Doctor of Philosophy


Course details

Each unique structured Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) project is carried out over a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years (full-time).

Within this time you will be guided through your research project with the support of your supervisors and the RCSI School of Postgraduate Studies

Develop your skills as a researcher at RCSI

You will have a range of resources, research development opportunities and training at your disposal during your PhD, including:

  • Core and optional modules as part of our research development training – all PhD scholars are expected to complete all four (PC01-PC04) core modules as part of their degree.
  • Access to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework, which allows you to map your competencies, identify areas for improvement and develop transferable skills
  • International placements – we have a competitive award for those without funding who can apply for three-month international secondment award (RCSI-funded).
  • Dissemination of your research. The perfect starting point for this is our annual Research Day; apply for a poster or oral presentation and practice key presenting and communication skills.
  • Dedicated write-up space in our Postgraduate Suite in our new Library.

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Key milestones

Below is a timeline of a typical structured four-year PhD programme.

1. Project proposal

With the help of your supervisors, you will submit a comprehensive project proposal when applying to RCSI. This will help you to form a solid plan and kick-start your research.

2. Research development

Participate in the four core modules (PC01-PC04) on offer during your studies.

3. Annual progress review

You submit an annual progress review at the end of your first year. Following each annual review, an oral presentation is conducted to assess your progression, by two independent staff members, who decide on your continued registration.

4. Submit your thesis

You will submit a thesis completion plan nine months before your planned submission. Once your thesis is submitted – at any time in your fourth year of study – one external examiner and one internal examiner will assess your thesis. Thesis examination details are available here.

5. Graduation

If the thesis is deemed of sufficient quality, you will be conferred with a PhD in your chosen field.

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