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

CAO/PAC code : MHM02 (FT), MHM03 (PT)

CAO Points :

Under a Structured Research Programme, students are supported in the development of their research by undertaking professional and specialist modules over the course of their research degree. The central objectives of the Structured PhD Programme in French are to allow PhD students to participate in courses delivered outside NUIM; to introduce students to academic communication, and educate them in the same, through active participation and presentation at departmental graduate symposia, at research conferences nationally and internationally.

Research Environment: The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (SMLLC) runs friendly, informal research seminars and regularly invites guest lecturers to share their expertise with the Departments in the School. Members of the Department, including postgraduate students, participate in national and international conferences.

European Doctorate: PhD students who have a strong European Language element to their research can apply for a Europea. Doctorate. For further information, please consult

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time.

September (or other agreed time)

Candidates for the PhD must have obtained at least 2nd Class Honours Grade I in their primary degree, or equivalent. Candidates for all postgraduate degrees are required to have resided for a period of one academic year or its equivalent in France or a French-speaking region. Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

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

Research areas in which the department has an interest include: immigration to Ireland from France and to France from Ireland in the early modern period, Huguenot studies, autobiographical writing, women’s writing, twentieth-century fiction and poetry, translation studies, lexicography; francophone literary and language issues, minority languages in French society. Further information on staff research interests can be found at

Prof Ruth Whelan
Ruth Whelan was an undergraduate and postgraduate student at Trinity College Dublin. She graduated with a First Class BA in French and Spanish in 1977, a HDipEd in 1978, and a PhD in 1985, which was funded for three years by Trinity College, Dublin. Part of her research work on the intellectual culture of Seventeenth-Century France was carried out over a three year period in Paris where she was a visiting student at the École Normale Supérieure, funded
by the French Government and the International Federation of University Women. She studied for a DEA at the Université de Paris X, which was awarded in 1981, and held a research fellowship at the Collège de France from 1982 to 1983. She held a Lectureship (1984–1996), and Senior Lectureship (1996–1997) at
Trinity College Dublin, where she was also elected to Fellowship in 1990. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel (Germany)
in 1988; and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Linacre College Oxford in 1992. Prof Whelan was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2000; and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2007. She is a research associate at the Université de Nantes; and was appointed by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism to the Board of the National Museum in 2005. Prof Whelan currently holds an honorary Senior Research Fellowship at Archbishop Marsh’s Library, Dublin. She has given research lectures in Ireland, France, Britain, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. Prof Whelan is the author of The Anatomy of Superstition, a Study of the Historical Theory and Practice of Pierre Bayle (Oxford, 1989), a joint editor of De l’humanisme aux Lumières, Bayle et le protestantisme (Oxford, 1996), the Correspondance de Pierre Bayle. Tome premier, 1662–1674. (Oxford, 1999), Correspondance de Pierre Bayle. Tome
deuxième. Novembre 1674–Novembre 1677 (Oxford, 2001), Toleration and Religious Identity. The Edict of Nantes and its Implications in France, Britain and Ireland (with Carol Baxter) (Dublin, 2003), and the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 2003. 4 vol.); Narrating the Self in Early Modern Europe (Oxford etc, 2007) (with Bruno Tribout). She is the author of some seventy papers on the religious and intellectual culture of Seventeenth-Century France and is currently writing a book on the religious culture of the Huguenots in Ireland. Further biographical details may be obtained from the Dictionary of International Biography. Thirty third edition (Cambridge, 2008).

Dr Éamon Ó Ciosáin
Éamon Ó Ciosáin is a graduate of UCD, and of the Université de Rennes, where he obtained a Maîtrise and a DEA. He obtained a Doctorate ès Lettres from
the Université de Rennes 2. His research interests include Irish immigration to France 1600–1700 (history, literature, writing exile) cross-cultural studies (regional literatures in France, African and Caribbean writing in French), regionalism in France, literary translation, medieval French, Breton language and culture. He is a member of ADEFFI, and of the Association for 18th-Century Ireland. He has published several articles on various aspects of Irish migration to
France from 1590 to 1789, in The Irish in Europe 1580–1815 (ed. T O’Connor, Dublin, 2000), Irlande et Bretagne Vingt Siècles d’Histoire (Rennes, 1994), Exiles and Migrants: Crossing Thresholds in European Culture and Society (ed. T Coulson, Brighton, 1997), Ireland and the French Enlightenment 1700–1800 (ed. G Gargett and G Sheridan, Macmillan, 1999), and other publications in French, Irish and English. He has also published a book of translations into French of 20th century Irish-language poetry, Une Ile et d’Autres Iles (Quimper, 1984), and contributed as translator to Anthologie de la Poésie Irlandaise du XXe Siècle (ed. J-Y Masson, Paris, 1996). He has published translations in Breton, and was co-author of Foclóir Gaeilge-Briotáinis (Irish-Breton dictionary, Lesneven, 1987).

Dr Kathleen Shields
Kathleen Shields is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and of the Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), where she obtained a Maîtrise, and of Cambridge University, where she completed a PhD. Her research interests include translation and literature, bilingual lexicography (English and French), French as a world language and Francophone writing. She is a member of the Irish Translators’ Association, and of L’Association du français appliqué. She is also a member of reading panel/comité de lecture, Harrap’s Unabridged Dictionary/Dictionaire (Chambers Harrap: Edinburgh, 2001). Dr Shields’ research has been in three areas, translation, dictionary making and more recently French language policy and attitudes to the language (see publications and conference presentations). A current research project is on the topic of French in a Globalizing World: English as the Enemy. Dr Shields is co-editor with Prof Michael Clarke (Classics NUIG) of a collection of essays, Translating Emotion, due to appear in 2010 with Peter Lang. From 2000 her research areas have attracted three doctoral students. Working in translation studies has taught Dr Shields that while translation is an overlooked area of the Irish cultural landscape, the textual analysis of translations shows that translation is often in fact a vector of cultural change. Dr Shields research into French language policy and French attitudes towards that language indicates three important features: resistance to linguistic change, blind spots in policy making and education, and finally zones of linguistic creativity.

Dr Francesca Counihan
Francesca Counihan is a graduate of University College Galway. She obtained an MA from the NUI, and a DEA and Doctorat ès Lettres from the Université de Paris VII – Denis Diderot. Her research interests include the work of Marguerite Yourcenar, authority in literature, contemporary French women’s writing, feminist theory and criticism, literary translation, and Francophone writing. She is a founding member and former secretary of the ADEFFI (Association d’Études Françaises et Francophones d’Irlande), and is a member of the Société Internationale d’Études Yourcenariennes, the Centre International de Documentation Marguerite Yourcenar, Women in French, and the Society for French Studies (UK).

Dr Julie Rodgers
Dr Julie Rodgers iS a graduate of Trinity College Dublin where she was awarded a First Class Honours in French at undergraduate level in 2000 and a Ph.D
in French in 2008 under the supervision of Mr David Parris. She also obtained a PGDHE (Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education) from Maynooth University in 2009. Dr Rodgers has taught in TCD, UCD, University of Liverpool, Université de Lille 1 and has been lecturing for the French Department, SMLLC, MU since 2007. Her research areas include Quebec Literature, French Women’s Writing, Francophonie and Migrant Writing.

Thesis, with individual supervision: The option of jointly-supervised research with another Department from the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy or the Faculty of Social Sciences is also available. Please consult staff research for information about the research expertise of individual members of staff and areas in which supervision can be offered. Taught Modules: The student, in consultation with his/her supervisor, will devise a plan with a specified number of modules taken each year of the programme. Details available here.

PhD Programmes

The student, in consultation with his/her supervisor, will devise a plan with a specified number of modules taken each year of the programme. Students normally take any given module only once over the course of the PhD programme. The same piece of work can only be submitted and accredited once. Students are normally required to take a minimum of 15 credits of generic skills / transferrable skills modules (Details available here) over the first three years of the programme. Allowances will be made for specific circumstances such as prolonged periods spent abroad or equivalent.*

In addition, students are normally required to take one (but normally not more than one) of the ID84X modules (ID841, ID842 or ID843) during the first three years of their PhD programme. Students are encouraged to attend all ID84X modules and to pass at least one of ID841, ID842 or ID843 during the first three years of their PhD programme. ID81X modules are offered at irregular intervals, but at least every third year so that every student has the chance to take an ID81X module over the course of their programme; specific topics will vary (determined by the areas of research of a given cohort). Every student is normally required to take one ID 81X module during the four years of their PhD programme.

Students are encouraged to take suitable modules, including Transferable Skills Modules, offered by cognate departments/schools within Maynooth University. Students also have the opportunity to take suitable modules from the taught MA in German, if they have not already done so.**

All students normally have to pass at least one Advanced Specialist module (FR85X, FR86X or FR87X) offered outside Maynooth University.

* Prolonged research periods abroad might offer the opportunity to take Advanced Specialist Modules at the host university. PhD students based at a foreign university will be advised by their supervisor to take relevant modules or attend relevant seminars, etc. Such modules will be awarded the ECTS value stipulated by the host university. Prolonged research periods abroad may also be considered as an Internship (SPA88X). The mark(s) achieved at the host university will be translated into the Maynooth University scheme of Pass (P), Distinction (D) or Did Not Complete (DNC) for all modules.

** The normal prerequisite for admission to the Structured PhD Programme in German is an MA or MLitt in German or equivalent. Students with an MA or MLitt in German or equivalent are required to take structured PhD modules to the value of 30 ECTS credits. Students admitted without holding an MA, MLitt or equivalent are required to take structured PhD modules to the value of 60 ECTS credits. Students, in consultation with Supervisor and Subject Leader/Head/Prof, may take extra modules beyond this requirement.

Campus venue: Maynooth University Campus

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


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

Students who complete the PhD degree generally continue with careers in teaching and research at third level.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHM02 PhD Full-time
MHM03 PhD Part-time

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

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of their birth certificate or valid passport.


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