their Research Course. Download our Guide to doing a PhD, the 2022 Research Student Handbook, Progress Report or Travel Grant forms below.

Fees and Registration

Fees must be paid prior to registration. You will not be able to register until fees have been received.
Read more: Academic Registry Fees & Payment.

Registration is mandatory for every student on an annual basis. It cannot be completed until any debts owed to the College have been paid and until fees for the forthcoming year have been paid, or pledged as payable by an education authority. Late registration and replacement charges will be enforced unless ad misericordiam grounds are presented to the Dean of Graduate Studies and confirmed with documentation.
Read more: Academic Registry Registration.

Change of Contact Details

All currently registered students are responsible for updating their contact details via their portal. Students can update their address and telephone number using the “Maintain my Student Record” tab located in the top right hand corner of their portal. Read more.


The University of Dublin Calendar outlines the regulations for students. Part III of the Calendar deals with both general and course specific regulations for postgraduate study (taught and research).

Graduate Supervision

Read our Good Research Practice Guidelines approved by the Postgraduate Research Committee.

Best Practice Guidelines on Research Supervision for postgraduate students and academic staff working on research theses and dissertations.
These guidelines deal with supervision under a number of different headings such as Regulations, Academic Standards, General Relationship of Supervisor to Student and conclude with select literature on this issue.

Student Cases

Student case requests must be submitted by your Supervisor. In exceptional cases, the Dean may consider requests originating elsewhere. 
You should contact your Supervisor and provide him/her with any supporting documentation available. Please ensure that your email includes student name, student number, current registration status, course title and your academic standing. All enquiries regarding postgraduate student cases will be responded to, and are treated in the strictest confidence.

Extension Requests

If your research has been impacted by the current pandemic, you can apply for a free of fees extension to your thesis submission deadline using the Extension Request Form below.

Please ensure you have written confirmation of support from your Supervisor or Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) as it must be submitted with this form. The Graduate Studies Office will then revert with a decision from the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Please note, 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.


Normally, graduate students must pursue their course continuously. In exceptional circumstances the Dean of Graduate Studies, after consultation with the graduate student's Supervisor may permit graduate students to go "off-books" (i.e. off-register), if the Dean of Graduate Studies believes it's in the best interests of the student.

Application to go off-books should be made to the Dean of Graduate Studies via the student's Supervisor or the relevant Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate).

Please note: The student may not apply directly to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

During the period of interruption, graduate students are not required to pay fees. Consequently they will not have a student card during this period and will not have access rights to the college library or other college facilities.

Students who are off-books on medical grounds, must submit a completed Letter of Certification to PG Cases one month prior to their return date to be reviewed by the Medical Group.

Please revert to the College Calendar for further information.

Download Off-books Request Form.

Progress Reports

Annual progress reporting is an essential requirement for all postgraduate students on the research register (full and part-time) in Trinity College Dublin.

Progress reports should be completed with your supervisor/ supervisory team and must be submitted locally to a designated administrator within the School. If you have questions about annual progress report requirements, please contact your supervisor, or the Director of Teaching and Learning (PG) in the School where you are registered.

Download the Progress Report Form (Pre-2019 Registrants)

Progress Report Form New Students from 2019/20

Travel Grant

The Executive Committee of the Trinity Trust makes funds available to the Graduate Studies Committee for allocation to graduate research students for attendance at conferences related to their research or for students who wish to carry out research abroad to supplement research already undertaken in Dublin. It is up to the student to submit their supporting documentation completed to the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

To apply for a Postgraduate Travel Reimbursement Fund, students must submit the online application form and supporting documents to the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies using the online form below.

Awards are made quarterly and applications must be made in advance of travel. Students should note that awards are based on funds available and the number of applications. Therefore, grants cannot guaranteed.

Online Application Form.

Supporting Documentation for Reimbursement.

15 SEPTEMBER – 14 DECEMBER Deadline for applications is September 1st
15 DECEMBER – 14 MARCH Deadline Deadline for applications is December 1st
15 MARCH – 14 JUNE Deadline Deadline for applications is March 1st
15 JUNE – 14 SEPTEMBER Deadline for applications is June 2nd

Transfer to Ph.D. Register

Postgraduate students wishing to transfer to the Ph.D. Register must complete the form below and submit to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Download Transfer Form.

The regulations for transferring can be found in Section II.42 of the College Calendar Part III.

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 normally arranged approximately eighteen months from the start date of your 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.

As part of the process each Ph.D. student must prepare a Ph.D. Confirmation Report.  Guidelines to help you complete the report are issued by the appropriate Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate). You must ensure that a draft of the confirmation report is given to your Supervisor in time for them to read it and provide feedback before submission.

Ph.D. students then attend a Ph.D. confirmation interview. The Ph.D. confirmation panel for each student is appointed by the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) and consists of the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) or his or her nominee, and a second member who should have acknowledged expertise in the subject area of the student’s research (or in a cognate field). Members of the Ph.D. confirmation panel may be drawn only from academic staff eligible to supervise (see Section 2, Paragraph 22 of the Calendar Part III). Although the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) makes the final decision about membership of the Ph.D. confirmation panel, he or she 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.

Written feedback is given to the student as soon as possible after the Ph.D. confirmation interview. The recommendations of the panel are:

  1. (a) continuation on the Ph.D. register,
  2. (b) continuation on the Ph.D. register after some minor changes have been made to the Ph.D. confirmation report
  3. (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,
  4. (d) a recommendation to change to the general Masters register to submit a Masters thesis, or
  5. (e) not to continue as a postgraduate research student.

A student may appeal the result of a Ph.D. confirmation interview see  Section I paragraph 67 in Calendar Part III for further details.

Download PhD Register Confirmation Form. (DOC 52.7KB)

Dean's Grace

The normal deadline for thesis submission is the last day of August for September registrants, and the last day of February for March registrants.

Dean's Grace only applies for the following dates:

  • 1 September to 30 September for September registrants
  • 1 March to 31 March for March registrants.

Dean's Grace of one month free of fees to submit is granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies and is automatically applied to all research students registrations in their expected final year (this is end of year 2 for full-time Masters by research candidates; end of year 4 for full-time PhD candidates; end of year 3 for part-time Masters by research candidates and end of year 6 for part-time PhD candidates).

Your student ID card has been set up with Dean's Grace included. If you are intending to avail of Dean's Grace at the end of year 2 or 3 (full-time PhD registrants only) you may submit on or before 30 September without penalty (for September registrants) or 31 March without penalty (for March registrants). You will receive an annual invoice and invitation to register through your portal, as it is generated automatically for expected continuing students. You do not need to action anything as long as you submit prior to the end of the Dean's Grace period.

If you are at end year 4 (full-time PhD registrants only) your ID card will remain active through the Dean's Grace period and you may submit without penalty on or before 30 September (for September registrants) or 31 March (for March registrants).

Part-time research students who are in the expected final year of study will have Dean's Grace applied to their registration as per the above dates.

Part-time research students seeking to submit before they have completed 6 years on register (3 years on register for part-time research Masters students)  must make contact with the Academic Registry prior to submission to ensure that their 'early submission' invoice is generated and cleared. 

Thesis Submission/Intention to Submit

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 Submission. 

The Intention to Submit form must be completed and returned at least one month prior to submission by every postgraduate research student to the Director of Teaching and Learning Postgraduate in their School, copying Submitting this form initiates the formal nomination of examiners for the thesis.

Viva Voce Examination

A viva voce examination is a normal requirement of the examination of a Ph.D. candidate. For a Masters examination a viva voce will be arranged at the request of either examiner or the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate). Requests from the candidate for a viva voce will be considered by the Dean of Graduate Studies. It is the Internal Examiner’s responsibility, in conjunction with the School administrative staff and Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate), to arrange the date of, and accommodation for, the viva voce. While there is no specified length for a viva voce examination, when examination exceeds 2.5 hours the Chair should offer the student and examiners a comfort break of 10 minutes. When examiners propose either failure, or referral of a thesis for revision, they must hold a viva voce examination. See section II.47 Procedure for examination of a candidate of Calendar Part III.

Thesis Stay of Deposition Requests

Applications for stay of deposition on a thesis must be made online by the graduate student by filling in the Stay of Deposition Request Form below.

Please ensure you have a written confirmation of support of your Supervisor or Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) as it must be submitted with the form. The Graduate Studies Office at will then revert with a decision.

Academic Appeals

The Academic Appeals Committee for Graduate Students will consider appeals arising out of examinations, and other academic circumstances, from registered graduate students where the graduate student's case

  • (i) is not adequately covered by the ordinary regulations of the College,
  • or
  • (ii) is based on a claim that the regulations of the College were not properly applied in the applicant's case,
  • or
  • (iii) represents an ad misericordiam appeal.

An appeal other than an ad misericordiam cannot be made against the normal application of College academic regulations approved by the University Council. Appellants should first have pursued the course of action most appropriate to their case. The Academic Appeals Committee will consider appeals concerning events occurring more than 4 months previously only in the most exceptional circumstances.

More info on the Appeals Process for Graduate Students can be found in the College Calendar Part III.


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. Graduate students who are seeking to withdraw from their course of study are urged to remain mindful of their tuition fee liability. Students who withdraw on or before 1 September annually will receive a full annual tuition fee refund (where full annual tuition fee has been paid). Students who withdraw on or before 31 January annually will receive half annual tuition fee refund (where full annual tuition fee has been paid). Students who withdraw from their course of study after 31 January annually are liable for the full annual tuition fee for the year. Please contact for more information.

Download Withdrawal Request Form.

Regulations and Resources

If you have any questions please contact the Administrative Officer in Graduate Studies or check for answers on our FAQ page.