Masters Programmes

‌The UCD School of Education delivers a wide range of taught programmes at graduate level. Our programmes are intended to bring students to a level of knowledge and understanding where they can confidently begin to study modern research literature and can prepare to embark on a research project of their own (under supervision). 

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MA in Education FT (W027)

The MA in Education degree course provides graduates who have academic, professional or personal interests in education with an opportunity to pursue these through study and research at postgraduate level.

  • The programme offers a number of elective modules in Educational Sciences and Professional Development.
  • Students are exposed to a range of research skills and techniques which enable them to engage with, and produce, high quality educational research


Programme brochure available here

Masters in Education PT (W030)

This is a taught Masters degree programme designed to respond to the interests and needs of education professionals, including those in full-time employment.
On successful completion of the programme, students will have deepened their understanding of key issues within the field of education and familiarised themselves with the latest national and international research in education.

The emphasis throughout is to develop critical skills of enquiry as students debate and discuss other key issues relating to education both nationally and internationally.


Programme brochure available here

MEd Inclusive Education PT (W425)

The aim of the M.Ed.(Inclusive Education) programme is to develop and enhance participants’ knowledge of discourse, policy and best practice for persons with disabilities and additional needs, whether in mainstream, special education, clinical or other settings.

Please note that this programme was previously known as the MEd Additional Support Needs.

The programme is designed for teachers and other professionals involved in the education and care of persons with disabilities and additional needs. The general purpose of the M.Ed.(Inclusive Education) programme is to develop and enhance participants’ knowledge of discourse, policy and best practice for persons with disabilities and additional needs, whether in mainstream, special education, clinical or other settings.

Applicants should be graduate teachers, preferably with a qualification in special needs education, or graduate professionals who work in other areas with persons who have disabilities/special educational needs (for example, speech and language/behaviour support specialists/SNAs).

Candidates must have obtained an honours classification in either their primary degree or in a subsequent qualification; non-graduates may be considered as special cases. Short listing of applicants for interview will occur. In judging applicants’ suitability, account will be taken of academic qualifications and professional experience.

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma Inclusive & Special Education (previously known as the Postgraduate Diploma in SEN) may be eligible to apply for accreditation for prior learning for the M.Ed.(Inclusive Education), which is a one year, part-time course of 30 ECT credits, 10 of which are allocated to two core research methods modules and the remainder to a thesis.

If you have any queries on the MEd Inclusive Education, please do not hesitate to contact us at or phone course administrator Sarah Walshe on 01-7167948.


Please note that this programme was previously known as the MEd Additional Support Needs.

MEd Leadership PT (W328)


The Masters in Education (Leadership) is a designated stream in the existing Master in Education programme aimed at those who have already successfully completed the online/ blended Professional Diploma in Education Studies (Leadership). Prospective students will carry their 30-credits from the Diploma into the Masters Programme and complete the remaining 60 credits.

Both the PDES and the Masters (year 2) deploy a broad concept of leadership that can be applied to teachers at different stages of their career within schools as organizations. Each of the programmes will include some face-to-face sessions (typically on Saturdays to accommodate travel and attendance from all corners of the country). Our experience is that the combination of on campus days and online teaching and learning provide a dynamic and transformative learning experience for all students. We are committed to developing our students’ critical voice through reading, discussion, peer learning, presentations and critical review. Furthermore, these participative learning experiences will ensure that high quality learning outcomes are achieved.


  1. Leading a Learning Organization (10 credits).  This module examines the role of school leaders in organisational development with respect to two main areas of inquiry (i) leading and managing structures and systems and (ii) leading and managing staff. Key perspectives underpinning this module are the concept of the school as a learning organisation and the idea of schools as professional learning communities as a framework to support school development.
  2. Qualitative Research Methods (10 credits). This module will explore different qualitative research methods, including research interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis, visual analysis and ethnography. At the same time, it will reflect upon theoretical and intellectual issues relating to the practice of doing qualitative research. The module will address key issues, debates and controversies relevant for the way we design and evaluate qualitative studies, while also addressing issues about how such studies are intended to function vis a vis the reader.
  3. Quantitative Research Methods  (10 credits). This module provides an introduction to quantitative research techniques with a view to participants’ having a clear understanding of the key concepts that relate to quantitative inquiry. This module aims to develop a critical appreciation of the key methods including the generation and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics, such as cross-tabulations and chi-square. The evaluation of existing research instruments and the development and design of new questionnaires are discussed, as are the conceptual and contextual factors determining the meaning and value of quantitative data.
  4. Research Thesis (30 credits).  Completion of a minor thesis of 15, 000 - 20,000 words on a leadership related topic forms the final programme requirement. This will be undertaken under supervision, and will seek to bring together all elements of your learning but with a particular focus on leadership within your school or cluster with the intention of gaining new insights and understanding as well as seeking to impact the quality of teaching, learning and leading in your own and other’s schools.


Programme brochure available here

MSc Children and Youth Studies (FT/PT)  

The MSc in Children and Youth Studies is an interdisciplinary programme specialising in research, policy and practice relating to children and young people. Underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the programme focuses on children and young people’s welfare, well-being and development, in the context of the complex and interdependent social issues facing contemporary childhoods and youth.

Programme brochure available here

MA Educational Psychology FT (W094)

Professional training in Educational Psychology is generally available at two levels, Master's level and Professional Doctorate level, and both options are available at UCD School of Education. The MA in Educational Psychology is the standard professional qualification in many jurisdictions. However, within the Irish context, the professional placement experience available within the MA in Educational Psychology programme is unlikely to enable graduates to avail of the full range of available career options post-qualification, such as in Irish healthcare settings. The MA in Educational Psychology programme is, therefore, more likely to be applicable to international applicants rather than Irish applicants.  For information on the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology, see here.


Programme brochure available here



Professional Master of Education FT (W327)

The Professional Masters of Education (PME) at the School of Education, University College Dublin is a two-year, full-time Level 9 programme which is creative, innovative and a leading model in teacher education internationally. The PME will qualify its graduates to teach two subjects at post-primary level (junior and senior cycles) once they meet the requirements of the Teaching Council. For further information on subject qualification please check the Teaching Council criteria available here.

During the PME, you will study the foundation disciplines of education; methodologies related to your subject specialism; hear from speakers, practitioners and researchers from a wide range of organisations who will inform, support and develop your practice as a teacher. You will complete a 6,000 word piece of practitioner research inquiring into one aspect of your practice as a teacher, which may relate specifically to a phenomenon you observe during your school placement. The course is wide-ranging, informative both theoretically and practically, and features cutting-edge, stimulating and interesting contributors who have considerable experience and expertise about Irish schooling and education. 

Applications to the PME are made via the Postgraduate Applications Centre, Applications for 2018 are now closed.


Information for successful applicants to the PME 2018 entry available here

Teaching Council guide on School Placement for Student Teachers 


Programme brochure available here