Please explore the options below for the information you require.  If you need further details, please contact Elaine Moore, EHS Structured PhD Administrator, Faculty of Education & Health Sciences (E1-004(b)), University of Limerick, Limerick. E-mail: or phone: (061) 202651


The taught elements for the EHS Structured PhD comprise three taught modules, one generic and transferable skills module and a suite of research methods and elective modules which can be taken across all faculties within the University. The taught components are usually completed in the first two years for full-time students and three years for part-time students and the Portfolio of learning is submitted in the final year.


  • Introduction to Postgraduate Research [6 Credits]
  • Research Integrity [3 Credits] - builds on the previous strand looking more widely at ethics in research. This will be a workshop based module, with a small number of initial lectures on good research practice and on research misconduct.  Workshops will review and debate examples of good and bad research practice, and examine how investigations into research misconduct should be undertaken using a scenario-based approach. This module usually takes place over three half-days in Spring semester of year 1 / 2 depending on point of entry. The module is also offered as part of a summer school at UL over a week-long period to facilitate part-time students.
  • Entering the Academic Community [3 Credits] - will equip the student with skills to network with respect to their research.  A one-day workshop will allow the student to explore how to develop international contacts, get abstracts accepted at conferences, prepare good conference presentations and posters, run workshops and review abstracts.  Attendance to this workshop is required in year two of the programme held in the Autumn semester with approximately six contact hours required.
  • Postgraduate School Workshops & Professional Portfolio - 12 Credits - is a student-centred module, guided by the research supervisory team.  Students will maintain a portfolio of activities such as attendance at invited speaker programmes and presentation at a conference.  The portfolio will comprise documentation of the activities and reflective work reviewing the different experiences.

Students will take 6 - 9 credits of Research Methods modules and 6 - 9 credits worth of Specialist modules from the suite of existing faculty modules. (see application process document)

A specific suite of specialist modules is offered to students as a guide to enable them to work across a variety of contexts.

Students will also complete a research project. For part-time candidates, there is an extended period of up to two years to complete the research project.

Full Programme Content

In order to develop appropriate skills in research design and analysis the student will take Research Methods modules from the existing suite within the faculty of Education and Health Sciences. The modules taken will be decided in consultation with the student’s primary supervisor. To increase specialist knowledge relevant to the student’s research and broader framework of knowledge, the student will take a minimum of (6) from a total of 18 credits worth of existing specialist modules, which are designated level (8 / 9). The specialist modules taken will be agreed in consultation with the student’s primary supervisor. Any postgraduate research methods modules from all faculties within the University may be taken. Tailored pathways are offered to students studying accross a range of disciplines to enable them to work across a variety of contexts. Other elective modules may be taken from any University postgraduate modules. Details by subject may be found on individual department websites. Details of exemplar pathways can be viewed on the sPhD brochure.

Please note: Where students are eligible for the maximum exemptions of 12/18 credits the remaining (6) credit requisite module must be a research methods mdoule appropriate to the research design and analysis of the research project.

Information concerning the research portion of the PhD is found on the Graduate School Website ( 

Please refer to the sample routes on the sPhD Brochure as a guide to selecting specialist modules.

Taught modules (core and elective) will be programmed in either Semester 1 /2. Some modules are offered in the summer semester to facilitate part-time PhD candidates. Normally taught components are completed within the first two years of the programme and by year three for part-time students with up to an additional two years permitted to complete the research thesis.

The core self-study generic module, Postgraduate School Workshops & Professional Portfolio may be submitted in the subsequent 2 years i.e. stage two of the programme once all taught components have been completed.

Please see full details of Programme Content

Each student will normally have a main supervisor and a co-supervisor. The main supervisor will generally have been appointed before application to the course; the co-supervisor will be assigned following registration.


Depending on the area of research, the co-supervisor may be another member of the department in which the student is sited, or from elsewhere in the University. It may also be possible to be assigned a supervisor external to the University if this provides the best expert co-supervision. The co-supervisor will normally be selected through discussion between the main supervisor and the PhD student themselves.

  • A Structured PhD Course Board will comprise of a representative from each EHS School / Department. A Chair of the Board will be chosen from within the committee and will be Course Director.  The PhD Course Board will be responsible for overseeing content of core modules and will work with the EHS Heads of schools / departments who will appoint Module Leaders to organise each of the core modules.
  • An External Examiner is appointed by the faculty to have responsibility for the core modules.  Electives are dealt with by MSc programme External Examiners within those schools / departments.  External Examiners will be appointed as normal for the research element of the PhD.
  • Staff-student meetings are held regularly with the Course Board and annualy with the programmes' External Examiner and consider student feedback.

The number of credits awarded is decided by the Assistant Dean - Research on review of an application. Students will be notified of the number of credits awarded via letter once your application to the programme has been approved. Please see the section on Application Process under "Applying" for criteria of awarding exemption credits