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Admission onto the UCD Smurfit School PhD is subject to stringent entrance criteria, the submission of a proposal outlining your intended line of research, references and, where appropriate, proof of linguistic and academic ability.

Before submitting an application, potential candidates are encouraged to consult the subject area webpages for the Business School or those of the other UCD Colleges to identify a suitable supervisor(s). Potential candidates should contact them directly by email (attaching research proposal, CV, etc) to request if they would be interested in supervising them. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to have secured funding for the duration of their studies (4 years minimum) prior to commencement. A guide to estimated costs is available here 

After securing supervision support and funding, potential candidates can then submit an application and other materials using the on-line system and completing an application pack consisting of:


Applicants must submit a 1000-word research proposal outlining:

  • The chosen topic
  • The nature, scope and methodology of study
  • The relevance or importance of the topic
  • A preliminary literature review
  • Please submit your research proposal along with your application

Please submit original/certified copy of your transcript along with your application

Two original references attesting to the applicant’s intellectual ability, maturity and motivation are required.

Please arrange for referees to post their references to the Centre For Doctoral Research, Smurfit School, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, to e-mail directly to, or avail of the confidential automatic referee system.

(If posted, the reference should be on headed notepaper of the referee's institution. If emailed, then the email must be sent from the referee's work email.)

Applications remain incomplete until the receipt of Original References and must be received by relevant application deadlines (where applicable)

Please submit a copy of your scholarly work along with your application (e.g. masters dissertation, undergraduate individual project)

For non-native English speakers (except those whose primary degree was taken in English), an English language qualification is required. Please submit original/certified copy of your English language qualification results along with your application

A Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score may be requested for some PhD programmes.


Applications are accepted on on-going basis through our On-line Application Form.

Next Intake : January 2025. Application Closing date 30th October 2024.


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