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Research Degrees

The School welcomes applications from prospective students wishing to pursue independent postgraduate study in the area of education.

The School of Education is active in the area of postgraduate supervision and currently has approximately seventy research students at Masters (Research), Ph.D. and Doctoral levels engaging in research across a wide range of areas relating to education. In addition the School has two associated research centers and engages in externally funded research in a number of areas. Current key areas of research include: Language; Drama; Autism; ICT; Sociology; Philosophy; Psychology; History; Anti-Bullying; Leadership & Management; Policy Research; Science Education; Mathematics; HE and FE.

For further information on courses offered and in relation to the School's research activities please see below and the Research webpage:

FAQs for Structured Ph.D. and D.Ed. Programme applicants.

Q: I’m an applicant interested in pursuing a Ph.D. with the School of Education. What are the entry requirements?

A: Prospective students are normally expected to hold a good honors degree (preferably an upper second class) or above and be fluent in the English language. All applicants whose first language is not English and have not been educated through the medium of English must provide evidence of English language proficiency: IELTS Grade 6.5. For more details including application forms, closing dates and registration process, visit the School of Education website:

Q: I'm thinking of undertaking one of the programmes in your School. Could you explain the difference between a structured Ph.D. and the D.Ed. Programme?

A: The Ph.D. structured programme has a full time and part time option with two mandatory modules (1. Ph.D. Research Methods (10 ECTS credits) and Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship (5 ECTS)). A Ph.D. thesis is not to exceed 100,000 words of text. The D. Ed. is a part time programme designed primarily to meet the needs of professionals within the Irish education system. The most structurally visible part of the D.Ed. programme are the taught modules/seminar sessions. The D.Ed. thesis is typically between 60,000 and 80,000 words of text. The Ph.D. and D.Ed. are both level 10 programmes. Handbooks are available for each programme and more details on entry requirements, fees, etc. on the School of Education website.

Q: Could you advise at what times of year and how often there is an intake of students to the Ph.D. and D.Ed. Programmes?

A: The Ph.D. structured programme has two registration periods (September and March) and full details are available at: The D.Ed. programme has one registration period (September) every two years at present. However, expressions of interest are welcome all year round. Full details available HERE.

Q: What are the key aspects of my application?

A: In addition to all necessary supplementary documentation by the application deadline, a key aspect is to produce a viable research proposal. It is equally important to assess if an academic staff member within the School of Education is in a position to supervise your Ph.D.. In order to determine if a potential supervisor is available, we recommend that you consult the School of Education staff webpage.

Q: I’m interested in pursuing a programme in the School of Education. Do I need to select and communicate with a potential supervisor prior to applying?

A: Yes, even if you have not been successful in identifying a potential supervisor, you can still apply through the online system and your application will be considered by the admissions committee. At its discretion, the committee may direct your proposal to an appropriate staff member within the School of Education. However, it is preferable to identify a supervisor in advance of making an application. In the case that a supervisor is not secured, the application will still incur a small fee.

Q: Once a potential supervisor has been identified, what is the next step?

A: The next step is to contact the potential supervisor and find out if they might have capacity to supervise you. It is advisable to send a short email with pertinent information to enable a response: including your draft research proposal, your suitability to undertake this work, note any scholarships/fellowships or funding in place, and any other important information.

Q: At what stage can the application process be completed?

A: A full application must be completed approximately three months prior to the registration period.

How is an application assessed for the doctoral programmes?

A: All submitted applications are considered by a review committee in the School of Education. The role of this committee is to determine whether or not you will be extended an offer to take up a place on the Ph.D. programme. The research proposal is a key consideration in this process. A review committee is also in place with respect to applicants to the D.Ed. programme.

Q: Is it possible to attend the taught modules online?

A: Yes, the Ph.D. Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship module is available online. Other modules are currently taught in a face to face format.

Q: I would like to find out more information …. who do I contact?

A: Please contact the Ph.D. and D.Ed. administrators via email at or via phone at 01-8963583 and they would be delighted to help you further.