Education - Structured PhD

Programme Overview
The Structured PhD in Education is a programme designed in line with best international practice in doctoral education and research and share classes with students from a diverse backgrounds in education and related interdisciplinary fields including sociology, psychology, history, and philosophy.

Key Features
A team of renowned academics will deliver innovative master classes and international schools. You will enjoy excellent facilities and have an opportunity to avail of very attractive funding schemes. The Structured PhD programme from Mary Immaculate College has a collaborative link with the Structured PhD programme in the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick which will provide you with opportunities for mobility between programmes on both campuses.

Blended learning through Moodle will be used to support students throughout the programme.

Students are allocated supervisors and work with a supervisory panel. There is periodic assessment and guidance to ensure you complete your PhD within a four year period. Guided by Professional Development Planning, you can organise your coursework and research activities over the course of your studies.

Entry requirements

•Applicants will normally hold a Masters degree in Education, or a minimum of 2.1 Honours degree in Education, a higher diploma or a graduate diploma in Education, or a cognate discipline

•Applicants who hold a 2.2 Honours degree, a higher diploma, or a graduate diploma in education or a cognate discipline will be considered but will be required to undertake the Masters Qualifier (MQ5000)

•Applicants with a degree, a higher diploma, or a graduate diploma in Education or a cognate discipline with an award lower than 2.2 can be considered if they have a minimum of 4 years' professional experience. They will be required to undertake MQ5000

•Applicants with no degree, a higher diploma, or a graduate diploma in education or a cognate discipline but who have substantial relevant prior experiential learning may be considered but will be required to complete MQ5000 (up to 6 modules). Success in these modules will be a pre-requisite for entry to the programme. Individual cases will be considered in light of the UL policy on Accredited Prior Learning

•Evidence of academic standing and/or relevant professional experience that will satisfy Graduate Studies in Education of your suitability for doctoral studies

•Letters of reference from two academic referees who can assess your intellectual ability, maturity and motivation

More information on Applying for a Research Programme at MIC in online (view course college webpage - under entry requirements).

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

Subjects taught

A balance between taught and research components is a hallmark of the programme. You will be guided through a set of core and optional modules and design, conduct and write an original and rigorous research thesis.

Examples of core modules include:
•Epistemological and Ontological Foundations of Education
•Paradigms, Policies and Practices
•Principles and Practices of Research Design in Education
•Critical and Interpretive Research in Educational Settings
•Complementary Art and Science Research Methods

Examples of optional modules include:
•Teaching for Social Justice and Inclusion
•Spirituality and the Religious Education of the Child
•Perspectives on Musical Meaning and Value
•Essential Elements of Children's Literature
•Educational Psychology and Lifelong Learning


4 years

Enrolment dates

How To Apply
Before going any further, please read this information about Applying for a Research Programme at MIC online (view course webpage - link below).

Download and complete the application form application link below.
•The application form must also include your university transcripts and contact details for two referees.
•In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex here, and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Research and Graduate School Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

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Career Opportunities
There are numerous career opportunities that are available to graduates of the structured PhD in Education. The most common is the access to teach and work in higher education where a PhD is often required as a minimum qualification. Additionally it provides a useful qualification to progress leadership roles within a variety of educational institutions and schools.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

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