Institute of Education

Doctor of Education

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Mode:
4 years
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700 9177
Applications for this programme are closed. The next intake is August 2022.

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 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.

Applications for this programme are now closed. The next intake is August 2022. Please contact to express an interest in the programme. When the application process for the 2022 intake of the programme opens you will automatically be sent an application form.

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.

Course Structure

Our part-time EdD programme is over four years with the first two years involving a taught programme and the final two years involving the research under the guidance of your supervisors. 

Year one involves attendance at a summer school in August (e.g. 17th - 21st, 2020) followed by 3 weekends before Christmas and three weekends after Christmas. Weekends typically consist of Friday evening lectures 4.30 - 8.30 and Saturday lectures 9.00 - 6.00 pm. 

Year two just has the six weekends as in year one. 

There are a number of core modules which all students attend together and then a smaller number of modules focusing on your area of professional focus (APF).

View the current course structure »

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.

Career Areas
Community based organisations
Government Agencies
Health Sector
Human Resource Management
Non Governmental Organisation

The Doctor of 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.


General Entry Requirements

Applications for this programme are closed. The next intake is August 2022, beginning with a Summer School on campus in DCU.

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.

All candidates are typically required to have a minimum of five years professional experience or hold a position of responsibility for at least five years related to the chosen Area of Professional Focus. 

In exceptional circumstances only, candidates for a Professional Doctorate degree who do not meet the stipulated entry requirements based on their cognate degree but who can demonstrate exceptional ability or aptitude for academic research may apply to pursue studies for a research degree. They may base their application on recognition of their accredited or experiential prior learning, in line with University policies in this regard.

For further information on this please contact 


Postgraduate Research


Next Steps

Make an Application

Applications for this programme are closed. The next intake is August 2022, beginning with a Summer School on campus in DCU.

How to Apply:

Please contact to express an interest in the programme. When the application process for the 2022 intake of the programme opens you will automatically be sent an application form. 

Following receipt of completed applications, suitable applicants will be invited for an interview in April - May 2022. Successful applicants will then apply through the Student Application Portal.

All applicants must submit the following documentation:

  • Certified academic transcripts for all years of study at college or university in original language, with certified English translations;

  • Letter of approval from the Institute of Education.

  • Draft Research Proposal

Applicants are advised to make your application as early as possible to ensure documentation validation is complete. 

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.