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Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin


General Requirements

Students accepted for research degrees at the School of Law will have an excellent academic background and a strong research proposal. In most circumstances, successful applicants will have, as a minimum requirement, a very good Law degree although it is possible that the Law School may accept a student without a law degree onto the relevant register, where, by reason of the choice of topic for research, his or her undergraduate degree is compatible with such study.

Applicants must also have a fluent command of the English language. Further details of English language requirements can be found on the Admissions page.

The decision to accept or not to accept a student’s application is exclusively with the discretion of the School of Law. Any questions in respect of applications to the Postgraduate register should be submitted to the Postgraduate Law Office, or, where appropriate, to the member or members of faculty that the student would like to supervise his or her proposal.

No closing dates apply for applications to the M.Litt and Ph.D. Register but there are only two registration periods (September and March*). Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible prior to their chosen registration period as supervisory capacity may be limited.

*Please note that the Law School’s preference is for research students to begin in September and on a full-time basis so that they can undertake the compulsory Postgraduate Legal Research module offered in the first semester. Permission for March and/or part-time registration is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. Advice on this should be sought by prospective applicants by emailing before a formal application is submitted.


The Application Process

Applications for the M.Litt/Ph.D register are considered by the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) (DTLP) and/or Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) (DTLP) and also faculty member/s who may be assigned to supervise the prospective student. In essence, the application process involves two stages.

  1. Stage 1 - The prospective student should review the Law School's guidelines on "Writing A Research Proposal For Legal Postgraduate Research At The School Of Law". Following consultation with these guidelines, the student submit 1. Research proposal 2. Sample of academic writing (essay or dissertation) and 3. CV (listing all past academic performances) to the School of Law (via who will assess whether there is a faculty member who would be prepared or competent to supervise such proposal.
    An interview which can be conducted in person or via Skype may also be requested at this stage.
  2. Stage 2 - If Stage 1 in order, then in the second stage of the process, the prospective student will be invited to apply online through the online application website to study on the postgraduate register. The fact that an student’s proposal has been deemed acceptable does NOT necessarily mean that the application will be successful. In considering the application, the School’s exclusive concern is whether the student is likely to be able to meet the standard required in order to obtain the degree sought – which will depend on various factors including (but not limited to) the student’s past academic performance, the degree for which [s]he intends to study and the topic which is being researched.

Detailed instructions relating to the online application process are available from the College's Postgraduate Admissions page.

International Students

Students whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English Language:

  • IELTS: Grade 6.5
  • TOEFL: 88 - Internet based (with a written score of 21)
  • University of Cambridge:
    Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
    Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
    First Certificate, Grade A (CEFR Level C1)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 (with no section score below 59)

Please note that test scores are only valid for 2 years.

Visa Requirements - Students from outside the European Union are advised to apply for a visa as soon as they have been offered, and have accepted a place, on the LL.M programme.

Visiting Postgraduate Researchers - We are unable to accept applications from visiting postgraduate research students outside of the LERU European Exchange Programme. However, postgraduate students from other universities can apply to access the University's Library.

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Course Queries

All programme related enquiries should be referred to Ms Kelley McCabe, School of Law, Trinity College, Dublin 2. Telephone +353 (0)1 896 8449; Email: