PhD in Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin has an impressive record of attracting excellent students from all over the world to its PhD programme.

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About the PhD in Philosophy

The Trinity PhD Programme offers a practical and stimulating path for aspiring scholars. The programme integrates a rigorous taught component with a serious research element, giving it a unique and comprehensive character.  

The taught component draws on the expertise of the philosophy faculties of Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. These institutions provide distinct modules that students undertake in their first year. Students are also free to audit classes at either institution. 

Is It For Me?

The Ph.D. Programme in Philosophy prepares students for an academic career. Candidates in the graduate research programme are expected to master philosophical methods and research techniques; develop their facility for academic writing; and become adept at presenting and defending their views in front of an audience of their peers.

Graduate students are provided with ample opportunity to achieve these goals through one–on–one interaction with their supervisors, collaboration with other members of the Department, a weekly visiting speaker colloquium and regular Graduate Student Research Seminars.

Graduate students are considered full members of the Department, and are encouraged to participate in the many conferences, workshops and lectures held in Dublin throughout the academic year.

Meet Our PhD Students

Curious about our PhD students research interests? Our current students tell us about their areas of expertise.

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How to Apply

The Department welcomes applications from all well–qualified applicants. Admission to the programme is highly competitive. A successful applicant will have a strong background and demonstrated track record of excellence in philosophy. Preference is given to applicants whose research interests coincide with those of a member of the Department.  

The initial deadline for applications is 1 April. Applications received after the deadline will be considered, but they will miss the Trinity College deadlines for postgraduate scholarships. Late applicants also run the risk that available places in the programme will be filled.

Admission to do postgraduate work in philosophy at Trinity College is highly competitive and depends on a number of factors:

  • The quality of an applicant's undergraduate degree. In practice, this means obtaining a very good 2.1 or first-class honours degree (or equivalent) in philosophy, or in the philosophy segment of the applicant's first degree.
  • The viability and originality of the research proposal.
  • The strength of the applicant's academic references.
  • The quality of the applicant's writing sample.
  • The ability of the department to supervise the intended research.

Applicants to the PhD programme must submit the following materials:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts of all academic results to date
  • Copies of degree certificates
  • Two academic references
  • Research proposal (of approximately 1,500 words), completed in consultation with your proposed supervisor
  • A writing sample (of approximately 10,000 words)
  • Application fee
  • Proof of English competency (if required)

In order for your application to be successful, you must discuss your research proposal with a proposed supervisor before applying to the program. For a full list of academic staff please view Our People’. Only those at the Assistant Professor level or above are available to supervise. For details on the areas that we offer supervision in, please view our 'Research Themes'.


Please consult Academic Registry for the most up-to-date figures on fees.