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Programme Structure and Content

As with other structured PhD programmes offered by NUI Galway, this programme involves completion of a dissertation (290 ECTS credits) and a number of individual modules taken over the four years (amounting to 70 ECTS). This means the focus of doctoral training is on completion of original, empirical research, alongside support for disciplinary-specific specialized training and cultivation of transferable skills.

Each student who registers for the College Structured PhD works out a learning path with their primary supervisor and Graduate Research Committee, drawing on the suite of modules available. Of the 70 ECTS acquired through individual modules, 40 ECTS are discipline-specific (Specialist Domains in Psychology: Theory 1; Specialist Domains in Psychology: Theory 2; Specialist Methodologies in Psychology: Research 1; Specialist Methodologies in Psychology: Research 2). The remaining 30 credits are drawn from an extensive selection available through the College, (e.g., academic writing, conference presentation).

The School of Psychology offers several other Structured PhD programmes, our participation in the College Structured PhD programme is intended to complement these other programmes by providing opportunities for students who wish to register for PhD in Psychology in a domain other than the domain-specific Structured PhD programmes we offer (i.e., Perception, Cognition and Action; Child & Youth Research; Applied Behavioural Analysis; Psychology & Health; Learning Sciences).


The individual modules (70 ECTS) are assessed on a pass / fail basis. Student progress on the PhD thesis credits (290 ECTS) must be validated each year, culminating in submission of the PhD thesis and successful thesis defence at a viva examination.

Further Information

Contact: Dr. Padraig MacNeela
Phone: +353 91 495121