Student Information

The academic award of PhD is the highest degree available to students in Ireland at Level 10 on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Each of our Partner Institutions, DCU, Maynooth University and RCSI can award Level 10 PhD degrees.

Most students study for a PhDfor between 3 and 4 years full-time, and are required to conduct a substantial body of original research, which is written up as a thesis and is finally examined by external examiners at an oral exam (often referred to by the Latin term, viva voce).

Traditionally, PhD study focused on the research project solely, however in recent years, doctoral education in Ireland has changed significantly. Now, while the research project itself remains at the centre of the PhD, most Irish universities, including the 3U Partner Institutions, incorporate a significant structured or organised programme of training for PhD candidates.

The aim of the structured elements of the PhD programme is to ensure that PhD students / candidates receive all the necessary training  to succeed in their chosen career whether this is in academia, business or other fields of employment.

The structured training aims to develop the candidate’s skills in leadership, team-work, and project management – these are all essential skills required for high level positions both inside and outside of the university sector.