Human Development - Research

Entry requirements

To register for a Postgraduate Research programme, a candidate must normally have obtained a primary degree classification equivalent to Lower Second Class Honours or above, from an approved University or an approved equivalent degree-awarding body, or have an approved equivalent professional qualification in an area cognate to the proposed research topic. See

•PhD: Candidates holding an appropriate Master's degree obtained by research may apply for direct entry to the PhD register to conduct research in a cognate area.

•PhD-track: Candidates with a taught Master's degree in an appropriate discipline with first- or second-class honours, and candidates with a primary degree in an appropriate discipline with first- or second-class honours, grade one, may apply and be considered for entry to the PhD-track register with a view to proceeding towards a PhD. Such candidates will undergo a confirmation procedure, as outlined in the Academic Regulations,
before being admitted to the PhD register.

•Master's by Research: Candidates holding a primary degree equivalent to a second-class honours, grade two, may apply for entry on the research Master's register. Students on the Master's register may apply for transfer to the PhD Register under the same conditions, and using the same procedure, as PhD-track candidates requesting confirmation on the PhD register.

English Language Requirements can be reviewed at


DCE22 PhD Human Development (Full-Time)
DCE23 PhD Human Development (Part-Time)
DCE24 MA Human Development (Full-Time)
DCE25 MA Human Development (Part-Time)
DCE26 PhD-track Human Development (Full-Time)
DCE27 PhD-track Human Development (Part-Time)
DCE46 MED Human Development (Part-Time)
DCE61 MEd Human Development (Full-Time)
DCE62 MEd Human Development (Part-Time)

Research areas

The Staff of the School of Human Development are engaged in a broad range of significant theoretical and empirical research projects focused on questions pertaining to human flourishing across the life span and in diverse contexts. Research undertaken by the school has a strong critical and social justice focus and explores particular challenges and obstacles to human development while seeking to inform policy and bring about significant change in educational and socio-cultural contexts. Some commissioned projects are concerned with the latest measures in curriculum reform and young people's wellbeing and in exploring creative and transformative pedagogies. The CREATE21 platform in the IoE supports much of the research undertaken by the school.

The school welcomes research students at Masters, Professional Doctorate and PhD levels.

Research Interests and Expertise

Care and education
Catholic Education
Chaplaincy Studies
Childhood Studies
Children's Rights
Citizenship Education
Climate Change Education
Combatting Prejudice
Creativity Maeve O'Brien
Education Disadvantage / Equality
Empowering pedagogies
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Guidance Counselling
Holistic Education
Human Development
Human Rights Education
Intercultural Education
Media Education
Pastoral work
Pedagogy and Curriculum
Philosophy for Children
Political Theory
Practical Theology
Relationship and Relationality
Relationships and Sexuality Education
Religious Education
Restorative Practices
Self/ Other
Social Class
Sociological Perspectives
Special Education
Teacher Education / Professional Development
Teaching Difficult Knowledge

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