The Science Education programme aims to give students the academic and practical skills they need to develop a critical understanding of the role of science education, research and communication in society. The programme explores the scientific method through theories of learning and engagement while providing opportunities for students to experience frontier research and current debates in science education. Topics include: citizen science, history, media, ethics, pedagogy, politics, publishing, evaluation and reflective practice. Modules are delivered by scientists, educators and experts from the School of Education.

Six students in a lecture theatre

Course Contact

Course Strand Leader: Dr Joseph Roche | Email

Who is this course for?

The programme is suited to science educators at all levels but in particular to science graduates who wish to gain an insight into the educational underpinnings of their discipline in order to apply their knowledge outside of their specialised field. This programme also caters for students with backgrounds in social science and humanities who have a professional interest in science.

See more details on the main courses website

The programme has both taught and research components. It may be taken on a one year full-time basis or on a two year part-time basis. The taught component includes four modules each including 25 hours of direct contact time. The research component involves carrying out a research project and writing a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. A course in research methods forms part of the dissertation work. The full-time, one year option requires students to complete the taught modules as well as research-based dissertation while the part-time two year option requires the taught component to be completed in the first year and the dissertation in the second year. Independent learning, at personal as well as group/collaborative level is actively encouraged.

Science in Society

This module explores the role of science in society and equips students with a knowledge of topics like citizen science and ethics that will serve as a platform to promote cultures of sustainability and progress.

Learning Theories

This module introduces a range of learning theories from education, psychology, machine learning and neuroscience that together generate a new 'science of learning' and will concentrate closely on the work of Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, which is among the most influential in current educational research and practice.

Communicating Science

This module examines the history and best practices of communicating science as well as the evaluation of public engagement in science.

Frontier Research and Current Debates in STEM Education: This module provides an opportunity to interact with frontier research being carried out in the university as well as the most pressing topics and concerns that STEM education faces nationally and internationally (where "STEM" is science, technology, engineering and maths).


To apply for one of our courses, the applicant must be a registered TCD user / or create a new user account.

Do I need to already have a science degree to take this course?

No. If you have a degree in a non-science discipline but you can justify why this course is of professional interest to you then it might still be possible to get a place on this course.

Do I need to have conclusively decided what my research topic will be for my dissertation before I start the course?

No. You only need to submit a research proposal before the course starts if you are taking the one-year full-time option. And even still you might decide that you want to change the direction of your research based on some of the material in the first modules. If you are unsure — you can always arrange a meeting with the module coordinators to get advice and feedback on your ideas.

Will this course give me a qualification to teach in secondary schools?

No. If you want to become a secondary school teacher then the Professional Master of Education (PME) is the course for you.