The EdD is a research degree for experienced professionals from education and related fields who would like to extend their professional understanding and develop skills in research, evaluation and high-level reflection on practice.

The programme, offered within DCU's Institute of Education, and combining the two well-established DCU/Mater Dei and St. Patrick's College EdDs, aims to foster professional development through research as well as meeting the requirements of rigour and originality expected of a doctorate. It includes assessed taught courses, research-focused workshops and supervised original research.

Through a strong group dynamic, the intention of the programme is to foster cohort solidarity, develop inter- and intra-personal skills that are critical for teamwork, while simultaneously developing writing, research, critical, analytical, communication, leadership and collaborative skills to the highest possible standards. The intention is to educate an existing emergent educational leadership in the Irish context to the highest possible international standards.

The ​Doctor of Education ​programme ​(​Ed.D​) at the Institute of Education is currently running with a cohort which started their taught modules in July 2016. It is envisaged pending confirmation, ​that the​ programme​ will run every two years and so on current planning, the ​application process will open in late 2017 and the ​next cohort will begin their course work in July 2018​.​​​ Further details and confirmation of dates will be added to the website as they become available.

Please note that the Strand​s on offer​ can ​differ between one intake and the next.


Specifically the programme aims to:

•Educate to the highest international standards an existing and emerging educational leadership by providing leading edge experiences to facilitate the development of research expertise, critical and analytical skills in a variety of areas, and capacities for leadership. ;

•Enable students to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding in the strands while at the same time help them to situate their emerging perspectives within national and international discourses with a view to shaping and giving direction to existing and emerging policy and practice agendas.

•While more specific learning outcomes are provided within course modules, the intention is that the participants will have an opportunity to:

•Extend their knowledge of and expertise in competing and complementary research paradigms and genres (including philosophical approaches to enquiry);

•Critique policy frameworks and their application in the interrogation of policy documents and/or; international 'social movements' and the manner in which these are refracted nationally within educational discourses;

•Develop skills in becoming a critical consumer of published research as well as highly skilled in academic writing and publishing for a variety of educational audiences;

•Develop and enhance their leadership potential as well as the skills appropriate for collaboration and team work, communication, interpersonal and intra-personal reflective capacity and presentational skills.


The Institute of Education at DCU will represent the largest critical mass of education expertise on the island of Ireland. It will provide initial teacher education and continuous professional development for teachers and educators from early childhood through primary and secondary to third and fourth level.

Graduate Studies are central to the mission of the Institute. Masters and doctoral students, on both taught and research programmes, make up one quarter of DCU's student body, and are the most diverse group in the University.

Mature students, international students and part time students are all highly represented and contribute to the rich learning environment within the Institute and across the University more generally.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
The minimum entry requirements for the programme will a second class or higher Master's degree (or equivalent) in education or a specific discipline area appropriate for one of the strands.

For the educational leadership strand, candidates will be required to hold or have held a position involving managerial responsibility for at least four years (pre- or post-masters). Candidates for the religious education strand must hold or have held a position in religious education or related field for at least four years (pre- or post-masters). In exceptional circumstances, the Programme Board shall make appropriate recommendations to Academic Council for candidates who do not fully meet these criteria. In all cases, such recommendations shall be approved in accordance with the University's APEL guidelines and in line with general University regulations.

Upon application, the candidate will submit a draft 2,000 word proposal addressing the following issues:

•A broad outline of the area of the research the candidate would like to pursue

•A rationale for choosing this area and the likely benefits that might accrue from it

•The nature of the candidate's experience relevant to this research

A formal, more developed, research proposal will be submitted at the end of year two.

Careers or further progression

The Doctorate in Education is intended for experienced professionals who wish to take on leadership roles and make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice in education and related fields.

Course fee

2016 fees for the programme are listed below and are revised each year:

Year 1 -€4200
Year 2 -€4200
Year 3 -€2940
Year 4 - €2940

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!