Research Degrees: PhD and MSc

Students are involved in diverse research projects across the entire spectrum of computer science. In many cases, we offer funded studentships; these positions attract a handsome tax-free scholarship as well as payment of University fees.

Completion of a PhD typically takes about 4 years after a bachelors or masters degree. The School is now following UCD's new Structured PhD programme. We currently have around 200 postgraduate research students, and the School has a strong international flavor, with students and academic staff from around the world.

We admit new students throughout the year and there is no specific application deadline. Our students generally have a strong primary degree in computer science or a cognate discipline, but we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. The application process has two steps:

  • First, you should contact relevant members of the department to discuss potential topics and projects, starting dates, studentships, etc. To identify a prospective supervisor, please browse our academic staff page, or look under research interests
  • Next, if these initial discussions are successful, you should complete the formal application form. As described in this form, to support your application you must submit a Statement of Research Interests, university transcripts, your TOEFL results (if applicable), and reports from two referees.

Application Forms

For All Applicants 

1. Completed MSc/PhD Application Form (see attached form).

2. Certified copies of transcripts of previous academic qualifications.

3. References from two referees, commenting specifically on the candidate’s academic suitability

to pursue a MSc/PhD (see attached form).

For International Applicants

4. If the applicant's first language is not English or they have no primary degree(s) obtained in a country where English

 is the official language of instruction, evidence of proficiency in English (IELTS or TOEFL score) is required. 

5. Visa status as required (this usually follows School approval).

Academic Regulations

The set of rules that governs graduate research in UCD:

UCD Academic Regulations 2017

Stages of a UCD CS Structured PhD

How should students apply for a MSc by research or for a PhD in UCD CS?

The student should find a supervisor that has funding or apply with a potential supervisor for funding. The most common sources of funding for PhD and MSc by research are the programmes run by the Irish Research Council (IRC). The UCD CS school also has a call for funding for PhD students only (with deadlines in mid May and November). UCD has a variety of funding initiatives for MSc/PhD, for more details see:


Once the supervisor selects a PhD/MSc candidate, the next step is to start the process of registration by submitting the required documentation to the school.


If you have any further queries, please contact one of the following:

Postgraduate by Research Director: Dr Georgiana Ifrim

Postgraduate by Research Administrator: Ms Lorraine McHugh