Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about doing a PhD in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at DCU.

We asked our PhD students for a list of questions and answers that they would find useful as incoming students. Here are some of the most popular FAQs.  


General FAQs

Q. How do I find an off-campus accommodation in Dublin?

A. There is an app called Daft(.ie), which is a popular tool for looking for various accommodation to share, rent, or buy. Other than this app, you could also find various Facebook groups by searching for keywords such as ‘student accommodation dublin’, where people post ads of vacant spaces. 

In Dubin, daily newspaper The Evening Herald, also carries accommodation adverts.  In addition, there are many private letting agencies who will help you find accommodation, but they will charge a fee. If you run into any difficulties with your accommodation, the organisation Threshold ( offers free advice and assistance.


Q. Is it possible to live on campus?

A. Yes, DCU has on-campus accommodation for undergraduate and post-graduate students. See relevant section on campus residence website here:


Q. Is there a transportation card for students?

A. Yes, you can apply for a Student Leap Card to have discounted fares. See (


Q. What is the medical insurance policy for Non-EU students?

A. Students from Non-EU countries should arrange their own private insurance as they are not covered for free medical attention. You must arrange insurance with an Irish Health Insurance provider prior to arriving in Ireland. Further information is available here. You are required to show the proof of comprehensive medical insurance during the time of registration at Garda National Immigration Bureau. It is also required when you apply for your student visa. If you are in receipt of a DCU School scholarship, the stipend is expected to cover your insurance costs. These will of course vary depending on individual circumstances. The Faculty does not reimburse medical insurance costs.


Q. I have lots of non-university questions about living in Dublin, where can I find information?

A. Citizens’ Information Centres are a great one-stop resource for finding information on a wide range of topics: employment, consumer rights, education and training, taxes, etc. Their website has tons of useful information. While some services are currently curtailed because of Covid-19, they have offices across Dublin. The nearest office to the Glasnevin campus is located at: 

Ballymun Civic Centre, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 9

Phone: 0761077330


Q. What information and documentation is required by GNIB (the Garda National Immigration Bureau) and authorities in Ireland in order to register for an Immigration Registration Permission (IRP)? And does this change depending on the country of origin of the student? 

A. The requirements depend on your country of origin. The starting point for understanding immigration requirements is the Department of Justice Immigration Service website and DCU’s International Office.

Ask your supervisor if there is a student in DCU already from your country. If possible, the supervisor could put you in contact with that student who can probably provide you with tips and advice on the process based on their own experience.


Q. What is a PPS number? And how do I get one?

A. A PPS number is a personal identifier issued by the Irish Government. This number is required in order to access a range of public services and welfare benefits in Ireland. Further information can be obtained from the Department of Social Protection at this link.


Q. How do I set up an Irish bank account? 

A. An Irish bank account can only be obtained once you are resident in the country. Irish banks require photo ID and proof of address in order to set up an account. There are many different banks, so you should investigate which one best meets your needs as a student. 


About the university

Q. Will I be assigned a workstation or desk in the postgraduate research offices?

A. Full-time research students will be allocated a workstation as soon as possible after completing registration as a PhD student of the faculty. The Research Administrator in the faculty will allocate your room and desk. You will also have a computer allocated on your desk, which you can log into using your student details.

Note that there can be a waiting list for desks, in which case the DCU library is a good place to work. Part-time research students can avail of hot desks. Research postgraduates within the same faculty usually share office space. 


Q. Will I have the opportunity to teach while I am a PhD student?

A. Yes, this opportunity may arise, but it depends on your skill set and the needs of the School. If you are in receipt of a School scholarship, our policy states that you may be expected to contribute some hours in the form of teaching or related activities for a limited number of hours during the year as a form of professional development. Any teaching activity would be guided and supported by the module coordinator. In addition, the university offers a course on teaching for first time tutors. We recommend that you discuss the teaching policy with your supervisor. 


Note: This page is regularly updated, so check in from time to time to see more useful answers.