UCC Postgraduate courses

Educational Leadership (PG Diploma, Level 9)

Course Fact File
Duration1 year part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Dip
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date27 May 2024
Non-EU Closing Date27 May 2024
Start Date14 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership at UCC 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. 

This diploma 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 along with coaching 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, you 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. We place great emphasis on transformational leadership and team capacity-building.


Students take the following 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 of this programme is on effective leadership and schools as organisations: we explore the discourse related to leadership at all levels. Our leadership modules are designed to support the development of leadership and management practices in individuals as this will 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.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership is a part-time programme running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. The programme will run over one academic year from September 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, online discussion, self-study materials and work-based learning. Attendance is imperative on the applicable dates conveyed to students.

Given its part-time nature, this programme is open to Irish/EU students only.

In the event you have not been provided with a commencement date please contact the School of Education to confirm details.


Assessment will be continuous over the course: three modules will be assessed with small in-class assignments during the module and larger projects following the conclusion of each module. The Mentoring and Coaching module will be assessed on the basis of a professional practice portfolio and final dissertation 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 attendance 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 the development of others. It will focus on the followership/mentorship aspects of leadership.

Read our School of Education page here.


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 in educational leadership.

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

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Vsit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


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

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

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

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Important Note

Early applications are advised. Applications for this programme are assessed as they come in, therefore the programme quota may be achieved before the closing date. Applicants that meet the programme entry criteria, but who submit after the programme has been filled, will be placed on a waiting list for spaces that may open up due to withdrawals or cancellations.

Deferrals: Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

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. 


Prospective applicants can contact the School of Education Administrative Staff to discuss the programme details:


The closing date for non-EU applications is 27 May 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact