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The UCD Structured PhD in Education is one of the most challenging, rewarding and exciting graduate programmes in Education. It has an international reputation, and graduates are currently employed as academics in leading universities, as teachers, as school principals, and as education policy makers and innovators in the public and private sector.

Course Code                                       W135 full-time, W136 part-time
Major Code  
Duration
3 years Full-time / 5years Part-time
Closing date of Entry
September and January annually
Contact
Yuxuan Chen educationenquiries@ucd.ie 
Director
Dr Jennifer Symonds 

On the programme, students must complete a substantial thesis of typically around 80,000 words, detailing an original research study that has made a significant contribution to knowledge. The structured component is thirty credits of taught modules including at least one research methods module. The other two modules may be any graduate level modules of choice offered at the School of Education or more broadly within the College of Social Sciences and Law.

The PhD in Education can be carried out full time over three years or part time over five years. The production of a written thesis of around 80,000 words detailing the student’s original research study and how it has made a significant contribution to knowledge, remains the core objective of the PhD. Typically, the thesis will consist of, or lead directly to, peer reviewed publications in academic journals or a published monograph. 

A large range of supports are also available within UCD, for all graduate researchers. These include library study pods, training in many aspects of research and research management, and superb library facilities. UCD also has a state-of-the-art leisure centre with an Olympic swimming pool, a cinema, theatre, and a medical centre.

In addition, our students are supported in writing applications for grants and scholarships, and we have a very high level of success in attracting student awards from the Irish Research Council, and the National University of Ireland. Our students present their research at the All-Ireland doctoral conference, hosted annually by UCD and QUB, and they also present at international conferences. Many of our research students have won places on prestigious graduate summer schools.

Offering the gold standard in graduate education, UCD doctoral degrees are highly regarded all over the world. We welcome applications from all areas of educational research, and applicants of all nationalities.

Application process

  1. Please apply online using the electronic system available here: http://www.ucd.ie/registry/admissions/apply.html
  2. Once you have applied online, please email the Director of Doctoral Research [jennifer.symonds@ucd.ie] to state your application has been made online. 
  3. If you would like to use our guidelines for writing a PhD proposal you can find them below. However, proposals that are not an exact match to the guidelines are also welcomed. PhD proposal template
  4. Your application will be evaluated using the following criteria:
    • High honours in an appropriate master’s degree (or equivalent) and/or evidence of other academic standing and/or relevant professional experience that demonstrates suitability for PhD study.
    • Evidence of meeting the School’s English language requirements for PhD study. These are: IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5, or alternatively a masters’ degree graded at 2:1 or above, written in English and obtained from an English speaking institution in an English speaking country, within the past 3-years from date of application.
    • Research proposal in topic area of interest to the School of Education.If your application meets our criteria, we will also require that you have an agreed Faculty member (an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) at the UCD School of Education to supervise you.
  5. If a Faculty member has formally agreed to supervise you (we may require email documentation), please state this in your application. If you do not have a supervisor before applying, we will attempt to match you to one after receiving your online application. Please note that it is optional for Faculty members to supervise PhD students. 
  6. Applicants who meet our admissions criteria and who have an agreed supervisor will be recommended for admission to the PhD programme.

PhD in Education and Lifelong Learning

Course Code
W244 Full-time; W245 Part-time
Major Code
 
Duration
3 years / 5 years
Next intake
September and January annually
Contact
Yuxuan Chen educationenquiries@ucd.ie
Director
Professor Dympna Devine

The UCD Structured PhD in Children and Youth Studies offers students the opportunity to explore an issue of significant interest through research, that will lead to the generation of new knowledge adding to research, practice and policy. All topics relating to children, adolescents and young adults are welcomed, as are applicants from any disciplinary background.

The relevance of the PhD in Children and Youth Studies to improving the lives of young people makes this a challenging, exciting and rewarding graduate programme for people at any stage in their careers. Graduates bring with them an enhanced understanding of their research area plus a deep awareness of the complex and interdependent social issues facing contemporary childhoods and youth, to any professional role they may inhabit after the programme.

The PhD in Children and Youth Studies can be carried out full time over three years or part time over five years. There is also an accelerated option, where students can apply to transfer directly to the third year of the part time route, after successfully completing the two-year part time MSc in Children and Youth Studies. 

The production of a written thesis of around 80,000 words detailing the student’s original research study and how it has made a significant contribution to knowledge, remains the core objective of the PhD in Children and Youth Studies. Typically, the thesis will consist of, or lead directly to, peer reviewed publications in academic journals or a published monograph. In addition, students must complete thirty credits of taught modules at the School of Education or more broadly within the College of Social Sciences and Law. Those modules must include at least one research methods module and the other two may be any graduate level modules of choice.

A large range of supports are also available within UCD, for all graduate researchers. These include library study pods, training in many aspects of research and research management, and superb library facilities. UCD also has a state-of-the-art leisure centre with an Olympic swimming pool, a cinema, theatre, and a medical centre.

In addition, our students are supported in writing applications for grants and scholarships, and we have a very high level of success in attracting student awards from the Irish Research Council, and the National University of Ireland. Our students present their research at the All-Ireland doctoral conference, hosted annually by UCD and QUB, and they also present at international conferences. Many of our research students have won places on prestigious graduate summer schools.

Offering the gold standard in graduate education, UCD doctoral degrees are highly regarded all over the world. We welcome applications from all areas of Children and Youth Studies, and applicants of all nationalities. 

Application process

  1. Please apply online using the electronic system available here: http://www.ucd.ie/registry/admissions/apply.html
  2. Once you have applied online, please email the Director of Doctoral Research [jennifer.symonds@ucd.ie] to state your application has been made online. 
  3. If you would like to use our guidelines for writing a PhD proposal you can find them below. However, proposals that are not an exact match to the guidelines are also welcomed. PhD proposal template
  4. Your application will be evaluated using the following criteria:
    • High honours in an appropriate master’s degree (or equivalent) and/or evidence of other academic standing and/or relevant professional experience that demonstrates suitability for PhD study.
    • Evidence of meeting the School’s English language requirements for PhD study. These are: IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5, or alternatively a masters’ degree graded at 2:1 or above, written in English and obtained from an English speaking institution in an English speaking country, within the past 3-years from date of application.
    • Research proposal in topic area of interest to the School of Education.

5. If your application meets our criteria, we will also require that you have an agreed Faculty member (an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) at the UCD School of Education to supervise you. If a Faculty member has formally agreed to supervise you (we may require email documentation), please state this in your application. If you do not have a supervisor before applying, we will attempt to match you to one after receiving your online application. Please note that it is optional for Faculty members to supervise PhD students.

6. Applicants who meet our admissions criteria and who have an agreed supervisor will be recommended for admission to the PhD programme.

PhD in Education and Lifelong Learning

In line with international practice, professional training in Educational Psychology at the School of Education is now offered at doctoral level, in the form of a Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology (D Ed Psych). 

Course Code                                                    W334
Major Code  
Duration
3 years Full-time 
Closing date of Entry
Friday 1st Feburary 2019
Contact
Director
Dr Joyce Senior

 

Overview Of The Programme

The Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology will prepare students to work as educational psychologists. It involves taught components, extensive professional placement experience and the conducting of research at doctoral level. The research will involve the completion of a 30,000 word thesis. The course is being offered full-time over three years. Some modules will be delivered online and there will also be online tutorial support. This course is being offered at Level 10 within the National Framework for Qualifications (NFQ) and will carry a total of 270 Credits. As a professional training course, application will be made to the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) for accreditation when it has commenced.

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide trainee educational psychologists with the theoretical framework and the practical experience necessary to work as professional psychologists within a variety of contexts, including educational and healthcare setting, to critique relevant research and to conduct research at doctoral level.

Students on the D Ed Psych course will:

  • Critically examine the discipline of Educational Psychology and the varying roles and responsibilities of educational psychologists.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main theories of Child Development, including: neuropsychological, cognitive, motor, perceptual, social and emotional, linguistic and numerical development in the context of explaining human functioning and dysfunctioning in a variety of contexts.
  • Examine a range of disabilities/special educational needs in relation to aetiology, assessment and diagnosis, as well as the main educational and therapeutic interventions used to support persons with disabilities/special educational needs.
  • Become familiar with models of curriculum development, with particular emphasis on curriculum modification for students with special educational needs.
  • Examine the discourse, assumptions, policy and legislation underpinning educational provision for students with disabilities/special educational needs, with particular emphasis on inclusive education.
  • Critically examine perceived models of best practice in relation to the organisation of provision for students with disabilities and special educational needs with a particular emphasis on an inclusive whole-school approach to such organisation.
  • Explore a range of issues in the Sociology of Education, such as intelligence, disability, ethnicity, gender and social disadvantage, from a sociologial and a sociak osychological perspective.
  • Gain an understanding of schools as systems, of school cultures and of systems theory in the context of organisational psychology.
  • Become familiar with the main approaches to counselling and develop basic counselling skills.
  • Acquire the skills to formulate and evaluate holistic individualised education programmes, relating to care, education and behaviour.
  • Become thoroughly proficient in the administration of key tests of cognitive ability, school attainment and social, emotional and behavioural functioning and become aware of the issues involved in administering such tests to persons of various ages, presenting with a variety of disabilities/special educational needs and from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Become fully aware of the main issues involved in the conducting of psychological assessments and the production of reports of such assessments, including; informed consent, information gathering and the communication of results.
  • Become competent in interpreting psychological profiles, in writing clear, coherent and relevant reports and in formulating appropriate recommendations.
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the ethical and professional issues involved in the practice of Educational Psychology.
  • Demonstrate a competent ability to critically evaluate and compare theories, conceptual models and research, with particular relevance to the application of such theories, models and research to the professional practice of Educational Psychology.
  • Be able to design and conduct a substantial piece of original research at doctoral level that can inform the practice of Educational Psychology and be able to report the findings of their research in an accessible format that is of a standard suitable for publication in national and international refereed journals.
  • Complete a doctoral thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge and that is relevant to the practice of Educational Psychology.
Module Components Of Professional Doctorate In Educational Psychology

Year One Full-time

  • Inclusion and Equality in Education
  • Child Development Theory Applied to Practice
  • Educational Psychology Practice 1
  • Psychological Theories and Interventions
  • Educational Psychology Practice 2
  • Research Methods

Year Two Full-time

  • Educational Psychology Practice 3
  • Educational Psychology Practice 4
  • Advanced Research Methods Qualitative and Quantitative
  • Research Thesis Preparation

Year Three Full-time

  • Educational Psychology Practice 5
  • Research Thesis Preparation and Submission
Assessment Procedures

There is a variety of assessment procedures employed on the course including; essay-based assignments, research assignments, completion of professional placement portfolios, individual and group presentations, observed administration of test instruments, supervised professional practice in schools and in psychological services, and the completion of a doctoral thesis of 30,000 words. For the award of Doctorate, the research must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain material of a standard appropriate for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Entry Requirements

The Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology Course is open to graduates who, prior to application, hold a first or second class honours degree in Psychology or a qualification in Psychology that is deemed to be equivalent, and who meet the requirements for Graduate Basis for Registration with the Psychological Society of Ireland or equivalent. An applicant cannot be considered for entry to the course unless the results of his or her Psychology degree/diploma are confirmed and available. Applicants must also have at least two years professional experience, excluding placement experience gained as part of acquiring professional qualifications. Periods of continuous professional experience of less than three months full-time employment will not be considered as counting towards this two years minimum requirement.

Applicants will be short listed for interview. In judging applicants’ suitability, account will be taken of academic qualifications, professional experience and interpersonal skills, as well as communication and presentation skills. Previous research experience and perceived potential to conduct research at doctoral level will also be important factors. Consideration of overall personal suitability for the role of educational psychologist and the quality of references are also integral elements of the selection process. Provisional interview dates; week of 25th February (subject to change). All applicants will be required to submit a Research Proposal as part of the application process - guidelines available at Link HerePlease note that the research proposal must be submitted before the application deadline.

Successful applicants will have to go through a Garda clearance procedure prior to final acceptance on to the course. Professional conduct on the course is governed at all times by the Code of Ethics of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).

For Qualified Educational Psychologists

There is a facility for advanced entry directly into Stage 2 for applicants who have already completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology that constitutes a professional qualification to practise as an Educational Psychologist. Such applicants may complete the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology over two years full-time. This will involve Research Methods training and the completion of a 30,000 word thesis. Please note that places on the direct entry to Stage 2 pathway are extremely limited, unfortunately there may not be an intake every year.

Please click here to apply