Course Overview

As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are discipline-specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area
  • are dissertation-specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project, e.g., additional language skills
  • acknowledge a student’s professional development e.g. presentation of a paper at an international conference
  • enhance a student’s employability through generic training, e.g., careers workshops, computer literacy.

Each student is assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

The PhD in Medieval Studies, delivered by a team of internationally-trained academics, is an interdisciplinary research programme normally completed in four years. Its cross-disciplinary approach encourages students to view the period from Late Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages), in Europe as well as Ireland, in a multidimensional way, even as it allows students to focus on a particular research field.  

The programme’s emphasis on languages and source studies equips students with the linguistic skills and interdisciplinary research methods required to undertake innovative research using primary texts, images, manuscripts and other material objects from the period. Students also gain some practical experience in a project-based module.

During their first two years students, depending on their previous qualifications, participate in either 1 or 3 semesters of Sources & Resources, a seminar focusing on palaeography and manuscript studies, but also treating auxiliary sciences such as diplomatic, heraldry and philology and including a team-work web-based project on a medieval scriptorium. They also take Latin and one or two other medieval vernacular languages (no prior knowledge of these languages is required). In order to refine their research proposals, students carry out intensive bibliographical investigation under the direction of their Supervisor(s).  Modules in Archaeology, History, or Literature round out Year 1.

In Year 2 all students complete a project-based module in an area like university tutoring; assisting in research, conference organisation or management of research resources; or reaching out to schools or local community groups.  A PhD thesis of 80,000 words is completed by the end of Year 4.  

See further at Postgraduate Medieval Studies

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (Medieval Studies)—full-time


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have obtained an honours BA degree (NFQ level 8) in a participating discipline (Archaeology, Classics, History, or  English, French, German or Irish Language & Literature), at the minimum class of Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (or equivalent international qualification; e.g., BA with GPA of 3.3); some applicants might have been awarded an MA in one of those disciplines as well. 

By the time of application, candidates will have identified a research topic and key primary sources for it in discussion with the member(s) of staff whose academic interests are most appropriate and who have agreed to serve as the applicants’ Supervisor(s). No previous knowledge of Latin or any medieval language is required.   

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

The Late Antique and Medieval worlds from the perspectives of Archaeology, Classics, History, and  English, French, German or Irish Language & Literature. 

All students: 

  • Are affiliated with CAMPS: Centre for Antique, Medieval and Pre-Modern Studies [] of the Moore Institute [];
  • Contribute to the international postgraduate medievalists’ IMBAS conference & peer-reviewed IMBAS  journal [];
  • Are encouraged to present papers at international conferences such as the ICM (Irish Conference of Medievalists), the Leeds International Medieval Congress and the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, for which latter they are eligible for the Sieg & Dunlop Travel Bursary.

Researcher Profiles


Dr Elizabeth FitzPatrick 
Gaelic and Colonial Ireland 1300–1650, royal assembly culture in medieval Europe, urban settlement in traditional societies, and churches and their landscapes.

Mr Conor Newman 
Ireland and the Roman world, Irish 'royal' landscapes from prehistory to the early middle ages, Irish art and iconography c. AD 300–700 and the Life and Legacy of Columbanus.

Dr Kieran O'Conor 
Gaelic and Anglo-Norman Ireland 1100–1350, castles in their landscape and rural settlement across medieval Europe.  


Dr Jacopo Bisagni

Indo-European, Celtic and Latin linguistics; early medieval Irish monastic literature.

Prof. Michael Clarke 
Historical linguistics; epic poetry; medieval Irish heroic literature.

Dr Pádraic Moran
Didactic literature (in Latin and Irish), classroom texts and scholia; the study of Greek and Hebrew in the early medieval West; historical linguistics, manuscript studies.

Dr Mark Stansbury 
Manuscript studies; Medieval Latin; Insular Christian culture; transmission of Classical texts.


Dr Dermot Burns

Middle English, Arthurian Literature, Medieval Epic and Romance Literature, Religious Writing, Robert Henryson, Medieval Aesthetics, Chivalric Literature. 

Dr Clíodhna Carney
Old and Middle English; Chaucer; medieval poetics; medieval literary theory; Spenser; rhetoric, poetics.

Dr Frances McCormack 
Old and Middle English Literature; in particular the works of Chaucer, religious and devotinal literature, and heresy.


Dr Catherine Emerson
Teaching: French language and literature, medieval literature (Romance, historiography), Historiographical literature, Islam in medieval French literature, Enlightment thought. Research: Fifteenth-century Burgundian literature, particularly historical literature; Memoires; Olivier de La March; Manneken Pis as regional symbol.


Michael Shields 
Comparative medieval studies (Germanic and Romanic literatures); medieval German language and literature (Middle High German, Old High German); literature/music and performance of identity; late medieval musical performance (song, tuning of stringed instruments).


Dr Kimberly LoPrete 
Continental Medieval Europe, most notably, society and culture in the 11th - 13th centuries, with special interests in lordship and society; aristocratic women, gender and power; the first crusade; the writing of historical narratives; cross-cultural exchanges with the mid-east & Asia; the transmission of texts; diplomatic, palaeography & manuscript studies.

Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín 
Ireland, Britain and Europe during the Early Middle Ages; computistics; medieval latin palaeography; Irish traditional music and song.

Irish/Old and Middle Irish and Celtic Studies 

Dr Clodagh Downey
Celtic Studies, Old and Middle Irish language and literature, culture and society of early medieval Ireland.

Dr Graham Isaac 
The contemporary linguistics of the Celtic and Indo-European languages, the ancient Celtic languages of Europe, literature of the Old- and Middle-Welsh.

An tOllamh Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha 
Medieval and Early Modern Irish language and literature early Irish law; aspects of early Irish history.    

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,250 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

€14,250 p.a. 2018/19

Extra Information

EU Part time:  Year 1 [2018/19] €3,575. p.a.

Contact Us

Dr. Kimberly LoPrete 
T +353 91 493 547