Selection of leading online and blended courses

Online or blended learning options at several of Ireland’s top academic institutions

Terms like “blended”, “distance” and “remote learning” were not in common parlance just a few short years ago. However, as the pandemic irrevocably changed office culture and the world of work, so too has it had an effect in the area of education.

"Worldwide the pandemic has been a sort of watershed moment for online education. It brought credibility at the same time and put it under the spotlight, like it has never been before," explains Professor Mark Brown, Director at the National Institute for Digital Learning at DCU.

“People are discovering, ‘Actually, I can do this on top of a busy family life, and sports life and just life in general’, at their own time, at their own pace. What we’re seeing is an increasing trend towards part-time learning, at postgraduate level in particular.”

Some institutions offer their online courses in conjunction with a professional body or company, or as part of the "Springboard+" programme, a higher education upskilling initiative co-founded by the Irish government and the European Union. Both of these options address a long-standing funding issue, as undergraduate online courses do not receive the same government funding as campus based courses.

The following is a selection of some of the top online or blended learning options at several of Ireland’s top academic institutions:

DCU

MSc in Management of Operations

Contemporary Operations Management demands flexibility, creativity and pragmatism. This online programme enables students to grow into senior operations management roles in technology-intensive organisations, in the financial sector, in supply chain management, manufacturing or services organisations, in both the public and private sectors.

The programme is designed to provide graduates of different disciplines with a unique opportunity to develop the hybrid, interdisciplinary knowledge and skills considered essential for modern business development and management.

Available: Part-time online

Duration: 2 Years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 major award

Cost: € 4,715 per annum (EU )/ € 7,063 per annum (Non-EU)

Web: dcu.ie

Professional Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education

The overall aim of this programme is to support primary and post-primary mainstream subject/class teachers, and special education teachers to develop inclusive practice. In particular, the programme aims to provide an opportunity for teachers to develop knowledge, skills and competencies in key areas of inclusive and special educational provision and planning at school and class level.

On successful completion of the three Certificate modules, students may choose to exit with the Certificate award or to continue to Year 2, which involves completion of the Diploma module: Individually Relevant Learning. Students who wish to complete the Diploma module must be working in a teaching role as it involves the development of assessment skills in order to accurately identify an individual learner’s current level of performance, strengths and areas for development and to plan appropriately to meet those areas for development in varying contexts and school settings.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 2 years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: (Up to) NFQ Level 9 minor award

Cost: Part-time - year 1 € 2,500/year 2 € 1,250 (EU), part-time year 1 € 5,000 /year 2 € 2,500 ( Non EU)

Web: dcu.ie

BA in Humanities (Psychology)

This Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (Psychology Major) programme offers the attractive opportunity to obtain a DCU undergraduate degree through online learning, which is more open and flexible than if you registered for a full-time, or part-time, campus-based programme.

The programme is accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), which ensures that the programme meets the highest standards for undergraduate, pre-professional education and training in Psychology.

Available: Full-time, online distance learning

Duration: 4 years

Course Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 8

Cost: € 900 per module (EU), € 1,288 per module (Non-EU)

Web: dcu.ie

TCD

Postgraduate Diploma in Social Policy & Practice

The course is open to graduates from all disciplines with a minimum 2.2 degree and attracts recent graduates as well as working professionals looking to upskill or change to a career in social work, social policy, social care or social change.

Students will consider the role of social policy in addressing a range of the problems that contemporary societies face. Students will be exposed to the arguments for developing policy interventions in areas such as social security, health and housing, and the challenges of implementing and changing policy in these areas at a national and global level.

Available: Full-time flexible, online

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 minor award

Cost: € 6,502 (EU)/ €12,408 (Non-EU)

Web: tcd.ie

Postgraduate Cert/Diploma/ M.Sc. Managing Risk and System Change

Now in its eighth year, this course was designed specifically to be run online. Students can choose a level of commitment to study that fits in with the demands of their life.

The overall objective of these online courses is to provide a rigorous but practical focus on risk, change and system design in operations, manufacturing and services, with an innovative integrated approach to the role of people in such systems. It provides a core framework that has been tested in collaborative industrial research and practice for managing and developing people, the design and integration of new technologies, the management of risk and the implementation of change.

Available: Part-time

Duration: Postgraduate Certificate (1 year part-time) / Postgraduate Diploma (1/2 year part-time) / M.Sc. (2/3 years part-time)

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: Up to NFQ Level 9 major award

Cost: Postgraduate Certificate €3,528 (EU)/ €5,119 (Non-EU); Postgraduate Diploma €4,284(EU)/ €4,967 (Non-EU); M.Sc. €7,944(EU)/ €10,239 (Non-EU).

Web: psychology.tcd.ie

Postgraduate Certificate in Statistics

This fully online, part-time course provides a broad introduction to the statistical ideas and methods relevant to data gathering and analysis in a wide variety of areas of science, engineering, business and administration over the course of one year. Participants gain a practical grasp of statistics based on a sound knowledge of the underlying ideas and concepts. Graduates of the course should be well placed to apply the ideas and methods to which they have been introduced in their own work.

Available: Part-time online

Duration: 1 Year

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 minor award

Cost: €3,000 (EU )/ €7,000 (Non-EU )

Web: scss.tcd.ie

NUIG

Diploma in Technology Enhanced Learning

This one year, part-time course is specifically targeted at practitioners, managers and leaders who have an interest in exploring and leveraging the opportunities of incorporating digital learning practice and strategy in their professional contexts (e.g. in the areas of Teaching and Learning, Learning and Development, Change Management and Strategic Leadership).

Available: Part-time

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 8

Cost: €2,585 (EU)/ €3,085 (Non-EU)

Web: nuigalway.ie

Diploma in Software Engineering

This fully online, part-time diploma provides a focused programme of study in the area of software design and development, providing an insight into technical skills and modern industry techniques. Computer programming and design are taught in the diploma, as well as a number of important software engineering methodologies. This course lasts one year.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 8

Cost: €4,850 (EU)/ €5,350 (Non-EU)

Web: nuigalway.ie

Diploma in Lean and Quality Systems

The one year, part-time course is intended for those who wish to focus their skills with a view to moving into specialist and hybrid lean roles, e.g. internal lean consultants, waste minimisation specialists, process optimisation advisors. It is also suitable for those who wish to upskill and specialise. On completion of the course, graduates will have highly marketable, up-to-date knowledge and skills relevant to product, process and service optimisation and improvement.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 8

Cost: €2,115 (EU)/ €2,615 (Non-EU)

Web: nuigalway.ie

UL

Professional Diploma Cognitive Robotics

This part-time Level 9 programme in Cognitive Robotics provides the foundational principles of robotic systems and the Machine Learning fundamentals that underpin those systems. The one year Professional Diploma is specifically designed as a fully online programme, including video lectures and practical challenges to allow students to develop and apply their learning.

Available: Part-time online

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 Minor Award

Cost: €3,500 (EU)/ €4,750 (Non-EU)

Web: ul.ie

MSc Supply Chain Operations

In this online Masters carried out over two years part-time, students learn and can immediately apply best-practice supply chain management skills through every link in the chain, prioritising End-to-End visibility of the full supply chain. Students include supply chain professionals and senior personnel across multiple sectors. Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years appropriate experience in a continuous improvement setting and be in a position to affect organisational change.

Applicants not yet in a front line management role but with 3 or more years’ experience may also be considered.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 2 years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 major award

Cost: €14,000

Web:ul.ie

MA Technical Communications and e-learning

(1 year full-time or 2 years part-time)

This programme equips graduates with the skills needed to design and develop multimedia content and technology-enhanced learning solutions. This area of expertise is increasingly in demand as companies and institutions worldwide increasingly rely on information and communication technologies.

Available: Full-time or part-time

Duration: 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 major award

Cost: €3,262 (EU)/ €7,106 (Non-EU)

Web: ul.ie

Maynooth University

LLM in International Law

The part-time LLM in International Law will provide students with critical insights into the operation of international law over two years. It will provide a critique of international law frameworks and institutions and an analysis of how the international legal order works and how it seeks to protect vulnerable groups, including minorities and refugees. Teaching will be delivered mostly online over two years, but supported by a number of face-to-face workshops and masterclasses during the semester. The programme is open to students with degrees in law and cognate areas, including international relations, social studies, sociology, politics, and other interdisciplinary degrees.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 2 years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 major award

Cost: €4,930

Web: maynoothuniversity.ie/

Certificate in Global Citizenship Education

This part-time level-9 programme offers a specialised learning experience in Global Citizenship Education for practitioners over the course of one year.

It is designed for educators and others working with learners at all levels (from early childhood to youth, in adult and community education, and in schools). These include teachers in primary and secondary schools as well as community, adult and youth workers and educators, GCE facilitators and those working with NGOs and development agencies. As such, it is being led by the Department of International Development, with participation and modules offered by the Departments of Education, Adult and Community Education, Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, and Applied Social Studies at Maynooth.

Modules are timetabled to suit those who are working full-time during regular working hours, i.e. on campus on Saturdays, in the evenings or during holidays, with some online dimensions.

Available: Part-time

Duration: 1 year

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 minor award

Cost: €1,600

Web: maynoothuniversity.ie

Professional Certificate In Whistleblowing Law, Practice & Policy

This Professional Certificate is designed to facilitate participants to consider current concepts, policy, legislation, and good practice relating to whistleblowing law and practice in Ireland. Participants will be introduced to the concept of whistleblowing and protected disclosures from both a legal and practical perspective. The course focuses on the key legislative provisions and case law of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, as well as sectoral whistleblowing law. It will also introduce participants to the recently adopted EU Whistleblowers Directive.

This course will be delivered over a 6 week period on a part-time basis, with pre-recorded lectures each week and live workshops.

Available: Part- time

Duration: 1 semester

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 minor award

Cost: TBD

TU Dublin

MSc in Sustainable Transport and Mobility

Over 290 million journeys were taken by passengers on Irish public transport services in 2019. Despite a decrease due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, this number is likely to continue growing in the coming years as more people embrace greener modes of travel.

At the core of the MSc in Sustainable Transport and Mobility programme, the first of its kind in Ireland, is the principle of sustainability and how integrated transport and mobility networks can be designed for the broader benefit of society, the economy and the environment.

Delivered both online and in the TU's Bolton Street facility, this part-time two year Postgraduate qualification examines the context of enhancing mobility for resilient urban and rural environments and fostering equity and wellbeing for all.

Available: Part-time, blended

Duration: 2 years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 Major Award

Cost: €6480

Web: tudublin.ie

MSc in Applied Cyber Security

Recent high profile cyber-attacks have demonstrated the vulnerabilities of public and corporate organisations in the digital world. A TU Dublin MSc in Applied Cyber Security, based on the University's Blanchardstown Campus, is designed to produce highly knowledgeable and skilled graduates to counter cyber security threats.

Running for more than ten years, this online two-year part-time programme has a range of modules, including Digital Forensics, Secure Communications & Cryptography and Network Security, with graduates working in many sectors securing business and personal data.

Available: Part-time, online

Duration: 2 years

Course Type: Postgraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 9 Major Award

Cost: €4,250 per year

Web: tudublin.ie

BA in Law

This part-time Level 7 Law degree allows students to take nine modules over three years, including all 8 subjects examined by the Law Society’s entrance examination. It provides students with a firm grounding in the basic skills necessary to enter the legal profession, and equips them with a broad range of transferable skills that benefit a range of businesses.

Delivered both online and on the TU Dublin Grangegorman Campus, this part-time degree offers a route to career advancement for busy professionals in civil and public service, banking, insurance and other related industries. Many graduates have also taken the Law Society entrance exams and moved on to careers as solicitors.

Available: Part-time, blended

Duration: 3 years

Course Type: Undergraduate

Qualification: NFQ Level 7

Cost: €1,645 per year

Web: tudublin.ie

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