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Institute of Education

Doctor of Education

Postgraduate Research

The next intake for this programme will be for August/September 2020.

  • PAC CodeDCE49
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • Delivery Modes Part-time
  • Duration 2 Years

Course Fees

  • Student Contribution€0
  • EU Status Fee€0
  • Non EU Fees€0
About fees & requirements

The EdD is a research degree for experienced professionals from education and related fields who would like to extend their professional understanding and develop skills in research, evaluation and high-level reflection on practice.

The programme, offered within DCU's Institute of Education, aims to foster professional development through research as well as meeting the requirements of rigour and originality expected of a doctorate. It includes assessed taught courses, research-focused workshops and supervised original research. It offers participants the opportunity to take modules in and complete a research study in one of the following eight Areas of Professional Focus:

  • Arts, Creativity and Imagination in Education
  • Assessment, Learning and Teaching
  • Digital Learning
  • Inclusive and Special Education
  • Leadership and Evaluation
  • Religious Education
  • Teacher Education
  • Values Education

Through a strong group dynamic, the intention of the programme is to foster cohort solidarity, develop inter- and intra-personal skills that are critical for teamwork, while simultaneously developing writing, research, critical, analytical, communication, leadership and collaborative skills to the highest possible standards. The intention is to educate an existing emergent educational leadership in the Irish context to the highest possible international standards.

The ​Doctor of Education ​programme ​(​Ed.D​) at the Institute of Education is currently running with a cohort which started their taught modules in July 2018. The next cohort to be recruited will be with a view to their starting their studies in August 2020​.​​​ Further details and confirmation of dates will be added to the website as they become available. 

Please note that the Areas of Professional Focus on offer​ can ​differ between one intake and the next.

Some Areas of Professional Focus have already reached capacity. Applicants for these areas will be placed on a waiting list and contacted in the event of a place becoming available.

Further Area of Professional Focus information »


Specifically the programme aims to:

Educate to the highest international standards an existing and emerging educational leadership by providing leading edge experiences to facilitate the development of research expertise, critical and analytical skills in a variety of areas, and capacities for leadership.

Enable participants to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding in the Areas of Professional Focus while at the same time help them to situate their emerging perspectives within national and international discourses with a view to shaping and giving direction to existing and emerging policy and practice agendas.

It is also intended that the participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Extend their knowledge of and expertise in competing and complementary research paradigms and genres (including philosophical approaches to enquiry);
  • Critique policy frameworks and their application in the interrogation of policy documents and/or; international 'social movements' and the manner in which these are refracted nationally within educational discourses;
  • Develop skills in becoming a critical consumer of published research as well as highly skilled in academic writing and publishing for a variety of educational audiences;
  • Develop and enhance their leadership potential as well as the skills appropriate for collaboration and team work, communication, interpersonal and intra-personal reflective capacity and presentational skills.


The Institute of Education at DCU represents the largest critical mass of education expertise on the island of Ireland. It  provides initial teacher education and continuous professional development for teachers and educators at all stages of the educational continuum. It seeks to provide opportunities for educators in a diverse range of environments - including schools, healthcare, industrial and commercial settings - to engage with research and ideas that will allow them transform their professional practice. 

Graduate Studies are central to the mission of the Institute. Masters and doctoral students, on both taught and research programmes, make up one quarter of DCU's student body, and are the most diverse group in the University.

Mature students, international students and part time students are all highly represented and contribute to the rich learning environment within the Institute and across the University more generally.


The Doctorate in Education is intended for experienced professionals who wish to take on leadership roles and make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice in education and related fields.

In these areas


General Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the programme is a second class or higher Master's degree (or equivalent) in education or a specific discipline area appropriate for one of the Areas of Professional Focus.

  • Candidates for the religious education APF must hold or have held a position in religious education or related field for at least four years (pre- or post-masters).
  • For the educational leadership and evaluation APF, candidates will be required to hold or have held a position involving managerial responsibility for at least four years (pre- or post-masters).

In exceptional circumstances, the Programme Board shall make appropriate recommendations to Academic Council for candidates who do not fully meet these criteria. In all cases, such recommendations shall be approved in accordance with the University's APEL guidelines and in line with general University regulations. Upon application, the candidate will submit a draft 1500 word proposal addressing the following issues:

  • A broad outline of the area of the research the candidate would like to pursue
  • A rationale for choosing this area and the likely benefits that might accrue from it
  • The nature of the candidate's experience relevant to this research

A formal, more developed, research proposal will be submitted at the end of year two.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

How to Apply

Those interested in applying should in the first instance, complete an Expression of Interest Form plus a 1500 word draft research proposal and submit both to Dr. Fiona King , DCU Institute of Education, DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra, Dublin D09 DY00.

We are currently accepting expressions of interest for the next intake.

The next intake for this programme will be for August/September 2020. 

EU Applicants

We are not currently accepting applications for the next intake.

Non EU Applicants

We are not currently accepting applications for the next intake.

If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.