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Masters Programmes

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). 

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

 Further details are available here

The MA (Ed) in Mentoring, Leading and Global Learning makes an important new contribution to the professional development of educators. With a focus on the skills of mentoring and coaching, the degree offers students the chance to widen their professional
competencies. Framed within global debates about learning, the module content gives students the opportunity to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with responding to the Sustainable Development Goals concerning education. It is a part-time online degree, taken over three years.

For more information, please check here. 

The MEd Inclusive Education is a two year part-time course, 90 credits in total. 
Further details are  available here
We are offering direct entry to Year 2 of the MEd Inclusive Education programme (W425) for recent graduates of the UCD Graduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education programme (W424) who have a achieved a 2.1 grade or higher. This pathway is only recommended for graduates of the Grad Dip ISE W424 who have completed the course in the last five years. Applicants who are offered a place in Year 2 of this programme can obtain this Masters qualification by completing a 10 credit module in Research Methods and a 20 credit thesis module.
If you have any queries on the MEd Inclusive Education, please do not hesitate to contact us at  educationenquiries@ucd.ie .
Applications are now open and must be made via www.ucd.ie/apply. Applications will close once all places are allocated (typically May), therefore early application is advised.

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 should ideally have a minimum of three years’ teaching experience in either the Irish primary or Irish 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.

We are offering direct entry to Year 2 of the MEd Leadership programme (W328) for recent graduates of the UCD Professional Diploma in Educational Leadership (W342) who have achieved a 2.1 grade or higher. This pathway is only recommended for graduates of the Professional Diploma in Educational Leadership W342 who have completed the course in the last five years. 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.

Applications for the September 2023 intake are open until May, 2023 (exact date to be confirmed) and must be made online via www.ucd.ie/apply

Please note that this course tends to be oversubscribed annually so unfortunately not all applicants who apply will be offered a place. Late applications will not be considered.

Further details are available here

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.

Further details are available here.

The aim of this programme is to bring together two strands of postgraduate education for teachers which, traditionally have been offered very separately.  It aims to combine the development of leadership skills with the enhancement of an inclusive mindset for aspiring school leaders.   It aims to place the organisational aspects of inclusive education at the centre of organisational development and, hence, school development. It aims to place the effective inclusion of pupils, who are potentially vulnerable to exclusion, at the centre of overall school effectiveness.  Such vulnerability can arise on the grounds of (dis)ability, or social, cultural or linguistic backgrounds or other minority status.

It aims to familiarise students with the latest national and international research in relation to Leadership Education and Inclusive Education.

Course Features:

  • Critically explores and interrogates prominent leadership theories and applies these theories to address a variety of organisational issues and problems, including enhancing school inclusiveness. 
  • Reviews and evaluates a range of policy measures and initiatives and critique these in the context of school improvement and inclusive education.
  • Develops a thorough understanding of key theories of organisational behaviour and change, with a view to applying these theories in organisational settings.
  • It critically explores current discourses in relation to Diversity, Equality, Inclusion Disability and Additional Educational Needs.  
  • Critically examines Irish equality and disability legislation, in comparison with legislation in other jurisdictions.
  • Enhances knowledge of the causes and characteristics of, and interventions for, a range of disabilities and additional educational needs.
  • Critically examines various approaches to the organisation of provision for students with disabilities/additional educational needs, including an exploration of the role, if any, of special schools within an inclusive education system.
  • It emphasises a systemic, organizational approach to Inclusive Education, with a focus on schools as learning organisations and is, thus, informed by Systems Theory and Organisational Psychology.
  • It has the potential to inform and enhance the practice of Special Education Teachers and both current and aspiring school leaders at all levels of management within the school system. 

Course Details

This is a two-year part-time programme, delivered in blended/online format, leading to a   This is a two-year, part-time programme, delivered in blended/online format, leading to a unique combined 90-credit Masters qualification in Leadership Education and Inclusive Education. Modules will be delivered by synchronous online lectures over two hours at evening  time, with some onsite activities organised outside of normal working hours, such as on Saturdays.  

Course Structure

Core Modules:

  • Research Thesis
  • Research Methods x2
  • School Leadership for Quality Teaching and Learning
  • Inclusion and Equality in Education
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Inclusive Teachers; Inclusive Classrooms

Career Opportunity

This Masters in Education qualification has the potential to further the careers of a range of educators, including mainstream class teachers, special education teachers and both current and aspiring school leaders.

It will enhance recruitment opportunities with a range of agencies that support schools. 

 It will further the careers of Special Education Teachers, enabling them to perform a co-ordinating and managerial role in relation to provision for pupils with Additional Educational Needs in schools.

It will enable SET teachers to apply for national and regional roles within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), including, but not confined to, the roles of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) and Visiting Teachers providing consultative services to schools.

Entry requirements

Honours Primary Degree

Applications for the September 2023 intake are now open and must be made online via www.ucd.ie/apply

Applications will close once all places are allocated (typically May), therefore early application is advised.

Please note that our Leadership programmes tend to be oversubscribed annually so unfortunately not all applicants who apply will be offered a place. Late applications will not be considered.

Please contact educationenquiries@ucd.ie for more information.

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,  www.pac.ie. Applications for 2021 are now open and will close 31 January 2021.

‌Further details are available here

School of Education

University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4 Ireland
T: +353 1 716 7777