Doctoral Studies (PhD)

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Program Description

Doctoral Studies (PhD)

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Program Overview

The PhD programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School offers students a supportive environment where they can get a world-class research education.

Who is the PhD programme for?

The PhD programme is suitable for those wishing to pursue careers in academia, business education, research, consultancy and related professions.

What does the PhD Programme entail?

The PhD programme is a four-year structured programme which involves coursework in research methods, discipline-specific courses and generic skills and training. Students are allocated supervisors and work with a supervisory panel.

There is periodic assessment and guidance to ensure students complete their PhD within a four year period. This equips you with the skills to undertake your own research. Guided by the Research and Professional Development Programme, you can plan and organize your coursework and research activities over the course of your studies.

How will I benefit from the PhD Programme?

You will join one of the leading programmes in Europe. We attract students from all over the world, which gives this PhD programme a distinctly international flavor and creates a challenging environment for dialogue and debate and exchange of ideas. You will enjoy excellent facilities and have an opportunity to avail of very attractive funding schemes.

The PhD programme from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is one of the largest doctoral programmes in Europe.

What is the PhD programme about?

Research is the keystone of top business schools. Our dynamic, well-resourced PhD programme gives you the benefit of a structured programme and the opportunity to work with leading international scholars.

Our major research areas are:

  • Accounting
  • Banking and Finance
  • Industrial Relations and Human Resources
  • Management
  • Management of Information Systems
  • Marketing

Course objective

We aim to provide an outstanding education and technical training to our Doctoral students. They are encouraged to develop their own research ideas and to choose their own preferred methodological approaches under the close guidance of a senior academic colleague.

PhD Program Structure

The PhD programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School aims to strike a balance between the taught component of the programme and the research dissertation.

Programme Structure

The PhD programme is ordinarily a four-year programme. If you are studying for your PhD on a part-time basis, the minimum registration period is six years.

Your PhD degree is awarded on successful completion of a structured programme of research, study and personal and professional development. This programme is prescribed by your supervisor, with the advice of the Doctoral Studies Panel.

You must take three sets of modules in your first year of study:

  • Set 1: Modules in research methods and associated courses.
  • Set 2: Modules that are specific to your discipline and your area of research and will be decided upon in consultation with your supervisor and your Doctoral Studies Panel.
  • Set 3: Modules in generic transferable skills, such as Core Research (including writing skills, research ethics, communication and presentation skills) and Advanced Research (project management, funding your research, getting published).

Those candidates who are considering undertaking an MPhil or PhD on a part-time basis, please be aware that taught modules may be scheduled during normal working hours on weekdays.

After you complete this part of the programme, you will concentrate on your research project, working closely with your principal supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel, who will guide you in your study.


When you finish your PhD thesis, it will be submitted for examination. The examination committee will be made up of both internal and external examiners, who are international experts in the field of research you have undertaken.

Research & Professional Development Programme

This is an integral part of the PhD programme. It has been specifically designed to help you in the planning, monitoring, and completion of your PhD. It will play a major part in directing the course of your PhD research and in your development as a researcher.

The programme will help you in planning research, be a useful resource when it comes to writing your thesis and help you develop key skills, which will be invaluable to both your current research and future career prospects.

Finally, it will be an important document in your Stage 1 Assessment Review and in determining when you are ready to submit your thesis.


The PhD programme from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School responds to the needs of the business and academic environment by providing graduates with an unrivaled ability to undertake research.

Where can I go?

The PhD seeks to provide education and technical training for those wishing to pursue careers in academia, business education, research, consultancy and related professions.

Entry Requirements

-- You must have one of the following:

  • A minimum 2.1 primary degree in Commerce or Business Studies
  • A minimum 2.1 degree in a subject closely related to your proposed area of study
  • An appropriate Masters degree (or equivalent) from a recognized higher education institution
  • Evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience that will satisfy the College Graduate School Board of your suitability for doctoral studies

-- A research proposal (approximately 1000 words). This should:

  • State the topic of your doctoral research
  • Set out the nature, scope, and methodology of the study
  • Give details of the relevance or importance of the research topic
  • Include a brief preliminary literature review.

-- Names and contact details of two referees who can assess your intellectual ability, maturity, and motivation.

-- If English is not your native language (unless you have done your primary degree in English), an English language qualification is required, e.g. IELTS/TOEFL:

  • IELTS: An overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6 in each section.
  • TOEFL: A minimum of 100 on the internet-based test, 250 on the computer-based test or 600 on the paper-based test.

-- A Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score may be requested for some PhD studies - where applicable, you will be advised accordingly.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 13, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
4 years
Full time
Ireland - Dublin, County Dublin
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Ireland - Dublin, County Dublin
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info