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How will I benefit?


  1. You will receive structured training through taught advanced modules and close supervision to guide you in becoming a successful researcher, and to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge in business research.
  2. Access to the latest business research through premium-quality academic seminars, PhD workshops, and high-profile visiting academics.
  3. You will have direct access to a dedicated experienced Career & Skills consultant specialising in Graduate Research Students. One to one guidance, workshops and seminars re Interview skills etc will be available from our consultant who has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the research landscape and lifecycle, and who continually engages with employers to stay ahead of the curve in current & future employment trends.
  4. You will be an integral part of UCD Smurfit Business School's vibrant, globally recognised (ranked 1st in Ireland and top 50 in Europe by the FT) research community.
  5. Opportunity to interact and collaborate with leading academics who publish regularly in top international business and management journals.
  6. Financial support to attend top international conferences and workshops.



Our structured PhD programme is centred on the preparation of a research thesis, which must contain material of a publishable/peer-reviewed standard. You will prepare the thesis under the guidance of a Principal Supervisor and submit it within four years of registration for full-time students and six years for part-time students.

The PhD programme is structured into two stages. Stage 1 is an initial period of advanced education, training, and research. Students at the College of Business are required to obtain a minimum of 30 credits from attending taught modules, which are chosen in consultation with their supervisor and Research Studies Panel. At the end of Stage 1, students apply to transfer to Stage 2 of the PhD programme by undertaking a Transfer Assessment. Stage 2 of the programme is largely dedicated to original doctoral research but may also include taught modules. Students with a relevant Research Master’s degree may be admitted directly to Stage 2 after completing a Transfer Assessment.

All PhD students are required, with the support of their Doctoral Studies Panel, to develop a Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP) that describes the student’s educational, training, and personal and professional development needs. The PhD thesis is examined through a viva voce examination by a unique PhD Examination Committee.

Taught Courses

Students at the College of Business are required to obtain a minimum of 30 credits from attending taught modules, which are chosen in consultation with your supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel (comprising two to four doctoral studies advisers and designed to support and advise the student and the supervisor(s) throughout the doctoral programme).

We provide taught courses on research methodology, advanced disciplinary knowledge, and personal and professional competencies. The modules on research methodology focus on philosophical positions in social science research, quantitative methods, qualitative methods and research management and design. In addition, all students are required to complete a course on Research Integrity Training

Discipline-specific modules are also available along with the opportunity to take modules that focus on other competencies, such as teaching and communication skills. In addition, PhD students can also benefit from extensive training in transferable skills and research management skills offered to all PhD students in UCD.

There are three module sets:

Set 1 includes modules in research methods, philosophy of the social sciences, advanced methodology courses and training in Research Integrity (Compulsory).

Set 2 includes discipline specific modules. 

Set 3 includes modules in generic transferable skills. These modules will be taken over the period of study for the PhD. 

Note : Students whose native tongue is not English are strongly encouraged to avail of the English for Academic Studies programme offered by the Applied Language Centre, UCD and provides students with a focused learning experience through which they can improve their language proficiency.



UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is a member of a number of internationally renowned alliances, giving our doctoral students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of PhD seminars and workshops organised by participating member schools. For instance, the School of Business is a member of CEMS, which is a strategic alliance of 30 world-class business schools and universities, over 70 corporate partners, and 7 NGOs. A key strategic objective of CEMS is to foster doctoral education through collaborating across the alliance.

The School of Business is also one of 71 member institutions in the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM), which seeks to advance the study of Management in Europe. An important element of EIASM is EIASM’s Doctoral Education Network (EDEN), which provides a wide range of doctoral seminars across Europe.


UCD School of Business is the only Irish member of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). EDAMBA promotes cooperation between its 61 member schools by providing and managing a network that facilitates the exchange of information and PhD candidates.

The Business School’s Centre for Doctoral Research provides funds to support attendance at conferences, seminars and workshops.

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