Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH PH.D. (10)

CAO/PAC code : MHC02 (FT), MHC03 (PT)

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 01 January 2999

View FETAC details

The PhD is an advanced research degree that requires considerable initiative on the part of the student to engage in independent, original scholarship. The objective of the PhD programme is to provide students with professional training in anthropological research and to produce scholars capable of contributing to international networks in the discipline in an original, ethical and effective fashion. To this end, the programme provides students with the necessary research skills, along with any other specialist training, required for their research project. Above all, the department aims to provide students with the opportunity to pursue effectively their own specific research interests, working independently under the mentorship of members of staff, who will provide detailed feedback and advice on the work.

PhD students adjust to the life of the department best when they begin in September but starting dates are negotiable.

Closing date
We prefer to receive applications no later than May 31st for the following academic year, but PhD applications are generally accepted at any time and decisions are made on a rolling basis on completed applications.

Minimum 2.1 degree (BA or MA) or international equivalent, and a proposal for original research that is accepted by the Anthropology Department. Normally students being admitted to the PhD programme are expected to have previous study of anthropology. Students with a degree in a field other than anthropology would be required to sit modules in our taught MA programme before continuing on with their research. In exceptional circumstances, students may be accepted directly to the PhD with only an anthropology BA in hand, but such students would be required to complete a total of 60 credits of modules (see Course Structure).

Minimum English language requirements:

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Students are free to take up research in any area that interests them, as long as they can secure the agreement of a member of staff to supervise the project. The Department has a very strong international profile in several sub-disciplines of Social-Cultural Anthropology. Please browse the staff pages and the research pages of the Department website for details on the specialities of academic staff and current research projects of both staff and postgraduate students.

Although the purpose of PhD study is to focus on independent, original research, Maynooth University research degrees are 'structured' and require PhD students to register for a minimum of 30 credits in pass/fail modules. All anthropology students register for AN801 (Theory and Practice for Anthropologists) in the first year. Additional modules are selected in close consultation with the student’s advisor; most anthropology modules are undertaken through mentored individual or group study, and are designed around the student’s primary need to carry out long-term field research and write a thesis of approx. 90,000 words.

Course Duration: 4 years full-time, 6 years part-time

An anthropology degree provides an excellent preparation for a wide variety of fields in both public and private sectors, and is an especially good foundation for an international career. Anthropology has become increasingly important as a job skill in the context of globalisation, where a deeper understanding of cultural difference is crucial both locally and internationally. Our graduates go on to employment in a wide variety of careers in community work, education, the health professions, product design, international aid and development projects, NGO work, business and administration, and more. The holder of a PhD is a professional anthropologist qualified to teach at university level and to carry out advanced research. 

Click here for more information on Careers in Anthropology

Before making a formal application, students are advised to make contact directly with a member of the Anthropology Department academic staff to discuss the suitability of their interests and qualifications. Staff profiles can be browsed at:

Online application only

PAC Code
MHC02 PhD Full-time
MHC03 PhD Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

  • Online PAC application form
  • Statement of your academic and professional goals (approx. 1,000 words)
  • An outline of your proposed research project (3,000-5,000 words)
  • Names and contact details of two referees who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you (SEE BELOW)
  • Official transcripts of degrees not earned at Maynooth University**
  • A copy of your birth certificate or valid passport (non-Maynooth University students only)

**Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-NUI Maynooth qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed.

Arranging for letters of recommendation

You must make prior arrangements with two referees to write letters of recommendation on your behalf; these should be academic references or, if you do not have recent academic experience, then some other type of professional reference; personal character references are not appropriate. In your application, provide the names and contact details (preferably emails) of these two referees and the department will contact them on your behalf to request letters. You may alternatively ask your referees to send letters directly to; letters should be signed and on letterhead and should be sent from the referee’s own email address. They can also be sent by post to Anthropology Department at the address below.

We prefer to receive applications no later than May 31st for the following academic year, but PhD applications are generally accepted at any time and decisions are made on a rolling basis on completed applications.

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