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Research Courses

Our main research course is a Doctorate, or PhD. The Trinity PhD is called a “structured PhD”, because it entails not only concentrated study, but also a small amount of taught material and a series of milestones to pass along the way. In total, the full-time PhD takes four years. It is also possible to complete the PhD part-time, and in the School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies, our PhDs can also be completed through distance learning.
PhDs are normally undertaken after a candidate has taken a Master’s Degree in a subject closely related to their research. Candidates work under the supervision of one or more academic experts in their subject to complete their project. The final result of the project is a doctoral thesis of 80,000-100,000 words.
A doctoral thesis is a substantial piece of work which addresses the current state of the art in its subject. At its heart, a doctoral thesis develops new knowledge and challenges the boundaries of current human understanding.
Key facts:

    • 360 ECTS Credits in total (90 ECTS Credits per year)
    • The Doctorate is completed over four years.
    • It requires, on average, 36 hours of work per week (full-time)
    • The supervisory team consists of a main supervisor and can also include secondary supervisors from either within the School or outside it, depending on the project
    • Taught components take place during the two 12-week terms each year, and are drawn from an extensive catalogue of thematic and skills-based modules
    • A total of 10-30 ECTS credits of taught modules are completed by each doctoral researcher over the course of the programme
    • Milestones include regular meetings with supervisors, annual reports, an 18-month review, submission of the thesis, and a final viva voce examination.
    • The PhD is ideally suited for candidates who want to undertake research at the highest level. A Doctorate is required in many cases to undertake an academic career at the third level, and also builds many transferable skills that are in high demand in industry.

You can find out more about our PhD programme here:
PhD Programme.

The Postgraduate Research Student Handbook can be found here.

Postgraduate modules available to PhD students

A range of MPhil Modules in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies are open to PhD students in fulfilment of the “structured PhD” requirement. A full list will be sent to students at the start of the academic year. Doctoral candidates in the School are also able to apply to take modules from other schools in the faculty if these align closely with their research plans.