The most popular postgrads in Irish universities

There is a wide range of courses for students wishing to embark on further study

Dublin City University

Top five courses:
1. Professional Master’s of Education (Post Primary)
2. MSc in Computing
3. MSc in Management (Business)
4. MSc in Human Resource Management
5. MSc in Finance

Spotlight on . . . MSc in Management (Business)
Broad degrees, such as science, engineering, law or arts provide students with a strong foundation in critical thinking and research and analytical skills. And, of course, they enable students to pick up valuable knowledge along the way.

Many of these graduates, however, might want to consider a career in business. This one-year, full-time programme at DCU combines lectures, seminars and workshops with a range of practical assignments, many of which are for real-world clients. It’s ideal for people who don’t have an undergraduate degree in management or business.


The course aims to provide students with a grounding in the principles of business and management; analytical, conceptual and practical tools for managerial decision making; an ability to engage in research and analysis; and the skills necessary to operate in a business environment.

Modules include accounting, consulting skills, economics and marketing.

Fees: €7,955 for one year.

Maynooth University

Top five courses:
1. Professional Master’s of Education (Secondary)
2. Professional Master’s of Education (Primary)
3. MSc Business Management
4. MSc Computer Science (Software Engineering) – highest in science programmes
5. MA Irish History

Spotlight on . . . MA Irish History
This appeals to those interested in history, Irish cultural heritage, politics, sociology, international relations, archival inheritance and war studies. No specialist prior knowledge is required, and the course may be taken on either a full-time or part-time basis.

The compulsory modules are designed to foster students’ ability to understand and assess the major debates and controversies that have engaged historians in writing Irish history. They will also provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the sources and resources at their disposal to undertake a piece research in their chosen field, the MA thesis. The specialist modules at Maynooth span the rich subject area of Irish history from the medieval period to the present day.

On offer in 2016 will be modules in medieval, urban, gender, political and local history. Some modules are strongly associated with the “Decade of Commemorations” and the many special events in which Maynooth staff are involved on campus, nationally and internationally. Students will also work with An Foras Feasa, one of Europe’s leading digital humanities institutes, on digital scholarly editing.

Students who have completed the MA Irish History have gone on to a variety of different careers including, teaching, journalism, politics and work in the arts and culture or in the service industries.

Fees: €5,250

NUI Galway

Top five courses:
1. Professional Master’s of Education
2. MSc Computer Science (Data Analytics)
3. MSc Biotechnology
4. MSc Biomedical Science
5. LLM International Human Rights

Spotlight on . . . BioInnovate
Not one of the top five courses at NUI Galway, but it's on the way there – and it is one of the most interesting. This 10-month, full-time programme appeals to people across a range of professions who are looking for a change in direction. For instance, a lot of doctors who are fed up looking at people's tonsils do this course to get into an area where they can use their brains in a different way. It's also appealing to engineers and business people who have a hankering to be entrepreneurs.

BioInnovate brings these professionals together to come up with inventions to improve healthcare. They spend a lot of time in hospitals watching how it’s done and then try to come up with ways to make it better.

In the process they learn about anatomy, product design, regulation, intellectual property and commercialisation, raising funds and bringing a product to market, using their skills in an entrepreneurial setting. It’s collaborative and interdisciplinary, and all under the watchful eye of an expert mentoring team that includes clinicians, venture capitalists, domain experts and academics.

It's based on a course that was developed in Stanford University and NUIG has the only affiliated version so it attracts people from all over Europe.

Fees: see

Trinity College Dublin

Top five courses:
1. PME (Professional Master’s in Education)
2. MSc Finance
3. MSc International Management
4. MSc Business & Management
5. Clinical Psychology (DClin Psych)

Spotlight on . . . Professional Master's of Education
Want to be a secondary school teacher? Then you will need this qualification.

Trinity is one of several colleges which offer teacher training, and this full-time, two-year course has a good reputation.

Students on this course will specialise in learning how to teach one of 10 curriculum subjects offered here: business studies (including accounting and economics), English, geography, history, Irish, maths (including applied maths), modern languages (including French, German, Italian, Spanish and other languages), music, religious education and science (including biology, chemistry and physics).

The course promises to equip future teachers with a sense of the broad context of the Irish education system, the ability to reflectively practise on their own teaching and critical knowledge of different models of instruction and insights into different learning styles.

In the first year, students spend Monday to Wednesday in class and Thursday and Friday in school activities, before eventually assuming responsibility for class teaching.

There’s a block placement in the second semester and another placement in year two. At least 40 per cent of the overall time is allocated to a school placement.

Fees: €6,097 including levies and charges.

University College Cork

Top five courses:
1. MSc (Management & Marketing)
2. MSc (Information Systems for Business Performance)
3. MSc Computing Science
4. MSc Data Science & Analytics
5. MSc Corporate Finance

Spotlight on . . . MSc Data Science and Analytics
Big data is huge. It doesn't just underpin the work of big tech firms based in Ireland, but is also now vital for a range of small, medium and large firms across every sector, including media, health, science, business, hospitality, engineering, construction and law.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs – when it comes to jobs, this is an organisation with a relatively good record of predicting the future – forecast that about 18,000 extra jobs would be created in data science and analytics between 2013 and 2020. So far, the projection seems about right.

Students on this course will develop skills in database management, modelling and interpretation of data, programming and summarisation. The course is offered on a one-year full-time basis or across two years part-time. The rota of lecturers is impressive.

Fees: To be confirmed.

University College Dublin

Top five courses:
1. Master of Public Policy
2. MA in History
3. Master’s in Business Administration
4. Master’s in Environmental Resource Management
5. ME in Electrical Energy Engineering

Spotlight on . . . MBA
MBAs are among the most prestigious – and expensive – of all postgraduate courses. They are aimed at people who are already on the professional ladder and want to give their career a boost.

UCD’s has been consistently rated as the best in Ireland although, unsurprisingly, some of its main competitors say they have equally good offerings which simply do not meet the criteria to be ranked.

In any case, UCD’s offering involves classroom-based and project-based learning in small classes, where students engage through case studies, real-world projects and team assignments.

UCD’s business school likes to boast of its “triple crown” of international accreditation from AACSB (US), Equis (Europe) and AMBA (UK). It is the only Irish member of the leading business school alliances, the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS) and the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM).

Applicants tend to consider an MBA as an investment, as it requires a considerable outlay in terms of both time and fees: can you give up a year for a full-time course? Anyone thinking of undertaking an MBA should think carefully about it, but many graduates can expect to see a salary increase. They will also build up a strong network of business contacts.

Fees: €34,500 for the full-time, one-year MBA or €15,350 for the two-year part-time executive MBA.

University of Limerick

Top five courses:
1. MA in Technical Communication and Elearning
2. MEng in Information and Network Security
3. MSc in Financial Services
4. Master’s in International Entrepreneurship Management
5. MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance

Spotlight on . . . MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance
The University of Limerick has been carving out a niche for itself in a number of areas, including business and music. By now, UL's Irish World Academy has earned its reputation as a creative powerhouse when it comes to music and dance, offering a range of postgraduate programmes such as Irish music studies, Irish dance studies, classical string performance, music therapy, ethnomusicology and festival studies.

The MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance is its most popular offering. This is a one-year, full-time programme where renowned traditional performers and tutors – those familiar with Irish music may recognise such names as Dónal Lunny, Catherine McEvoy, Majella Bartley and Karen Casey – provide instrumental and vocal tuition across a range of repertoires and performance styles. Students can expect to develop the skills needed for modern Irish traditional music, learn to work with other performers and discover their musical identity.

Chanting, classical strings, Irish traditional music, music education, music therapy, ethnomusicology, contemporary dance and traditional dance are among the modules.

Fees: €4,588