Education - Higher & Adult Education - Research

The Doctorate in Higher and Adult Education (DHAE) brings together practitioners with substantial experience in the design, implementation and delivery in higher and adult education contexts.

The programme supports education practitioners to develop research capacities that critically reflect on their professional practices within an education context which promotes transformation, critical thinking and democracy. Successful applicants will have an interest in exploring innovative and critical education practice, often in challenging learning environments and policy contexts.

In this course, the collective nature of participants' engagement is a central element. By working together, exchanging ideas and supporting each other, students form learning communities. The course pillars of transformation, democracy and collaboration inform this process and are also central to the research agenda of the doctorate.

DACE has a long track record in supporting postgraduate research programmes:

Entry requirements

Applicants should have:

- successfully completed a Masters programme in adult, community or higher education or an equivalent programme at level 9,

- current and significant experience in teaching in higher or adult education,

- proven ability in academic writing.

Minimum English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
- TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
- TOEFL (Internet based test) :95
- PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850


This is a 3.5 year programme, comprising of 8 modules. Workshops are offered one day per week on 12 dates annually during years 1 and 2. Students work independently with their supervisor(s) during the reminder of the programme, meeting on 3-4 occasions annually during the final year and half of the programme.

Post Course Info

Career Options
Practitioners in a diverse range of roles in adult and higher education.


Research interests include current educational issues and challenges in higher, further, adult, and community in Ireland and globally. Research topics include critical analysis of the policy and practice-based knowledge and experiences of educators and learners in the adult and higher education sectors in Ireland and internationally. A list of previous research projects by doctoral students in the Department of Adult and Community Education is available at:

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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