About Doctoral Studies at FHSS

About Doctoral Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Learn all about doctoral studies and postgraduate research in our Faculty.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at DCU has a vibrant community of over 200 international PhD students across our seven Schools, located across two of our campuses (Glasnevin and All Hallows). The Doctoral Studies Hub provides information for prospective and current students to help you navigate your way through the exciting journey of a PhD qualification.


Dublin City University's strategic plan – TALENT, DISCOVERY, AND TRANSFORMATION – acknowledges a core element of DCU’s Vision is to be a globally-significant university that is renowned for its discovery and translation of knowledge to advance society. Taking this as a key enabler of its strategic vision, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences strives to foster a strong research culture that empowers staff and students to reach their full potential. The University's research culture recognises that, 'in general, the greatest impact is achieved from a critical mass of multidisciplinary researchers tackling an important research question', and this translates into practice in the Faculty's commitment to the pursuit of inter-, trans-, and multi-disciplinary research praxis. As a result, DCU's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is recognised internationally as a research-intensive and globally-engaged faculty distinguished both by the quality and impact of its graduates and its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit. 

Our staff publish in leading international and national academic journals, with leading book publishers, and in diverse creative fora.  We utilise this expertise to address important societal challenges, through policy focused research, by engaging with government and civil society and by bringing our research to a wider audience through the media.  Staff in the Faculty are involved in leading externally funded research projects for the EU, the Irish Government, the Irish Research Council, NGOs and the charity sector.  Finally and crucially our students have access to leading experts in their chosen fields of study, strengthening the teaching and learning experience at DCU.

Prof. Sharon O'Brien

Associate Dean for Research

Phone: +353 1 700 5381
E-Mail: sharon.obrien@dcu.ie

DCU Library

DCU Library.

This website also provides some preliminary information about our postgraduate research programmes and links to our individual Schools, all of whom have their own postgraduate research pages. The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at DCU provides a stimulating research environment for postgraduate scholars at PhD and Masters levels, in a wide range of disciplines within the seven Schools.

Undertaking a research degree, PhD or Masters, allows you to carry out an in-depth study of an issue that you have chosen in a discipline in which you already have a good academic grounding. While a PhD is normally a gateway to an academic career, completing a research degree will also enable you to develop skills in organising, presenting and project management that will stand to you in whatever career you pursue afterwards. Having a research degree marks you out as someone with both specialist knowledge in your discipline and the ability and commitment to manage and complete a demanding and challenging piece of academic research.

Students work together in a modern, purpose-built area, fostering a collegiate atmosphere. Academic supervision for each student is provided by a specialist or specialists in the appropriate discipline with whom students meet regularly. While postgraduate research is necessarily highly specialised, the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences provides a multidisciplinary environment for research. Students of all disciplines are trained in research methodologies at both Faculty and School level.

We offer scholarships to support research students on an annual basis. Typically those competitions are held each Spring. Get further information from our Scholarships page or directly from the School closest to your own research interests.  Feel free to email any member of staff or the contact names listed below.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to contact the individual Schools in the first instance:

Full information concerning the application process for applicants wishing to pursue studies in postgraduate is available at the DCU Registry's Postgraduate Research page.

Research Seminars

All Schools run research seminars every semester, usually given by a mix of PhD students, staff and invited speakers. See the current schedule here.

Helpful Resources

Some other helpful resources and links (e.g. registration process, checking exam results etc.) for postgraduate research students: 

For more general information about doing a PhD at DCU see this online brochure.

Hear from some of our current postgraduate research students about what it’s like to work on your PhD in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.