The School of Education and Lifelong Learning was established in 2004 with a number of research active academics and an emergent research strategy focused on practitioner research in the field of adult education. Today the School has developed significant working partnerships with local and national government agencies and regional fora focused on adult and further education, the continuing professional development (CPD) of adult educators and education as a pathway to economic growth and social inclusion.
The School has been successful in winning competitive research funding from the Irish Research Council, the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS), the Fulbright Commission, the National Adult Literacy Agency, the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the European Commission. Academic staff are actively engaged and contribute to national policy debates specifically in the fields of adult and further education, adult literacy, the continued professional development of educators and technology-enhanced learning (TEL).
The School is known for its pioneering work in adult, further and community education, teacher, education and lifelong learning. Our faculty challenge and engage students in graduate programmes focused on intellectual inquiry, research, and practice.
The School's vibrant research culture and eco-system is evolving through the work of dedicated research-active staff, its track-record of growth in postgraduate study, its engagement with educational professionals across the spectrum of education and its development ambitions that are congruent with international higher education institutes. The School takes pride in its record of contributing to research in the field of adult and teacher education with faculty contributing to the body of knowledge in fields such as adult and community education, adult literacy, recognition of prior learning, the continuing professional development of teachers, the professional identity of teachers, intercultural education, virtue epistemology, reflective practice, creativity in education and entrepreneurship education.
Given the origins of the School are in adult education, a respect for adult learners is an integral value of the School. This value informs the School's ambition to create a nurturing and supportive research environment, where students and faculty actively engage and collaborate with one another in the development of new knowledge.