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 University of 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

  • Design of scaffolds for nanoscale tissue engineering
  • Development of innovative processing technology for large scale thermoplastic composite structures
  • Regulation in New Product Development  

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

Dr Mark Bruzzi
Deformation and Failure of Engineering materials
Fatigue failure of Solid Materials
Constitutive behaviour of biological materials
Development of Active Materials
Design and Development of Medical Devices 

Dr Kathryn Cormican
Technology innovation Management
Product Design & Development
Enterprise Systems Design & Analysis 

Ms Mary Dempsey
Business Process Engineering
Operations Strategy
Emergency Planning


Dr Pat Donnellan
Health and safety management systems and risk management
Quality Management Systems


Dr John Eaton
Computational and experimental fluid dynamics.
Aerodynamics of flight vehicles, propulsion systems and components.
Aeroacoustics of turbulent flows.
Turbomachinery fluid dynamics.
Biofluid mechanics and flow systems.
Multidisciplinary design optimisation.


Mr Enda Fallon
Human Reliability in Health Care Systems
A Best Practice Occupational Health & Safety Management System for Networked Organisations in the Manufacturing Sector
Integrated Management Systems for Biomedical Device Manufacturing Companies
Health & Safety and Ergonomics in the Professional Athletes Workplace


Ms Martina Kelly
Ergonomics/Human Factors
Safety Management Systems
Risk Management in Regulated Environments


Professor Sean Leen
Computational solid mechanics
Structural integrity
Fretting and wear
Plasticity, creep and superplasticity
Modelling of manufacturing processes


Dr Pat McGarry
Multiscale cell and tissue mechanics
Active cell modelling
Biomechanics of hard and soft tissue
Cardiovascular and orthopaedic implant and device design.
Linear and non-linear computational method development and application in biomedical and materials engineering


Professor Peter McHugh
Computational micromechanics in the engineering analysis of complex materials and systems Biomechanics of hard and soft tissue
Multi-scale analysis methods for determination of structure-property relationships in biological and implanted materials
Computational methods in biomedical engineering applied to linear and non-linear problems, using implicit and explicit solution algorithms
Medical implant and device analysis and design.


Dr Laoise McNamara
Mechanical characterisation of biological tissues
Bone cell biology
Bone tissue regeneration in vitro
Finite element modelling
Adaptive modelling of biological processes


Dr Padraig Molloy
Development of technology based solutions for health and living, particulaly systems that are relevant to the disabled and elderly.
Product and production systems design.
Built environment simulation and control systems development.

Professor Paul Nolan
Computer algebra in web-based course delivery. 
Simulation based training using internet technologies. 
Virtual reality prototyping of biomedical devices.


Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh
Processing of thermoplastic composite materials
Liquid moulding of thermoplastic composite using monomer systems
Mechanical testing of advanced composites
Recycling of composite materials
Application to innovative sporting, automotive and wind energy applications


Professor Abhay Pandit
Extracellular matrix development for soft tissue applications
Delivery of therapeutic (viral and non-viral) biomolecules delivery through novel tethering mechanisms
Tissue Engineering: Scaffold design, Biomimetics
Biomaterial enhanced repair and regeneration


Dr Nathan Quinlan
Biomedical fluid dynamics (pulmonary, cardiovascular and cellular applications)
Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics - mesh-free Lagrangian modelling of fluid dynamics
Fluid dynamics of droplet formation
Needle-free intradermal and pulmonary devices
Doppler Global Velocimetry and Particle Image Velocimetry
Fluid dynamics and thermodynamics in high speed flows
Propeller and wing aerodynamics


Dr Wenxin Wang
Functional Dendritic Polymers for Controlled Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering
Multifunctional Nanocarriers (nanoparticles, micelles, vesicles) for Therapeutic Biomolecular Delivery
Functional Biomaterials for Wound Healing
Temperature, PH and Ion Responsive Polymeric Materials
Controlled/Living Polymerisation Techniques


Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis
Biomaterials; Tissue Engineering; Bioengineering; Nanotechnology; Soft Tissue Repair / Regeneration (tendon, skin, cornea, nerve); Macromolecular Crowding; Extracellular Matrix Biology; Scaffold Stabilisation & Functionalisation; Directional Growth of Cells for Neotissue Formation; Sustained Release of Therapeutic Molecules; Drug Delivery / Release

Researcher Profiles

Head of Department  
Prof. Peter McHugh

Academic staff   
Dr. Mark Bruzzi

Dr. John A. Eaton

Prof. Sean B. Leen

Dr. Pat McGarry

Dr. Laoise McNamara

Dr. Padraig Molloy

Dr. Kathryn Cormican

Mr Enda Fallon

Dr Pat Donnellan

Ms Martina Kelly

Ms Mary Dempsey

Prof. Paul J. Nolan

Dr. Conchúr M. Ó Brádaigh

Prof. Abhay Pandit

Dr. Nathan Quinlan

Dr. Wenxin Wang

Dr. Dimitrios Zeugolis 


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

Jane Bowman
T +353 91 492 723  

Sharon Gilmartin 
T +353 91 495 035

Mary Hardiman   
T +353  91 492 223

What Our Students Say


Tarek Nigim |   PhD Mechanical Engineering

My research topic is 'solar-powered seawater desalination system: using clean energy to get clean water.' This topic is not only an engineering challenge, but also hugely needed in my country (Palestine). Here at NUI Galway I deal with excellent lecturers and professors who have immense experience and knowledge. My supervisor provides wonderful support.