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

CAO/PAC code : MHP02 (FT), MHP03 (PT)

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 11 July 2022

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The award of the PhD is based entirely on a major research thesis. However, to ensure that our graduates obtain as thorough preparation as possible for their future careers, the university has put in place a structured PhD programme. Students in the Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies and Philosophy PhD programme are required to take 60 credits worth of taught modules over the duration of the programme, of which some are generic, and some are required by the relevant department.  Students with an MA in a cognate discipline usually need to take a minimum of 30 credits.

September (or other agreed time)

For entry to the combined MLitt/PhD programme see

Direct entry to the PhD is normally reserved for those with a Masters degree and is on the basis of prior approval of research topic. There are two basic requirements for direct entry admission:

  1. A convincing and worthwhile research proposal of sufficient scope, the sources for which have been identified, and which can make a substantial contribution to historical scholarship. Proposals are normally of at least 4,000 words in length; it is particularly important that the location of the project in relation to existing literature be set out and that the location, nature and accessibility of primary sources be identified. Potential applicants are invited to consult with members of the department with relevant expertise (please see our
  2. Evidence of the capacity to complete the project to a high scholarly standard, in accordance with professional conventions, and in reasonable time. 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

Maynooth University is one of the principal centres of research into the history of Ireland. The department offers direction of research in every period of Irish history, including local history. The research specialisations of staff are as follows:

Dr Hussam Ahmed: specialises in the social and cultural history of the modern Middle East. Other research interests include Arab intellectual history, minorities in the Middle East, colonialism, statecraft and institution building.

Professor Terence A Dooley: specialises in Irish social and political history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly the land question, the fortunes of great houses and estates, the work of the Irish Land Commission and the local politics of the revolutionary period. Has expertise also in policy matters concerning heritage and restoration.

Dr M Denise Dunne: primary research interest is in the History of European integration focusing in particular on British policy on European integration. Other areas of research include the US-European transatlantic relationship in the context of European integration and the institutional development of the European Union from inception to date. Broad research and teaching interests encompass twentieth century European and American history.

Dr Alison FitzGerald: specialises in Irish design history and material culture, in particular the study of Irish goldsmiths, jewellers and allied traders.

Professor Raymond Gillespie: social and cultural change in early modern Ireland; the diffusion of print and the changing experience of reading in Ireland 1580-1700.

Dr David Lederer: Global history; Renaissance and Reformation; early modern Germany; history of emotions; gender studies.

Professor Marian Lyons: Irish migration to Europe and migrant experiences on the continent in the early modern period, with particular emphasis on France and specifically Jacobite migrants in Paris, c.1690–c.1730. Franco-Irish diplomatic and political relations in the sixteenth century. Ireland’s trading associations with France in the early modern era. Thomas Arthur, MD, of Limerick (1590–1675). The Kildare dynasty in fifteenth and sixteenth-century Ireland. Women in late medieval and early modern Ireland.

Dr Dympna McLoughlin: specialises in gender and class nineteenth century Ireland; poverty and subsistence nineteenth century Ireland; emigration and the poor law; children, nineteenth century Ireland.

Dr JoAnne Mancini: history of the United States and its colonial antecedents; intersections of American and world history.

Dr David Murphy: specialises in military history with a particular interest in Irish regiments in British and continental service, the Crimean War, and French military archives.

Dr John Paul Newman: specialises in Balkan and Yugoslav cultural history with a particular interest in the First World War and its legacy in the region.

Professor Thomas O’Connor: Irish in Europe 1550–1800; Jansenism in 17th century; Roman Inquisition seventeenth century; political thought 1550–1700.

Dr Michael Potterton: specialises in the archaeology and history of Ireland from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, especially urban and rural landscapes, settlement and society.

Dr Jacinta Prunty: urban, social and cartographic history, with a particular focus on the mapping of towns and on the town itself in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ireland; the history of religious life from the early nineteenth century and associated residential homes, schools and other institutions; Protestant and Catholic missionary activity; the management of religious archives.

Dr Jennifer Redmond: specialises in Irish emigration to England in the twentieth century; gender and sexual politics; demography and population change; modern Ireland; women and education; Irish women in the labour force; digital humanities.

Professor Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses: lectures in Spanish and Portuguese twentieth century history, the First World War and the development of fascism, and Europe’s colonial empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Research interests are centred on the First World War and Twentieth-century Portugal and its colonies.

Dr Ian Speller: research interests are in the field of military history and strategic studies, focusing in particular on maritime strategy and naval policy, the history of the Royal Navy and of expeditionary operations in the twentieth century.

Dr Jonathan Wright: a historian of Ireland and the British world in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, his research addresses two core areas: politics and political cultures in the age of revolution and reform (c.1789-1832); and British and Irish imperial history (with a particular emphasis on the Ulster experience of empire).


PhD students work with a supervisor for the duration of the programme to complete a major research thesis. Students must also take a combination of generic/transferable modules and subject specific/advanced specialist modules, and must attend and make a presentation to the departmental Research Seminar, for which they receive credit.


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

This structured research programme prepares graduates for a wide range of career opportunities, including lecturing, consultancy, government service, library, museum, arts work and publishing.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHP02 PhD Full-time
MHP03 PhD Part-time

Applicants for PhD direct entry are strongly advised to consult the department well in advance of their intended date of application.

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

A full CV, including educational and relevant professional experience. A Research Proposal of approximately 1000 words, outlining the research topic they wish to pursue. 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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