PhD and MLitt

MEd Conferring Group photo
Information for Prospective MLitts and PhDs

Thank you for interest in a higher degree by research (Education) in the School of Education, NUI Galway.  There are two modes of research, M.Litt. (master degree by research) and Ph.D., and the application process is similar for both.  There are both full-time and part-time options for both the M.Litt. and Ph.D. in the School of Education, NUI Galway.  At PhD level, one may choose a traditional (research) or Structured (combining research with coursework) approach.  For further information on the Structured PhD options, please visit the College of Arts website.

The formal application process for Ph.D./M.Litt. study at NUI Galway is undertaken online, through the PAC system.  Your PAC application includes a research proposal and a sample of writing.  Once the online application is fully completed, it is reviewed by the School of Education Research Committee, and a formal decision/recommendation regarding admission is made.

If you are applying for the Structured PhD in Education, please note that the PAC code is GYG40 Structured PhD (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) (Education)

Before making a formal application through PAC, please consult the School of Education General Research Information page.  You will find information on the School’s research themes, sub-themes, and associated projects.  Please read this information, as well as individual staff members' IRIS pages, in order to ascertain if your proposed research topic is aligned with School of Education expertise and current research priorities and to begin to consider a potential supervisor.  You are then encouraged to contact either a potential supervisor within the School OR a research theme leader (see the General Research Information page) for initial discussions in advance of submitting your application (which includes a research proposal) to PAC.  A suggested structure for the research proposal, and criteria for admission, are provided below.

Research Proposal (maximum 2,000 words):

  1. Proposal title, research area and question(s): what research question (or questions) does the proposed research aim to address?  What is the context of the proposed research?
  2. Background and rationale: describing the motivation to undertake the proposed research and the importance of the proposed research.
  3. Review of literature: identifying and summarising key references in the research area.
  4. Research question(s) and methodology: what methods will be utilised to investigate the research question(s).
  5. Outline research plan and timetable: summary of the key deliverables of the research (including a timeframe for completion).

Criteria for admission to doctoral research include:

  1.  Alignment with the School of Education’s four research clusters:
    Research Cluster 1:  Diversity and Inclusion in Education
    Research Cluster 2:  Science, Technology and Mathematics in Education (STEM)
    Research Cluster 3:  Leadership and Professinal Development in Education
    Research Cluster 4:  Irish and Modern Languages Education
  2. Feasibility of research supervision within the School of Education, NUI Galway.
  3. Quality of writing and cogency of the proposal.
  4. Evidence of an understanding of the School of Education, NUI Galway.
  5. Potential contribution to the School (teaching & research).
  6. Evidence of engagement with scholarship in the particular field.
  7. Novel/innovative characteristics of the proposal.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to explore funding and scholarship opportunities within NUI Galway and externally, for example, within the National University of Ireland and the Irish Research Council

International students should consult the International Students web page

In terms of general information relating to graduate study in NUI Galway, please refer to the Graduate Studies website

A list of PhD theses, and recently completed M.Litt. theses will be available shortly.