Educational Leadership

University College Cork

Educational Leadership

Course Outline
Our Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership at UCC is a one-year, part-time postgraduate course which supports the professional growth of current and aspiring leaders in education, enabling them to contribute effectively to the improvement of practice in their own professional settings and the wider professional community.

This diploma will enable participants to develop the means of using critical reflection to enhance their own and others’ professional practice. The course responds to the need for an updated conception of leadership along with coaching and mentoring in education. Leaders in organisations need to be able to motivate, coach and mentor staff in rapidly changing environments with limited resources – a theme increasingly emphasised by the Teaching Council of Ireland. In this course, you will learn about a variety of leadership styles as well as how to identify and develop personal, professional and pedagogical strengths and abilities to be an effective leader. We place great emphasis on transformational leadership and team capacity-building.

Course Practicalities
The Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership is a part-time programme running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The programme will run over one academic year from September with four 15-credit modules held on a Saturday, each module taking place over two Saturdays.

Modules will be delivered through a mixed-mode of seminars, online discussion, self-study materials and work-based learning. Attendance is imperative on the applicable dates conveyed to students.

Given its part-time nature, this programme is open to Irish/EU students only.

In the event you have not been provided with a commencement date please contact the School of Education to confirm details.

Why Choose This Course
Course delivery over weekends means students do not need to commit to weekly attendance at College but attendance on the selected Saturdays is imperative.

Subjects taught

Students take the following 60 credits over the year:

ED6510 Organisational Management of the School (15 credits)
ED6511 Effective Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
ED6512 Leading Learning and School Improvement (15 credits)
ED6513 Mentoring and Coaching Practicum in Educational Leadership (15 credits)

The focus of this programme is on effective leadership and schools as organisations: we explore the discourse related to leadership at all levels. Our leadership modules are designed to support the development of leadership and management practices in individuals as this will contribute to career-long professional learning and school improvement.

The coaching and mentoring component focuses on supporting the professional learning and growth of colleagues; developing the knowledge, understanding and skills required to use a coaching and mentoring approach to developing capacity and capability in others.

See the UCC Postgraduate Calendar (Diploma in Educational Leadership) for more information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

Candidates must have:

A primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) and three years or more relevant professional experience in education or cognate field.
Relevant professional experience, equivalent to five full years, may be considered as an honours equivalent.

It is desirable that candidates also have the following:

Gained some professional experience in educational leadership.

A clear sense of professional purpose (demonstrated via a 750-word statement of purpose submitted with the application).

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Application dates

Closing Date: 29 May 2023

1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Important Note
Early applications are advised. Applications for this programme are assessed as they come in, therefore the programme quota may be achieved before the closing date. Applicants that meet the programme entry criteria, but who submit after the programme has been filled, will be placed on a waiting list for spaces that may open up due to withdrawals or cancellations.

Deferrals: Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

Additional Requirements
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.


Prospective applicants can contact the School of Education Administrative Staff to discuss the programme details:

Ms Anita Cronin (
Ms Claire Dooley (


1 year part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 16 September 2023 (TBC)

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
The course is focused on leadership development and is aimed at those with some experience of leadership in an educational setting. This course will develop practices in individuals to contribute to career-long personal professional learning and the development of others. It will focus on the followership/mentorship aspects of leadership.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    PG Dip

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Weekend

  • Apply to

    Course provider