Structured PhD in Learning Sciences

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies,
School of Psychology and School of Education

Course overview

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) create new potential to enhance learning, education and human development through adaptive, blended and personalised learning environments.  In the last twenty years, innovations in computer technology enable us to design educational experiences that are potentially more engaging and effective. NUI Galway’s Structured Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences is the first denominated and structured doctoral programme of its kind in Europe. The aim of the programme is to educate highly-skilled graduates who can draw on a range of research and development skills to conceptualise, design, deploy and evaluate information and communications technologies (ICTs) to enhance learning in different educational contexts and settings. 


Students are selected by a Course Committee comprising the course Directors, prospective research supervisor and Head of School of Psychology or Education. Entrants are expected to have no less than an upper second class honours degree in education, psychology or a discipline related to educational technologies (e.g. information technology, computer science, business information systems). If students do not have this basic qualification they must have demonstrated high ability by some other means (e.g. through publications or achievement in a higher degree).

Programmes available

Structured PhD (Learning Sciences), full-time: GYG33
Structured PhD (Learning Sciences), part-time: GYG63

Entry requirements

Selection is by a Course Committee comprising the Course Directors, research supervisor and Head of School of Psychology or Education. Entrants are expected to have no less than an upper Second Class Honours degree in education, psychology or a discipline related to educational technologies (e.g.,computer science). If students do not have this basic qualification they must have demonstrated high ability by some other means (e.g., achievement in a higher degree).

Areas of interest

  • ICT in education – Web 2.0, adaptive, virtual and blended learning, virtualisation, mobile learning, ubiquitous computing, haptics and embodied technologies
  • Design-based research and educational innovation
  • Philosophy of technology-enhanced learning
  • Digital creativity, digital storytelling and new media
  • Innovative, technology-enhanced contexts for development and learning
  • New technologies in informal and non-formal learning settings
  • Reinforcement and Extinction in digital learning contexts
  • Engagement and learning
  • Dynamic properties of learning in digital contexts
  • Cognitive aspects of learning
  • Design and impact of psychometric assessments in learning
  • Critical thinking and critical thinking technology
  • Systems thinking and systems thinking technology
  • Creativity and mindfulness
  • Problem-focused and solution-focused thinking
  • Cognitive interventions for older adults
  • Learning and skill development
  • Development of computer-based protocols for training language and cognitive skills
  • Relational Frame Theory and Behaviour Analysis and their applications in education and psychotherapy
  • Online cognitive testing 

Contact Us

Tony Hall
E: tony.hall@nuigalway.ie

PAC code

Structured Phd (full-time) GYG33
Structured Phd (part-time) GYG63

Important: Apply by mid-July for entry in September

Current project

Fees for this course

EU: €4,275 p.a. 2016/17

Non-EU: €13,250 p.a. 2016/17