Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Special Education is a degree designed for individuals who seek advanced and highly specialized knowledge in the areas of special education and research. The Ph.D. in Special Education is a unique program in the UAE with its depth and breadth of coursework designed to support people of determination. The program offers challenging coursework grounded in the field’s most current research and methodologies.


The Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Special Education Program is offered in Abu Dhabi and Ajman as follows:

  • Abu Dhabi – Emirates College for Advanced Education
  • Ajman – Teachers Training Institute

Class timetables

All classes are offered during weekdays in the evening as ECAE Graduate degrees are offered as part-time programs. Allocated timetables with the location, time and duration of all lectures will be released towards the program start date on September 1, 2019.

Year 1 - Semester 1
PHDSE1 - Advanced Studies of Individuals with Exceptionalities
DOCM720 - Qualitative Research Methods
Year 1 - Semester 2
PHDSE2 - Educational Regulations for Special
PHDC710 - Educational Neuroscience: Typical and Atypical Function
DOCM730 - Quantitative Research Methods
Year 2 - Semester 1
PHDSE3 - Special and Inclusive Education: Theory, Curriculum, and Pedagogy
PHDSE4 - Transition in Special Education: Theory, Design, and Collaboration
Year 2 - Semester 2
PHDSE5 - Assessment, evaluation, and program planning in special education
PHDSE6 - Single Subject Research Design in Special Education
PHDSE7 - Inquiry into Special Education
Year 3 - Semester 1
PHDC760 - Research Apprenticeship
DOCC750 - Seminar 1
Year 3 - Semester 2
DOCC760 Seminar 2
PHDD910 - Dissertation Research
Year 4
PHDD910 - Dissertation Research

Admission Requirements

AdmissionAdmission to the PhD in Educational in Special Education program is open to interested individuals provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a Master’s degree from an accredited University or have a foreign qualification, which has received equivalence from the Ministry of Education in the UAE.
  • The Bachelor’s or Master’s degree should be in an appropriate field (see details below)
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the Master’s degree
  • Research experience (i.e. methods course, project, research work experience, or other relevant).
  • Hold a current International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or equivalent (TOEFL IBT or Pearson PTE Academic or EmSAT) or higher.

In addition to the minimum qualifications stated above, candidates will be required to pass an admissions interview.

*Candidates holding degrees in education-related areas: behavioral, science, humanities, with teaching experience or working with individuals with special needs are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants with one of these backgrounds, with a strong interest in applying research methods to educationally- or clinically relevant questions.

ECAE will give preferential consideration to national applicants.

To apply for admission, please click here

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