City scape

Education & Lifelong Learning - Research

The UCD Structured PhD in Education is one of the most challenging, rewarding and exciting graduate programmes in Education. It has an international reputation, and graduates are currently employed as academics in leading universities, as teachers, as school principals, and as education policy makers and innovators in the public and private sector.

On the programme, students must complete a substantial thesis of typically around 80,000 words, detailing an original research study that has made a significant contribution to knowledge. The structured component is thirty credits of taught modules including at least one research methods module. The other two modules may be any graduate level modules of choice offered at the School of Education or more broadly within the College of Social Sciences and Law.

The PhD in Education can be carried out full time over three years or part time over five years. The production of a written thesis of around 80,000 words detailing the student's original research study and how it has made a significant contribution to knowledge, remains the core objective of the PhD. Typically, the thesis will consist of, or lead directly to, peer reviewed publications in academic journals or a published monograph.

A large range of supports are also available within UCD, for all graduate researchers. These include library study pods, training in many aspects of research and research management, and superb library facilities. UCD also has a state-of-the-art leisure centre with an Olympic swimming pool, a cinema, theatre, and a medical centre.

In addition, our students are supported in writing applications for grants and scholarships, and we have a very high level of success in attracting student awards from the Irish Research Council, and the National University of Ireland. Our students present their research at the All-Ireland doctoral conference, hosted annually by UCD and QUB, and they also present at international conferences. Many of our research students have won places on prestigious graduate summer schools.

Offering the gold standard in graduate education, UCD doctoral degrees are highly regarded all over the world. We welcome applications from all areas of educational research, and applicants of all nationalities.

The programme has three strands:
1. Advanced research skills training
2. Theory and praxis in education
3. Original doctoral research


W135/W136 PhD Research 3 years Full-time / 5years Part-time

Further enquiries

Email: Yuxuan Chen

For information please contact:
PhD Programme Administrator
Ms Sky Chen
School of Education
University College Dublin,
Roebuck Offices, Belfield, Dublin 4
T: +353 (01) 716 7968

More information on this course:

Assessment method

The award of PhD is conferred on successful completion of the doctoral research thesis. Taught components of the programme draw on a range of assessment methods that are matched to the learning outcomes of each module

Application date

Closing date of Entry
September and January annually

Please apply online using the electronic system available: View application weblink below

2.Once you have applied online, please email the Director of Doctoral Research [] to state your application has been made online.

Research areas

Sample Modules:
• Advanced quantitative research methods
• Advanced qualitative research methods
• Educational philosophy
• Social justice, inclusion and diversity in education
• Social history of education
• Well-being and mental health of children and youth

Enrolment and start dates

Start date: To be agreed with School

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!