School of Policy & Practice


Primary Department
School of Policy & Practice
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 116

Academic biography

Dr, Shivaun O'Brien is an assistant professor in the DCU Institute of Education, School of Policy and Practice. She is a Director of School Placement for the B.Sc in Science Education, B.Sc. in PE with Biology, B.Sc. in PE with Maths and the Professional Master of Education (post-primary). Dr. O'Brien lectures on a range of programmes including: the Doctor of Education, Professional Master of Education, B.Sc. in Science Education, B.Sc in PE and Biology,

She is a senior researcher in the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) and has expertise in the areas of quality assurance, school self-evaluation (SSE), school improvement, student participation, data use in schools and continuing professional development.  She manages a number of research projects relating to her areas of expertise, as part of her work with the EQI.   In 2015, she established the DCU Partnership for Learning Programme, which involves the coordination and provision of a wide range of certified and evidence-based, CPD opportunities for teachers in DCU Cooperating Schools. 

Other Roles
Member of the Placements and Related Partnerships Faculty Committee. 
Represent IoE on the SE and PE management groups for B.Sc PE/ Biology, PE/Maths and SE. 
Member of the Professional Master of Education Standing Committee.

She was qualified as a post-primary teacher and worked in mainstream for a number of years. Having completed a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Community Development she worked in many aspects of adult and further education and specialised in work with disadvantaged youth. For 10 years she worked as National Coordinator of the Quality Framework Initiative, a quality assurance system for Centres of Education, which she established and coordinated. She worked for Louth and Meath Education and Training Board as Education Development Officer, for five years where she was part of the Senior Management Team. before taking up her position in DCU. 

Research interests

Self-Evaluation, Evaluation, Capacity Building, School Improvement, Education Policy, Accountability, Inspection, Facilitation of Improvement Processes.