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DCU Business School

 ‘A PhD is a life-changing personal journey. It is the mental equivalent of running the London marathon or swimming the Channel’ (Russel, 2008, p. 132) 




Associate Dean for Research

Professor David Collings

Phone: 01 700 6937

e-mail: david.collings@dcu.ie    




Director of Doctoral Studies

Dr Janine Bosak

Phone: 01 700 6967

e-mail: janine.bosak@dcu.ie

“DCU Business School's PhD programme attracts the brightest students from Europe and overseas like yourself.  Our PhD students are a central and integral part of our vibrant research community.  As one of our students you will enjoy a challenging yet rewarding learning journey in DCU Business School, with invaluable support from your supervisor(s), faculty members, and the PhD community.” 

    Opportunities for Research

DCU Business School is characterised by a vibrant research community and we provide unrivalled research support to postgraduate research students.

We currently offer the following research programmes:

  1. A Ph.D. Programme (both full-time and part-time)
  2. Masters by Research Programme (part-time)

Undertaking a research degree facilitates in-depth study in a discipline in which the student already has a good academic grounding.  DCUBS also encourages inter-disciplinary research, where the student has appropriate knowledge in cognate areas.  The research programme also provides for the development of skills in organising, undertaking, presenting, and managing research projects that will stand to the graduate in whatever career he or she pursues afterwards.  Having a research degree marks you out as someone with both specialist knowledge in your discipline and the ability and commitment to manage and complete a demanding and challenging piece of academic research.  DCU Business School Research Programmes are supported throughout the research programme.  Students are given supervision of an expert panel, students are encouraged to attend seminars, present at conferences and publish work in scholarly articles.

Currently we have over 60 post-graduate students, registered in PhD and Doctorate programmes.  Their research topics reflect the diverse nature of the School’s research activities and our research strengths. Browse the list of current research students' project titles and supervisors to get a flavour of the diversity of our work and to see if your research idea could be pursued at DCU.

Research Programme Learning Goals

  1. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of specialist knowledge and a deep understanding of their field of study
  2. Graduates will possess the ability to design and undertake independent research
  3. Graduates will have made a significant contribution to knowledge through the discovery of new facts and/or the exercise of independent critical powers.  In the case of a professional thesis, there will be a signifcant contribution to existing professional knowledge and practice
  4. Graduates will be effective communicators capable of writing up research in a readable and succint manner
  5. Graduates will be able to present and discuss their research work and the broader field of knowledge to which the research belongs 



Applications Procedures

Candidates must apply through the PAC (Postgraduate Application Centre) system after securing the support of a potential supervisor. For guidance on finding a potential supervisor and the application procedures please visit DCU Graduate Studies Application Procedures

Please note that if there are no members of faculty who have undertaken, or are interested in undertaking, research closely related to that of a proposal, it is unlikely that the proposal will be accepted.  Therefore, you should ensure that your proposed topic is close to the research interests of one or more members of faculty.  You may establish this through correspondence with relevant members of faculty and by viewing the research profiles of our faculty members.

When preparing your proposal you must ensure that you:

  • clearly outline your chosen research question,
  • display your familiarity with relevant literature relating to your overall research question in appropriate research journals,
  • show how your question is located in the relevant research literature,
  • indicate the contribution your research will make to this body of research, and
  • suggest possible methodologies that may be appropriate for your study.

More information and guidelines for writing a research proposal are available here.

All academic inquiries in relation to the Ph.D. programmes at DCU Business School should be directed to: dcubsresearch@dcu.ie

Scholarship Opportunities

Our PhD programme combines scholarly theory-building with a strong applied focus.  Research scholars work under the supervision of an academic expert and are an important part of DCU Business School’s vibrant research community.  The scholarships will allow students to undertake research in a specialist discipline.  dcu.ie/dcubs for further information on staff specialisms, publications, and the academic groups in DCU Business School). 

Visit the Scholarships Opportunities page at the Graduate Studies Office for further scholarship opportunities.

Studying in DCU

For general information about being a research student in DCU, please see the DCU Graduate Studies Office website.

International students interested in more information in relation to studying in Ireland including tuition fees and making your application as well as information and practical details about life in Dublin and in DCU, please see the DCU International Office Website    

 Aims and Objectives

Undertaking a research degree facilitates in-depth study in a discipline in which the scholar already has a good academic grounding at the Masters level.

DCU Business School also encourages inter-disciplinary research, where the scholar has appropriate knowledge in a number of cognate areas. Doctoral research at DCU BS has a strong applied focus, with the aim of advancing professional practice as well as academic knowledge.

DCU Business School has a high-quality scholarly research profile, as evidenced by the extensive peer-reviewed research publications of staff.  In DCU Business School we undertake research in areas such as management development, leadership, human resources and organisational behaviour, finance, accounting, business processes, consumer behaviour, entrepreneurship, and innovation, all from the perspectives of one or more of the business disciplines.  Our research is characterised by its relevance to professional practice in both commercial and non-commercial settings.  Many of our research projects are inter-disciplinary in nature.    

 Why DCU?

Transforming individuals, industry and society through excellence in research.

Research at DCU Business School advances knowledge and professional practice. We focus on strategic and operational challenges facing modern organisations.  Building on the deep academic expertise of our people, strong national and international research partnerships, and active industry engagement, our research:

  • Contributes to changes in management practice.
  • Helps leaders transform performance.
  • Influences public policy.

DCU’s vision to be Ireland’s ‘University of Enterprise’ is a guiding principle for research in our Business School.  It has also been critical in assuring our position in the world’s Top 50 young universities, for the third year in a row.

DCU Business School has a high-quality scholarly research profile. Each year, our researchers publish, on average, over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, 23 book chapters and six books/monographs. We research:

  • leadership and management
  • finance and accounting
  • business processes and  cloud computing
  • entrepreneurship, innovation and marketing
  • human resources and organisational behaviour   
 Career Prospects

DCU Business School’s mission is to educate leaders and professionals for the global marketplace.  Through our reaching, our research and our engagement with industry, we pro-actively contribute to the development of individuals, industry and society.

DCU Business School students have successfully secured employment in academic institutions in Ireland, the UK and beyond.  42 students graduated in the five year period between 2010 and 2014, securing employment with leading Irish and international universities and in public and private institutions.

For example, past students have secured academic appointments in Trinity College (Ireland), Maynooth University (Ireland), University of Limerick (Ireland), University of Huddersfield Business School (UK), University of Warwick (UK), Ashridge Leadership Centre (UK), University of Reading (UK), Frederick University (Cyprus), University of Applied Sciences, Munich (Germany), Universität der Bundeswehr, Munich (Germany), Forman Christian College (Pakistan), and Saint Augustine University of Tanzania.

Students who work in professional roles report career progression as a result of their doctoral studies.

With specialists in accountingeconomics, finance and entrepreneurshiphuman resource management and organisational behaviourmanagement and marketing,  DCU is a wellspring of current thinking and practical solutions.  Increasingly, research in DCU Business School is supported by partners such as:

  • IDA Ireland
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • European Union (e.g. FP7 and INTERREG)
  • Science Foundation Ireland
  • Irish Research Council
  • Multinationals and SMEs
  • Professional Services Firms 

Each of our Research Centres and Clusters is a leader in its field.  Their insights on leadership and innovationcloud computing and commercefamily business, and modelling and simulation are directly relevant to the leaders and managers of today and tomorrow.  




Terence Ahern, 2013, PhD in Business (Strategic Project Management)
Finance Manager, Construction Unit, New Works - Infrastructure, Iarnród Éireann - Irish Rail, Inchicore, Dublin 8

"I found the Doctoral Studies Programme in DCU Business School a very rewarding experience in terms of academic rigour, supervisor mentoring, seminars, and the collegiate support of fellow researchers.  The Programme actively encourages both full-time and part-time research, which suited me as a mature student with an ongoing career.  I developed and improved many skills on the research journey - data collection, analysis, writing, critical review, and presentation.  In my experience, the Programme drives personal growth to a new level along with an increased confidence to meet future challenges.  Since graduating, I continue to collaborate with DCU Business School as a practitioner researcher in writing papers for academic journals and as a guest speaker."


 Dr. Sarah Jane Cullinane, Assistant Professor in HRM, Trinity College

“I completed my PhD full-time in DCU Business School from 2009 to 2013 in the area of Organisational Psychology. During my PhD the school provided excellent modules and workshops for students in areas such as writing, methodology, professional development and philosophy in addition to great collaborative events such as the annual doctoral colloquium. My experience of doing a PhD in DCU was not the typical isolated process as there were excellent shared facilities and regular social activities and events throughout the year. During my PhD there were extensive opportunities to gain regular feedback from my supervisors, from other faculty members during the review process and from the many visiting Professors from other universities. I was also encouraged to present my research at conferences, enter competitions and publish my work. Overall I found my time in DCU to be a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience which prepared me well for my academic career.”


Dr. Lisa van der Werff, Post doctoral researcher, Dublin City University Business School

 "I chose DCU for my PhD because of the quality of the researchers and supervisors working there. I received excellent feedback and support throughout the process from my supervisor and the DCU Doctoral Studies team. There is also a great network of PhD students within the business school who were a very important part of my PhD experience. During my PhD I had the opportunity to take part in a scholar exchange programme with the University of Georgia, US. The exchange was invaluable both in broadening my skills and in allowing me to build international contacts in my research field.”  

 Brian Harman, PhD Candidate, Lecturer in Consumer Behaviour and Marketing at the University of Reading

“One of the strengths of DCU Business School (DCUBS) is that it boasts a diverse but close knit community of postgraduate researchers that are committed to undertaking exciting research. The friendly atmosphere in DCUBS and the professionalism of the academic staff allows PhD students to reach their full potential. The research resources in DCUBS are excellent. The DCU library now remains open until 2a.m during the academic year and the Postgraduates Studies Office is always on hand to help new post postgraduate students find their feet. Other student support services include the DCU Health Centre, Interfaith Student Centre, Student Counselling Service and Student Union which can be accessed at any time.”  

Dr. Na Fu, Lecturer in HRM, University of Maynooth

"DCU Business School gave me a wonderful opportunity to pursue my PhD research. Here, I worked with the most inspiring supervisors, experienced mentors, a large group of excellent researchers, and very supportive staff. The PhD programme is structured. The environment is vibrant. The uniqueness of doing a PhD in DCU Business School is that we have a lot of opportunities working with many international renowned professors face-to-face during their visits to DCU. All of these ensure the graduates are competitive internationally."

 Testimonials continued......

 Current Scholars

 You can view all our full and part-time Research Scholars here