We offer two types of research degree:

Visit NUI Galway's Courses Page for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

Visit NUI Galway's Courses Page for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

Doctoral research in Irish Studies at NUI Galway requires an interdisciplinary approach to key junctions and issues in the historical, cultural and social development of modern and contemporary Ireland.  The Centre for Irish Studies provides a supportive environment and has an exceptional record in assisting PhD candidates to complete their theses to the highest standards in a timely fashion.

Benefits of doing your PhD at the Centre for Irish Studies

  • The postgraduate research group Research enables students to present work in progress to their peers
  • The Centre also offers support for doctoral students to give papers at academic conferences in Ireland and overseas
  • Provide training in research methodologies
  • The Irish Studies Seminar Series and occasional Public Lectures in Irish Studies provide further opportunities for graduate students to engage with distinguished visiting scholars whose expertise coincides with their own research interests

Applications are especially welcome in the following areas

  • Twentieth-century Irish writing, in Irish and in English; translation studies, with particular emphasis on translation from Irish to English; modern and contemporary critical discourse in Irish
  • Sense of place and Irish culture and writing; Irish literary geographies; Irish place studies; philosophies of space and place; Irish historical cartography; colonial and postcolonial geographies
  • Emigration and Irish traditional music; popular music in Ireland; performance studies and Irish music practice; cultural revivalism; anthropology of music

PhD Graduates

Dr Seán Crosson, ’The Given Note’: The Influence and Use of Traditional Music and Song in Modern Irish Poetry
Supervisor:  Dr Louis de Paor 
External examiner:  An tOllamh Alan Titley, UCC.  2006

Dr Nessa Cronin, The Eye of History:  Spatiality and Colonial Cartography in Ireland
Supervisor:  Professor Tadhg Foley 
External examiner:  Professor William J. Smith, UCC.  2007

Dr John Eastlake, Native American and Irish Native Autobiography:  A Comparative Study
Supervisor:  Dr Louis de Paor 
External examiner:  Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, University of Notre Dame.  2008   

Dr Elizabeth Ball, Representing Bloody Sunday: Comparing Docudrama and Public Inquiry as Historical Representations
Supervisor:  Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh
External examiner:  Professor Paul Arthur, University of Ulster.  2010

Dr David Doyle, Sexual Crime and the Formulation of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1935:  A Quantitative, Historical and Legislative Analysis
Supervisor:  Dr Caitríona Clear 
External examiner:  Dr Senia Paseta, University of Oxford.  2010        

Dr Leo Keohane, Captain Jack White DSO (1879-1946):  A Study of His Politics and Philosophy, with Special Reference to the Period 1912-1922
Supervisor:  Professor Tadhg Foley  
External examiner:  Dr Emmet O’Connor, University of Ulster.  2011   

Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann: Shaping Tradition 1951-1971 
Supervisor:  An tOllamh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh
External examiner:  Professor  Harry White, UCD.  2011  

Dr Claire Lyons, Sylvester O’Halloran’s General History (1788):  Irish Historiography and the late Eighteenth-Century British Empire.
Supervisor:  Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin  
External examiner:  Professor Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam.  2012

Margaret Brehony, Irish Migration to Cuba, 1835-1844 
Supervisor:  Dr Katherine Powell
External examiner:  Professor Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham. 2012

Tim Collins, Beyond the Local: Redefining Regionalism in the Traditional Music of Sliabh Aughty and its Diaspora
Supervisor:  Dr Lillis Ó Laoire
External examiner:  Dr Mick Moloney, New York University, 2013

Debora Biancheri, Italian ’readings’ of Ireland: Cultural Implications of Literary Translation Practice
Supervisor:   Dr Louis de Paor
External Examiner:  Prof Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick, 2013

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, The French Connection: The Gaelic League and France, 1893-1922
Supervisor:   Dr Louis de Paor
External examiner:  Prof Phil O'Leary, Boston College, 2013

Verena Commins, Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy: A New Context for the Transmission, Commemoration and Performance of Irish Traditional Music 
Supervisor:   Dr Lillis Ó Laoire
External examiner:  Dr Mick Moloney, New York University, 2014


"I began my studies at the Centre for Irish Studies as a Doctoral Fellow in September 2008 and successfully completed my thesis three years later.   Although NUI Galway offers a variety of suitable venues for doctoral research, I chose the Centre of Irish Studies because of the interdisciplinary nature of my project.  The Centre also has a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence and this is supported by the atmosphere of generosity and availability which permeates the Centre at all levels, providing that small oasis of calm and support so necessary as you pursue the sometimes daunting, but always challenging, doctoral dissertation.”  - Dr Claire Lyons

Current Doctoral Research

Jenny McCarthy, Jack B Yeats and John Sloan: Ireland and America, 1910-1916
Supervisor:  Professor Tadhg Foley

Sara Hanafin, Coming ’home’: Place, Identity and Second Generation Return Migration from Britain
Supervisor:   Dr Mary Cawley

Therese McIntyre, Folk Memory and Historical ’fact’:  The Creation and Representation of Heroes in Irish Traditional Song and Ballad
Supervisor:  Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin and Dr Lillis Ó Laoire

Rita O’Donoghue, Fios na mBan: The Role of Women in the Funerary Customs of Erris in the Post-famine Era. 
Supervisor:  Dr Lillis Ó Laoire

Thomas Fisher, Mapping ’Iron Roads’: Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Railway System, 1834-c.1900 Supervisor:  Dr Nessa Cronin

Frank Conlon, Industrial Development in Ireland, 1922-1939
Supervisor:  Dr Aidan Kane

Ciaran McDonough, Investigating Irish Antiquarianism: A Comparative Study of Protestant and Catholic Antiquarian Cultures, 1785-1886
Supervisor:  An tOllamh Nollaig Ó Muraíle

Fionnuala Ní Ráinne, Aistriú an Spioraid Chruthaithigh: Grinnstaidéar ar Aistriúchán an Ghearrscéil ó Ghaeilge go Béarla, 1907 – 1999
Supervisor:   Dr Louis de Paor

Jeannine Kraft, The Legacy of the Landscape of the West: The Renegotiation of Irish Cultural Identity in Contemporary Visual Culture.
Supervisor:  Dr Nessa Cronin