Education & Lifelong Learning - Research

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 to four years or part time over six 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.

For more information go to:

Entry requirements

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.

Assessment Info

The award of PhD is conferred on successful completion of the doctoral research thesis. Taught components of the programme draw on a range of assessment methods that are matched to the learning outcomes of each module


4 years Full-time / 6years Part-time


Sample Modules:
• Advanced quantitative research methods
• Advanced qualitative research methods
• Educational philosophy
• Social justice, inclusion and diversity in education
• Social history of education
• Well-being and mental health of children and youth

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider