Institute of Education

MEd in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

Course Code:
DC732
Course Type:
Postgraduate
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Part-Time
Duration
2 Years
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 9072

Dyslexia affects one in 10 students in Ireland. In this course, the only one of its kind in Ireland, you’ll learn best-practice teaching strategies for students with literacy difficulties. You’ll also come to understand how to assess people for dyslexia. 

The part-time course is centred around three core areas: understanding the development of language and literacy learning; identifying and assessing specific learning difficulties and dyslexia; and managing curriculum-based interventions and evidence-based practice and support.

Gain skills to work at home or abroad

Throughout your study, you’ll explore the current conceptualisation of dyslexia and basic psychometrics concepts. You’ll also learn how to complete literacy assessments in reading, writing and spelling, and how to create a personalised support and intervention programme. 

The programme is accredited by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), and you’ll be eligible for internationally-recognised associate membership of the BDA (AMBDA) on completion of the course. You’ll also be awarded an Assessment Practising Certificate.

As a graduate, you’ll be sought after for roles in dyslexia assessment and specialist teaching at home and abroad, as well as disability support positions at third-level institutions. 

The programme aims to build capacity in schools in the area of SpLD/Dyslexia and to develop teachers who would be expected to:

  • Select, administer and interpret detailed diagnostic assessments and use appropriate psychometric tools
  • Effectively identify and use appropriate strategies, interventions and approaches to support learners with Dyslexic-type difficulties
  • Provide expert advice to parents and professionals in different settings and at all levels
  • Support mainstream teachers, contribute to the effective working of multi-disciplinary teams and lead a multi- disciplinary team

In the first year of M Ed SpLD/Dyslexia students focus on theories and models of language and literacy development; and the identification of learning differences underpinning specific learning difficulties.  They reflect on their own practice and build experience in evaluating programmes and methods to support the development of literacy across the curriculum. Students also undertake literacy assessments in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, and create an individualised support and intervention programme. 

In the second year students gain a critical understanding of diagnostic assessment using standardised assessment tests  and  develop professional expertise in assessing students and in writing professional reports containing recommendations for intervention. They complete a Professional Practice Portfolio (PPP) based on in-depth assessments, analysis and learner support. An action research element is an integral part of Year 2 as students develop professional expertise and leadership in the area of SpLD/Dyslexia in their school or work contexts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Life

There are 1 or 2 online sessions every week of term. These last for approximately 2 hours (e.g. Tuesday, 6-8PM). There are up to 3 weekend sessions every term as well. Two of these are face to face in St Patrick's Campus (Drumcondra) and take place on a Friday evening (6PM-8:30PM) and on Saturday (9AM-4PM). The third weekend is a Saturday which is held online. Students do independent work around this (and their own) teaching schedule.

On successful completion of the professional requirements of the MEd SpLD/Dyslexia programme (90 ECTS), candidates are eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) certification. With AMBDA status, the dyslexia specialist teacher is internationally recognised to undertake dyslexia assessment and specialist teaching.

Requirements

This programme is run on a cyclical basis, with the next intake in September 2025.

 

Applications will be welcomed from primary teachers, post-primary teachers and other professionals in the education community who have completed registration with the Teaching Council. Applicants are required to have a Honours degree with a minimum of H2.2 with at least 3 years work experience in education/teaching.

 

Candidates are expected to have good grounding and understanding of literacy and dyslexia.  Standard entry procedures with disabilities apply.

 

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above.

 

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

Primary and post primary applicants must be registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland.

 

Fees

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
Year 1: €4,200/ Year 2: €4,500
Non EU Fee Part time
Year 1: €8,800/Year: 2 €9,800

What qualifications will I receive upon completion of this course?

Completion of this course provides you with the AMBDA/APC international qualifications. These qualifications recognise the holder’s ability to undertake the assessment of dyslexia. Schools and learners can use these for RACE and DARE applications etc. and the  DAI recommends our graduates to families seeking assessments and specialist interventions. However, it must be noted that access to the four specialist reading schools in Ireland still seem to require an educational psychologist's report according to their admissions policies. 

What is the workload like e.g. number of session per week?

In terms of teaching time, there are 1 or 2 online sessions every week of term. These last for approximately 2 hours. There are up to 3 weekend sessions every term as well. Two of these are face to face in St Patrick's Campus (Drumcondra) and take place on a Friday evening (6PM-8:30PM) and on Saturday (9AM-4PM). The third weekend is a Saturday which is held online. Students do independent work around this (and their own) teaching schedule.

When is the next intake for this course?

Our next intake for this course will be in September 2025.

Next Steps

All applicants must:

 

Apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here.  Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

  • Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • Provide a 500-750 word (max.) personal statement stating why you want to undertake this course.
  • Students will be required to undertake diagnostic assessment of individual learners over the course of the programme. You must be able to confirm that you have access to learners at (a) primary OR (b) post-primary OR (c) further education level for the duration of the course.
  • Upload Teaching Council Confirmation of Registration and number.
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml.

 

 

Additional Information

 

Candidates are required to have a minimum Level 8 qualification in education (H2.2 or higher).

 

You need to have access to students/learners who have ongoing reading/writing difficulties - either in your own school or in your educational setting. At least three pupils/students with ongoing difficulties in the area of literacy will be needed (for assessment purposes, detailed planning in the area of literacy, and teaching).

 

Specialist teaching is an integral part of M Ed SpLD and this includes a total of 30 hours of evaluated, individual and/or small group teaching throughout the programme (twenty hours in year one, ten in year two where possible). Students are visited by a tutor who holds AMBDA and receives feedback on assessments, lesson planning and literacy interventions.

 

 

As the number of places in this course is limited, it may not be possible to admit all qualified applicants. If there are more applicants than available places, a selection process will be undertaken by the Programme Chair and Head of School whereby the following criteria will be considered.

 

Relevance of previous undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications

Experience of working with learners who have dyslexia/literacy difficulties

Engagement with relevant professional development in the area of language and literacy

 

Application Queries


For EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/eu-postgraduate-taught-admissions or email postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie


For non EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/international-admissions-undergraduate-and-postgraduate or email internationaladmissions@dcu.ie