GCAS College Dublin

Ph.D. Degree at GCAS

GCAS Ph.D. Programme

GCAS College Dublin is recruiting the best minds and researchers of the next generation. We are excited to form the first class of our new Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programme in the Humanities and Social Sciences. We aim to support our students and researchers with the highest quality of educational resources available.

About The Ph.D. Programme

The Ph.D. programme at GCAS College Dublin is a scientific research programme. By scientific, we mean the application of analytical and empirical data combined with theoretical structures to produce original research that is relevant to addressing the most vexing issues confronting our world today. By contrast to Ph.D. programmes in the United States, which can take as long as ten years to complete, our programme is designed to engage and publish research findings with the highest rigor and quality in three to four years. Students in our programme will have access to research materials and our excellent faculty at the Global Centre for Advanced Studies.   

GCAS College Dublin is an accredited college in partnership with Woolf University offering MA and Ph.D. accredited degrees in the European Union.


The course trains students to become independent researchers in an area of the humanities or social sciences, contributing original knowledge in their chosen discipline. The doctorate programme develops skills in critical thinking, analysis, research, project management, and writing. Students gain a sophisticated, cutting-edge knowledge of their research speciality.


Candidates who apply for this course must have an MQF 7 level degree. Students must have English or Spanish language competency at a C1 level. Evidence of this competency that will be accepted includes:

  • Having completed an EQF 7 level degree in the appropriate language
  • English language competency scores on IELTS as such: overall: 6.5; Writing: 6; Reading: 6; Listening: 6; Speaking: 6 (or 7.5 in writing and 6.5 in other elements if the course is offered by Dpt. of English or Arts); or, for Spanish, a C1 or higher score on the DELE exam.
  • Students who are transferring from another accredited doctoral programme may be eligible to complete the degree in a shorter timeframe. This arrangement will be detailed as part of any offer of admission.

Ph.D. Specializations Offered at GCAS:

The Ph.D. programme is online.

The doctoral dissertation length and structure may vary between 80,000- 100,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) and not to exceed 100,000 words.

This means that course work is not required in our Ph.D. programme unless your academic supervisor requires it.

Applications for 2023 Open Now

Application Deadline:

N/A – Open

Ph.D. Degree Info :

Length: 3 Year

Tuition Costs: 5,000€

Requirements: 180 Credits, Courses, Dissertation, Defense

Prerequisites: Masters Degree or higher

Financial Aid Available

GCAS College Dublin Graduate School Handbook

Ph.D. Programme Requirements

To complete the Ph.D. programme, a researcher must:

1. Meet monthly with your advisor and Dissertation Peer Group (DPG). Meetings take place during the academic year.

2. Research Logs/Reports (Year 1, 2, & 3).

4. Formally present your research within GCAS College Dublin and at an academic conference not associated with GCAS.

5. Publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal or book.

6. Successfully defend your Doctoral Dissertation Proposal (Ph.D. Candidate Status is Achieved).

7. Pass language examinations (when required by your advisor).

8. Successfully defend your Doctoral Dissertation.

Prerequisites for Acceptance: 

Our researchers come from some of the best academic institutions in the world, including UC Berkeley, Columbia University, London School of Economics, Swarthmore, Yale, New York University, Case Western Reserve University to name a few. As a research institute and college that is challenging traditional academia, however, we attract applicants who have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and fresh perspectives to add to the conversation and their own research. If you are passionate about learning new skills and want to help re-shape the future of learning, then we invite you to join our intellectual and activist community by applying. To help us accomplish our goal of truly accessible education, the application does not have a fee.

Our degree programme is rigorous and applicants must possess an accredited Master’s degree to be considered for admission. On occasion, applicants with a BA and extensive experience may be considered. Applicants with a BA who the admissions committee do not feel meet the requirements for the Ph.D. will be considered for the MA programme.

Programme Aim and Outcomes

This programme is designed to provide students with a broad set of skills, knowledge and expertise. GCAS aims to attract students from a variety of backgrounds so that our students have the opportunity to engage with the world from a range of places and on diverse topics.  

Students will spend most of their candidature completing a supervised dissertation.

Students will work one-on-one with their advisor to select, write, and defend a substantive and original research on a chosen topic. The Ph.D. dissertation defense will occur before a defense committee comprised of experts in the relevant field(s) of inquiry.

Representative Fields of Research

Current doctoral students’ research focuses on a variety of topics including: human migration and climate shift, theology, philosophy, critical pedagogy, literature, social change, pornography, computation & mathematics, Africana studies, crypto-economics, feminism and housing, housing development, and art performance.

Placement Information

We anticipate graduates from GCAS’s Ph.D. programmes to go onto a variety of careers and positions. These include working on policy for nonprofits and NGOs, as well as into academia. The degree’s emphasis on critical thinking makes it useful for entrance into almost any position. Data shows that more businesses are looking for people with a Liberal Arts degree and we believe that for this reason, graduates from this programme will be highly sought after. 

Application Information

We consider this recruitment and application process to be a crucial part of accepting new Ph.D. Researchers into our programme. This is because when an applicant is accepted, they will enter into a world-leading academic community, and when the student graduates, they will become co-owners of GCAS College Dublin along with the faculty and other graduates. Our application process is designed like it is because we want to discover and work with applicants who understand and want to extend our mission, vision and values throughout their lives.

The Ph.D. Application contains two required phases. Phase one (1) is the initial application and fee. Phase two (2) is advanced and gives the applicant and GCAS College Dublin opportunities to get to know each other better. There are no additional fees in Phase two (2). After the applicant completes Phase two (2) they will be notified whether or not they have been accepted into our College and global academic community.

Contact Admissions

[email protected]

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