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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not answered in our FAQ section, please e-mail registry@dcu.ie.

 

Research Programmes

  1. What is a research degree?
  2. How do I apply to undertake a research degree at DCU?
  3. What qualifications do I need for a research degree at DCU?
  4. What do I need to submit with my application form?
  5. What happens after I submit my application form?
  6. What funding is available?
  7. How much will my fees be?
  8. When does the academic year start, when does it end?
  9. While undertaking a research degree, will I receive academic support?
  10. How do I register?
  11. How long does it take to complete a Research Programme?
  12. How can I apply to transfer from the Master's register to the PhD register?
  13. How can I transfer from the PhD-track to the PhD register?
  14. Where can I get a PGR Postgraduate Research form?
  15. When do I have to submit for examination?
  16. How many copies of my thesis do I have to submit?
  17. Where do I submit my thesis?
  18. How long should my thesis be?
  19. In what format should my thesis be submitted for examination?
  20. What is an Annual Progress Report?
  21. What are the examination procedures?
  22. When do I get my award certificate?

1. What is a research degree?

A research degree involves the sustained and in-depth study of a specific topic, which is then written up as a thesis for examination. There are a number of different entry routes to research programmes at DCU:

  • PhD
  • PhD-track
  • Master's by Research
  • Master's Qualifier

Please see below (FAQ 3) for details of the entry requirements for each of these programmes. This and other information is also available on the DCU website at http://www.dcu.ie/registry/postgraduate/index.shtml

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2. How do I apply to undertake a research degree at DCU?

The first thing you have to do is contact the School or Research Centre in which you are interested in conducting your research. A list of Schools and Research Centres is available online at https://www.dcu.ie/research/centres.shtml. Once you have identified the correct School, you should find a suitably qualified member of its academic staff and contact them regarding your research proposal.

It is essential that candidates make contact with a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application. If this person agrees to consider your proposal, you may then submit an application online. Further details on finding a supervisor and how to submit an application are available here: How to Apply

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3. What qualifications do I need for a research degree at DCU?

  • PhD: In order to gain direct access to the PhD register, you must hold Master's by Research degree.
  • PhD-track: Candidates with a taught masters degree or an honours primary degree grade 1.1 or 2.1 may gain direct access to the PhD-track. Students registered on the PhD-track will normally progress to the PhD register in Year 2 of their studies following successful completion of an oral examination and submission of a PGR3 PhD-track/PhD Confirmation Procedure report.
  • Master's by Research: To gain access to the Master's by Research register at DCU, candidates must normally hold an honours 2.2 primary degree.

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4. What do I need to submit with my application form?

In addition to the completed application form, you will need to submit the following: N.B. Please note original documents will not be returned.

Please note failure to submit correct documentation will lead to your application being kept on hold until the required documentation is supplied.

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5. What happens after I submit my application form?

When a completed application form is submitted to PAC, the Admissions Team in the Registry section assesses the application. If all requirements have been met, the application is forwarded to the Faculty Office for final decision.

Successful Applications

Successful applicants are informed by email through PAC. The applicant must accept or decline the offer of Research with DCU by the date stated online. Once the acceptance has been received the applicant will be able to register.

Unsuccessful Applications

Unsuccessful applicants are informed through PAC.

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6. What funding is available?

Information on Research Studentships and Scholarships should be available from the School/Research Centre in which you are interested in conducting your research.

Both the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) offer a number of graduate opportunities each year.

For research opportunities that currently exist within research centres/faculties visit the following:

Research by Centres

Research by Faculty

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7. How much will my fees be?

University fees are fixed for each year and are subject to an annual increase. For information on fees for postgraduate research programmes, please visit the DCU Finance Office Website at http://www.dcu.ie/finance/fees/index.shtml

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8. When does the academic year start, when does it end?

Please see the Academic Calendar for the relevant academic year, published online at http://dcu.ie/timetables/index.shtml

9. While undertaking a research degree, will I receive academic support?

All research students are appointed an academic supervisor. Your supervisor will be knowledgeable in your field of research and will provide guidance and advice throughout the research process.

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10. How do I register?

If you are offered a place on the postgraduate research programme at DCU, you will receive an offer online through PAC. You should submit your acceptance of offer through PAC. Once you arrive at DCU to commence your studies you should present yourself at the Registry where you will be registered and receive your student identity card.

However, each postgraduate research student MUST re-register on-line on an annual basis as indicated in the registration timetable. Even if, for example, you only commenced your studies a few months prior to this official registration, you are required to re-register. Students who fail to register during the on-line registration period will be subject to a late registration fee. Please check your student portal page for the registration timetable.

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11. How long does it take to complete a Research Programme?

The period normally required by a full-time student is two years for a Master's Degree and three years for a PhD. Where the programme of research is being carried out on a part-time basis the normal time for completion should not exceed four years for a Master's degree and six years for a PhD.

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12. How can I apply to transfer from the Master's register to the PhD register?

A PGR3 Application to Transfer from the Master's Register to the PhD Register must be completed and submitted to Registry. An application may not normally be made less than one year after your Master's registration date. Your application must be supported by your Supervisor(s) and is subject to satisfactory performance in an oral examination conducted jointly by your Supervisor(s) and another Internal Examiner. The completed PGR3 application form must be submitted to Registry at least two weeks in advance of the Graduate Studies Board (GSB) meeting (see Schedule of Meetings at http://www.dcu.ie/timetables/index.shtml). If your transfer is successful, you will be granted appropriate retrospection normally to the date of original registration on the Master's register and you will receive a letter confirming this with your new student ID card from Registry.

The PGR3 form is available online via student and staff portal pages under the Research tab and from the following link on the Registry Postgraduate Research page     Back to top

13. How can I transfer from the PhD-track to the PhD register?

A PGR3 Application for Confirmation on the PhD Register form must be completed and submitted to Registry. An application may not normally be made less than one year after your PhD-track registration date. Your application must be supported by your Supervisor(s) and is subject to satisfactory performance in an oral examination conducted jointly by your Supervisor(s) and another Internal Examiner. The completed PGR3 form must be submitted to Registry at least two weeks in advance of the Graduate Studies Board (GSB) meeting (see Schedule of Meetings at http://www.dcu.ie/timetables/index.shtml). If your transfer is successful, you will be granted appropriate retrospection normally to the date of original registration on the PhD-track register and you will receive a letter confirming this with your new student ID card from Registry.

The confirmation procedure must take place not later than the second year of research for full-time students (and at an appropriate corresponding time for part-time students). If the outcome of the confirmation procedure is unsuccessful you may, if appropriate, be invited to complete such research as will allow you to graduate with a Master's degree.

The PGR3 form is available online via student and staff portal pages under the Research tab and from the following link on the Registry Postgraduate Research page.

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14. Where can I get a PGR Postgraduate Research form?

All PGR Postgraduate Research forms are available online via student and staff portal pages under the Research tab and from the following link on the Registry Postgraduate Research page.

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15. When do I have to submit for examination?

A full-time Master's student should normally submit for examination by July of Year 2. A full-time PhD student should normally submit by July of Year 3. In exceptional cases only, Academic Council may approve a shorter period.

Where a candidate has not presented for examination within three years in the case of a Master's degree and five years in the case of a PhD, application must be made formally to Academic Council, through the Registry, for the period of registration to be extended.

Where a candidate carried out his/her programme of research on a part-time basis, the time devoted should normally not exceed four years for a Master's degree and six years for a PhD.

For more information on Research Submission Dates, please go to the Research Submission Dates link on-line via student and staff portal pages under the Research tab and from the following link on the Registry Postgraduate Research page: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/postgraduate/submission_dates.shtml

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16. How many copies of my thesis do I have to submit?

You must submit two temporary bound signed and dated copies of your thesis for examination with a PGR7 Thesis Access Consent form to Student Awards, Registry (see submission dates at http://www.dcu.ie/registry/postgraduate/submission_dates.shtml).

Following approval by your examiners you must submit two hardbound copies of your thesis and a PGR7 / PGR8 and PGR12 where relevant.

One copy of your thesis is submitted to the Library following graduation and the second copy is formally presented to you Supervisor at the Faculty Awards Board Meeting.

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17. Where do I submit my thesis?

You must submit two signed and dated copies of your thesis to Student Awards, Registry, Henry Grattan Building.

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18. How long should my thesis be?

A thesis should not be excessively long. The maximum limit for a PhD thesis, including bibliography and notes, is 90,000 words of text and for a Master's thesis 45,000 words of text. In the case of scientific and technological theses, the amount of text will normally be much less than these limits. Because of this variation from subject to subject, the advice of your supervisor should be sought at an early stage in the preparation of the thesis.

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19. In what format should my thesis be submitted for examination?

Please refer to Section 9 THESIS FORMAT of the Academic Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees by Research and Thesis, available on-line at http://www.dcu.ie/registry/regulations/postgraduate_regulations.shtml

Please ensure that the correct year of submission is printed on the thesis cover and spine i.e. the calendar year in which the Faculty Awards Board approves the award.

Please ensure that the following declaration is bound into the thesis immediately following the title page and signed by the candidate:

I hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of ........................... (insert title of degree for which registered) is entirely my own work, and that I have exercised reasonable care to ensure that the work is original, and does not to the best of my knowledge breach any law of copyright, and has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.

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20. What is an Annual Progress Report?

The purpose of your PGR2 Annual Progress Report is:

  • To provide an annual update on your progress.
  • To provide information to the University as to whether you have made adequate progress and whether you will be continuing with your research and / or progressing to your final year.
  • To progress your admissions record to allow you to register during the annual online registration period for each academic year.

In order to complete your submission this year, please visit http://pgr2online.dcu.ie and enter your DCU username and password to Login.

No paper forms will be accepted, all forms must be completed via the online system.

If you have any technical problems/queries in relation to accessing/using the system, please email postgraduate.research@dcu.ie  to have them resolved.            

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21. What are the examination procedures?

Please refer to sections 8, 9,10 and 11 of the Academic Regulations available on-line at http://www.dcu.ie/registry/regulations/postgraduate_regulations.shtml

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22. When do I get my award certificate?

A transcript of your results will be sent to you after Academic Council has approved the recommendations of the Faculty Awards Board for Research Degrees.

Your award certificate/parchment will be presented to you at the graduation ceremony. If you are unable to attend the graduation ceremony you should e-mail graduation@dcu.ie to advise that you will not be in attendance and that you would like your award certificate to be posted to you after the ceremony. Please ensure that your contact details are up to date before graduation.