Pilar, our Brazilian Ambassador, came to Ireland two years ago to pursue an MA in Social Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology. She enjoyed her time here so much, she has chosen Waterford IT not once but twice as a study destination – this time to work towards a PhD. Here are her five reasons why…

Research in social science

As a PhD student in the area of Social Science at Waterford Institute of Technology, I’m working on a specific research project which requires multitasking between reading, writing and doing field work, as well as attending workshops and conferences. I have just concluded my first semester and so far I couldn’t be happier with the program. An example of what the institution has offered is a Humanities Symposium, with weekly lectures given by professors on a range of topics. This has been an amazing opportunity for me to gain insights into subjects that were new to me or which I wanted to develop.

Opportunities and training

WIT makes a range of opportunities and training for research available to PhD students. An example is the Generic Skills program which provides research students at WIT with a selection of lectures throughout the year on particular skills they might like to improve, such as research methods, networking, academic writing, teaching and many others. There is also an annual event, the ‘WIT Research Day’, which allows for students across disciplines to get together, as well as present their research. This gives me the confidence that by the time I’m done with my PhD, I will have greatly enriched my CV and obtained a range of academic experiences!

Teaching experience

An incredible characteristic of the PhD program I’m in is that I’m required to teach (tutorials) to undergraduate students. I started my first semester taking a pedagogy module and offered to help research students prepare for teaching at third level. From the second semester onwards, I will start teaching at the institution. I feel this is not only a great professional experience but also an amazing asset to my CV.


If you’re interested in research and you’re looking for an institution with great facilities, WIT is the place for you! Not only does the institution have a spacious library, with a range of books in diverse disciplines, it also has specific rooms reserved for postgraduate students. PhD students are able to apply for a desk in the postgraduate room, which they can have their very own desk, computer, shelves, and even have access to a printer. This facility makes a great difference to me, as I don’t have a study space at home, and really gives me the feeling like I’m coming into my ‘office’ to work.

Access to lecturers

Finally, what I love most about WIT is how accessible the lecturers are. I have two supervisors for my research, who are there every step of the way and are always available to help me. I’m able to meet them for supervision once every two weeks and we are constantly in touch to make sure things are going in the right direction. They always take their time to give me detailed feedback on what I’m writing, which is an incredible support for helping me to improve.

If you are thinking about doing research and are interested in the area of Social Science, WIT is without a doubt the place to go!

Find out more about studying abroad at the Waterford Institute of Technology