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European Law and Governance, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #185 (QS) Dublin, Ireland
The PhD in European Law and Governance from University College Dublin is designed for students who want to develop multidisciplinary expertise on the structures and dynamics of European governance.
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This complex and increasingly important field of study encompasses relations between the member states and institutions of the European Union, Council of Europe and other European bodies, processes of treaty negotiation and supranational law-making, issues of political economy, citizenship and human rights, foreign policy, and environmental protection, and controversies related to sovereignty and democratic legitimacy, compliance and enforcement, and lobbying and social mobilisation, among many others.

The ELG programme is offered jointly by the UCD School of Law and the UCD School of Politics and International Relations (SPIRe), both of which have large, internationally-renowned academic staffs in this area. The programme includes

  • substantive coursework in both of the sponsoring schools,
  • training in research methods, 
  •  regular contact with a supervisor from either of the sponsoring schools and a Doctoral Studies Panel of three staff including at least one from each sponsoring school, 
  • the writing of a doctoral thesis based on original research.

 Students in the programme register to the school where their supervisor is located. They are also associated during their studies with the UCD Dublin European Institute, Ireland’s largest and oldest university research centre on European integration and governance. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description

      3-4 years

    • Average part-time duration 60 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration description

       5-6 years

  • Credits
    40 credits of taught coursework alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The core seminars for students who enroll in the ELG programme through SPIRe are:

  • European and International Governance
  • Law and Governance of the EU
  • Research Design
  • Methods for Qualitative Research
In addition, it is strongly advised that SPIRe’s ELG students take the POL 50150 PhD Thesis Workshop in their 3rd year. The core seminars for students who enroll in the ELG programme through Law are:
  • The Global Political Economy of Europe
  • Law and Governance of the EU
  •  Advanced Research in Law
And any one of the following:
  • Research Design
  • Approaches & Techniques in Qualitative Research
  • PhD Thesis Workshop

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

Applications cannot be considered until we have received the following documentation:

  • Thesis proposal (3-5 pages maximum) which indicates a research question and intended methodology and explains how the proposed project relates to existing scholarship in the proposed area of study (with an indicative bibliography)
  • Copies of all academic transcripts (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • C.V. or resume (two pages maximum)
  • Two academic references: Actual letters required. If sending by email they should be on headed institutional paper.
  • Evidence of English language competence, where non-native English speaking applicants have NOT obtained previous university degrees from an English-speaking country.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    11885 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11885 EUR per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    6170 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 6170 EUR per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Part-time fees: 

  • €4,080 EU
  • €7,955 Non-EU

Living costs for Dublin

  • 1100 - 1800 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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