Ph.D. On Campus

Social Work and Social Policy

Trinity College Dublin

24 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The structured PhD in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin  is both challenging and rewarding. It is a chance to make new discoveries about the world - and about yourself. The outcome of postgraduate research is not just the product (the thesis that is produced); it is also about the process of research training that you undergo.  


Postgraduate research will equip you with the skills, creativity and rigour that are essential to make a contribution to knowledge. We hope that this learning will enrich your life, enhance your intellectual growth, contribute to scholarship in your field and lead you to further opportunities. 

We currently have 25 students registered in the  PhD in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin. Our philosophy and structure means that you will be part of a small incoming class but you will also be part of a broader cohort of students who stimulate and support their fellow students. Building on Trinity’s 400 year tradition of personalized, tutorial style learning, we get to know each of you and support your academic and personal development and confidence throughout the programme. 

You will gain from a close, one-to-one relationship with our School, the opportunity to identify and resolve the individual challenges you face, and a chance to discover the talents you possess. 

Career Guidance

PhD candidates are provided with a range of career guidance to help identify and achieve your career aspirations and goals. Whether you are looking for an academic or a non-academic career, our range of career management services will help you make informed decisions to meet your personal objectives. 

Career support is available from the Trinity Careers Advisory Service (CAS), an award-winning professional advice service which has a dedicated postgraduate division. Included in the services provided by CAS are an extensive Careers Information Centre and an award-winning website. Front Gate Online  is Trinity’s web-based alumni community, which allows Trinity graduates to connect with other alumni and support current students. 

Programme Structure

On graduating from the doctoral programme, you will have an advanced degree in research, as well as a sound appreciation and experience of the strategies of conducting complex, high-level research. 

  • Your skillset will be expanded, enabling you to identify questions that are worthy of research in the social world, to conduct investigations on these questions and to communicate findings effectively. 
  • Your experience of contributing to knowledge through your doctoral work will enable you to understand and undertake other complex research projects, giving you a significant, life-long skill. 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months
  • Part-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Application Form is completed online
  • Research proposal (see below for further information on how to complete this)
  • 2 Reference Letters - applicants are not required to get two hard copy references. You must list two referee contact details on the online application form. An automated email will be sent to both referees asking them to complete a template and send it back. (It is preferable that references are academic)
  • Official Transcripts - a transcript is a breakdown of the modules you have completed and the grades you obtained in your academic degree(s). Please contact your University to request a transcript as soon as possible as some Universities can take up to 21 days to process transcripts. (This includes undergraduate transcripts and graduate transcripts if applicable)
  • A certified certificate of English Language Competency if English is not your first language (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS) 

Tuition Fee

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.


The School of Social Work and Social Policy offers a diverse range of potential funding opportunities for PhD candidates, including fully funded Provost PhD Project Awards and the Ussher PhD Scheme. More information on these funding opportunities can be found on our school page.

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.

Our partners

Social Work and Social Policy
Trinity College Dublin


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