Making a Postgraduate Research Application

How to Make an Application

Before making a research application, the applicant must consult and seek approval from the School regarding the proposed programme of study. Additional information for research applicants is also available on the DCU Graduate Studies page

The application process for Postgraduate Research is changing. 

If you plan to commence Postgraduate studies at DCU BEFORE 31st July 2024 i.e. grace period, please use the DCU Student Application Portal. Before making an application, please ensure that you have all appropriate entry requirements and that you provide all supporting documentation. 

If you plan to commence postgraduate studies at DCU AFTER 31st July 2024 i.e. September intake, please use the new application portal to begin your application by submitting a Postgraduate Research pre-application form. 

Postgraduate Research Entry Requirements

To register for a Postgraduate Research programme, a candidate must normally have obtained a primary degree classification equivalent to Lower Second Class Honours or above, from an approved University or an approved equivalent degree-awarding body, or have an approved equivalent professional qualification in an area cognate to the proposed research topic.

  • PhD: Candidates holding an appropriate Master's degree obtained by research may apply for direct entry to the PhD register to conduct research in a cognate area. 
  • PhD-track: Candidates with a taught Master's degree in an appropriate discipline with first- or second-class honours, and candidates with a primary degree in an appropriate discipline with first- or second-class honours, grade one, may apply and be considered for entry to the PhD-track register with a view to proceeding towards a PhD. Such candidates will undergo a confirmation procedure, as outlined in the Academic Regulations, before being admitted to the PhD register. 
  • Master's by Research: Candidates holding a primary degree equivalent to a second-class honours, grade two, may apply for entry on the research Master's register. Students on the Master's register may apply for transfer to the PhD Register under the same conditions, and using the same procedure, as PhD-track candidates requesting confirmation on the PhD register. 

English Language Requirements can be reviewed here.

For further information, see this FAQ. 


Applicants are assessed and ranked based on their performance at university, and the details provided on their application. Candidates may be called for interview and/or assessed on the basis of written work/proposed area of research.

Closing Dates

There are no closing dates for the majority of Postgraduate Research applicants (although this may be subject to change). Deadlines can apply for professional doctorate programmes, e.g. Doctor of Psychotherapy, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Elite Performance (Sport).

See the relevant Research section on School pages for more information.

Outcome of an Application

Candidates who submit a valid application (for commencement BEFORE 31st July 2024 i.e. grace period) for DCU will be notified of the outcome of their application by email. 

Candidates who submit a valid pre-application (for commencement AFTER 31st July 2024 i.e. September intake) will also be notified of the outcome of their pre-application by email. As such, it is important to ensure that your address for correspondence is accurate and current. 

Please allow 4 - 6 weeks for your application to be processed.

Application Queries

Applicants may submit their application queries to the following email addresses:

Postgraduate Research applicant with EU qualifications:

Postgraduate Research applicant with Non-EU  qualifications:

Fees Queries:

DCU Admission Appeals Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define the grounds for an appeal against an admission decision. To access the policy, please click here