Institute of Education

Professional Diploma in Education (Ethical & Multidenominational Education)

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2 yr
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This Postgraduate Diploma was first introduced in 2013 as the first approach of its kind in Irish education. It is designed to develop expertise in multi-denominational education. It is particularly, but not exclusively, aimed at teachers with an interest in teaching in multi-denominational schools.

In an Irish context, the multi-denominational sector is increasingly differentiated. Alongside the more established Educate Together primary schools, there has been the more recent emergence of Community National Schools. The ETB sector of schools at secondary level is also predominantly multi-denominational. Moreover, the diversity of pupils within the denominational sector has led to increased interest in alternative models of ethics and RE. At a curriculum level, there have also been efforts to develop a national curriculum in Education about Religion and Beliefs and Ethics (ERBE) by NCCA.

Our modules explore the theory and practice of multi-denominational and ethical education, democracy and education as well as investigating pluralist pedagogy in curriculum. Reference is made to both primary and post primary levels of schooling in Ireland, and to the wider European and international context. Opportunities are available for further study in this area through to doctoral (EdD) level in Values Education

The overall aim of the course is to develop the skills and competencies of primary and post-primary mainstream class teachers in response to the demands of multi-denominational educational policy and practice. In particular, the course aims to provide an opportunity for teachers to develop knowledge, skills and competencies in key areas of multi-denominational and ethical educational provision and planning at school and class level.

This programme aims to offer professional development to individual teachers in the area of multi-denominational and ethical education. It also aims to create a community of learners who will communicate and collaborate with each other in support of the teaching and learning of pupils from a multi-denominational and ethical perspective in schools.


4 modules | Minimum study time: 12 months

Philosophies of Ethical and Multi-Denominational Education

Democracy and Education

Curriculum and Pedagogy (in Multi-denominational school settings)

Ethical Leadership



As for Certificate plus one year long research module commencing in September each year | Minimum study time: 2 years


View the current course structure

This programme is delivered through an online/distance learning environment supported by DCU Institute of Education with a teaching staff who have considerable experience and expertise in the delivery of programmes and support of students in the multi-denominational environment. This PG Diploma, originating in 2013, was the first of its kind in Ireland and built on the ground-breaking work of the Ethical Education core modules at undergraduate BEd level, allowing student-teachers a professional expertise in pluralist education for the first time in Ireland.

As a registered student of DCU, you will have access to all library facilities and services.





Graduates of the Professional /Certificate Diploma in Ethical and Multi-Denominational Education are strengthening their career prospects in the multi-denominational sector of schooling at primary and postprimary levels. Moreover, all schools are increasingly looking for expertise in the myriad areas of ethical education, from Relationships and Sexuality education through to comparative religious and beliefs education to social and emotional education.

There are also emergent career prospects for these graduates in policy and curriculum areas of education, where there is an increasing emphasis on more pluralist approaches to education.   

Successful candidates may also wish to extend their academic study in this area at DCU. Opportunities are available for further study in this area through to doctoral (EdD) level in Values Education at the Institute.   


Entry to the part time Professional Diploma in Education (Ethical & Multidenominational Education) is open to candidates with a recognised qualification (Level 8, Lower Second Class Honors Degree, / H2:2) in primary or post-primary education or a related area of study. 


Full time

EU Status Fee
€510 per module

Next Steps

To apply for this programme:

  • 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.

All Applicants must submit:

  • Certified academic transcripts for all years of study
  • Personal Statement of 250 words maximum outlining your reasons for applying
  • Brief CV outlining relevant professional or equivalent experience

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines

This programme will not have an intake in September 2022.


Queries from EU applicants should be directed to

Queries from non EU applicants should be directed to