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

CAO/PAC code : MHV02 (FT), MHV03 (PT)

CAO Points :

The programme will provide the students with a professional training in academic research in Philosophy, and thus enables them to contribute to national and international scholarship and to interdisciplinary co-operation. The department aims to provide students with the opportunity to work independently under the supervision of members of staff who will provide detailed feedback and advice on the achieved works. The Department of Philosophy wishes to provide a high quality research experience and output, with integrated taught support for all students enrolled on the structured PhD programme. As part of this process, students on this programme will have acquired the philosophical methods that enable them to pursue studies and research independently according to their personal interests in the field. They will also be able to engage at an appropriate level with other professional scholars.

Closing date
Research applications are generally accepted at any time

September (or other agreed time)

Candidates for research degrees will normally be expected to have a Second Class Honours Grade 1 primary degree in Philosophy, or a Second Class Honours MA degree with some qualification in philosophy.

Language Requirements:
Research students are expected to have some knowledge of the language of the author or authors, whose work they intend to research. 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

Prof. Michael W. Dunne graduated with a BA in English and Philosophy, followed by an MA with a specialisation in metaphysics (both from UCD). He then went to Italy, where he specialised in computational linguistics and graduated from the Gregorian University, Rome, with a licentiate in metaphysics and philosophy of science. He defended his doctoral thesis at the Gregorian on Peter of Ireland, an Irish medieval philosopher who taught at the University of Naples in the thirteenth century. Thereafter, Prof. Dunne made the Irish philosophers of the medieval and early modern periods his particular research interest, becoming an internationally recognised scholar in the field. In addition, he has published internationally on philosophy of religion, politics, toleration and rights, friendship theory, and many other philosophical questions.

Sample Publication: Richard FitzRalph: His Life, Times and Thought, ed. Michael Dunne and Simon Nolan, O.Carm. (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013).

Dr Amos Edelheit obtained his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. He came to Maynooth after spending some time as a postdoctoral fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. His research is focused on Renaissance philosophy, that is, the philosophy which was produced in the Latin West roughly between the 14th and the 17th centuries. His research includes the study of the reception and rediscovery of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophical schools in the early modern era, on the one hand, and of the new theories in natural philosophy, metaphysics, moral psychology, ethics, and politics on the other. ‘How did we become moderns?’ is one of the questions he tries to address by identifying the two dominant discursive forms in that period: Renaissance scholasticism(s) and Renaissance humanism(s). Dr Edelheit is also interested in a critical assessment of the anti-scholastic rhetoric used by some canonical figures such as Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza; in Machiavelli’s new concept of politics; in Spinoza’s metaphysics and political theory; and in the empiricist tradition from Bacon to Mill and in their concepts of nature and science and their influence on Brentano and the early phenomenologists.

Sample Publication: Scholastic Florence: Moral Psychology in the Quattrocento, Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 230 (Leiden: Brill 2014).

Dr Susan Gottlöber studied philosophy as a major in Dresden and completed her degree with a Master’s thesis on Simone Weil. She then went on to doctoral studies in Dresden, under the supervision of the Chair of Philosophy of Religions and Religious Studies. Her thesis was devoted to Nicholas of Cusa and the question of toleration. She has been a lecturer at Maynooth since 2009. Her research interests are philosophical anthropology with emphasis on Max Scheler,

Nicolaus of Cusa, Simone Weil, and philosophy of toleration. She is currently working on Scheler’s political philosophy and the impact of Cusa’s concept of individuation on his anthropology.

Sample Publication: Das Prinzip der Relationalität: Grundzüge cusanischen Denkens als Parameter für Toleranz und interreligiösen Diskurs (Dresden: Thelem, 2013).

Dr Mette Lebech did her undergraduate work at the University of Copenhagen. Her MA and Ph.D. are from Belgium —f rom the Université catholique de Louvain and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, respectively. She is works mainly on the philosophy of Edith Stein, spanning phenomenology, philosophical anthropology and metaphysics. She is also interested in applying Stein’s version of the phenomenological method to gain insight into various aspects of reality, in particular human dignity. Her interest in phenomenology extends to all those phenomenologists who regard phenomenology as a method to found the sciences, and also to the compatibility of this method with other traditions in philosophy. Supporting interests include the history of human dignity and of women philosophers.

Sample Publication: On the Problem of Human Dignity. A Hermeneutical and Phenomenological Investigation (Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2009).

Dr Cyril McDonnell studied at Maynooth for his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. He has two main areas of research: (1.) the development of both ‘hermeneutic’ and ‘scientific’ strands in the unfolding of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century phenomenology (especially, Brentano, Dilthey, Husserl, Heidegger, and Levinas); and (2) ethics, in particular the topics of: (i) law and morality; (ii) the concept and justification of punishment; (iii) the history and concept of rights.

Sample Publication: Heidegger’s Way through Phenomenology to the Question of the Meaning of Being (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2015).

Prof. Philipp Rosemann arrived at Maynooth in January, 2018, after teaching for twenty years at the University of Dallas. He holds degrees from the Queen’s University of Belfast (MA) and from the Université catholique de Louvain (licentiate and doctorate). Prof. Rosemann works at the intersection of philosophy and theology, as well as medieval and contemporary thought. He is well known for his publications on the medieval theologian Peter Lombard. In his most recent book, he explores the nature of tradition: rather than being just a principle of permanence and “conservatism,” tradition requires disruption and creative challenges in order to survive.

Sample Publication: Charred Root of Meaning: Continuity, Transgression, and the Other in Christian Tradition (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2018).

For further information please visit:

Under the Structured Research programmes offered at Maynooth University, students will undertake professional, subject specific and transferable skills modules to support the development of their research.

For PhD programmes
1. Students with a Master-level qualification and competence in Philosophy at degree level will be expected to take 15 ECTS credits in Generic Skills or Transferable Skills modules and a minimum of 15 ECTS credits which will be made up of Subject Specific or Advanced Specialist modules as appropriate.
2. Students with no relevant Master level qualification will be expected to take 15 ECTS credits in Generic Skills or Transferable Skills modules and a minimum of 45 ECTS credits which will be made up of subject-specific or advanced specialist modules as appropriate.

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

Philosophy is not a qualification to do a particular job; rather it is a valuable component of general education. The expertise gained in Philosophy is of great value in many different careers. Philosophy is a good preparation for an academic career and for careers in journalism, law, radio, television and the media in general, and politics. Increasingly, philosophy graduates are being hired by large corporations, e.g. in roles such as management consultancy, as people who can approach problems from a new perspective. Philosophy graduates are valued for their quick intelligence, their ability to reason clearly and independently and their ability to take an overview on the problem or situation confronting them.

Online application only

PAC Code
MHV02 PhD Full-time
MHV03 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.

Applicants may be required to attend for interview as part of the admissions process.

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