How about a career in international diplomacy?

A sample of courses from Ireland’s universities, ITs and smaller colleges

UCD’s Top five courses

MSc in Actuarial Science

MSc in Sports Physiotherapy

Master of Business Administration


MSc in Behavioural Economics

MSc Food Business Strategy

Spotlight on MA in Irish Folklore & Ethnology

The National Folklore Collection at UCD is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. A working and active archive with folklore collections dating back from the 1920s right through to the present day, it contains one of the biggest and most impressive collections of folklore and oral tradition anywhere in the world – and the archive is still growing.

Students on the new MA in Folklore Studies, which launched in September 2017, are taught by the academic staff at the UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, which shares the same site as the archive. Indeed, a huge amount of the teaching work is based on the archive, making teaching and research inextricably linked – arguably more so than some other humanities subjects.

So, what exactly is folklore? Dr Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, head of folklore at UCD, says that it is the history that we don’t learn in school. “It is about how people, both now and in the past, relate to their social, physical, cultural or economic environment. It is the history and culture of ordinary people. Whereas anthropology focuses on human culture, folklore has the added dimension of collective human history and tradition.”

Folklore takes a broad sweep, and far from being a relic of the past, it is all around us. It encompasses traditions around healers and folk healing; older and contemporary legends and myths about the supernatural, including ghosts, banshees and the sí (often translated as “fairies”, but the term tends to bring to mind winged Victorian creatures as opposed to the true meaning: a parallel and powerful race of supernatural beings who can be benevolent or malicious depending on human behaviour); children’s lore including stories about monsters and bogeymen as well as the games that they play; internet rumours and contemporary legends about death, disease, sex and violence; calendar customs such as St Patrick’s Day, Christmas and Easter as well as some of the more obscure or forgotten festivals such as St Blaise’s Day (Feb 2nd, the “blessing of the throats”), hero tales about characters such as Cú Chulainn and Fionn; folktales; traditional architecture (house types) and crafts such as currach building; oral histories about everything from the Vikings (stories about the Vikings or “The Danes” were still being collected as late as the 1950s, a thousand years after they first arrived in Ireland); and old and modern birth, marriage and death and funeral customs.

There’s a variety of modules on the course including folklore transmitted by children, gender perspectives in folklore, maritime folklore and the traditions of Irish Travellers.

The course is delivered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis. It’s suitable for people with or without a background in folklore, although may be of particular interest to graduates from anthropology, archaeology, creative writing, cultural policy, English, geography, history, Irish, music, psychology or sociology. Familiarity with Irish is a benefit, as much of the source material is in that language, but all lectures are in English.

The degree will also include the possibility of a work placement with options including an internship in the NFC, the Irish Traditional Music Archive or the National Museum of Folk Life in Co Mayo.

Students are trained in original archival and fieldwork methods, and folklore graduates (including this journalist) who learned a range of valuable research, analytical and writing skills while for studying a research masters there have gone on to a range of careers including teaching, culture and heritage, archives, museums and cultural bodies, media and journalism and more.

EU fees are €6,885 for one-year full time or €4,130 per year part-time. A number of scholarships are available.

Peter McGuire is a graduate of Irish Folklore and a former lecturer in Irish Folklore at the UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, in the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore.

Trinity College Dublin’s top five courses

MSc Management

MSc Finance

MSc International Management

MSc Computer Science – Data Science

MSc Digital Marketing Strategy

Spotlight on MSc in Computer Science (Augmented and Virtual Reality)

Gollum in Lord of the Rings, played by Andy Serkis. The Amphibian Man in recent director Guillermo del Toro's recent hit The Shape of Water, played by Doug Jones.

This may be how augmented reality is familiar to most of us, but the technology has uses across a broad range of applications and is increasingly important in archaeology, architecture, industrial design, medicine, the military and much more. Virtual reality, meanwhile, is not just the future of video gaming but also where the industry is at right now.

On this new, one-year full-time course, which is part of a suite of postgraduate courses on offer from Trinity College’s school of computer science and statistics, students will be equipped with the skills they need for careers in this evolving and exciting industry. The university has brought together a team of experts from disciplines including graphics, reconstruction and machine learning, to collaborate on research and teaching, and the result is a range of modules that include:

Machine learning: How does it work and when is it appropriate for a machine to solve a problem? How can machine learning solve real-world problems? How do machine-learning algorithms work?

Augmented reality: What do students need to know about camera model and calibration, depth and disparity estimation, and the fundamentals of 3D computer vision and multiview geometry? Students on this module will get exposure to the latest research results from V-SENSE, a project led by Professor Aljosa Smolic, a visionary academic and world-renowned leader in the area of digital video.

Advanced software engineering: What is the theory of team-based software development, and how it is applied in a group project? Students will learn how to apply test-driven design principles and evaluate the current state-of-the-art in any software engineering topic.

The course includes a dissertation and a number of elective modules, including one chosen from another course as well as options such as the mathematics of light and sound, and digital media systems.

This is a new course and was previously known as graphics and vision technologies. Graduates from Trinity College’s MSc in interactive entertainment technology have gone on to work for major games companies including Havok and EA, while others have joined leading visual effects studios; the college says it expects graduates from this course to be equally successful in these and similar companies. There may also be chances for innovative entrepreneurs to develop their own ideas and start their own firms.

Fees on this course are €7,250.

Maynooth University’s top 5 courses

Professional Masters of Education

MSc in Business Management

European MSc in Dependable Software Systems

MSc in Immunology & Global Health

MSc in Computer Science (Software Engineering)

Spotlight on MA in International Peace Building, Security and Development Practice

How about a career in international diplomacy and conflict negotiation? We're all familiar with the conflicts that are brought about by politics, war, and terrorism c conflict, but tension also occurs on a smaller scale every day, within local communities, institutions and organisations. Meanwhile, mediation is becoming an increasingly vital tool in the armoury of problem solving, underpinned by new Irish and existing EU law, and the Edward Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention – which delivers this course in association with the Kimmage Development Studies Centre – is recognised as a leader in the field of conflict resolution, with links to the European Security and Defence College and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Students on this one-year, full-time course will learn about development, peace and security, and they will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to mediate and negotiate in conflict and development issues. The course focuses on peace-building, security and development, especially on how to engage with local communities, institutions and organisations. It is delivered through classroom and online modules, while students will also complete a dissertation which requires approximately 500 hours of independent study.

Amongst other areas, participants will learn about:

- early identification of risk of violent conflict, and how to act early;

- promotion of the rule of law and security;

- the root causes, actors and dynamics in conflict situations;

- health and development;

- human rights and advocacy;

Applicants should have a minimum second-class honours undergraduate degree, ideally in a related discipline such as development studies, international relations, politics or sociology, although nonstandard applications may be considered.

Graduates have gone on to work as conflict mediators, project managers, communications advisors, military and security analysts, humanitarian advocates and women’s protection advisors.

EU fees for this course are €9,750.

Dublin City University’s top five courses

MSc in Bioprocess Engineering

MSc in Translation Studies

Master of Education

MSc Management

MEng in Electronic and Computer Engineering

Spotlight on Master of Education: Over the past few years, DCU's expertise in education has grown, with St Patrick's College of Education, the Mater Dei Institute for Catholic Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education all incorporated into the university.

The Masters of Education is designed for people who already work in education and want to develop their career, offering new possibilities for promotion, leadership roles and further study at doctoral level.

This is a two-year, part-time programme, with the first year focused on classroom and online learning, and the second year centred around a thesis which students will work on with their supervisor.

Students take three core modules in their first year as well as three modules in their chosen special option, and these special options include physical education; leadership in science education; history, geography and local studies; digital learning, socially inclusive music education; global citizenship and human rights education; and special and inclusive education. Among the special options, three are conducted by online and distance learning, and these include educational leadership, teaching and learning, and special and inclusive education.

Students on this course will study alongside others who are passionate about education, and will learn about the latest research, innovations and controversies in their chosen field. On top of this, they will develop research and writing skills which will be useful throughout their career.

Fees for EU nationals are €3,900 per year.

NUI Galway’s top five courses

MSc Computer Science - Data Analytics

MSc Regenerative Medicine

MSc Biomedical Science

MSc (Applied Behaviour Analysis)

MSc Marketing Practice

Spotlight on MSc Regenerative Medicine

The future of medicine will be focused on stem cells, gene therapy and tissue engineering, and how these can be used to create new therapies.

But what is regenerative medicine? An emerging discipline, it is a field of research which uses gene therapy, engineering tissue, biomaterials and biologically active compounds to repair and regenerate diseased and damaged organs.

This is a full-time, one-year course which is administered by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) supported project and a world-leader in the field of regenerative medicine. REMEDI also includes the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI), Ireland's only stem-cell manufacturing facility.

Modules on this course will look at the scientific principles and regulatory issues behind gene therapy, immunology, pharmacology, stem cells and tissue engineering, with training provided on scientific concepts and techniques that are important to biomedical research.

The MSc in regenerative medicine at NUI is the only course of its kind in Ireland, and graduates have gone on to work in biomedical and pharmaceutical firms in Ireland and beyond, with many more going to on to study for PhDs or on to study medicine.

EU fees are €7,500.

UCC’s top five courses

MSc Biotechnology

MA Applied Psychology

MSc Information Systems for Business Performance

MPH Master of Public Health

MSc Management and Marketing

Spotlight on MSc in Management and Marketing

A one-year, full-time course from UCC’s college of business and law, this is aimed at students from a range of academic backgrounds but whose undergraduate degree had little or no information on management or marketing. The course is useful for students who want to focus on a career in management or marketing, or indeed for people, including professionals, who want to develop a specific enterprise or innovation.

The course is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials, interactive workshops, case studies and class discussion, company visits, guest speakers and industry presentations, and research seminars. Core modules include introduction to marketing, the foundations of management, market research, project management and consumer behaviour, while elective options include digital marketing and contemporary issues in human resource management. On top of this, students will take modules in workplace skills and research methods. In the second semester, from April until August, students will undertake either a five-month research internship or an industry-focused research/consultancy project.

The course is designed to develop transferable skills which graduates can use to secure employment in a range of industries including hospitality, education, management consultancy, retail and manufacturing and financial services. UCC also promises to keep in regular communication with graduates from this course to keep them informed of relevant employment opportunities.

Students will be assessed through an end-of-year placement, continuous assessment and either a work placement report or research thesis.

Fees for this course are €10,500.

UL’s top five courses

Doctor of Clinical Psychology

MSc in Occupational Therapy (professional qualification)

MSc in Speech and Language Therapy (professional qualification)

MSc in Physiotherapy (professional qualification )

MA Business Management

Spotlight on MSc in Speech and Language Therapy (Professional Qualification)

This two-year, full-time basis leads to a specialist clinical qualification in speech and language therapy, preparing scientifically qualified practitioners to work in the field of speech and language therapy.

Modules on the course include:

- Foundations of phonetics and phonology;

- Speech, language and communication needs in the preschool child;

- Feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing disorders;

- Motor speech disorders and voice;

- Audiology for speech and language therapists;

- Psychology for speech and language therapists;

- Clinical reasoning;

- Speech, language and communication in special populations and the community.

Students also undertake several research projects and undergo extensive practice education.

Applicants from all types of academic background are welcome to apply, as long as they have a minimum 2.2 honours degree.

The course is approved by the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists and graduates will gain the necessary academic qualification to apply for registration with the Speech and Language Therapy Registration Board. Graduates can practise in Ireland and register in other parts of the world, and can work in hospitals, schools and other community settings and with a range of different people with different needs.

This year’s course intake is now closed, however it is expected it will open up again.

Full-time EU fees are €6,000

DIT’s top five courses

MSc in Computing (Data Analytics)

MSc in Supply Chain Management

MSc in Strategic Management

MSc in Building Information Modelling & Management (part-time)

MSc in Clinical Laboratory Science (part-time)

Spotlight on MA in Criminology

This programme, delivered by the school of languages, law and social sciences on the new campus in Grangegorman, provides students with a theoretical grounding in, and understanding of, contemporary criminological issues as well as training in research skills.

The MA is suitable for those working in, or aspiring to work in, the criminal justice field including lawyers, gardaí, social workers, social care workers, psychologists and youth workers. The MA also provides a foundation for those seeking to pursue a career in research and/or policy-making or for those seeking to pursue higher postgraduate qualifications such as a PhD.

Full-time students complete the programme in one year attending lectures over two 12-week semesters and a third semester during which student must submit a dissertation to graduate. Those choosing to study part-time attend one evening per week over two years, completing their dissertation in the final semester.

Core modules include criminological theory, the criminal justice system and research methods while students can choose to study two of six optional modules including criminal law, criminal psychology, desistance: the route out of crime, policing, crime prevention and governance of security, victimology: theory and measurement, and youth offending and youth justice perspectives.

Full-time EU fees for this course are €7,400

Cork IT Top courses:

MSc in Artificial Intelligence

MSc in Information Security

MSc in Cloud Computing

Spotlight on Masters in Music

This is a two-year, full-time level-nine course with a focus on music performance, conducting and composition, and separate strands in classical, jazz, popular, traditional Irish music and early music. Performance candidates can specialise in solo or ensemble work, and chamber groups can complete the programme as an ensemble.

The course is centred around the preparation and delivery of performances for instrumentalists/singers/conductors, or portfolios for composers. Elective modules include research skills, music technology and pedagogy.

The CIT School of Music is housed in a purpose-built conservatory that includes the Curtis Auditorium, a 360-seat performance hall; the Stack Theatre, a 100-seat performance space; 52 teaching studios most of which have a Steinway Model B grand piano; a recording suite and a fully-equipped music library.

CIT also runs a masters in music & technology which runs for 12 months on a full-time basis.

Applicants should have at least a second-class honours with music as the major subject, or an equivalent degree in another area along with a recognised professional qualification awarded by a conservatory or international examining body in performance. Candidates are also expected to present for audition and/or interview.

EU fees for this course are €4,000 per year.

GMIT Top courses:

Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting

Higher Diploma in Engineering in Building Information Modelling

Joint International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources

Spotlight on HDip in Engineering in Building Information Modelling

This course is offered on a one-year full-time or two-year part-time basis, and is aimed at teaching students about building information modelling (BIM), a new approach to building design, construction and management. The course is a direct response to the skills needs of the construction industry.

Students on the course will undertake modules on the fundamentals of BIM virtual modelling and BIM information modelling collaboration, and can choose from a number of elective modules including BIM modelling architecture and BIM modelling structure. At the end of the course, students will have a wide understanding of the processes, techniques, regulatory environments and models involved in BIM. Students also complete a major project which can be carried out in their workplace with the assistance and supervision of member of the GMIT academic team.

Both the full-time and part-time courses are designed to allow students continue to work until they finish it.

Applicants should have a relevant level 7 qualification or equivalent in a discipline related to construction and the built environment. Mature applicants with experience in the construction can also apply.

Full-time EU fees are €5,000.

WIT Top courses:

Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence

MEng in Electronic Engineering

Master of Business (Marketing)

Spotlight on MA in Advanced Facilitation Skills for Promoting Health and Well Being

This is an 18-month blended programme that includes online and classroom learning in Dublin, with graduates gaining the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to promote health and wellbeing with groups, individuals and key populations.

The course is suitable for, amongst others, teachers, health professionals, youth workers, gardaí and social workers. On completion, students will be able to develop, plan and facilitate workshops for health and wellbeing, exhibit a thorough grounding in the principles and concepts of health promotion and develop and plan a programme of workshops for health and wellbeing, all in the context of being able to manage their own emotional selves. Students are expected to accumulate 90 credits, however a student who accumulates 60 credits in semesters one and two, and who does not wish to complete the MA may, at the discretion of the Programme Board, be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Facilitation Skills for Promoting Health and Well Being. Participants must attend at least 80 per cent of the course hours in order to pass the course.

The delivery of the course reflects the flexibility required for adult learners: all modules are delivered in the evenings delivered on evenings, some Saturdays and some residential weekends. On completion of the course, students will be able to develop, plan and facilitate experiential workshops for health and wellbeing incorporating a comprehensive knowledge of group theory.

EU fees are €6,500.

Griffith College Top courses:

Masters in Journalism & Media Communications

LLM (Masters of Laws)

MSc in International Business

Spotlight on Masters in Journalism & Media Communications

The course, which can be done in one year full-time or two years part-time, focuses on giving students hands-on experience with lecturers who currently work in journalism. The course has modules on video, radio and print skills so students emerge fully prepared for the varied needs of the modern media landscape.

Students on the course learn about media law and ethics, research methods, writing and reporting, and investigative journalism, among other modules. There are also a number of electives including photojournalism, the business of digital media, sports journalism and photojournalism.

Graduates from this course have gone on to work in journalism, communications and marketing or public relations.

It’s worth noting that a masters in journalism usually covers the same ground as an undergraduate but in much less time, so aspiring journalists are much better advised to do a broad undergraduate degree in an area like arts, business, law or science and then going on to a postgraduate journalism course – some of the most valuable outcomes of such courses tend to be contacts, experience and information on what editors want.

Full-time course fees for EU students are €7,050.

Mary Immaculate College of Education Top courses:

Doctorate in educational and child psychology

MA in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education

MA in media

Spotlight on Doctorate in Education and Child Psychology (DECPsy)

This is a full-time, three-year training programme equipping candidates with the skills needed to work as an educational psychologist. The course, fully accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland, includes a combination of taught modules, professional placement and research. As well as taught modules, students will undertake a variety of workshops and seminars in areas such as cognitive behaviour therapy, video interactive guidance and assistive technology.

Modules on this course include:

- Cognition and learning;

- Philosophy, epistemology and the profession of educational psychology;

- Evidence-based practice in child and adolescent mental health;

- Presentation skills and the psychology of interpersonal communication

Most importantly, doctoral candidates must write a major thesis which makes an original contribution to knowledge; this will be the focus of the final year of the course. Students also undertake 300 days of professional placement and, where possible, this is organised close to their home base.

Applicants are expected to have a minimum 2.1 honours degree in psychology or an equivalent psychology qualification as well as an equivalent of two years relevant full-time experience in the field of education and/or psychology.

EU fees are €10,225.

National College of Ireland Top courses:

Master of Science in Cybersecurity (1 year full-time, part-time 2 years)

Master of Science in Fintech (1 year full-time, part-time 2 years)

Master of Human Resource Management (1 year full-time, part-time 2 years)

Spotlight on HR Management

This one-year, full-time course is aimed at people who want to continue in their professional development in human resources, and is delivered through block teaching using lectures, case study analysis, group activities in class, debate on contemporary issues and independent learning.

Modules on the course include people resourcing, employment law, talent development, mediation and conflict management, international human resource management and employee relations. Students also learn about research methods and complete a dissertation.

The course has been developed in consultation with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 honours degree, although those with prior professional experience may also be considered.

The EU fee for this course is €7,900.