UCC Postgraduate courses

Educational Leadership (PG Diploma)

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership is a one-year, part-time postgraduate course which supports the professional growth of current and aspiring leaders in education, enabling them to contribute effectively to the improvement of practice in their own professional settings and the wider professional community.  It will enable participants to develop the means of using critical reflection to enhance their own and others’ professional practice. The course responds to the need for an updated conception of leadership and mentoring in education. Leaders in organisations need to be able to motivate, coach and mentor staff in rapidly changing environments with limited resources -  a theme increasingly emphasised by the Teaching Council of Ireland. In this course, students will learn about a variety of leadership styles as well as how to identify and develop personal, professional and pedagogical strengths and abilities to be an effective leader. Emphasis is placed on transformative leadership and team capacity-building.


Students take 60 credits over the year:

  • ED6510 Organisational Management of the School (15 credits)
  • ED6511 Effective Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice (15 credits)
  • ED6512 Leading Learning and School Improvement (15 credits)
  • ED6513 Mentoring and Coaching Practicum in Educational Leadership (15 credits)

The focus is on effective leadership and schools as organisations explores and extends knowledge and understanding of discourses related to leadership at all levels. These three modules are designed to support the development of leadership and management practices in individuals in order to contribute to career-long professional learning and school improvement.

The coaching and mentoring component focuses on supporting the professional learning and growth of colleagues; developing the knowledge, understanding and skills required to use a coaching and mentoring approach to developing capacity and capability in others; and, to evaluate impact on professional learning.

Please click this link for further details contained in the UCC Postgraduate Calendar for information and descriptions of modules for the current academic year. PG Calendar

Link to University Postgraduate Academic Calendar for further details on the content and modules are available in Calendar - Book of Modules

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This is a part-time programme is expected to run for 12 months from the date of first registration in early September for the programme and is open to Irish/EU students only as it is based part-time.  We expect the first Saturday lecture will take place on 12th September 2020 but this will be confirmed at a later date.   Please contact the School of Education to confirm the correct commencement date if you have not been informed of the commencement date.

The following details contained in this WEB link may be subject to some changes and will be updated accordingly.  Prospective applicants can contact the School of Education, Job-Sharing Adminstrative Staff, to discuss the programme details at either of the following e-mail address: Ms. Anita Cronin a.cronin@ucc.ie or Ms. Claire Dooley c.dooley@ucc.ie  : Telephone number : 353 (0)21 - 490 2467   Fax number 353 (0)21 - 4270291


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

7th September 2020 is the start date for Semester 1 2020.  We expect the first Saturday lecture will take place on 12th September 2020 but this will be confirmed at a later date. The programme will run over one academic year from September 2020 with four 15-credit modules held on a Saturday, each module taking place over two Saturdays.  Modules will be delivered through a mixed mode of seminars, on-line discussion, self-study materials and work-based learning.  Attendance is imperative on the applicable dates conveyed to students.


Assessment will be continuous over the course: three modules will be assessed with small in-class assignments during the module and larger projects following conclusion of each module. The Mentoring and Coaching module will be assessed on the basis of a professional practice portfolio developed over the course of the programme

Why Choose This Course

Course delivery over weekends means students do not need to commit to weekly attendance at College but attendace on the selected Saturdays is imperative. 

Skills and Careers Information

The course is focused on leadership development and is aimed at those with some experience of leadership in an educational setting. This course will develop practices in individuals to contribute to career-long personal professional learning and development of others. It will focus on the followership/mentorship aspects of leadership.

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School of Education : News Link:  https://www.ucc.ie/en/education/news/


Candidates must have:

A primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) and  three years or more relevant professional experience in education or cognate field. Relevant professional experience, equivalent to five full years, may be considered as an honours equivalent.

  • It is desirable that candidates also have the following:
  • Gained some professional experience of educational leadership.

  • A clear sense of professional purpose (demonstrated via a 750 word statement of purpose submitted with the application.


English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €3,930.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements 

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.



Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.


Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact