A selection of postgrad courses from around the country

Peter McGuire takes a look at a sample from all seven universities and some of the institutes of technology and smaller colleges

Graduates of the Master of Fine Art in Design from NCAD have career opportunities in industry, design consultancies, creative enterprise and education

Graduates of the Master of Fine Art in Design from NCAD have career opportunities in industry, design consultancies, creative enterprise and education


For every professional area imaginable, there is a postgraduate course that can help further your education and your career.

Maynooth University

Top courses:

Professional Master’s of Education (PME)

MSc Business Management

MSc Computer Science (Software Engineering)

MSc Immunology and Global Health

MA Dramatherapy

Focus on: MA in Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice

What do insects, disease and crime have in common? None are that keen on borders. This new course at Maynooth University looks at criminal justice systems from around the world, providing students with research skills and key theories for careers in justice and security with an international outlook.

Dr Claire Hamilton, programme director, says it’s not about examining blood splatters or other types of forensic analysis, but instead is focused on why people commit crime, the criminal justice and how we can prevent crime.

One of the most interesting aspects of the course looks at why incarceration rates in the US are so high compared to Ireland, where they are relatively low, and whether high rates of imprisonment reduce crime (spoiler alert: evidence suggests they don’t).

Career paths include data analytics, the prison and probation services, the Garda, research institutes and academia, the NGO sector and the Civil Service.

This is a one-year full-time course with one third of the credits reserved for a dissertation, but it can also be completed as a part-time course.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 degree in law, criminology, social policy, sociology, history, politics, psychology or a related discipline, although other applicants may be considered.

Fees for full-time EU students are €7,000, while the part-time fee is €4,650. Students can also graduate with a postgraduate diploma instead of an MA; the course structures are similar but they do not complete a dissertation.

University of Limerick

Top courses:

Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Master of Engineering in Information and Network Security

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Master of Arts in Business Management

Master of Science in International Management and Global Business

Spotlight on: MA in Business Management

A career in business is a popular option, but what if you’ve never done a business course? Jobs such as in economics, management, marketing, human resources, sales and logistics are occupied by plenty of arts, science, law or other non-business graduates, but this postgraduate course in UL provides a solid grounding for non-business graduates in a range of subjects, providing them with the key knowledge needed for a business career.

Subjects on the course include economics for business, organisational behaviour, business communication and strategic management, and students also write a paper during the summer. Students will attend laboratory and lecture sessions, and there is an emphasis on case studies and project work.

This a one-year full-time programme with EU fees of €7,000. Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.2 primary degree in any field except business or commerce, and an interview may form part of the application process.

NUI Galway

Top courses:

Professional Masters of Education

MA in Social Work

MSc in Computer Science (data analytics)

MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

MSc in International Management

Spotlight on: MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

War, peace, presidents… they come and go, but climate change is the biggest issue of our time. The rapidly melting Arctic Sea ice threatens to disrupt the entire planet’s climate system, and has the potential to wipe out species from polar bears to Arctic cod, not to mention severely disrupt civilisation.

NUI Galway has built up a suite of strong courses around oceans and the environment, and this MSc combines scientific, technical, engineering, social and policy knowledge to create students with a broad and vital understanding of the issues at stake, including how to adapt and mitigate the worst effects of climate change to global agriculture and food security. Modules include gender, agriculture and climate justice; agribiological responses to climate change; and policy and scenarios for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Graduates well be positioned for jobs in policy, research, business and administration in the public and private sector, and career mentoring is provided to all students on the course.

The one-year full-time course is assessed through essays, projects, reports, presentations, case studies and a dissertation. Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree. Fees for EU students are €6,815.


Top courses:

MSc in Management and Marketing

MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance

MSc in Biotechnology

Master of Social Work

MSc in Corporate Finance

Spotlight on: Master of Social Work

Social work is a challenging but highly rewarding career, and this two-year, full-time postgraduate programme at UCC includes modules in social policy, child and family welfare, mental health and social work theory, as well as significant fieldwork placements, to prepare graduates for the job.

Upon completion of the course graduates will be able to apply their knowledge of social systems and human behaviour to deal with problem-solving in human relationships, empower people to enhance their own wellbeing, promote social justice and human rights, demonstrate core social work practices and carry out reflective practice.

Admission is competitive and applicants must have a minimum of a 2.2 degree in social science or its equivalent, although those who have not achieved a 2.2 can apply for the postgraduate diploma in social work (applicants must not apply for both). Application is also subject to Garda clearance.

Practice placements are an integral part of the course and applicants will spend five full days per week in college or in practice.

EU students pay a fee of €6,835 per year.


Top courses:

MSc Finance

MSc Management

MSc Computer Science

MSc International Business

MSc Marketing

Spotlight on: MSc in Computer Science

When it comes to computer science, UCD, by a clear mile, has the best reputation in Ireland, and its computer science programme is consistently ranked as one of the best in Europe. Computer science graduates continue to have excellent job prospects.

UCD’s MSc in Computer Science (conversion) is a 16-month, full-time programme that prepares graduates from non-computer disciplines with the essential skills they need to build a career in the IT industry. It is the launchpad for a variety of in-demand jobs such as software engineer, computer programmer, IT project analyst, performance engineer, business analyst and technical analyst among more.

Graduates have secured employment in some of Ireland’s biggest employers including Accenture, Dell, Deloitte and Paddy Power, while some high-achieving graduates may be eligible to pursue a computer science research degree.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 degree in a discipline other than computer science.

Fees for EU students are €8,940 per year.

Trinity College

Top courses:

MSc Finance

MSc International Management

MSc Management

Professional Masters in Education

Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)

Spotlight on: Professional Masters in Education

Want to be a teacher? The professional masters of education is the required qualification, and Trinity’s programme is one of the best and most well-regarded. Through a combination of theory and teaching practice, students on this course learn how to teach their subject, choosing one of 10 post-primary curriculum subjects including English, Irish, maths, modern languages (including Spanish, German and French), music, religious education, science, history and geography.

Students on this course will develop a sense of the broad context of Ireland’s education system, an ability to engage in reflective practice and a thorough knowledge of models of instruction.

This course, as with others, takes two-years to complete on a full-time basis. Lectures, tutorials and workshops take place in Trinity College from Monday to Wednesday, while Thursday and Friday is spent on structured school activities. In the second semester of first year students undergo a block placement where they will focus on planning, teaching, assessing and evaluating classes at junior cycle level. In second year students will carry out a research project of about 10,000 words. School placement is a vital part of the programme.

Applicants are eligible to apply for the Back to Education allowance from the Department of Social Protection. They will also be Garda vetted.

EU fees for this course are €6,273.


Top courses:

Professional Master of Education (primary teaching)

MSc in Computing

MSc in Management (business)

Professional Master of Education (post-primary teaching)

MSc in Finance

Spotlight on: MSc in Data Analytics

There are unfathomable amounts of data stored across the world, and this raises big questions for humanity. How can the data be stored and managed? How can it be used for the betterment of humanity? Could it be abused to spy on us, control or manipulate us?

This course, developed in conjunction with Insight, Science Foundation Ireland’s centre for data analytics, hones in on how the vast amount of raw data can be mined for valuable knowledge.

There’s a major hands-on component alongside all the relevant theory, and students carry out a major project over the summer – usually this involves developing a software system that deals with a real-world problem, and sometimes they work together in a team.

Applicant should generally have a minimum 2.1 degree in computer science or a related discipline, although applicants with a 2.2 will be considered in exceptional circumstances. This course is delivered across one year full-time or two years part-time. Fees for full-time EU students are €6,750.

Other majors under DCU’s MSc in Computing include cloud computing, security and forensic computing, and software engineering.


Top courses:

1. MSc in Strategic Management

2. MSc in Marketing

3. MSc in Real Estate

4. Building Information Modelling and Management (Applied)

5. Child, Family and Community Studies

Spotlight on: MSc in Clinical Laboratory Science

This is a two-year, part-time course that trains graduates for careers in clinical pathology, hospital pathology, the biomedical industry and other research institutes.

Graduates will leave with the skills in research, laboratory management and applied bioscience that are crucial for careers in both diagnostic and commercial laboratories.

The course is delivered through a mix of online, day and block week tuition by in-house and practising experts, and it includes core modules such as research methods and biostatistics, cell biology and immunology, bioinformatics and data analysis alongside specialist modules such as clinical immunology, advances in cellular pathology and clinical cytology, transfusion science and transplantation science.

Applicants should have a 2.1 honours degree in the area of biomedical science, although applicants with significant professional experience may also be considered.

Fees for EU students are €4,750 per year.


Top courses include:

Master of arts in Human Resource Management

Master of Business

Spotlight on: Masters of Science in International Business

The Masters of Science in International Business at CIT is part of CIT’s response to the skills shortage reported in various national reviews undertaken to determine how Ireland can best fulfil its place in the international economy.

So many Irish businesses are dependent on international trade in order to maintain their viability, and often these businesses are the emblematic technology, software and engineering companies. This conversion programme focuses on developing a complementary skillset amongst graduates of science, computing and engineering by providing them with the business development, commercialisation and customer activation skills so needed within those sectors.

Participants on this one-year, full-time programme are encouraged to build upon their existing talents and abilities by coupling their technical insight with the business skills required to unlock the potential of businesses. Students study international selling, negotiation, business development, innovation management as well as a range of electives delivered through interesting pedagogical approaches. The programme includes a one-week international trip and a business simulation.

The capstone of the programme is the applied consultancy project which students often undertake within formal placements on the programme.

The course fee for EU students is €5,500.


Top courses:

MA in Social Justice and Public Policy

Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Analysis and Cell Culture

Spotlight on: MBS Internationalisation

International business is embedded in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at WIT’s business school. This one-year taught programme, accredited by both WIT in Ireland and ESC Bretagne Brest in France, gives students a chance to study a greater range of common modules; an innovative feature is that they will graduate with a degree from both institutions.

It is aimed at students who want to develop the expertise to work in international business environments and includes modules in international business negotiations, international strategy and foreign direct investment. Students have hands-on experience by engaging with live companies and one of the modules focuses on research activity. Learning methods include live consultancy projects, case presentations, problem-based learning and integrated work projects.

Graduates will work with commercial companies in WIT’s ArcLab, a business innovation centre and start-up lab, and this may lead to employment opportunities.

Applicants should have a 2.1 undergraduate degree in a business discipline, although students from other backgrounds will be considered if they have taken relevant business modules during their studies.

EU student fees are €6,750.

Hibernia College of Education

Top courses:

Professional Master of Education in Post-Primary Education

PhD in Education

Spotlight on: Professional Master of Education in Primary Education

Hibernia College has emerged as a major player in the teacher-training sector, and its degrees are highly regarded in the education sector. This primary teacher training course is delivered online, with teaching practices carried out in local schools and regional Saturday workshops.

This two-year, part-time course has its next intake in April.The course offers online and face-to-face tuition with dedicated faculty and tutors, and the programme is created by teachers. The online tutorials take place two to three evenings per week. No prior teaching experience is required to apply for the programme. Applicants should have a primary level 8 degree and a minimum grade C in higher level Leaving Cert Irish, although some alternatives to the requirement are accepted. They should also have a minimum grade D in both higher or ordinary Leaving Cert maths and higher or ordinary level English. There is no upper age limit to apply.

Students on the course will spend four weeks in the Gaeltacht and a total of 24 weeks working in schools. Fees for the course are €12,700.

Dublin Business School:

Top courses:

MSc in Info and Library Management

Applied Psychology

Spotlight on: MBA

The Masters of Business Administration is one of the most sought-after and recognised of all postgraduate qualifications. At DBS this course is offered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis, and it aims to prepare graduates for advanced management positions in the business world, and MBA graduates can go on to work in many different disciplines.

Modules on this course include financial analysis, integrated marketing communications in a digital age, project management tools & techniques, international management and more. Students can study a pure MBA or take a specialist route. Students will also carry out a supervised dissertation project. The course has strong industry links.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 honours degree, an equivalent professional qualification such as ACCA or CIMA or a higher diploma in a business level eight conversion programme. New graduates are not accepted on to the programme.

Fees are €8,300 for the full-time course and €5,200 per year for the part-time course.

IT Blanchardstown

Top courses:

MSc in Applied Data Science and Analytics

MSc in Applied Cyber Security

Spotlight on Master of Engineering in Internet of Things Technologies

The internet of things (IoT) is one of the most promising technological innovations of recent years. It is the various networked devices that can sense, transmit or act on data, including wearable technologies such as “fitbits”, drones and robots, smart homes that can regulate heat and energy, autonomous vehicles and more.

But there’s a problem to fully realising the potential of IoT technologies: there are not enough workers with the right skills. In an era where stories of robots replacing humans are becoming more commonplace, this seems like a technical career with plenty of promise.

Students will learn about embedded systems, statistical analysis and secure communication and cryptography among other modules. This is a new level nine programme which was nominated for two gradireland awards and is delivered on a part-time basis for two evenings a week or over one year on a full-time basis.

Applicants should have a level eight degree in engineering or a related discipline. Part-time fees for EU students are €2,800 per year. Full-time EU students will pay €5,600.

IT Sligo

Top courses:

MSc in Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Postgraduate Diploma in Road Maintenance Engineering

Spotlight on: MSc in Medical Technology Regulatory Affairs

The medical device sector is a massive industry, and 18 of the world’s top medical technology companies have a base here. It’s a major employer in Ireland, especially in the west.

This new course is a recent collaboration with the Irish Medical Devices Association, NUI Galway and IT Sligo, and it was developed in response to industry needs in the area. The course will enable regulatory affairs personnel in medical technology to understand all current device and diagnostic regulations – and to be ready to update their knowledge in their future.

This is a part time course delivered over 2-2.5 years leading to a level nine qualification. It involves distance learning, e-learning and face-to-face workshops with three modules delivered each semester. Subjects covered include technical report writing, EU and US medical technology regulatory affairs, post-market surveillance and a dissertation.

Applicants should have at least a second class honours degree in a science or engineering discipline, and prior medical technology experience is an advantage.

EU fees are €900 per module or a total of €12,000.


Top courses:

MA in Art and Research Collaboration

MA in UX design

Spotlight on: MA in Creative Production and Screen Finance

So here’s a new course that really stands out. The brochure promises a programme that will “preach art but teach commerce, training creative and entrepreneurial producers not how to make a movie but how to get a movie made… aimed at individuals who have a strong idea for a film, documentary, drama or TV series and want to learn to learn the intricacies of the commercial side of this creative industry”.

The course launches in September 2017, and is targeted at film school graduates, business executives and existing industry professionals. It is a one-year, full-time course but it will be delivered in modular block form, with blocks of two to four weeks over a year, allowing students time to develop creative projects or for other commitments.

The course will prepare graduates for roles in the film, television and animation industries within existing production companies or their own new ventures. Applicants should have a 2.2 minimum undergraduate degree in film or a creative discipline, or any degree plus a minimum of two years’ relevant industry experience.

Fees are €6,000 for EU students.


Top courses:

MA Interaction Design

MSc Medical Device Design

Spotlight on: Master of Fine Art in Design

Now in its second year, this two-year taught masters encourages collaboration and inter-disciplinary learning across three distinct streams: communication design, product design and design for body and environment.

Students on this course will collaborate with fellow students on short placements and live projects with cultural and industry partners, and there are work spaces and workshops, staffed by a team of technicians, available for use. MFA students have pathways in product design, communication design, fashion design, textile and surface design and jewellery and metalwork. Graduates have career opportunities in industry, design consultancies, creative enterprise, designer making and education.

Other modules on the course include commercial engagement, design rationale and design for change.

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.2 undergraduate degree. NCAD students progressing on to the course will pay a fee of €4,400, while new entrants to NCAD (within the EU) will pay €5,400.

Athlone IT

Top courses:

MSc in Business

MSc in Child and Youth Studies

MSc in Software Engineering

Spotlight on: MSc in Child and Youth Studies

This course aims to help child and youth care workers to become leaders in their profession. Delivered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis, graduates can expect to reach advanced positions in the sector.

Modules on the course include child and youth law, children’s rights and management in child and youth care.

Applicants should have a 2.2 minimum undergraduate degree in child/youth studies, social care or a related discipline, although other candidates with qualifications in social disciplines and relevant work experience will also be considered.

Fee rates available from AIT’s postgraduate office.

IT Carlow

Top courses:

MSc in Data Science

Msc in Supply Chain Management

MSc in IT Management

Spotlight on: MSc in Supply Chain Management

If you’re sitting reading this in your house, or an office, or a coffee shop, a supply chain manager has been instrumental in creating the space around you. Supply chain managers are involved in getting the raw materials to make the products around us, from before the manufacturing process until they end up in the shops.

This one-year full-time or two-year part-time course prepares graduates to work in this important – and growing – industry in roles including supply chain analyst, project manager, logistics manager, warehouse manager and purchasing. Modules include global logistics and technology, communications for supply chain and research methods.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 undergraduate qualification.


Top courses:

PhD and MD research programmes

MSc in Nursing (specialist clinical practice) and MSc in Nursing (advanced leadership)

Spotlight on: SPHeRE

This programme receives an average of 150 applicants each year and awards six fully funded Health Research Board scholarships. RCSI may also have one or two alternatively funded or self-funded scholars. The SPHeRE (Structured Population and Health-services Research Education) Programme (formerly the HRB Scholars Programme) is an innovative and ambitious research programme in population health and health services research (PHHSR) funded by the HRB.

The programme encompasses the expansion of a well-established and successful structured PhD programme in health services research in tandem with key objectives such as the establishment of a national network in PHHSR; expansion to include all higher education institutions in Ireland beyond the three founding institutions (RCSI, UCC and Trinity College Dublin) and the development of a programme of online modular education accessible to all. See SphereProgramme.ie for more details.

National College of Ireland

Top courses:

Masters in Human Resource Management (full and part-time)

MSc in Data Analytics (full and part-time)

MBA (part-time)

Spotlight on: MA in Human Resource Management

This one-year full-time masters course is also offered as a two-year part-time course. It has been developed in consultation with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and it is aimed at people who want to develop their career in HR at a senior management level. Applicants to this course should have a minimum 2.2 undergraduate degree, although non-graduates with relevant professional experience may also be considered.

Block teaching is used on the course, with applied teaching, lectures, group activities, case studies, debates and independent learning all featuring. Modules on the course include people resourcing, employment law, mediation, leading and managing, and talent development. Students have the opportunity of transferring to research degrees or taught doctoral courses; they can also exit earlier with a postgraduate diploma of arts in human resource management.

The total fee is €7,900 for EU students.

Marino College of Education

Top courses:

Masters in Early Childhood Education

Masters in Leadership in Christian Education

Masters in Intercultural Education

Spotlight on: Masters in Early Childhood Education

There have been many changes in the education sector in recent years, with a renewed focus on apprenticeships and further education as well as a more focused approach to early childhood education.

The master in education studies (early childhood education) offers opportunities for students to become experts in early childhood education by exploring important historical and contemporary thinkers in the field. It is offered part-time over two years through a combination of face-to-face and online learning, and appeals mainly to primary teachers and early childhood practitioners. Applicants should have a second class honours degree or higher, as well as at least three years teaching experience or equivalent.

Students examine and engage in research surrounding play, language, and other aspects of children’s learning. Modules include the psychology of early childhood, language and literacy in early childhood education, and research methodology.

Graduates of the course are well prepared for many leadership, evaluative and management roles in early childhood education, and could offer professional development to others. Fees are €4,000 per year.

Mary Immaculate College of Education

Top courses:

Professional Masters in Education

Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology

Structured PhD/ MA in Applied Linguistics

Spotlight on: Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology

This is a three-year full-time professional training course for people who want a career as an educational psychologist. Graduates will have the skills to work in a range of autonomous and collaborative roles with different types of clients, problems and contexts.

The course combines theory, methods, evidence, research and practices, with modules including psychology and education for exceptional children and young adults; psychological and psycho-educational assessment; and systems and organisational psychology. It includes 300 days of professional placement across different settings.

Candidates should have a 2.1 honours degree in psychology and two years of work experience in education and/or psychology. The annual fee is €10,225.

Letterkenny IT

Top courses:

Master of Arts in Learning and Teaching

Master of Business in Innovation and Leadership

Master of Science in Innovation Management in the Public Service

Spotlight on: Master of Science in Innovation Management in the Public Service

Who says that the public service is incapable of innovation? This is a two-year part-time course that develops the skills of public servants with key leadership responsibilities. In this programme, developed by Letterkenny IT and Ulster University in collaboration with the Office of the Taoiseach and the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, there’s a strong focus on critical analysis and reflection, as well as developing the critical judgement, intellectual integrity and practical skills of managers in the sector.

It’s all about being able to implement strategic change within an organisation, and the programme is open to both newly appointed and experienced staff from principal officer to head-of-function level.

There are eight taught modules, each of which is block delivered over two days, and they include driving innovation in public services and culture in innovating organisations. Students also undertake a research project and dissertation. The fee for the course is €9,960, payable over three annual instalments.

Dundalk IT

Top courses:

MSc in Renewable Energy Systems

MSc in Computing in Medical Device Software

MA in Teaching and Learning

Spotlight on: MSc in Renewable Energy Systems

This is stark, but renewable energy may be the best hope for the planet, and Dundalk IT has a strong record in this field. This level nine course, delivered on a full-time basis over one year, aims to produce effective engineers and technical workers for this important industry.

Wind, solar, ocean and biomass technologies are examined from technical and economic viewpoints. There is a mandatory research project, although students can opt to skip this and graduate with a postgraduate diploma.

Lectures are generally held on Mondays and Fridays. Applicants should have at least a 2.2 in an engineering or science subject, although candidates with other qualifications can also apply. Fees are €4,000.