Postgrad Options: Spotlight on courses around the country

A selection of popular postgraduate courses in universities, colleges and institutes of technology


University College Dublin (UCD)

MSc Marketing and Retail Innovation

Retail might be under pressure, but it is Ireland’s biggest private sector employer - and the companies and workers that know how to adapt to a relentless pace of change are those that will survive.

UCD’s Smurfit School has worked closely with industry leaders to create a Masters in Marketing and Retail Innovation. This 12-month, full-time programme is aimed at graduates seeking to accelerate their career with a mix of marketing expertise and global customer-driven retail innovation.

Retail is everywhere, and this programme delivers course content that can be

Applied across multiple sectors. Some of the largest companies in the world will feature on this course, including Amazon, Tesco, Primark, Burberry, Alibaba and Unilever. The MSc is about integrating the new and old, the physical and digital, the consumer and the supplier. This qualification is of use throughout the world.

The MSc in Marketing and Retail Innovation will provide qualifications to any

student interested in developing a career in marketing, commercial management, and retail operations.

Embedded career services will expose and introduce students to a wide range of retailers as well as other related industries where retail plays a critical part of the business - including telecoms, utilities, and financial services.

Classes contain 18 students and 61 per cent of the class is composed of international students. A 2.1 degree or an undergraduate degree with at least three years work experience is required for entry.

Full-time EU fees are €14,460.

Dublin City University (DCU)

MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society

How are we responding to climate breakdown - and how can that response be strengthened? This one-year full-time or two-year part time course examines the roles played by politics, law, regulation, media and education in how societies can respond to the most pressing international crisis.

This programme will provide students with the skills and insights they need to help societies move towards a decarbonised economy and a resilient future.

Core modules include EU and national climate change law, climate change policy and governance, climate change and the media, the scientific basis of climate change and how society can transition to a more sustainable future. Students will also learn about research methods and write a dissertation.

Academics from DCU’s School of Law & Government (including Dr Diarmuid Torney who is widely regarded as one of the most important climate change researchers in Ireland) have joined forces with the School of Communications for this course, and students can expect interactive, participatory and innovative teaching styles.

This course will appeal to science, engineering, communications, social and political science graduates, current civil or public servants, workers in the private sector who need a more thorough regulatory and legal grasp of the major issues, educators who want to teach about climate change, and trade union or charity staff working on climate breakdown advocacy.

EU fees are €6,750.

Univeristy of Limerick (UL)

Structured PhD in politics

In living memory, Irish and global politics has never been so intriguing. At home, Sinn Féin’s recent electoral success has broken the two-party system that dominated Irish politics for the last century; overseas, the far-right and autocracy are on the rise in many countries previously seen as relatively stable.

This four-year, full-time structured PhD at UL’s faculty of arts, humanities and social sciences, aims to provide students with the training needed to become professional political scientists.

Students on this course will received advanced training in the methods of political science research as well as specialised training in at least one disciplinary subfield.

In year one, students will undertake core modules in research methods, comparative politics and contemporary political theory, as well as specialised modules tailored to each students’ disciplinary interests and needs.

Students can exit this programme after the taught component with a graduate diploma in politics or, after completing a dissertation, a masters in politics. Or they can stay on and complete a substantial and original piece of research to gain the PhD award.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.1 degree that incorporates a substantial social science component.

Fees are €4,740 per year.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

PgDip/MPhil Chinese studies

There’s a lot more to this course than China alone. Students on Trinity College’s Chinese studies one-year full-time or two-year part-time postgrad will find themselves on a multidisciplinary course that draws from cultural studies, linguistics, politics, social policy, translation studies and history.

Across six modules, students will learn about modern China and how it has changed over the past century including its political and economic landscape, modern history, popular culture, society and language. A research module will be completed in the third term and students will write a dissertation project.

Mandarin language classes for beginners and advanced learners are an option. Students can also choose to take an in-country or in-culture experience through the Experience China module, which involves a four-week internship in a Chinese or China-related organisation or a Chinese speaking country.

The course is suitable for students from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines: a background in arts, humanities and social sciences is helpful but not required, and students do not need a prior language of China or Chinese language proficiency.

Applicants require a minimum 2.1 degree.

Full-time EU fees for this course are €9,097.

University College Cork (UCC)

MSc in food security policy and management

Earlier this year, a plague of locusts devoured the valuable crops of people in East Africa, threatening a major food crisis. Across the world, water tables are being depleted and climate breakdown sees floods and droughts threaten crops and presage famine.

This one-year, full-time postgrad course is geared towards equipping professionals and recent graduates with the skills needed for policy development and implementation, project and programme management and an impact assessment of programmes aimed at improving both food security and dietary quality.

Modules on the course include sustainable food systems; rural development, gender and livelihoods; global food policy issues; and public health nutrition.

This course is suitable for students from a broad range of backgrounds including nutrition, food security, international development, economics, humanitarian assistance and programme management.

Career paths include roles in Irish and international development agencies, policy and research institutes, and public, private and non-profit/ NGO sectors. Possible employers include national government institutions, the United Nations and the European Commission.

Students will also develop the critical skills to work in areas such as project and programme management, policy development and implementation and impact assessment.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 honours degree or at least five years relevant professional experience.

EU fees for this course are €7,500.

NUI Galway

MA Creative Arts

NUI Galway is collaborating with Galway 2020 (European Capital of Culture) on a number of projects, and the campus will be hosting many Galway 2020 events, including conferences, seminars, and exhibitions.

NUI Galway offers many creative courses at postgraduate level including Performing Arts, Film Studies, and Writing.

One recently-launched course that’s proving very popular is the one-year, full-time MA Creative Arts (Producing and Curation).

The programme aims to equip graduates with the skills - particularly research, communication and innovative thinking - to run creative arts events and careers. Arts collections and digital objects on a website, as well a programme of performances in a festival form two key strands of the programme. Teachers come from curation or artistic backgrounds.

The course provides professional experience and networking opportunities

through internships, placement with partner organisations such as Galway International Arts Festival, and public-facing projects.

Graduates will be able to follow employment opportunities in museums, galleries, libraries, arts centres, arts festivals, cultural centres and producing for theatre companies, arts organisations, arts festivals, and state sponsored arts bodies. Applicants should have a minimum 2.1 honours degree in a related subject or relevant prior learning, and they must submit a professional or artistic CV, a personal statement outlining their suitability and two references.

Fees for EU students are priced at €6,600.

Maynooth University

MSc Psychology

This is an intensive one year conversion course designed for students with prior learning in psychology, allowing graduates to gain a pre-professional qualification equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Course content emphasises the development of key skills in critical psychological thinking and research methodology. Course modules include issues and debates in psychology, classic studies in psychology, laboratories in experimental psychology, qualitative research approaches in psychology, advanced research methods and critical skills for careers in psychology.

Students will also complete a research project on a specialist topic, working with their supervisor to develop a research question, collect and analyse psychological data, and produce a thesis. Students will also develop strongly important and transferable skills in presentation, writing and teamwork.

Eligible applicants will have completed 60 credits of Psychology in their undergraduate degree. Graduates will have a range of career options in psychology (e.g. clinical psychology, educational psychology) and in the broad section of careers where psychology is routinely deployed (eg. information technology, human resources and recruitment).

EU fees for the one-year full-time course are €6,200.

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

MSc in Healthcare Leadership

Healthcare organisations are among the most complex in today’s society. Healthcare leaders need to manage increased risk, uncertainty and ambiguity, as well as to effectively manage and implement change. All of this requires effective leadership style and qualities.

This part-time, two-year MSc in Healthcare Leadership is designed to develop leadership competencies, management skills and the ability to be innovative in an uncertain healthcare environment that has limited resources, increased demands and significant budget restrictions.

In the first year, students will undertake six modules with three days in-class attendance for each while, in year two, students will attend three in-class days of research methods and methodology and also undertake a research project.

Modules include developing and demonstrating personal leadership qualities, leading and managing services and strategic planning and implementation.

Seminars will also be held throughout the year.

All applicants should have a primary degree and be working in healthcare, although RCSI will recognise prior learning.

Course fees for EU applicants are €8,000 in year one and €4,500 in year two.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC)

MA in Modern English Literature

This one-year taught programme aims to widen and deepen students’ knowledge and appreciation of English literature and contemporary critical theory and to familiarise them with traditional and modern technological sources for research in English literature.

Modules on this course include modernism texts and contexts, postcolonial literature and theory, poetics and politics of Irish identity and world literature. Students will also learn research methodologies and carry out a summer dissertation.

Instruction is through seminars, round-table discussions, presentations and individual question and answer sessions. Class size is limited to ten.

Possible careers include primary and post-primary teaching; technical writing, journalism, copywriting and copyediting; wen editing; academic administration; advertising and marketing; arts administration; library administration; human resources; researcher or research administrator; heritage studies; public relations; market research; policy analysis and more. This course also opens up entry to PhD programmes.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.1 degree, relevant work experience or other suitable qualifications.

Full-time EU fees are €4,675.

St Angela’s College

Leadership and management for the community and public sector

This flexible two to three-year part-time level nine course, leading to a postgraduate cert, diploma or master in arts, aims to equip graduates with the skills needed to work in the community, voluntary, non-profit, statutory and public sectors.

This course is aimed at people who work or wish to work in leadership or management positions in these sectors, people on the management committees or boards in the sector and those who represent local authority, statutory or community and voluntary sector in a governance role on a public sector or community board of management.

Students can take flexible, module-by-module learning options which are held one weekend a month.

Modules include governance and legislative compliance, organisational and operational management, advancing the organisation and an introduction to leadership and management for the community, non-profit and public sector with successful completion of three of these leading to a postgraduate certificate. Students can also attend modules without completing the assessment or accumulating credits, for which they will be issued with a certificate of attendance.

Students who complete a second module in advanced research methods will meet the requirements for a postgraduate diploma, while students who carry out an MA dissertation in year three will graduate with a master of arts.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 level eight degree or at least two years experience in the community, voluntary or public sector.

EU fees are €3,000 per year.

National College of Ireland

MSc in cybersecurity

If cryptography, ethics and security intrigue you, NCI offers both a one-one full-time or two-year part time MSc in Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is the fastest growing area for IT employment and, with a skills shortage in the sector, graduates are in high demand.

Students on this practical and technical course will develop the technical knowledge, competence and research skills of the most important technical concepts of cybersecurity. Information security, secure programming, network security, penetration testing, malware analysis, IT law and ethics, and data and log retrieval and analysis form core parts of the course content.

Graduates of this course can specialise in either forensics or cloud security and may go on to work as, among other roles, information security analyst, secure application developer, cybersecurity tester, risk advisory on information security and forensics and cloud security analyst.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 award (although prior learning is recognised) and programming ability.

In past years, the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund, as part of the ESF programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020, have funded the PG Dip through the Springboard+ initiative, which covers 100% of fees for those currently not working and 90% of fees for those in employment.

Students can register their interest on and will be contacted if/when the initiative is confirmed for the September intake. This should not delay applicants commencing your application to ensure you satisfy entry criteria.

Full-time EU fees are €6,500.

National College of Art and Design (NCAD)

MSc medical device design

The MSc in Medical Device Design is a one-year, full-time and studio based programme which teaches students about the approaches, tools and methods to design medical devices, experiences, systems and services with a focus on the needs of users.

The studio learning fosters peer-to-peer learning, and students engage in lectures, seminars and workshops as well as projects with industry and clinical collaborators.

This interdisciplinary course sees graduates from creative and technical disciplines - including design, healthcare, engineering and business - working side-by-side to covers topics including basic medical science, bioinstrumentation, product design and human factors.

The needs of people in healthcare are at the heart of the programme, and students will learn how to conduct human-centered research, create and visualise concepts and develop and evaluate prototypes. Students will also complete an industry project.

Industry partners include medical device companies such as Cook Medical, Hollister, Medtronic, Teleflex and Stryker along with leading research hospitals and institutes such as St. James’s Hospital (TCD), The Mater Hospital (UCD) and the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI).

The majority of graduates go on to work in industry or design practice. Recent graduates can be found working across medical device companies and design practices such as Design Partners, Movement, Cook Medical, Dyson, Hollister, Pfizer and Trulife.

Applicants should have a 2.2 degree or higher, or equivalent academic or professional qualifications, although the college will also consider prior learning and experience.

EU fees are €7,950

Ulster University

Sport and exercise nutrition PgDip/ MSc

Diet and nutrition affect sport and exercise performance, and understanding this can affect outcomes for athletes.

Students on this one-year, full-time course where all modules are delivered by distance-learning course, will learn about nutrition and exercise metabolism, nutritional assessment, recommendations and requirements, sport-specific nutrition issues, nutrition for health and disease prevention, evidence-based practice in healthcare sciences, practical sports nutrition and research methods. Students will also undertake a nutrition research project.

Students are assessed by exams and coursework including video cooking demonstrations, essays, reports, seminar papers, portfolio and more.

Career prospects include sports nutrition, performance nutrition or working with sporting or government associations. Previous graduates have worked with the Irish Rugby Football Union, Ulster Rugby, Rowing Ireland, Apple and others.

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent in a related discipline such as biochemistry, dietetics, food and nutrition, human nutrition, physiology, sport and exercise science and sports science.

Fees for masters degrees are set at £5,900 (approx €7,076 at time of writing) while postgraduate diploma fees cost £3,934 (approx €4,718).

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB)

LLM Law and technology

Tech-savvy graduates are in high demand, and this one-year full-time or two-year part-time course from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast aims to address a gap between the law and technology.

This programme will help graduates understand the key questions in regulation and governance technologies, using both classroom and project-based experience.

Graduates will understand how technology interacts with law and also how law and technology work in legal practice.

Compulsory modules on this course include law and the challenges of technology; regulating innovation; computational methods and skills; and approaches to legal research. Optional modules include copyright in the digital environment; business and human rights; data, privacy and the law; and medical law and ethics. Students will also undertake a dissertation.

Applicants must have a 2.1 minimum qualification or a 2.2 degree with at least two years of relevant experience.

Fees are £6140 (approx €7,386 at time of writing).

TU Dublin (TUD)

Sustainable Development

Can development be sustainable? More radical voices say that capitalism is not compatible with a sustainable future for the planet, and there’s no doubt that we’re in a time of flux.

TU Dublin’s level nine, full-time, 15-month MSc in Sustainable Development aims to provide graduates with a broad knowledge and understanding of sustainable development including the issues, techniques, management and applications to the living and work environments.

Classes run from Wednesday to Friday in semesters one and two, with students out on work placement on Mondays and Tuesdays. The course is develived on the Bolton Street campus.

Modules on this course include climate change and policy analysis, economy and sustainable development, transport and urban development, environmental law and institutions, and research techniques.

Graduates from this course will find career opportunities in Irish and international public and private sector; most find employment in areas related to their primary degree but will have an in-depth understanding of the process and application of sustainable development to environmental, economic or social sectors.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 degree or higher, or equivalent, although prior career experience may also be considered.

EU fees for this course are €5,850.

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)

PgDip/ MSc in Palliative and End of Life Care

Death is inevitable, but those working in palliative care can make the experience better for people at the end of their lives and their families.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, health care assistants, receptionists, therapists, psychologists, social workers, managers and support staff could all benefit from this flexible learning course.

Modules in the first year of this course include principles of palliative and end-of-life care; psychosocial, ethical and spiritual care; and bereavement and loss. Students can exit with a postgraduate diploma or, in year two, carry out a research dissertation for a masters award.

Graduates will learn how to improve person-centered care within the context of palliative and end of life care, and develop professional and ethical practice in the context of palliative and end of life care.

Lectures will consist of discussion groups, presentations and debates, and much of the content - aimed at busy professionals who can’t commit to weekly college attendance - is delivered online. Students will attend college on four residential weekends across semesters one and two, and B&B is provided.

Students also engage in a clinical practice placement and undertake a research dissertation.

Graduates will advance their career and promotion prospects in areas including management, practice development and specialist clinical areas such as palliative care. Registered nurses may be eligible to apply for clinical nurse specialist in palliative care.

EU fees for the postgraduate diploma are €4,360 while the additional fee for the MSc award is €2,240.

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)

MSc in digital marketing strategy

Newspapers mightn’t like it but, when it comes to marketing and advertising, digital is where it’s at.

This one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme, delivered at CIT’s Bishopstown campus, is aimed at people working in traditional and digital marketing who want to get a senior position.

Modules on the course include social media and digital advertising, website optimisation and analytics, professional development for marketing; and the digital consumer.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 honours degree in a related area such as business, media or visual communications.

EU fees are €7,500.

Athlone IT

MSc in applied software engineering

Data science barely existed ten years ago; today, it’s one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors.

This one-year, full-time course - which can also be delivered on a part-time basis - aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary to work in the emerging field of big data and data analytics. The programme is built around three pillars: data, tools and techniques, and analysis. Students will develop skills in database technologies and data manipulation techniques including SQL and the R programming language.

Classes are mostly delivered online with occasional on-campus workshops.

Students will also be required to undertake a practical data analytics project and associated thesis.

The course is suitable for graduates from a wide array of disciplines including engineering, science and business.

Career options include data analyst, data scientist, performance and analytics analyst, data operations analyst, financial market analyst, business intelligence analyst, customer insight analyst and more.

EU fees for this course are €5,500.

Griffith College

MSc in procurement and supply chain management

The recent coronavirus outbreak laid bare the intricate connections in the global supply chain, reminding us all how central supply chain management is to the modern world economy.

This one-year full-time or 2.5-year part-time level nine postgraduate course can be taken at the South Circular Road (Dublin 8) or Limerick campus. Modules on the course include managerial finance, international strategy and sustainable procurement, while optional electives include inventory and operations management. Students also undertake a reseatch dissertation.

Students have the option to register for a February or September intake date. Job opportunities lie in supply chain and logistics, planning manager, sourcing

manager, international supply chain director and more.

Students should hold an honours degree in business or purchasing/ procurement and supply chain management.

Fees for EU citizens are €9,500.

Dublin Business School (DBS)

MBA project management

Projects are all about translating strategies, plans and objectives into reality, and good project management skills determine whether a project is successful or not.

Project Managers are becoming increasingly involved in strategic conversations as they link strategy, stakeholders, usage of assets, facilities and capabilities.

Modules on this one-year full-time or two-year part-time MBA programme include managerial financial analysis, global issues for management, applied strategic management and research methods.

Career sectors currently range from new product development, marketing, finance, engineering and science -supporting the widely applicable nature of the degree.

Applicants should have a minimum 2.2 honours degree or at least three years of prior work experience or other relevant professional experience.

EU fees are €6,250 per year.

Dún Laoghaire Institute Of Art Design and Technology (IADT)

MA 3D animation

This new masters degree in 3D animation is the first of its kind in Ireland. Developed in association with Sheridan College Ontario, it is an advanced practical programme that teaches the skills needed for the world of 3D Animation.

Learning in a digital studio environment from lecturers and practitioners who are active in industry, students will get technical and production skills plus a thorough critical understanding of the modern animation landscape. Students will get the opportunity to develop a range of practical and critical skills necessary for 3D animation production.

This is a shared MA programme with Sheridan College Ontario and welcomes Irish and international students to the full programme.

Graduates will find employment opportunities in the growth areas of VFX, gaming, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality

EU fees are €6000.

* Other institutions offering postgraduate courses include IT Blanchardstown, IT Tallaght, Dundalk IT, Carlow IT, IT Sligo, IT Tralee, IT Waterford, Letterkenny IT and Limerick IT.