Institute of Public Administration - IPA


The Programme
The DGov is a 4 - 5 year professional doctoral programme. It provides public policy-makers and public sector managers with the advanced knowledge and high-level critical skills that their professional lives demand. Students explore how public policy-making has evolved, and is continuing to evolve, as a result of changes in the structure and practices of the modern state. The programme will enable policy-makers to gain a comprehensive understanding of issues and patterns of governance in Ireland and abroad. A wide range of modules are taught in its first two years before students undertake a research project under expert guidance.

Participant Profile
The DGov programme attracts participants from the civil service, local government service, health services, security services, other state services and the voluntary sector in Ireland, Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Applicants should normally possess a primary and postgraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, of at least upper second class honours (2.1) standard and have at least five years' full-time work experience at an appropriate level in a relevant public service profession. Interviews may be held to assess the suitability of applicants.

The DGov is the Whitaker School's highest award and produces graduates with great expertise in issues fundamental to a successful and rewarding career in the public service and related fields. Study groups and peer interaction are facilitated and encouraged.

Key Attributes
The DGov programme:
• Provides a unique curriculum of doctoral level education
• Is delivered under the direction of a team of expert
• academics and practitioners
• Focuses on applying academic understandings and skills to
• professional practice
• Facilitates research into, and debate on, key issues affecting policy-making and governance
• Creates opportunities to develop inter-jurisdiction networks
• Includes a doctoral research project on a subject of the participant's choice
• Provides extensive participant support, including an induction workshop, a personal tutor and guidance at each webinar/study session

Programme Delivery and Evaluation
This part-time programme is delivered by means of directed study and a research project on a subject relevant to the participant's work experience and professional formation. Participants can pursue the programme no matter where they live or work but must attend a number of intensive weekend residential study sessions. Evaluation is based on assignment papers prepared by participants under the direction of the tutors responsible for the different programme modules and the final research project.

Module Seminars
These seminars comprise lectures and workshops and are scheduled over two/three days for each module. They address key areas in the literature and provide guidance on module assessment.

Subjects taught

Years One And Two
The first two years of the programme are devoted to ten modules:
• Governance and the Modern State
• Governance in Europe
• Governance and Regulation
• Economics and Governance
• Corporate Governance
• Public Administration and Governance
• Governance, Policy and Implementation
• Social Justice and Governance
• Research Methods
• Professional Practice Module

On successfully completing the first two years, students can exit
the programme with the award of MSc in Applied Governance.

Subsequent Years
The remaining years of the programme are devoted to a research project of 50,000 words on an agreed subject of the participant's choosing. During this dissertation phase, students work under the direction of a supervisor and attend periodic workshops.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants for the Doctorate in Governance should normally possess a primary degree, or equivalent qualification, of at least upper second class honours (2.1) standard and have at least five years' full-time work experience at an appropriate level in a relevant public service profession. Interviews may be held to assess the suitability of applicants.

Application dates

How to Apply
By Email (preferred method)
Please download and complete the application form on and email it, along with the items listed below, to

By Post
Alternatively, you can complete the application form at the end of this prospectus and, including the items listed below, return it by post.

What to Include (email or post)
Students must include the following with their application:
• Their full name (this is the name that will appear on any
• future award parchments).
• A copy of their degree or relevant qualification
• One passport-type photograph
• The semester fee

• A letter from their employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.

Doctorate In Governance Applications
In addition to the application form, applicants should
also provide:
• A copy of their CV
• Copies of degree certificates
• A covering letter detailing their reasons for applying
• Two references (one academic, one professional), which
• must be sent in sealed envelopes, signed on the back by
• the referee
• A letter confirming that the course fees will be paid by the
• student or a third party, e.g. the applicant's employer.


4 - 5 years.

Delivery Method
The programme is delivered via seminars at the IPA campus, webinars, directed study, and (under expert supervision) a research project.


The cost of the programme is €8,000 per annum.

Enrolment dates

Commences: September/October 2020.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider