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PhD/MSc by Research in Technology Enhanced Learning

If you are interested in the science of technology enhanced learning, adaptive learning technologies, the application of technology to learning  and the testing of these techniques for their suitability then you may consider undertaking a research programme in National College of Ireland (NCI) with the School of Computing.

Course Information

Programme Overview

This programme leads to the award of Masters by research, level 9 on the NFQ or Doctorate in Philosophy in Technology Enhanced Learning, level 10 on the NFQ. Students can elect to graduate with the award of Masters by research after completing the taught course modules and a research thesis or proceed to the PhD thesis after review by a supervisory committee.

Programme Description

The structured research programme at National College of Ireland aims to produce graduates who are experts in their discipline and expert researchers, but also individuals with skills suited to employment in a number of areas. You will learn the latest concepts in adaptive learning technology, the application of technology to learning, gain an understanding of the science of technology enhanced learning and the testing of these techniques for their suitability. You will have access to state of the art equipment in The National e-Learning Laboratory (NELL), located in NCI. The lab consists of sophisticated hardware and software that can observe up to four learners simultaneously. This is done through video and audio recording, screen-capture, keyboard & mouse logging and eye-tracking. Researchers can then observe, record and analyse the behaviour of students interacting with e-learning resources. This data will allow researchers to evaluate the students’ learning experience in terms of the quality of engagement, learning gain, efficiency, effectiveness and usability.

This usability lab is one of the most sophisticated of is kind in Ireland and has the potential to make a very important contribution to the continuous improvement of learning and teaching methodologies in on-line environments. This project is funded by Enterprise Ireland.

Who is the Programme for?

This programme, delivered by the School of Computing, is for future leaders in learning and technology. It will prove particularly useful if you are a computer graduate, a learning scientist, an e-learning specialist or a workplace learning professional interested in applying new technologies to workplace learning.


PhD full time: 3-4 years
PhD part time: 5-6 years
MSc full time: 2 years
MSc part time:3-4 years


Year 1 Year 2 onwards 
Research methods Research
Quantitative and qualitative analysis MA/MSc thesis (ca. 2 years)
Literature review and specialist studies PhD thesis (ca. 4.5 years)
Theories of Learning and Cognition
Generic transferable skills training programme  

Entry Requirements

An honours undergraduate degree in a cognate field, or equivalent.

If deemed suitable, exemptions may be granted to students with a masters degree.

English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Interview with the Head of School to confirm suitability for entry onto the programme, if applicable. A telephone interview may be organised if required.


HETAC Doctorate in Philosophy in Technology Enhanced learning (PhD – level 10 NFQ)

HETAC Masters of Science by research (MSc- level 9 NFQ)

Programme Fee

Course fee €4,900 EU, €9,500 Non-EU.

For exceptional international applicants the EU application fee may apply. In some instances funding opportunities (external) may be available, please contact the Research Office for further information, research@ncirl.ie.


NCI, Mayor Street, IFSC.

For further information please contact the research office at research@ncirl.ie or download an application form.

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