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School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music

Future Research Students

A funded Doctoral Scholarship is available in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music. The Scholarship covers Fees (EU or NonEU) and a tax-free stipend of c. €14,000. To register your interest and area of research please email the School Research Convenor: patricia.flynn@dcu.ie. PhD by research thesis or portfolio of music compositions are both possible. Applications should be submitted before May 27 2016. The scholarship begins in October 2016 and provides funding for up to 4 years. Click below to view the research interests of academic staff in the school in the areas of Theology, Philosophy, and Music.

Applications should include

1. a cv, including the names of 2 academic referees

2. a one page letter of application

3. the grades achieved in your Masters degree with copies of transcripts

4. a 2000 word research proposal, setting out your research question, how the research relates to existing academic literature and a brief description of your proposed methodology.

OR 5. for proposals in composition please outline your research question, your compositional approach, how your work relates to existing composition and relevant literature as well as the scope of the compositions you intend to compose. Please include three scores of your recent compositions as examples of your work

Please note: Following the offer of a faculty scholarship students will apply to register with the University through the postgraduate applications centre. www.pac.ie

The School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music welcomes applications throughout the year from those interested in undertaking a research degree in the areas of expertise within the School. These are outlined below for ease of access.


Information for Future Research Students


Application Procedure

Applicants must submit the following:

  • A research proposal of approximately 5,000 words (see guidelines below);
  • A complete curriculum vitae, including results for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (for each year of study) and for any research projects, dissertations or theses completed;
  • The Name of the academic in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music who has agreed to support your application.

You should apply only when you have secured the support of an academic engaged in research in your areas of interest. Your application will only be considered if a School member supports it. Your PhD can be either self-funded or funded by some external funding agency.

Writing a Research Proposal

When writing your proposal ensure that you do the following:


  • Present a clear outline of your research question;
  • Include a comprehensive literature review including the most recent articles from leading research journals and other published works;
  • Situate your research proposal within the relevant research literature;
  • Indicate clearly how your research proposal will contribute to knowledge in your chosen field;
  • Choose appropriate methodologies for your research;
  • Ensure that you have access to all relevant databases, archives, libraries and other collections relevant to your area of study.


Applicants who have the support of a proposed supervisor may be invited to an interview. Successful candidates will be required to apply formally to DCU via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) Please note that applications submitted to PAC before receiving School approval will not be considered.

Further Information
  • General: visit the University’s Graduate Studies Office
  • Applications: view the Graduate Studies Application Procedures
  • International Students: please consult the University’s International Office for information regarding studying in Ireland, making an application, tuition fees, and life in DCU and Dublin.
Scholarship Opportunities

Research Interests of Academic Staff

Theology and Philosophy

Peter Admirand: Religion and literature, Interfaith Dialogue; Jewish-Christian Dialogue; Christianity and World Religions; Witness Testimonies and Memoirs; Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought; the Bible as Literature; Theodicy; War and Peace; Atheism and Secular Humanism

Brad Anderson: Hebrew Bible; Torah/Pentateuch (particularly Genesis); prophetic literature; reception history; identity and otherness in the Bible; literary and theological interpretation; Bible and theory; texts and materiality

Gabriel Flynn: French twentieth-century Catholic theology; ressourcement; Yves Congar; Henri de Lubac; historical theology; communion ecclesiology; business ethics; virtue ethics

Bert Gordijn: Philosophical ethics; Applied ethics; Bioethics; Philosophy of technology; ICT ethics; the idea of progress

Alan Kearns: The Concept of Person in Bioethics/Health Care Ethics; Ethical Issues with Diagnostic Self-Testing; Business Ethics: Corporate Social Responsibility; Kantian Deontology; Research Ethics: Foundations & Approaches

Jonathan Kearney: Islamic Studies; Jewish Studies; Biblical Studies; Qur’an; Semitic Languages; Religion and Identity; Inter-Religious and Intra-Religious Engagement; Authority and Boundaries in Religions; the Concepts of "World Religions" and "Abrahamic Religions"

Ian Leask: History of Philosophy; Plato and the Reception of Plato in European Philosophy; the Radical Enlightenment; Theories of Power and Resistance in recent European philosophy; aspects of Visual Culture and Theory

John Murray: The place of religion in moral theory and practice; Natural law theory and its theological development; St Thomas Aquinas; the moral theory of Germain Grisez and John Finnis; Theological Social Ethics; faith and reason (especially in relation to education)

Fiachra O'Brolchain: Applied Ethics; Political Philosophy; Environmental Philosophy; Ethics of Technology; Disability; Human Enhancement; Internet Ethics

Ethna Regan: Human Rights; Catholic Social Thought; Social Ethics; Theological Anthropology; Karl Rahner; Liberation Theology; Political Theology; Feminist Theology; Jewish and Christian responses to the Holocaust

Joseph Rivera: Philosophy of Religion, Augustine and Augustinian Studies, Sacramental Theology, Theology in a Secular Age, Modern Theology and Twentieth-Century Theology, Phenomenology and Theology

Garrick Allen: Inner-biblical exegesis; Book of Revelation; apocalyptic literature; ancient biblical interpretation; biblical manuscripts; Second Temple Judaism; Dead Sea scrolls; textual criticism; reception history in/of the New Testament


Roisin Blunnie: music and cultural history; music and text; composition, performance and ideology in Victorian and imperial Britain; conducting and choral development; experience-based learning and the Kodály approach to music transmission

John Buckley: Music Composition: orchestra, concerto, solo, chamber music, vocal and choral music

Rhona Clarke: Original composition; Contemporary music; Modernism; Minimalistic music; American experimental composers; Collaboration between music and other art practices

Sean Doherty: Composition, Early Music Theory, Music in 17th century England, Music in Colonial America, Shape-Note Music, Choral Music, Instrumentation, Orchestration.

Patricia Flynn: Irish Art Music; Classical Style; Haydn; Frederick May; Music and Cultural Policy; Music Psychology; Music Development in Society within and outside Education; National Infrastructure for the Arts; Music Generation; The Compositional Process; Music within Digital Humanities

John O’Flynn: Film Music; Popular Music; Music Transmission; Sociology of Music; Music in Performance