Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry (Online)

Our online, part-time Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry is designed for educators and other professionals who want to take their career to the next level.

Consisting of only 5 online courses, the Graduate Diploma is an excellent way to try out online education while working towards a diploma. Should you decide to continue on after you finish the Graduate Diploma, you can take an extra 5 courses to earn a Professional Masters in Education.

Queen’s is unique in offering a diploma in professional inquiry, which is the intentional examination of your practices or programs in order to understand more about them, solve problems or effect change. In both public and private education sectors, inquiry is critical for informing teaching practice and student learning.

Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry (Online)

About the Courses

  • The Graduate Diploma consists of 5 online courses - 3 required and 2 electives.
  • Courses are approximately 36 hours online with your professor and 70-100 hours independently.
  • Courses are 7 weeks in summer and 10 weeks in fall and winter.

Required Courses (students complete all 3 courses)

  • GDPI 800 - Self-Regulated Inquiry and Learning - Explore current theories of self-regulated learning.
  • GDPI 801 - Collaborative Inquiry - Understand and enact the foundational principles of collaborative learning in professional practice.
  • GDPI 802 - Program Inquiry and Evaluation - Learn to conduct systematic evaluative inquiry in support of data-informed program decision-making.

Elective Courses (students select 2 courses)

  • GDPI 810 - Integrated Planning, Instruction, and Assessment - Inquire into the interconnected structures of planning, instruction, and assessment through an understanding of curricular frameworks.
  • GDPI 811 -Innovation in Teaching and Learning - Develop a foundational understanding of innovation in the workplace grounded in exploration of historical, sociological, and philosophical contexts and frameworks.
  • GDPI 812 - Organizational Learning - Examine theory, research and case-studies on organizations in public service sectors using professional inquiry approaches.
  • GDPI 813 - Knowledge Translation and Mobilization - Strengthen connections between research, policy and practice in public service sectors

Full descriptions of the courses offered in the Graduate Diploma are available on the Academic Calendar website.  Each course is 3.0 units/credits. 



1)  What is the difference between the Online Graduate Diploma & the Professional Master of Education?

The first year of the Professional Master of Education is the same as the Graduate Diploma. If you are not sure about making a major commitment to the Professional Master of Education (PME) Program, signing up for the Online Graduate Diploma program allows you to get a glimpse of the program. If you decide to further focus your studies, you can continue on by applying to the PME and complete the 5 remaining courses of the master's program. 

2) What is the difference between the MEd and PME?

The PME differs from the traditional MEd in that the MEd is research-based and requires a thesis/project, while the PME is course-based and focused on the practical application of theory to professional practice. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, the MEd is a better option as it provides you with the necessary research background. If you are looking to increase your professional credentials and working knowledge of theory, the PME is a great fit.

3) How long will the GDPI take to complete?  

The GDPI requires 5 courses for completion.  There are three terms per year- September and January starts (10 week courses) and a July start (7 week courses).  We typically advise students to start by taking one course to get a feel for the workload, and then add from there.  Most students take 1-2 courses per term, and finish at around the 1-year mark.  Students have up to 3 years to complete the program. 

4) What is the course load like?

The GDPI is designed for part-time studies, and as such is flexible.  There is no requirement to attend lectures or be online at a certain time, so you can work your coursework around your professional and personal schedule.  You receive all course materials and due dates on Day One of the course, so you know what is coming and can budget your time accordingly. Students who have successfully completed our program typically spend a couple of hours per week per course, and more when there is a larger project due.

5) What does a typical course look like?

GDPI courses are typically broken into modules, each lasting 1-2 weeks and focusing on a particular theory of the course.  For each module there are typically a few discussion posts (posting your thoughts on the course material and responding to your peers), and then sometimes a small artifact (think blog post or PowerPoint slides).  Some courses have fewer small projects in favour of larger ones, and vice-versa.  There is never any need to come to campus to write examinations. 

6) Will the MEd and/or PME give me certification to teach in Ontario K-12 schools?

No, to gain certification to teach in Ontario you must successfully complete a B.Ed. program, and then be approved for certification to teach through the Ontario College of Teachers.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a recognized university
  • Graduation with a B- graduating average or higher (70% graduating average or a ranking in the top third of the graduating class where number grades are not available)
  • Under exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to highly motivated individuals with relevant field experience who do not meet the B- requirement
  • Applicants whose native languages do not include English must obtain a minimum English language requirement of 580 or higher on the paper-based TOEFL exam; 237 Computer-based; 88 on the TOEFL iBT test or IELTS Band 7 or higher.

You may apply to the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry first and then to the Professional Master of Education or you can apply to the Professional Master of Education directly. In most cases, applicants must apply for admission to the Professional Master of Education within five years after completing the Graduate Diploma in Professional Inquiry.

Application & Tuition Fees

There is a non-refundable application fee of $110.00 payable to the School of Graduate Studies. There are no registration fees, as students pay per course. Canadian students pay $1,253.70 per course, and international students pay $2,918.70 per course. There is also a Student Assistance Levy of $16.67 per term. All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change. 

Application Deadline & Start Dates

  • September start  - Application deadline:  APRIL 1
  • January start -  Application deadline:  AUGUST 1
  • July start -  Application deadline:  FEBRUARY 1 

These deadlines are firm and include the submission of all supporting documentation (transcripts and references). 

How to Apply

Applications for admission to graduate programs are completed and submitted on the School of Graduate Studies website, including an online form and step-by-step instructions for setting up your account.

Two Professional letters of recommendation (e.g. letters from an employer or workplace supervisor) can be submitted in support of applications to professional graduate programs. For applicants who apply to a professional graduate program, a Professional reference form will be generated for their referees. Academic references are also acceptable. 

Referees are notified that you want them to provide a reference for you by email after you have submitted your online application, so please submit your application at least two weeks before the application deadline and be sure to include the correct email addresses of your referees on your online application. Applications will not be deemed complete and will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until all listed references are received.

In addition to the online application and application fee, applicants are required to submit an official transcript (envelopes from the institution cannot be opened) from all universities you have attended except for Queen's. Transcripts sent from the issuing university should be sent to:

School of Graduate Studies
Queen's University
Gordon Hall Room 425
74 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6

​If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Studies & Research Office.

Contact Us
Graduate Assistant
Tel (613) 533-6000 ext. 75201