Course Overview

The Structured PhD, full-time, is a 4-year programme which offers added value to the core component of doctoral training. Students on this programme are offered disciplinary or dissertation specific modules, as well as generic and transferable skills designed to meet the needs of an employment market that is wider than academia.

The programme is flexible and student centred, as candidates choose their own pathways in consultation with their Supervisor and Graduate Research Committee.

Programmes Available

PhD (full-time, four years); applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

  • New entrants may register for the programme from September to March each year
    The thesis remains central to the award of the PhD and is weighted at 330 ECTs.
  • Students select appropriate skills modules in consultation with their Supervisor and/or Postgraduate Research Committee as follows: At least 10 ECTs in two of the three skills categories, and an overall total of at least 30 ECTs

Skills Categories: (i) Problem Based Learning; (ii) Publication/Dissemination; (iii) Formal Training (from a range of Discipline-specific, Interdisciplinary and Generic modules)


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

PhD—high Honours standard in the primary degree.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

Research activity spans a broad spectrum of civil engineering subjects, which include (but are not limited to) concrete, steel and timber structures, wind engineering, environmental engineering, highway engineering, geotechnics, earthquake engineering, building energy management, offshore and coastal engineering, construction management, advanced materials and computational mechanics. This topical and strategic research is funded by industrial partners and several national and international funding agencies, including the European Union (EU).  Some of the research is interdisciplinary and is aligned with the university's major research themes; for example, some academic staff work within research institutes such as the Environmental Change Institute, and the Ryan Institute for Marine Science research.

Researcher Profiles

Dr. Piaras Ó hEachteirn (Head of Civil Engineering)
Design of structural steelwork; design of structural timber.

Professor Padraic O'Donoghue 
Areas of interest: computational methods, including the finite element method; structural analysis mechanics; materials; fluid-structure interaction; fatigue; damage and failure; integrity of pipelines and aircraft.

Dr. Michael Brennan   
Flexible pavements; concrete pavements; bituminous materials; pavement design; pavement analysis; pavement management; geometric alignment and route location of highways; traffic engineering; road safety; traffic noise; transportation planning; airports.

Mr. Eamonn Cannon 
Design of concrete structures; non-linear behaviour; composite structures; prestressed concrete; bridge deck behaviour; concrete technology; computer-aided learning; durability of concrete.

Dr. Eoghan Clifford  
Environmental Engineering; wastewater treatment processes; biofilm technology

Dr. Jamie Goggins  
Structural engineering: structures consisting of steel, concrete, masonry, timber and composite materials.
Earthquake engineering: response of structures to earthquakes, using both force and displacement-based assessment approaches. Steel, concrete, masonry and composite materials.
Tall buildings: especially their performance during extreme loading such as earthquakes and wind.
Structural control and health monitoring: on-line damage detection and structural health monitoring using wavelet based time-frequency analysis.
Computational mechanics: numerical modelling; nonlinear analysis; time-history analysis; time-frequency (wavelet) analysis; tinite element analysis.
Energy: embodied energy in buildings and structures; modular buildings; energy efficient buildings; material; the performance of wind turbines; wave energy.

Dr. Annette Harte  
Mechanics of wood, engineered wood products and wood structures; Finite Element Analysis in Structural Mechanics & Civil Engineering; Analysis of Offshore Pipeline Systems; Optimal Design of Engineering Structures; High Performance Composite Materials.

Dr. Michael Hartnett
Coastal, shelf and ocean modelling; hydrodynamics; water quality modelling; numerical and scale modelling; structural dynamics (offshore structures and train-bridge interactions).

Dr. Mark Healy
Environmental engineering systems - constructed wetlands, sand filtration systems, SBBR systems. Modelling of unsaturated flow through porous media. Soil erosion and surface runoff. Composting. Biosolids. Anaerobic digestion.

Dr. Marcus Keane 
Energy & Buildings:
Holistic Environmental & Energy Management in Buildings; Life Cycle Optimised Operation of Buildings: Life Cycle integrated tool sets to support integrated building energy simulation and building operation.

Dr. T.P. Mullarkey
Computer modelling in coastal and offshore engineering, and of structural behaviour; visualisation; tensors applied to such problems.

Dr. Bryan McCabe
Geotechnical engineering: pile installation, group action in piles, reuse of existing foundations/ time-related effects on foundation capacity; ground improvement, stone columns, vibrated concrete columns, deep soil mixing; slope stability, in-situ testing and geotechnical instrumentation.

Dr. Stephen Nash
Coastal and marine engineering: coastal and estuarine processes; hydrodynamic circulation; water quality modelling; primary production modelling; biological modelling; high performance computing; applications of GIS to coastal engineering.

Dr. Gary Raftery  
Development of innovative hybrid structural members; Repair and rehabilitation techniques of civil infrastructure; Mechanics of wood, timber and engineered wood products; The use of advanced composite materials in the construction industry; Adhesives in civil engineering and durability of adhesive bonds; Finite element analysis for the analysis of structural mechanics

Dr. Liwen Xiao
Environmental engineering: wastewater treatment; biofilm technology; nutrient removal; effects of forestry on water quality.

Dr. Xin Min Zhan
Water and wastewater treatment; waste management; environmental biofilm technology; adsorption; biofuels (biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol); environmentally sound nano materials. 

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€15,000 p.a. (€15,140 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

Serena Lawless
T: 091 49 2170