Welcome to the DCU Partnership for Learning


Dr Shivaun O’Brien: Associate Dean for Professional Development and Partnerships

Dr Shivaun O’Brien: Associate Dean for Professional Development and Partnerships

The DCU Partnership for Learning programme of free professional development is offered exclusively to staff in primary, post-primary, early childhood education, and further education and training settings that host our students on placement. We value the partnerships that have developed over the years with our placement settings. Each year these sectors provide thousands of learning opportunities for DCU education students, as well as many hours of professional mentoring, support and encouragement. We recognise and promote the importance of professional learning for educators across all sectors and we are delighted to provide key learning processes as part of Cosán, the Teaching Council framework for teacher's learning.
Dr Shivaun O'Brien
Associate Dean for Professional Development and Partnerships

How does it work?

Every year, DCU develops a suite of non-accredited courses which are delivered over an academic year. The full programme of courses for the new academic year is updated on this website each summer, and communicated to our eligible placement settings every September.  Principals/ Centre Managers are advised to circulate the information and enrolment details to all staff and encourage staff to participate in the courses provided. On campus and online (via Zoom) courses generally take place between October and April each year. On-demand courses can be availed of at any stage.

I advise interested staff to book early, where relevant, in order to avoid disappointment as maximum numbers apply. I welcome any queries, comments or recommendations you may have in relation to the programme of professional development and I look forward to your engagement in the courses outlined.

Please Note: Eligible settings are those that offer to host our students on placement in the academic year during which courses are being provided and also those that offered to host students in the previous academic year.

Who can avail?
Who can avail?

Any setting hosting a DCU student from the list of programmes outlined below, (in the current or previous academic year) may avail of these free courses. These are not restricted to Treoraithe/ Mentors but are offered to all staff within the settings.

Early Childhood Education Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
Primary Bachelor of Education
  Professional Master of Education (Primary)
Post-Primary Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Maths
  Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Biology
  Bachelor of Science in Science Education
  Bachelor of Religious Education and English
  Bachelor of Religious Education and History
  Bachelor of Religious Education and Music
  Bachelor of Education in Gaeilge, and French or German or Spanish
  Professional Master of Education (Post-primary)
Further Education and Training Bachelor of Science in Education and Training


Range of courses
Range of courses

Sector specific courses are provided for early childhood education, primary, post-primary and further education and training settings, in addition to a number of cross sectoral courses.  

These are delivered in a range of formats, including on campus, online via Zoom, and online self-paced. In person courses take place on DCU’s St Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra. Apart from our own online  self-paced courses(provided via our LOOP platform), we are also delighted to share with you the online Inspire Teaching and Learning programme.

This is an extensive programme of over 70 free, online and on demand modules for teachers that is offered through our partners in National University, San Diego.

How to enrol
How to enrol

In September each year, information on how to enrol is circulated by email to eligible settings (those that have offered to host a student during the same and/or previous academic year as the courses are being offered).

Staff in settings that host our students on placement should check with the principal/ placement coordinator/ manager to check if the enrolment details have been received.

Certification of completion
Certification of completion
  • Certificate of completion can be generated for DCU self-paced online courses, see Partnership for Learning page on LOOP  for instructions
  • Certificate of completion will automatically be issued on completion of any of the Inspire Teaching and Learning online modules
  • Certification is not provided for DCU on campus  and  synchronous (live) courses

Partnership for Learning sector coordinators

The selection of courses provided to settings is coordinated by a member of our Professional Development and Partnerships Committee, each of whom has sector specific knowledge and experience. If you have any sector specific queries or recommendations, please contact the relevant sector coordinator at: partnership4learning@dcu.ie.

Partnership with Placement Settings: Supported Placement, Provision of PD to Cooperating Settings, Research and Development.

Partnership with Placement Settings

DCU Institute of Education: Vision for Partnership with Placement Settings


Building on years of engagement with schools at different levels, the vision aims to ensure that the relationship is more structured and reciprocal. The partnership has three key aspects as outlined below:

  • Supported Placement: We aim to build on and improve our systems for engaging with settings in relation to placement
  • Provision of PD to Cooperating Settings: We aim to recognise the support of settings through the provision of a high quality programme of PD
  • Research and Development: We aim to explore opportunities for research and development with partner settings