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

CAO/PAC code : MHA02 (FT), MHA03 (PT)

CAO Points :

The overall aim of the Structured PhD Programme is to facilitate the students in making an original contribution to the knowledge base in the field of adult and community education through research. This is part of a University-wide programme, which provides modules that students can undertake in the course of their studies. These are broadly categorised under three headings:

- Subject Specific Skills/Advanced Specialist Modules
- Generic Skills
- Transferable Skills

This programme is designed to facilitate students to complete within a reasonable time. The Structured PhD takes four years full-time or six years part-time to complete. 

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time


PhD entry requirements:
Primary degree (or equivalent) and a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.
Proposal of approximately 5,000 words which needs to be sent to the academic co-ordinators Fergal Finnegan and Bernie Grummell and then approved by the Structured PhD Team. Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
  • TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
  • TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
  • PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

The Department is particularly interested in working on research projects concerning radical perspectives on adult learning theory, social and gender analyses of adult, community and further education, theoretical and practical studies of community education, women’s education, adult basic education, human development programmes, adult guidance and counselling, interventions with marginalised adults and their communities as well as a wide range of topics in higher education.

See staff research interests at

The Structured PhD Programmes meet the needs of professionals in the field of Adult and Community Education. The compulsory modules are designed to facilitate students’ progress throughout the programme.

Course Duration: 4 years FT, 6 years PT

In the first instance, please contact the academic co-ordinators Fergal Finnegan ( and Bernie Grummell ( to discuss your application. Once the academic co-ordinators and the Structured PhD Team have approved your proposal then apply through PAC.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHA02 PhD Full-time
MHA03 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 birth certificate or valid passport. 

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