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Change Lives

Explore PhD study at Queen's University Belfast

Want to make an impact on the world?

You could change lives with Postgraduate Research.

You don't have to be a genius to make a positive difference. There are PhD options for everyone, and it's a great way to contribute to solving a real-world challenge while exploring your passion and progressing in your field.

Get a step up in your career by working with our leading academics, in an environment where ideas and innovation flourish, and where students and researchers develop their talents and fulfil their ambitions. PhD students often progress in academia or enter industry at a high level, where their depth of expertise is highly valued

We have 79 different subjects on offer for Postgraduate Research and our Graduate School has state-of-the-art facilities and activities to support you. From Arts Management to Climate Change, there's an opportunity– and a supervisor - for everyone. 

Catch up on our PhD event from 18 November

Hear from our academics as well as current and past research students about what PhD study is really like.

Watch now

Student Experience: Supporting refugees through education research 

Morgan Mattingly, PhD, Education

Morgan is from the USA, and is a PhD researcher at Queen’s in the field of Education. She studies the education gaps that refugees face along their migratory journey and examines how technology could help them.

Student Experience: Trump and far right online communities

Cian Luddy, PhD, Politics

Cian is from Cork, and is a PhD researcher at Queen’s in the field of Politics. He says 'The skills I've been given because of the PhD, the ability to do research, the ability to make arguments, the ability to write clearly and to make myself understood by other people, those are things that are transferable very easily outside."

Useful links

Find a PhD Supervisor

Research Opportunities

Research Areas by Subject

Guide to Writing a Research Proposal

If you have an idea that doesn’t currently fit in to any of our currently advertised opportunities, we’d love you to submit your own proposals.

Belfast City Hall from above


Find new opportunities right on your doorstep.

Queen’s is based Belfast, a vibrant, affordable student city where you could save over €7,000 a year compared to studying in Dublin. 

With an array of private and University accommodation available for all budgets, you’re guaranteed a great place to live, so you can concentrate on new experiences, new people, and new ways to build your future.

Queen’s is just two hours from Dublin, less than 90 minutes from Monaghan and under 2.5hrs from Donegal. Cross-border train services run eight times daily, while an hourly bus service runs 24 hours.

Belfast vs Dublin Cost Comparison


Ranked joint 1st in the UK for research intensity

(Complete University Guide 2022)


43rd most impactful university globally in tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals

(Source: THE Impact Rankings 2021)

Get a Postgraduate Doctoral loan of up to £27,265 to cover your fees and living costs or you could take advantage of one of our many funded opportunities.


Ranked 3rd out of 65 universities worldwide for our Graduate School

(Source: International Student Barometer, 2022)

Help solve real-world challenges and make an impact, supported by academics who are world-leaders in their respective fields.


All data is held and processed by the University in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and will be not be disclosed to any third parties. Personal data is never sold to a third party. For more information about how your personal data is stored and used, please visit our Legal page or see our Student Privacy Statement.

Male student with supervisor


Queen's is a member of the Russell Group - the UK’s 24 leading research-intensive universities. Our academics are world-leading and their expertise is shared with the PhD students they supervise and guide.

A postgraduate research degree from Queen’s is a mark of distinction, signalling that you have studied at the pinnacle of your chosen field. What you learn here, you will carry with you throughout your career. 

Belfast also has the lowest cost of living in the UK making Postgraduate Research at Queen's more affordable than at most other universities (Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2023). 



At Queen's there is a thriving PhD research culture, with a community of students at all stages and disciplines, supporting and challenging each other through their respective research journeys. 

Through our ‘whole person’ approach to career development, your research skills training will be complemented with professional skills training. This can redefine your future career as a leader, innovator and communicator in the globally competitive job market, whether your future lies in academia or industry.

At Queen’s, you can collaborate on projects with Ireland’s biggest employers, work with innovators at the forefront of your field and feel energised by people who share your spark. 

Discover The Graduate School

Student looking upwards outside Lanyon


From fully funded opportunities to scholarships, awards and loans- there are lots of resources to help you fund your research.

There are also several funding bodies and external funding options

See all funding options

Margaret Topping
"Given the global market place that we now operate in, we need to train you not just as a subject specialists but as people who are highly skilled...I think one of the key unique selling points of the postgraduate experience at Queen's- is that we have that whole person approach to the PhD experience, it's research excellence on the one hand and then preparing you for whatever market you end up going in to as you look for jobs."

Professor Margaret Topping

Hear from our academics

Morgan Mattingly
"I think that Queen's is really special in that it has so many amazing professors who study such a wide variety of subject areas - the people here at Queen's are the best resource you can have"..

Morgan Mattingly, PhD in Education

Hear from more PhD Students