Dublin Business School Dissertation Handbook

Short guide to doing a PhD at Trinity

A Short Step by Step Guide to doing a PhD at Trinity
How to find a supervisor
Many PhD positions in Trinity are advertised locally on noticeboards, on websites in printed press etc. Such adverts will provide contact details of the project supervisor and information on the proposed project and/or thematic PhD programme if applicable. If you would like to do a PhD at Trinity and need to find a supervisor, you can find information on the academic staff and their research on the Trinity website:

How to apply
The following link here explains how you apply to do a postgraduate degree in Trinity. It lists entry requirements and outlines the supporting documents that are needed in order to complete the online application form. In order to access the application form, click on the ‘Postgraduate Research’ link on the left hand side of the page, then select the School where you want to do a PhD and finally the relevant discipline. You can choose to click on a ‘full-time’ or ‘part-time’ option both of which lead to the application form on the my.tcd.ie portal. There you will set up an account and can complete the application. Once the application has been assessed, it will either be rejected, a conditional offer will be made (there may be something outstanding in the application or clarification required) or an unconditional offer will be made. On fulfilling the requirements of the conditional offer or in the event than an unconditional offer is made, a position on the PhD register may then be accepted (on my.tcd.ie). You will then be invited to register.
Once registered, you are on a 4-year (full-time)/6-year (part-time) structured PhD in Trinity – what does this mean?

  • You have a PhD project which is the focus of your research for the 4/6 year period.
  • You must complete modules to the value of between 10 (min) and 30 (max) ECTS. These can be modules set up by your School specifically for PhD students, modules from taught masters programmes (running in your School or in another School by permission) or modules provided by non-academic units in College for PhD students. These include modules provided by the Innovation Academy, Academic Practice and eLearning (CAPSL), Student Learning Development and the Library. Further information on modules for credit available to PhD students can be obtained from School Research Handbooks, your Supervisor and the School Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) (DTLPG). Some Schools have specific requirements in terms of the modules/programme of modules their PhD students should take. This information will be provided by the DTLPG. In addition to the modules taken for credit as described, PhD students in Trinity may additionally, with permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies, register for and complete either a PG Cert in Statistics or PG Cert in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These ‘structured’ elements of the PhD should be completed within the first 2 years (3 years for part-time students).
  • You must complete an annual report with your supervisor at the end of the first and third years.
  • You must complete a continuation report/examination before the end of the second year on register. Successful completion of this process means you can proceed to the third year on the PhD register. If you are not successful in this examination, you may either be requested to submit a thesis for consideration for a lower degree (MSc by research or MLitt) or be removed from the register.
  • If you remain on the PhD register, you should submit your PhD thesis (soft-bound copy) at the end of the fourth/sixth year (30th September). Information on what happens/what you need to do following submission of the thesis can be found here
  • The regulations which govern students admission to, progression on, and examination on the research register are available in the University of Dublin Calendar Part III and all prospective and current students are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with these. Other useful documents include:
  • National Framework for Doctoral Education
  • Irish Universities PHD Graduate Skills Statement
  • Information on graduation is available at here

BU4590 Business Dissertation

(15 ECTS credits)

Module Content/Outline:

Students are required to write a dissertation in the range of 12,000 - 15,000 words.

The dissertation should meet the following requirements:

  • demonstrate your ability to evaluate existing literature on a particular subject in a critical way;
  • show that you are able to relate theory in a specific business or management problem or setting;
  • show that you can derive conclusions that are generally applicable from the process.

A dissertation proposal must be submitted to the Dissertation Coordinator no later than week 1 of Semester 1.

Dissertation Coordinator:

Professor Kristian Myrseth

Supervision will be allocated to fit the topic. A supervisor from the School of Business will be allocated before the end of Week 4 of Semester 1. The role of the supervisor is to discuss and advise on the merits of the proposed research and guide the student through the research process

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify and frame a research topic in a business or management related area;
  • Conduct a literature review that identifies and critically evaluates the academic literature appropriate to the topic of investigation;
  • Demonstrate an ability to relate the theories, models and frameworks identified through the research process to a specific business or management setting in the world of practice;
  • Analyse data from primary and/or secondary sources that relates to the business and management situations and problems at hand;
  • Evaluate and link the existing literature on a particular subject in a critical way to the analysed data;
  • Derive conclusions that are applicable to the broader business context.

Contact hours:

This is a 15 credit module that should amount to 300 – 350 hours of personal work.

A supervisor from the School of Business will be allocated before the end of Week 5 of Semester 1. The role of the supervisor is to discuss the merits of the proposed research ideas; to provide guidance on the research process, on the academic content and on the development of the argument; to indicate likely sources of information.  The supervisor should expect to meet with you on at least two occasions during each semester.


All dissertations will be submitted to the School of Business.

Dissertations are assessed on two dimensions:
Content - 60%
Cohesion/Integration - 30%

In addition to the written dissertation submission the student will also be required to make a PowerPoint presentation and undergo an oral examination for which 10% of marks will be awarded.

Students will be assessed by two examiners, the supervisor and another academic member of staff. The external examiner reviews dissertations and verifies the final mark.

Date for submission:

To be advised

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