Course Details

4 Years Full-Time, 5 Years Part-Time
Faculty: Education and Health Sciences
Course Type: Research
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Education & Health Sciences PhD

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Brief Description

The doctoral programme consists of a research thesis and taught modules and may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.  It is linked to education and related to interdisciplinary areas, and is a specialist doctorate with a student-centred approach.  There is also an optional set of 2 modules which can be taken within UL or at the neighbouring institution, Mary Immaculate College.

The course aims to:

  • Engage students with a range of concepts, methods, theories and knowledge for investigation in their chosen area of study
  • Enable students to work iwth a range of educational problems across a variety of contexts,
  • Provide students the opportunity to look critically at some aspect or issue of education which relates to their professional practice.
  • Encourage the ciritcal inquiry of issues across and within professional systems. 

Please consult this website for a list of potential supervisors and their subject areas:

Year 1 & 2 Year 3 & 4

In addition to beginning their supervised research project, students will take the following taught modules:

  1. Research methods modules (9 credits); these may be chosen from a range of research modules within the faculty
  2. Elective modules (9 credits); these are chosen from the range of post-graduate modules across the university.
  3. Core modules in Introduction to Doctoral Studies, Research Integrity, Entering the Academic Community and Post-graduate Skills Workshops & Professional Portfolio
  1. Normally the three core modules which are taught modules are completed within the first two years i.e. stage (1) of the Structured Programme.
  2. Research students can begin attending workshops and the portfolio at the onset of the programme.
  3. Research students register for and submit the Postgraduate School Workshops & Professional Portfolio module in Year (4) i.e. Stage (2) of the Structured Programme.


Core Modules

  1. The research project (270 credits) spans all four years, (there is an extended period of two years for part-time students) and is supervised by a Primary Supervisor from your home department.  The final thesis may be completed as a monograph or in an article based format
  2. Introduction to Postgraduate Research (6 credits) is designed to induct the student into good practice with respect to carrying out their PhD.  Lectures and workshops will include, for example, principles and regulations for a PhD at the University of Limerick, expectations of the student and supervisory committee and how to maximise supervisory guidance and information on seeking research funding.  Exercises in critical review will support the student's study of the literature.  In addition, the student will learn about ethics in theory and in practice and in terms of making an ethics application within the faculty.  This first module will encourage the intake of Postgraduate students across the faculty to meet and work together.
  3. Research Integrity (3 credits) builds on the previous strand looking more widely at ethics in research. These are workshop-based modules, 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.
  4. Entering the academic community (3 credits) will equip the student with skills to network with respect to their research. A full-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.
  5. Postgraduate School workshops & Professional Portfolio (12 credits) is a student-centered module, guided by the research supervisory team. Students will maintain a portfolio of activities such as attendance at invited speaker programmes and presentations at a conference. The portfolio will comprise documentation of the activities and reflective work reviewing the different experiences. As part of the portfolio module students are required to attend 60 hours of workshops throughout the first four years. The workshops attended are incorporated into the portfolio of learning.

The minimum entry requirements for eligibility are as follows:

  • applicants will normally have a minimum of 3 years' full-time professional practice or equivalent in an educational setting or related interdisciplinary area.
  • applicants will normally hold a Masters degress or a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree, a higher diploma, or a postgrduate diploma in education or a cognate discipline.

Applicants who hold a 2:2 Honours degress, a higher diploma, a postgraduate diploma in education or a cognate discipline, or other qualifications my be considered under the University regulations.

Fees for all postgraduate programmes are revised on an annual basis.  Detailed information on fee schedules and fee regulations is available on the Fees Office website. 

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.