Middle Leadership

The PDML has been developed to reflect the importance of middle leadership and to support the professional growth of those aspiring to, and occupying, middle leadership positions in the Irish education system. Its design is internationally aware but locally relevant. The PDML explores the purpose, practices and potential of middle leaders in schools and the education system. The programme provides opportunities for participants to consider the development of leadership capacity in themselves and others, as well as how educational reforms might be sustainably mobilized from the middle.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Middle Leadership (PDML) is a one year, part-time blended programme designed for teachers seeking to develop their professional knowledge and skills, to enhance their leadership capacity. The programme is aimed specifically at those aspiring towards or already occupying middle leadership positions in primary and post-primary schools.

While much of the programme is delivered using the online platform, there are also some on-campus sessions. These sessions occur approximately three times per semester and allow for face-to-face collaboration, networking and assessment opportunities that promote the sharing of learning in a professional community.

The programme modules draw on a broad international literature and focus on contemporary policy, practice and leadership challenges. They are intended for those who are passionate about leading research-informed, practice-focused improvement and, through the programme’s assessment opportunities, participants will be supported to lead and reflect on sustainable transformations in their school contexts.

Pursuing the PDML will enable you to invest in your professional learning while simultaneously advancing your career, as well as contribute to renewal and transformation in the education system.

Upon programme completion, graduates of the PDML will also have the opportunity to continue on a pathway to pursue a Master of Educational Leadership.

Course Description
- Excellence in blended programme teaching and supervision

- Understand key policies, trends and developments with respect to school leadership internationally and nationally

- Enrich practice through an informed, critical, reflective and collaborative approach to learning

- Reflect on, identify and pursue, topics of particular interest and of relevance to personal growth through dynamic approaches to assessment

- Connect with a professional network in a collegial environment

- Build capacities to engage purposefully in school evaluation, review and renewal.

Subjects taught

Sept ember- December:
Contemporary Issues for School Leaders
School Leadership for Quality Teaching and Learning

January - May:
The Realities of Leading from the Middle

Entry requirements

Applicants to the PDML must hold an honours degree at undergraduate level (or equivalent) from a higher education institution, a recognised teaching qualification and have a minimum of three years’ teaching experience in either the primary or post-primary sector.


1 year part-time. Blended.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2024/2025

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Graduates of the educational leadership programmes occupy a range of school and system leadership positions including:

AP1 and AP2 leadership
Programme coordinators
Deputy principalship
Support services, including the PDST and JCT
State Examinations Commission
Academic teaching and research

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Professional Diploma

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider