Postgraduate StudiesPostgraduate Research Applications

Postgraduate Research Applications

Please Note: We are currently changing many aspects of how we deliver research postgraduate programmes so that we can significantly improve the research environment and training opportunities offered to our research postgraduates. Most significantly, for the 2018/19 academic year we are introducing a Structured PhD framework in which PhD students will be able to access an exciting range of modules covering both generic/transferrable skills and discipline-specific skills. These modules will assist them complete their research programmes and help them develop professionally.

Whilst these changes are being rolled out we will not be accepting applications for research postgraduate programmes. We will recommence accepting applications shortly.  At that time we will be accepting applications for positions on Masters by Research programmes and, for approved schools, on Structured PhD programmes.

This page describes how to apply for postgraduate research programmes at WIT and issues to keep in mind in making an application. 

The Research Degree Programme page in the Current Postgraduates area sets out the various milestones in the postgraduate programme lifecycle that follow application.

Before Applying

Opportunities for research leading to postgraduate awards are advertised in the press and on the WIT website and promoted at postgraduate fairs, nationally and internationally.  Prior to submitting an application, the candidate will normally consult with the appropriate Academic Department to ensure it is in a position to consider their application.  Applicants for research places are expected to have an idea for a research topic. They are strongly advised to have had prior contact with WIT researchers to ensure that WIT has the capacity to supervise them and the facilities for the work they intend to undertake.  Heads of Department and Research supervisors are happy to provide this type of advice to prospective postgraduates.

In some cases, there are opportunities to work on funded research projects. These are advertised in the national and local press and on our website. Those interested apply and qualified applicants will be short-listed and interviewed. Specific application details will be outlined on each advertised project.

How to Apply

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Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes

Applicants for funded Research Postgraduate programmes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) should apply directly to the Institute by submitting the completed application form Application Form to   Further information and details regarding funded Research Postgraduate programmes and scholarships are available from the Funded Opportunities section of our websiteUseful Guide: Application Procedures for Funded Postgraduate Research Programmes

Non-Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes

Applications for non-fund Research Postgraduate Programmes at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) should be made online through the Postgraduate Application Centre (PAC) at

The PAC online application system is open for new non-funded research postgraduate applications.  This is an online application system that allows applicants, for a fee of €50, to apply for up to four courses at Waterford Institute of Technology. Course selection can be from any of our PhD, Research and Taught Masters, Diplomas or Certificate courses. The fee is paid directly to PAC.   Useful Guide: Application Procedures for Non-Funded Research Postgraduate Programmes

On receipt of the application fee, your application will be available to view on the PAC system. Applicants are notified by email as each step of the review route is progressed. It is therefore, imperative that applicants have a secure email account and review it regularly for updates.

Research Postgraduate Admissions Contact: Tel: 051 302883   Email:


NOTE: International Students (Non-EU) are advised to contact the international office before submitting an application via PAC. International Office staff will give guidelines on how to apply and use PAC.  The closing date for the majority of programmes is in late June, early July. However, some programmes may have a different closing date taking into account the nationality of the applicant (some countries have longer visa processing times).


The application is reviewed within the relevant Academic Department(s). In the case of applications to undertake research within an autonomous research centre in WIT, the review process will involve feedback from the director of the centre in addition to the normal departmental procedures.
As a first step, the Head of Department will verify the qualifications and reject unqualified applicants or those for whom WIT is clearly unable to provide supervision or other resources required.
Remaining applicants will be accepted or rejected on the basis of their qualifications and the capacity of the school / department to provide the required student supervision, support and resources. These are reviewed by the school or Departmental Research Committee or a sub-group selected for this purpose. The selection process may involve an interview with the applicant.
A selection interview is a normal requirement for postgraduates competing for positions on funded research projects. Not all qualified candidates will be admitted. Cognisance will be taken of the Institute’s equal opportunities policy.

Where a candidate is selected the Department will issues an offer letter to the candidate which will include details of the supervisor assigned to them. To accept the offer the candidate must enrol with the WIT Research Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Entry Requirements

The normal entry standard for a Master’s degree is an honours Bachelor Degree (minimum level: 2nd Class Honours) in a field of study directly related to the subject matter of the Master’s Degree. In the case of applicants for a research position who hold a 2.2 Honours degree, they may be required to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma or a Taught Masters degree. The qualifications of direct applicants from overseas will be reviewed using the NARIC index.   Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

PhD students normally commence their studies on the Masters Register but can transfer to the PhD Register after 12 months, subject to satisfactory completion of the transfer process. 

Is there a closing date for research applications?

No, there is no closing date for research applications.   However, candidates are advised to apply two months in advance of their preferred start date.

How long will it take before I hear if I have been accepted?

You will receive an initial acknowledgement confirming receipt of your application immediately.  However, it can take up to two months before you receive confirmation that you have been accepted onto research postgraduate study.

What are the start dates for research?

September/October, January/March

How can I find a supervisor?

You should firstly contact the Academic Department where you wish to carry out your research.  Please find link to all the Academic Departments in WIT and their contact details.   All candidates applying to research degree programmes in WIT are encouraged to contact the Head of Department/Prospective Supervisor to discuss their proposed area of research prior to making a research application.  This contact will permit assessment of the feasibility of carrying out a research programme at the level sought, as well as allowing a thorough discussion of the proposed research project with prospective supervisor(s). 

Can I apply for a research programme in two departments?

Yes, you can be jointly supervised by two departments.

I don’t have a research topic. Can I still apply?

No, you must have a research topic before you can apply online.

How does the system work for research applicants?

You submit your application online via PAC supplying any other supporting documentation such as transcript of results, references etc.  

How will I be contacted about my application?

All correspondence about your application is in writing or email. In some cases the Research Postgraduate Admissions Officer may contact you by phone or email requesting further information.

How will I know when a decision has been made regarding my application?

Research Postgraduate Admissions, Registrar’s Office will issue the formal notification of the decision of the Head of Academic Department.  If your application has been successful you will receive confirmation by way of an Offer, which you should accept if you wish to proceed with your enrolment in WIT.  Once your acceptance has been received your will be sent an Enrolment Form and Fee payment information in order to proceed with your enrolment on a Research Postgraduate Programme in WIT.