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DCU Institute of Education

Postgraduate Programmes


Transforming Education, Transforming Lives

We offer a range of taught and research programmes to doctoral and masters level and have a distinguished record in providing continuing professional development. The Institute courses are delivered in a context characterised by innovation and development, scholarship, research and excellence in teaching and learning. Embedded in our programmes is a deep commitment to equity, social justice and inclusion. Students who undertake our courses will have a formative impact on development within schools, workplaces and the broader education community. We see this as both a responsibility and a privilege, and work hard to ensure that our programmes meet your needs.

Initial Teacher Education

Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching)

This programme equips students with the principles, curriculum knowledge and pedagogical understanding with which to begin their teaching careers as competent professionals. The programme is responsive to the changing contexts of primary education, offering student teachers opportunities to engage critically with the interface between society and education. As with any professional course, the Professional Master of Education is intensive and requires a considerable commitment from students. It is also a rewarding and interesting experience and you will find that you have been comprehensively prepared for your teaching career.

Course Information » PAC Code DC970

Professional Master of Education (Post-Primary Teaching)

Do you believe that your efforts and commitments can inspire a young person to achieve great things? As a teacher in a second-level school, it is the quality of the relationships that you form with your students that will define their experience of school and encourage, enlighten and challenge them to achieve the highest standards possible for themselves. Without doubt schools in Ireland are now defined by a diversity of races, faiths, cultures, social and economic backgrounds. If you think you have the courage to work in this way then you should consider becoming a teacher. By contributing to the development of a young person's values and character you influence not just the quality of one person's life but the quality of the whole of society. The Professional Master of Education is a full-time teacher education qualification delivered through evening and flexible learning modes for those who hold an approved undergraduate degree and who wish to become teachers in second-level schools.

Programme Chair: Dr Majella McSharry
Director of School Placement: Dr Shivaun O'Brien

Current Students

Current Students

Cooperating Schools

Cooperating Schools

Course Information » PAC Code DC905

Certificate and Diploma

Professional Certificate/Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education

The Professional Certificate/Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education is designed to equip mainstream teachers to respond effectively to the diverse needs of pupils in today’s inclusive schools and classrooms. Serving the needs of pupils with diverse special educational needs is now the responsibility of all teachers and all schools and no longer the sole remit of specialist teachers. This flexible online course facilitates access regardless of geographical or other constraints. Having completed a foundation module on special and inclusive education, teachers will then choose from a range of specialist elective modules, which includes topics such as Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching Strategies, Dyslexia, Mild General Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour.

Course Information » PAC Code DC841(Sept) / DC842(Jan) | Frequently Asked Questions

Professional Certificate and Diploma (Ethical and Multidenominational Education)

Programme Page »

Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Education, Learning Support and Special Education

The School of Inclusive and Special Education offer a Graduate Diploma in Inclusive, Learning Support and Special Education. It runs from September 2016 to June 2017 and involves a blended model of delivery incorporating block release from school/centre for eight weeks, on-line learning and attendance on four Saturdays during the year. In order to participate in the programme, teachers will need access to a computer and broadband internet access. Particular expertise has been developed within the programme that relates to the inclusion of students in primary, post-primary and special schools (for example, those with severe and profound general learning disability) and other education centres.

Funding is provided by the DES and no fee or registration charges will apply for eligible applicants. Teachers will continue to receive their salary in the usual way and substitution will be covered. Those who successfully complete the Post-Graduate Diploma, and who meet entry requirements, are eligible to seek admission to the Masters in Special Educational Needs.

Indicative Modules
Principles and concepts of inclusive and special education
Assessment, profiling and planning
Teaching, planning and learning for all
Learner identity and educational implications
Collaboration and leadership
Reflective practice and enquiry
Choice of elective modules

Delivery of the Programme

The course is a one-year, part-time postgraduate diploma programme delivered in a blended model eight weeks of block-release during the academic year at the course venue, four Saturdays of face-to-face tuition and online learning.

Provisional Timetable – 2017-2018

The programme will include three sets of block release from your school/centre during the year:

Lecture Blocks

  • Block 1: Monday 18th September to Friday 13th October
  • Block 2: Monday 29th January to Friday 9th February
  • Block 3: Friday 9th March to Friday 23rd March (Exclusive of Bank Holiday, Monday 19th March)


  • 25th November
  • 9th December
  • 10th February
  • 10th March

In addition, there will be some live, online classes, further details of which will be made available throughout the programme.

Course Information » | GDILS DES Circular and Application Form

Graduate Certificate in the Education of Pupils on the Autism Spectrum

The philosophy underlying the Graduate Certificate/Diploma is embodied in the overall aim of the course:
to develop the knowledge, skills and expertise of teachers thus enhancing the provision of appropriate education for children and young people with special educational needs. This is a one-year, part-time programme consisting of three modules, delivered through distance learning modes and on-site learning at St Patrick’s Campus. The programme is based on participants being released from their schools to attend the course venue for up to three weeks over the academic year. The Distance Learning elements of the course include online lectures and a Discussion Forum. Content of the course will focus specifically on theory and practice related to Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
DES Circular will issue in January 2017 giving eligibility criteria and application form.
The closing date for receipt of Applications will be advised on the Circular.

Funding is provided by the DES and no fee or registration charges will apply for eligible applicants. Teachers will continue to receive their salary in the usual way and substitution will be covered. Graduates of this Certificate may be eligible to progress onto the Graduate Diploma in Inclusive Education, Learning Support and Special Education and subsequently onto the Masters in Special Educational Needs.

Course Information » | GCEAS DES Circular and Application Form

Certificate in Religious Studies

The aim of the programme is to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach religious education in Catholic primary schools. Boards of Management in Catholic primary schools will normally require a qualification to teach Religious Education. The Certificate in Religious Studies (CRS) fulfils this condition of employment. As well as being a recognised qualification in Ireland, the CRS is also accepted by most Catholic elementary school in the UK, North America and Australia.

Dates Delivery Modules
22-23-24 Aug 16 Summer Programme*, Face-to Face and online content Religious Education 1 and Christian Foundations
Oct/Nov 16 Online Liturgy and Sacraments
Feb/Mar 17 Online Moral Theology
21-22-23 Aug 17 Summer Programme*, Face-to Face and online content Religious Education 2 and Creed and Trinity

*EPV days normally apply (subject to DES sanction)

Course Information » PAC Code DC996

Masters Level

Master of Education

The Master of Education is designed for educators who wish to pursue in-depth study in education for both professional and personal development. This programme offers the opportunity to educators to expand their knowledge within a particular specialism. It combines educational theory and applied studies and assists learners in the development of up-to-date knowledge in a chosen area of specialisation and beyond. The programme incorporates current educational thinking and the most effective pedagogical practices within a wide range of contemporary educational issues. The key focus of the programme is that it offers students an opportunity to develop expertise in a chosen field, to critically reflect on your own practice and thinking, while also engaging with educational research and theory. The on-going commitment is to provide our students with the highest academic standards in teaching, learning and research, while supporting and fostering differing learning styles and needs.

The MEd is a two year part time programme. In the first year students undertake three core modules and three modules in their chosen special option, In the second year of the programme students undertake a thesis with the support of a supervising tutor.

2017/18 Special Options
History/Geography and Local Studies Education

This option enables students to develop understanding, knowledge and skills in the teaching of history, geography and local studies. The modules will involve face-to-face teaching and fieldwork, during which students will be enabled to develop their practice through engagement with enquiry-based collaborative approaches and learning activities which promote active and participatory learning. The theory and research underpinning history and geography education will be critically examined, and students will be enabled to apply that learning to their practice and research. The locality as a place of learning in history and geography will be promoted and students will gain insight into its potential for integrated learning. Expertise in the resourcing and planning of history, geography and local studies will be developed and the role of school leadership will be addressed. This special option will build students’ capacities for post-graduate research in history and geography education and in local studies and will enable them to build the knowledge and skills needed to develop classroom and whole school practice in their local context. Module 1 will focus on History Education; Module 2 will focus on Geography Education; Module 3 will investigate the locality-based learning in history and geography through a focus on Local Studies.

Co-ordinator: Fionnuala Waldron
Contact: fionnuala.waldron@dcu.ie

Global Citizenship and Human Rights Education

This option will enable you to develop your understanding, knowledge and skills in global citizenship and human rights education, with special emphasis on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its application to children and young people in formal and informal educational settings. The course is targeted at teachers, school leaders and other education practitioners who wish to apply democratic and human rights principles in their practice and to empower children and young people to engage critically with global issues. Module 1 will develop your understanding of the international human rights framework and human rights education, with particular emphasis on the rights of children and young people. Module 2 will examine the field of global citizenship education and engage with big issues of the 21st century such as climate change, sustainability, migration, conflict, poverty and gender. The third module will focus on human rights and global citizenship education as practice in schools and other educational settings. It will foreground participative pedagogies and critical thinking and will explore whole school approaches which promote local and global citizenship and human rights education. In your second year, you will engage in research relating to global citizenship and/or human rights education.

Coordinator: Rowan Oberman
Contact: rowan.oberman@dcu.ie

Leadership in Primary Science Education

The Special Option Leadership in Primary Science Education will provide participants with opportunities to engage with and reflect on a range of issues relevant to the teaching and learning of primary science. Students will be encouraged to implement current developments in science educational research in their own practice-based contexts and will be supported in developing the requisite knowledge and expertise to become leaders in science education in their schools and the wider education community. A range of methodologies will be utilised throughout the three modules including: workshops, lectures, fieldwork, discussions, debate, student presentations and action research. The Leadership in Primary Science Education Module comprises three modules;

  • Leadership in Science Education: Addresses issues around professional development, role of the science co-ordinator in schools, assessment, resources, and whole school planning.
  • Creative Pedagogy: Affords participants with opportunities to engage with and reflect on a range of innovative methodologies for teaching primary science aimed at supporting the development of children’s scientific skills and knowledge and promoting greater interest and more positive attitudes towards science.
  • Current Issues in Science Education: Introduces participants to the literature and pedagogies relating to a range of current issues in science education. For example: Education for Sustainability, Outdoor learning, Nano- Science.

Co-ordinator: Dr Cliona Murphy
Contact: cliona.murphy@dcu.ie

Digital Learning

Module 1 - Computation Thinking: Design and Build to Learn
This module focuses on designing and constructing using computation materials and programming environments such as Scratch, BeeBots. WeDO / EV3 Lego Education materials. The emphasis will be on reflective learning practices as students engage in hands-on experimentation and critical analysis of construction-oriented learning experiences to explore strategies for supporting interest-driven, project-based, collaborative approaches to learning through the lens of interaction design and constructivist/ constructionist learning theory. This is supported by readings, school visits and ongoing dialogue centred on how these experiences connect to theory and classroom practice. Case studies of innovative teaching and learning initiatives are also used to provide a focus for critical evaluation.

Module 2 – Gaming to Learn
While the use of games in education is not new, the use of digital games is comparatively recent. Increased broadband, ubiquitous availability of a wide range of devices and the growth of online communities presents us with a “unique set of engaging tools and techniques, based upon games mechanisms such as competition, narrative, missions and quests” (Whitton, 2014, p. xiii). This module will explore game theory, thinking and practices as a set of tools, approaches, methods and frameworks for learning. Critical engagement with the literature as well as hands on experience of playing with and designing of games will form a core part of this module which will enable participants recognise the power of play using these new tools and will extend their current understanding of how games can be used for learning.

Module 3 – Confronting Change: Designing for Learning in the 21st Century
This module is designed to challenge participants understandings of what being digital in learning can look like in the 21st century. Through exploration and interrogation of international and national policy documents, change theory, international frameworks, and research literature, participants will be guided to a) identify, understand and design learning environments that provide learners with opportunities to build 21st century skills; and b) draw on key concepts related to change theory & policy to design effective and relevant eLearning Plans for their school/education contexts.

Mathematics Education

This special option aims to provide teachers with the opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs about mathematics and their attitudes to mathematics and mathematics teaching in the context of their classroom and school practices. Participants will engage with different theoretical viewpoints and trends in mathematics education and the bodies of research supporting them. The development of students’ thinking within different mathematical domains will be explored. There will be a particular focus on the development of a community of inquiry and analysis of classroom practice over the three modules. The option is suitable for primary and post-primary teachers.
Lecturers: Thérèse Dooley; Lorraine Harbison, Siún NicMhuirí, Maurice OReilly, Miriam Ryan, Aisling Twohill and visiting lecturers

Module 1: Development of Mathematical Thinking (Autumn 2017)

An important component of this module is that participants will be encouraged to explore their own mathematics and to engage in mathematical problem-solving. They will be introduced to current trends in and different theoretical perspectives on mathematics teaching and learning. They will also be presented with a framework – the Knowledge Quartet – that will facilitate reflection on mathematics teaching in practice. There will be a focus on the development of mathematical thinking within the strands of Geometry and Algebra. Participants are expected to engage in reading of relevant research literature and, in seminars, to discuss and critique key findings.
On completion of this module, students will

  • articulate their own mathematical experiences and dispositions;
  • evaluate personal professional assumptions about mathematics teaching and learning;
  • interrogate and interpret the findings of national and international assessments of mathematical achievement;
  • analyse classroom practices from the perspectives of teacher knowledge and mathematical principles.
  • identify key issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics and locate them in the relevant literature.

*Content of modules 1, 2 and 3 may be interchanged or altered in accordance with needs identified by the group of MEd (Mathematics Education) students.

Module 2: The Practice of Teaching Mathematics (Spring 2018)

This module focuses on the development of mathematical thinking within the strands of Number, Data-handling/Statistics and Measures. Participants will engage with current research and issues in these mathematical domains. Consideration will also be given to various tools that support the learning and teaching of mathematics. An important component of this module is that participants will be encouraged to explore their own practices, to design innovative mathematics lessons, to try them out with students and to discuss outcomes. In follow-up seminars, they will discuss constraints and affordances in mathematics teaching and learning.
On completion of this module students will

  • consider how different philosophies of mathematics education influence school and classroom practices;
  • identify key issues in the practices of teaching of Number, Data-handling/Statistics and Measures and locate them in the relevant literature;
  • apply a range of methodologies in the teaching of mathematics with a particular emphasis on inquiry-based processes;
  • analyse classroom practices from the perspectives of teacher knowledge and mathematical principles.
Module 3: Engaging in Lesson Study (Summer 2018)

The particular focus of this module is the practice of Lesson Study. Participants will collaboratively design ‘research’ mathematics lessons and try them out in schools. The research lesson will be taught by one of the participants and observed by others. It will also be video-recorded and, in follow-up seminars, will be analysed from the perspectives of the development of mathematical thinking, classroom interaction and equity issues. If feasible, an opportunity will be given to reteach the lesson. In this module, participants will also consider research methods in mathematics education in order to facilitate preparation for thesis work.
On completion of this module students will

  • collaborate in the design and analysis of mathematics lessons focused on developing learners’ mathematical powers;
  • analyse mathematics teaching from the perspective of classroom interactions and issues of empowerment;
  • critique current policies and practices in relation to mathematics education;
  • anchor their own research interests in relevant theoretical and methodological literature.

Co-ordinator: Dr Thérèse Dooley
Contact: therese.dooley@dcu.ie

Special and Inclusive Education

The Special and Inclusive Education Option focuses on the professional and theoretical knowledge and understanding in the area of special and inclusive education. It allows students to explore concepts, policies, practices and issues relevant to the teaching and learning of students with special educational needs and disabilities. There are three modules in this option. The first module focuses on concepts and contexts of special and inclusive education, allowing students to explore key concepts and theoretical perspectives associated with special educational needs, disability and inclusion, and the attendant implications for policy, legislation and practice. The second module is concerned with psychology for special educational needs and allows students explore the relevance of key psychological perspectives to the education of children with learning difficulties and/or special educational needs. Leadership for special and inclusive education is the focus of the final module which explores the challenges of inclusion and implications for leaders and leadership in schools. Students undertaking this option will experience a variety of pedagogical approaches, have ample opportunity to relate course material to their practice, and will have online access to supportive module-related resources. Focusing on special needs, inclusion and leadership, this is a rich and worthwhile professional development option.

Course coordinator: Órla Ní Bhroin
Contact: orla.nibhroin@dcu.ie

Early Childhood Education

The option in Early Childhood Education is for teachers/practitioners who are currently teaching in an infant classroom or other early years educational settings. Suitable candidates will have had extensive past experience working in early childhood education and who have access to young children as required for coursework. Candidates will be expected to be familiar with national frameworks for Early Childhood Education and Care and with major relevant national initiatives, policies and developments. Under the guidance of a team of early education experts, participants will be offered opportunities to develop understandings in relation to teaching and learning in the early years, at both a theoretical and practical level. They will explore and analyse policy, practice and curricula. They will critique understandings of curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment as they pertain to early childhood education. They will develop skills in critical evaluation of a range of topical aspects of early childhood education. On completion of the degree it is expected that participants will have deepened and extended their knowledge, skills and understandings of teaching and learning Additionally, they will have further developed and enhanced their abilities to reflect on, provide and advise on quality educational provision for young children and to provide leadership in this area.

Co-ordinator Dr Liz Dunphy
Contact: liz.dunphy@dcu.ie

Educational Leadership (on-line)

The MEd specialism in Education Leadership offers participants the opportunity to undertake a general study of the theory and practice of educational leadership. The course aims at enabling participants to understand and critique theories and practices of educational leadership in light of current research and professional experience. The integration of theory and practice is central to the course. This area of specialisation is not solely confined to those who work as school principals or hold middle management positions within schools; it will also be of benefit to do those in the educational sphere with an interest in leadership. Students will study three core modules in common with all our MEd students and three further modules in the area of Educational Leadership exploring issues regarding the policy and practice of educational leadership and management e.g. leadership practices, leading learning and professional learning communities.

Co-ordinator: Professor Catherine Furlong
Contact: catherine.furlong@dcu.ie

Bullying Prevention and Intervention

The principal aim of the MEd - Bullying Prevention programme is to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need in order to undertake practical work to prevent bullying, harassment and violence within school and educational communities. The module content is based on a whole-school approach developed through many years of research at DCU's National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre, and informed by best national and international practice. As part of the programme students will study the psychology of aggressive behaviour as well as methods of preventing and countering aggression, bullying, harassment and violence. Students will study the National Action Plan on Bullying (2013) and will cover topics such as cyberbullying, homophobic bullying, legal duty of care, whole school approaches and theories of aggression.

Co-ordinator. Dr. James O'Higgins Norman
Contact: james.ohigginsnorman@dcu.ie

Music Education

Integrating a range of perspectives spanning philosophy, psychology, sociology and extant research, this special option provides a broad theoretical framework that paves the way for deeper understanding and engagement with music education at all levels, from early childhood through to adult education. Individual modules explore avenues to overarching dimensions of music in educational contexts—listening, performing and composing music, as well as various forms of musical representation—through critique of theoretical frameworks, relevant research and applications of music education in various formal, informal and non-formal educational settings, including virtual and real learning environments. Modules are presented in a blended format, enabling participants to participate in real musical encounters while maintaining further opportunities for extended critique through synchronous and asynchronous online modes

Co-ordinator: Dr Regina Murphy
Contact: regina.Murphy@dcu.ie

Teaching and Learning (on-line)

The MEd special option provides three complementary perspectives on teaching and learning that enable practitioners to gain a deeper understanding of their everyday work in schools. First, the sociological lens prompts teachers to consider the issues presented to them in their classroom that may be within or outside their locus of control. Psychology provides the second avenue to teaching and learning, and addresses how teachers may apply psychological theories to implement transformational strategies in their classrooms and schools. Finally, the module on teacher identity requires teachers to consider how their personal experiences, relationships and societal influences shape who they are and consequently, how they teach.

Co-ordinator : Dr Regina Murphy
Contact: regina.Murphy@dcu.ie

Course Information » PAC Code DC984

Masters in Special Educational Needs

The Masters in Special Educational Needs (MSEN) is a blended programme open to qualified experienced teachers working in primary and post-primary schools, or in special schools or classes. The aim of the programme is to develop teachers' knowledge and skills in analysing, critiquing and applying research literature in the area of special and inclusive education and in carrying out research relevant to children and young people with special educational needs.

Course Information » DC994 | PAC Application for Year 1 | Application form for MSEN Year 2

Master of Education in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

The Master of Education in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) provides teachers with a high-quality level of professional knowledge and understanding, which enables them to teach students with dyslexia as well as carry out assessments for students who have a specific reading or writing difficulty and may have dyslexia. On completion of course requirements, students are also eligible for associate membership of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA). The programme addresses three core areas of knowledge and practice:

  • understanding the development of language and literacy learning
  • identifying and assessing specific learning difficulties/dyslexia
  • managing curriculum-based interventions and evidence-based practice and support.

Next intake to the programme: September 2017.
Application deadline: 16th June 2017.

Course Information » PAC Code DC732 | Frequently asked questions

Master of Teaching

This qualification is designed for serving teachers seeking master’s level accreditation for the highest standards of structured, evidence-based teaching, reflection and action in their own classrooms and schools. The MTeach provides a learning opportunity in which the study of teaching, and in particular, the study of one’s own teaching, can be an evolving, fulfilling and collaborative experience where practitioners theorise their practices, generate personal theories of practice, and learn to articulate the importance and significance of doing so.

The overall outcome of the MTeach is to ensure that educational practitioners are better equipped to address the challenges of pedagogy in the 21st century whilst the principles that underpin the MTeach mean that schools will be better placed to meet individual pupils’ learning needs as teachers take a practice-based qualification that is tailored to their personal and professional needs. DC985 Master of Teaching (Standard Route) running in 2017.

DC985 Standard Route

The Standard Route through the MTeach provides opportunities for teachers and other educators to consider their work as dynamic, reflective practitioners from a broad perspective throughout each of the modules. The programme begins with the core modules: 1, 2 and 3 where the focus lies on the teacher as an inquiry-oriented, reflective practitioner and self-directed professional who seeks to improve his or her practice. In Modules 4, 5 and 6 stimulating explorations of curriculum theory, assessment, and the workplace as a learning community encourage the practitioner to consider aspects of teaching from theoretical vantage points that are then applied to classroom contexts in accessible ways. Thus, the everyday work of teachers in their planning, interactions with curriculum documents or textbooks, assigning of homework, engaging with parents, assessing and reporting on pupil progress are all topics for exploration and discussion. Lastly, modules 7 and 8 concentrate on the teacher as a practitioner-researcher. Participants take a course in research methods and complete a dissertation that is located primarily in their own teaching context and based on a topic of their choice. .

Course Information » PAC Code DC985

MSc in Education & Training Management (Leadership)

DC900The Institute offers the two-year part-time M.Sc. in Education and Training Management Leadership programme. . It is suitable for those working as, or aspiring to be, leaders in education and training contexts. In the current context the strategic leadership of education and training will be vital to the economic and social goals that have been established for Ireland. Current participants on the programme are drawn from the widely varying fields of education (primary, post-primary, third level, adult education), corporate training, industry, nursing, government departments and other state agencies.

Course Information » PAC Code DC900

MSc in Education & Training Management (e-Learning)

The MSc. in Education and Training Management (eLearning) is a two-year part-time programme. Current participants on the programme are drawn from the widely varying fields of education (primary, post-primary, third level, adult education), corporate training, industry, health, professional organisations, NGO's, government departments and state agencies.

Previous participants, who took part in a recent programme survey, highlighted the safe and collaborative learning environment; a supportive structure enabled participants to flourish creatively and become leaders of change in their organisations. The practical and student-centered approach to learning was also revealed insofar as the course is tailored to meet practitioners' needs in the workplace.

Return on Investment

Past graduates have highlighted the following benefits:

  • Career development i.e. promotions or opening up of new career opportunities
  • Application of multi-media and digital skills
  • Specialist knowledge: theories of learning, philosophy, implications of brain research to learning, instructional design, change management, reflective practice and computational thinking
  • Personal development i.e. increased confidence and sense of well-being

Participants are invited to participate in the research activities organised by the International Centre for Innovation and Workplace Learning.

Course Information » PAC Code DC902

MSc in Guidance Counselling

The overall aim of the M.Sc. in Guidance Counselling two year part-time programme is to provide students with a standard of excellence in the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for practice in the field of personal, education and career guidance and counselling. This professional programme will suit those already working indirectly in these three areas, without a recognised qualification and those seeking to establish a career and therefore need to undergo initial education and training. Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including second level teaching, adult education and HR.

Course Information » PAC Code DC906 | 2016 Application Information

MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work

The MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work course provides the academic, pastoral, spiritual, personal and professional development for those already working or wishing to work in the above contexts who seek to enrich their skills in the areas of Faith Development, Chaplaincy and Chaplaincy Coordination.

Course Information » PAC Code DC980 (Full-time) | DC981 (Part-time)

Professional MA in Healthcare Chaplaincy

The Professional MA in Healthcare Chaplaincy offers students a multidisciplinary approach to Healthcare Chaplaincy. It provides academic, pastoral, spiritual, personal and professional education for people who wish to work in Healthcare settings. The programme is designed for those wishing to pursue a career in Healthcare Chaplaincy in a variety of approved healthcare contexts including: Hospitals, Hospices, Rehabilitation Facilities, Nursing Homes and Care Facilities

Course Information » PAC Code DC982 (Full-time)

MA in Religion and Education (Post-Primary)

As a graduate programme, participants will develop research skills in specific topics in religion and education. Upon successful completion of this programme the graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current issues in Religion and Education
  • Demonstrate a capacity for in-depth research in specific topics of RE
  • Develop complex analytical and interpretative skills in the spheres of Religion and Education
  • Assume responsibility for work within professional and pastoral contexts, with individuals and groups
  • Investigate and reflect on educational, religious and theological values and thereby contribute effectively to change in society.

Course Information » PAC Code DC991 (Full-time) | DC992 (Part-time)

Doctoral level

Doctor of Education Overview

Doctor of EducationThe 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 and emergent educational leadership in the Irish context to the highest possible international standards. Specialisms for 2016 are as follows:

DCE48 - Arts, Creativity and Imagination in Education

Contact: Prof Michael O’Leary at (01)884 2065.

The modules on ACIE strand focus initially on the “big ideas” pertaining to arts, creativity and imagination as they play out in various educational contexts. Through engagement at lectures, critiquing the published literature, art objects and other media artefacts, the course is designed to enhance participants’ ability to examine different perspectives of these big ideas and their understanding of associated concepts such as arts in education and education in arts, aesthetic education, creativity theory, philosophies of the imagination, socio-cultural theory, active learning, constructivism, activity theory, design of curricula and learning environments, knowledge, pedagogy, theories of engagement, motivation, identity; conceptualisation of partnership; access, participation and social justice and so on. Approaches to arts-based educational research will also underpin the module.

Following on from this and other core elements of the programme, is a module concerned with how polices in arts, creativity and imagination in education impact upon the provision and practice of arts education in various settings, including formal, informal and non-formal contexts. The module will also examine the connection between policy, advocacy and activism in the approach to provision in Ireland and elsewhere. A key theme will be the shifting focus of creativity and arts agendas in education from the margins to the centre at different times and for different purposes. The relative advantages and disadvantages of this will be discussed. Similarly, policies of partnership and the consequent elaboration of structures, roles, specifications and practice will also be explored. The format will comprise lectures, critical reading and discussion, sharing of insights and the identification of emerging questions and themes for sustained inquiry. 

DCE49 -Educational Leadership and Evaluation

Co-ordinator: Professor Gerry McNamara

The Educational Leadership and Evaluation strand is intended for those with previous managerial experience who wish to make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice in the management area by critically reviewing and systematically applying appropriate theories and research to professional practice. The modules in this strand focus on the qualities and competencies of successful leaders, leading and motivating organisations and using evaluative evidence to drive improvement.

DCE50 - Ethical Education and Schooling

Contact: Prof Michael O’Leary at (01)884 2065.

The team within this strand have been at the forefront in the area of Ethical Education, and this doctoral strand builds on the Ethics curriculum at undergraduate level as well as the new postgraduate Certificate in Ethical and Multidenominational Education which is offered in a partnership between St Patrick’s College and Educate Together. Central to the strand will be the complexity of the concept of ethos in education and schooling. The issue of ethos in Irish primary education is a complex one, with a rather traditionalist emphasis now coming under increasing pressure in the ‘new Ireland’. This strand will look at the problems in this area and the philosophical alternatives available for teachers and students. The topics covered will include:  Different approaches to School Ethos, Philosophical and sociological approaches to ethical and religious education in Ireland and internationally, Multi-denominational schools – Theory and Practice (especially Educate Together), The Learn Together multidenominational curriculum, CNS State Schools and their philosophy/ethos (state multidenominational schools) and curriculum (Goodness Me! Goodness You!), Exploring Other Philosophical Alternatives – e.g. nondenominational or secular schooling, The tradition of denominational schooling and especially Catholic philosophy, Tensions in Catholic ethos between traditionalist and liberal Catholic approaches, The Forum on Patronage and Pluralism 2012 – and the contemporary legal and educational issues arising from the Forum.

DCE51 - Assessment, Learning and Teaching

Contact: Prof Michael O’Leary at (01)884 2065.

This strand aims to develop educators with specialist knowledge and expertise in assessment offor and as learning.  Mindful of the need for alignment between assessment, learning and teaching at each level of the system, the module will address the “big ideas” pertaining to assessment, learning and teaching as they play out in, and impact on, various educational contexts. Students will be expected to engage actively in a learning community dedicated to critical analysis, robust review and high level scholarship relating to policy and practice in assessment, learning and teaching. Successful participants will be primed to assume leadership roles nationally and internationally in assessment.

DCE52 - Religious Education

Co-ordinator: Dr Gareth Byrne

The Religious Education strand is intended for those who believe that change in the relationship between religion and education is creating a new landscape in which Religious Education must be positioned anew. Important issues arise relating to pluralism, diversity and freedom of religion and belief. The strand is designed for religious education practitioners who are interested in developing research, policy and curriculum skills in the area of religious education and to empower participants to take leadership roles in fields related to religious education. The first module, Critical Engagement with Religious Education, Ethics, Spirituality and Belief, seeks to assist the participant in constructing questions about and evaluating forms of religious education in the Irish context. Personal research into a variety of perspectives, religious, spiritual or other worldview, will be the basis for peer presentations and collaborative study. The second module, Advanced Empirical Research Skills in Religious Education, will focus on facilitating religious education practitioners in identifying substantive and unique research questions that will contribute to the knowledge-base and influence current practice in ‘teaching religion’ in an Irish, European or global context. The third module, Lifelong Religious Education and the Public Square, helps the participants to examine the inter-religious, international, inter-institutional and inter-generational dimensions of religious education. Informed by engagement with national and international voices, the participants will critically reflect on their contribution as a religious educator across the life cycle and articulate this contribution within the context of a learning community. The programme as a whole will ‘add value’ in the context of the religious educator’s continuing professional development.

DCE53 - Special and Inclusive Education

Contact: Prof Michael O’Leary at (01)884 2065.

The Special and Inclusive Education strand builds on topics addressed in the core modules. The first module explores influences on educational provision for children and young people with special educational needs with particular emphasis on values, rights and attitudes, how these are determined and how they are interpreted in current provision in the Irish context. Models of provision from Irish and international perspectives are presented and analysed with reference to relevant legislation, theory, research and practice. Key issues and debates in special and inclusive education, for example, in relation to inclusion, curriculum and pedagogy, cultural and linguistic diversity are interrogated and discussed. Perspectives on conducting research in special education are challenged and examples from practice, illustrating a range of appropriate methodologies and approaches to ethical issues, are presented. The second module explores the historical aspects of policy, its key actors and its predominant influences in the field of special and inclusive education from both a national and international perspective. Theories, concepts and critiques of policy in special and inclusive education are presented for analysis and discussion. The nature of the relationship between policy and research is analysed. Does research inform policy or do other considerations take precedence in policy formation and consequently, in how provision is developed?  Key policy issues in special and inclusive education policy (for example, how ‘special and inclusive’ is defined, inclusion, equity in education, teacher education for special and inclusive education, partnership with parents, effective teaching, resource allocation, post-school options) are addressed with reference to the research literature and to practice. Assessment for this module consists of students reporting on a research project which they have designed and conducted in order to investigate and critique a particular policy in the area of special and inclusive education.

DCE54 - Teacher Education

Contact: Prof Michael O’Leary at (01)884 2065.

This doctoral strand focuses on teacher education across the continuum and on the teacher educator in a range of settings from school to state agencies and higher education institutes. It will examine international and national trends in teacher education, locating Irish developments in that wider context. It will look at systemic and policy change over time, with a particular focus on the history of teacher education in Ireland since the foundation of the State. It will explore the changing roles of schools, higher education institutions and other centres of teacher education and examine the evolution of teacher education at programme level. The strand will examine the roles and identities of teacher educators and examine the multiple contexts in which teacher educators operate, such as schools, sites of continuing professional development, online environments and higher education institutions. The situated and complex nature of the pedagogy of teacher education will be explored, with particular emphasis on emerging models such as lesson study, co-teaching, school-based partnership models and digital pedagogies associated with flexible models. The topics covered will include: International trends in teacher education, with particular focus on developments at European level; The history of teacher education in Ireland; Policy development in teacher education in Ireland since the foundation of the State; Research-based models of teacher education across the continuum; Accountability in teacher education; Teacher educator identity and the knowledge base; Teachers as researchers; The pedagogy of teacher education; The role of schools in teacher education; Teachers as teacher educators; Assessment of current and future trends in Irish teacher education.

Those interested in applying should in the first instance, complete an EdD Expression of Interest Form plus a 2,000 word draft research proposal and submit both to Professor Gerry McNamara, School of Education Studies, DCU,Dublin 9 by 26th February 2016.

Course Information » PAC Codes DCE48-54 | Draft Timetable

Professional Development

Induction Course for Teachers of Pupils with Severe/Profound Learning Disabilities

The aim of the course is to help teachers to plan and deliver effective education for these pupils and to feel confident about their work.

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Inservice Summer Courses for Teachers

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