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In some circumstances students accepted for PhD study in the School may be permitted to enrol in the traditional PhD programme. Traditional PhD students are not required to register for taught PhD modules (discipline specific and/or generic) for credit accumulation purposes. Their thesis accounts for the full 360 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System units) required to earn the PhD. Each PhD student will be assigned a primary supervisor who they meet regularly and a supervisory committee that they meet with from time to time. Traditional PhD student must complete their research within 3-4 years (fulltime) or 6 years for part-time students.

As in the case of the structured PhD, the traditional PhD programme emphasises the central role of independent research; all PhD students are expected to make a distinctive, original and publishable contribution to knowledge. Traditional PhD students are encouraged to participate in the School’s core taught PhD modules in the areas of research methods although they will not do so for the purposes of accumulating credits. Depending on the student’s background and topic, and subject to the advice of the supervisor and supervisory committee, traditional PhD students may also participate in other aspects of the structured PhD programme.

The traditional PhD route is most suitable for part-time students. It may also be suitable for students with considerable prior experience and training in their chosen topic and for students who are self-funded. Any student who commences PhD studies as a traditional PhD student and who subsequently secures a doctoral fellowship under any of the NUIG fellowship schemes must transfer to the structured PhD programme. Any PhD student who is working more than 5 hours per week in paid work unrelated to their research is not eligible to enrol in the fulltime PhD programme.


For queries relating to the Traditional PhD programme, please contact:

Dr. phil. Alexander I. Stingl
Director of Postgraduate Research
Room 312
School of Political Science & Sociology
Áras Moyola Building, Central Campus
NUI Galway
Telephone: 094 492298
Email: alexander.stingl@nuigalway.ie