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PhD by Prior Publication

The part-time 2-year PhD by Prior Publication through completed practice-based research consists of a thesis of 20-30,000 words, which should be comparable in terms of quality and rigour to that of the practice-based PhD, amounting to an original contribution to new knowledge.


This pathway affords established mid-career practitioners (filmmakers, screen and visual artists) – some of whom are employed in universities in and outside Ireland – the opportunity to reflect theoretically and methodologically on their body of practice generated during the past decade; the practice may include any one or a combination of the following artefacts: public exhibition and performance, film screenings, exhibition catalogues, critical reviews, peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, monographs, books and scholarly editions of a text.


A typical candidate would, for example, be widely recognised by their peers for a significant contribution to their disciplinary specific field of creative practice. The practitioner may be working in a cultural institution or in a creative context, seeking an opportunity to step back from their production routine with a view to critically reflecting on their outputs.


Preliminary Application: Breakdown of Process

  • Identification of 4 publicly disseminated practice-based research projects from the last ten years.
  • Submission of short contextual statements for each of the 4 projects (publications), identifying the necessary methodological and theoretical framing underpinning each project, together with its contribution to knowledge and exhibitionary context. This exercise will enable candidates to identify core research methodologies and theories across the four projects, forming the basis of a coherent argument for claiming a contribution to the advancement of knowledge in each candidate’s specific field. This process will be supported by peer-led review.
  • On successful completion of this exercise, candidates will progress to completing a final 2000-word framing statement and submission of the DIT Preliminary Application form (please see Related Links panel)
  • Under the DIT Postgraduate Research Regulations, ‘the relevant College Board will nominate one external reviewer, one internal reviewer and a potential supervisor(s)… Applicants passing this preliminary stage will be registered for a PhD based on Prior Publications’.