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

MEd Inclusive Education PT (W425)

Please note that for the 2019-20 academic year, there will be no intake for the 2 Year Part-time MEd Inclusive Education.

We will still be offering a 1 Year Direct Entry Part-Time MEd Inclusive Education programme for applicants who hold a Graduate Diploma in Inclusive & Special Education (previously known as the Graduate Diploma in SEN). Successful applicants will be required to complete a one year, part-time course of 30 ECT credits, 10 of which are allocated to a core research methods module and the remainder to a thesis.

If you have any queries on the MEd Inclusive Education or would like to apply to the one year direct entry programme, please do not hesitate to contact us at or phone course administrator Sarah Walshe on 01-7167948.


MEd Leadership PT (W328)

The MEd Leadership (W328) deploys a broad concept of leadership that can be applied to teachers at different stages of their career within schools as organisations.

The MEd Leadership is aimed at primary and post-primary teachers in the Irish education system. Applicants must hold an honours degree at undergraduate level (or equivalent) from a higher education institution, a recognised teaching qualification and must have a minimum of three years’ teaching experience in either the primary or post-primary sector.

Programme participants will be  motivated to move into a leadership position as well as to challenge the way they think about their work in a variety of ways. The concept of leadership employed is broad and can be applied to teachers at different stages of their career within schools as organisations. The programme draws on a wide-ranging international literature to focus on contemporary policy, practice and leadership challenges.

Year 1 and 2 of the programme includes 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.The programme is intended to 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. These participative learning experiences have been tried and tested by us and ensure that high quality learning outcomes are achieved.

The PDE Leadership is a 30 credit credit programme and the MEd Leadership is a 90 credit programme (30 credits in Year 1 and 60 credits in Year 2). Year 1 of the PDEL programme corresponds directly with Year 1 of the MEd Leadership programme. Those who successfully complete Year 1 of the PDEL at UCD have the option of applying to Year 2 of the MEd Leadership. You can also apply directly to the 2 Year MEd Leadership programme.

Students who are entering directly into Year 2 of the MEd Leadership (having already completed the PDEL) will carry their 30-credits from the Diploma into the Masters Programme and complete the remaining 60 credits.

 Examples of Year 2 MEd Leadership Modules

  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.

All applications for the September 2019 intake must be fully submitted by Friday, May 31st 2019.

To apply:

MEd Leadership (UL Pathway)

This programme is a one-year direct entry part-time Masters of Education (Leadership) for successful graduates of the jointly accredited Professional Diploma in School Leadership (PDSL))

In the process of completing the PDSL, you accumulated 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).  This particular system requires a total of 90 ECTS in order to receive the award of a Masters, regardless of discipline. Therefore, you need to accumulate another 30 ECTS for the Award of MEd Leadership.

From September of 2019, the school of education, UCD, will provide a tailor made blended programme to enable you, regardless of domicile, to access this provision.

Programme Structure & Timing

In semester one, beginning Sept. ’19, you will complete a blended modules on research methods (10 ECTS). Typically, this module includes three on-campus days—Saturday- while all other contact is online, using Brightspace. These days are usually at the beginning, middle and end of a module.  

During semester one also, you will be afforded the opportunity to develop a thesis proposal. By the end of the Semester, your thesis proposal will have been discussed and a supervisor assigned to support you in the completion of your thesis.

Semester Two: January-June 2020

The Thesis (20ECTS) will have a maximum word count of 15,000 words (excluding a bibliography and appendices). A document describing the thesis requirements will be provided at the commencement of the academic year.

Tuition Fee – please see UCD Fees website

Entry requirements

University policy requires that entrants to a masters programme should normally have secured second honours, grade one (2:1), in this instance in the PDSL.

Further information

If you have any queries on the one year direct entry part-time Masters of Education (Leadership) please do not hesitate to contact us at  or phone course administrator Sarah Walshe 01-7167948

MEd Leadership

MSc Children and Youth Studies FT  

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