Structured PhD (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) (Geography)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies,
School of Geography & Archaeology

Course overview

Download Structured PhD guidelines (PDF file) here.


Geography boasts a vibrant graduate community of PhD and M.Litt students.  It offers an exceptional academic environment for graduate research in a highly supportive setting.  Our students hold a range of scholarships and are researching across a diverse array of topics.  Students are provided with high-quality dedicated workspace and access to a choice of facilities and expertise to assist in their research. As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:

  • are Discipline-Specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area, for example, in the area of climate change; biogeography; rural, population, or political geography

  • are Dissertation-Specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project e.g. core research skills and techniques relating to specific data collection and interpretation requirements

  • acknowledge a student’s professional development, e.g., presentation of papers at International Conferences

  • enhance a student’s employability through generic training e.g. Careers Workshops, computer literacy.

Each student will be assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.

Programmes available

Structured PhD (Geography)—full-time

Structured PhD (Geography)—part-time

Entry requirements

For admission to the PhD, an upper Second Class Honours, Grade 1 minimum (or equivalent international qualification), is required.

Find out more

PAC code


Current project

ANCORIM—Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management

DERREG—Developing Europe’s Rural Regions in an Era of Globalization

CONSENSUS—cross-border household analysis of CONSumption, ENvironment and SUStainability in Ireland

Fees for this course

EU: €4,275 p.a. 2015/16

Non-EU: €13,250 p.a. 2015/16

Current Students


Brídín Carroll

Structured PhD Candidate, Geography, 2009–present: ’Exploring the influences on and implications of ethical consumer choices in encouraging sustainability in food systems’.

"The atmosphere of support experienced during the completion of my BA brought me back to NUI Galway’s Geography Department. I chose to undertake research in the areas of sustainability and food geographies, as part of the four year Structured PhD programme.

The four-year duration of the programme sets out a realistic timeframe in which to complete this work and training, resulting in a less stressful academic research experience. The formalized programme of learning, as part of the Structured PhD, allows for gaps in my own knowledge and skills to be filled, thus giving a better grounding to my research. My experience of NUI Galway’s approach to this programme is that it’s quite flexible, something that I feel is not only necessary but beneficial to students in conducting postgraduate research.

The Structured PhD also allows for a high level of both academic and peer support. Class based modules have resulted in the formation of a community of new social science researchers within the University, providing not only a peer group for feedback but also a ready-made social network. Continued and consistent academic support is ensured through interactions with module conveners, supervisors and the Postgraduate Research Committee, with regular consultation and feedback ensuring students remain focused and on track.

Overall, my experiences of the Structured PhD at NUI Galway have been very positive, in particular regarding the level of support and guidance which the programme provides."

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