Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development

Course overview

The Master of Arts Degree in Adult Learning and Development is intended to give training, education and human resource practitioners the opportunity to:

  • Extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding of theories underlying adult learning, training, education and development;
  • Apply critical analysis and problem solving skills in the development of new knowledge and practice to the field of adult learning, training, education and development;
  • Contribute to the debate on the role of lifelong learning in the context of international experience, government priorities and in the framework of personal and professional development.

Key facts

Entry requirements

  1. Academic: Candidates must have achieved a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree.

  2. Technological: Candidates must have computer proficiency and access to the internet.

  3. Experiential: Candidates must possess a minimum of three years’ experience in training and education or other relevant experience.

Candidates for entry may be required to attend for interview prior to being offered a place on the programme. The number of places will be restricted.

Additional requirements


Duration: 2 academic years (September - April)

Next start date: Please contact the Programme Administrator

ECTS weighting: 90

Awards: Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development*
*Participants have an exit option on successful completion of 60 ECTS. In such cases participants will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Learning and Development (Level 9 NFQ).

Closing date: Please contact the Programme Administrator

NFQ level: 9

Mode of study: Part-time, distance and blended learning programme delivered through self-study texts, regional workshops and online activities.

Course outline

Students will have to attend 1-day and 2-day workshops throughout the academic year (see below). This usually amounts to 13 days in total.

Modules - YEAR 1
ECTS   Workshops
Human Resource Development and Training for Work 5 1 day
The Psychology of Adult Learning and Development 10 2 days
Adult Learning Theories and Concepts 5 1 day
Teaching and Learning Online 5 1 day
Lifelong Learning: Concepts, Context and Issues 10 2 days
Social Science Research 10 2 days
Modules - YEAR 2
Learning and the Individual 5 1 day
Management and Leadership in Training and Education (Elective) 10 2 days

Online Learning Design (Elective)

10 2 days
Dissertation 30 1 day

Applications and selections

Application Open Date: Thursday, 2nd April, 2015: Apply here


* Please note applicants are not required to complete the section relating to Leaving Cert results.


A fees scholarship of up to 30% may be available for students who wish to upskill for the purposes of re-employment. Students must be registered as unemployed and in receipt of one of the following:

  • Job-seekers Benefit
  • Job-seekers Allowance
  • One-parent family allowance
  • Disability allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • or signing for social insurance contribution credits

 2015-2016 Fee Scholarship Application Form

Please contact the Programme Administrator for further information. Supporting documentation relating to the above eligibility categories will be required as part of your scholarship application (e.g. a letter from the Dept. of Social Protection).

Requirements and assessment

Participants are assessed through written assignments, online discussion contributions and learning journal reflections.

Find out more

Tara Prendeville

Adult Training and Education Studies

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

NUI Galway, Nuns' Island


T 353 91 494061
F 353 91 528905

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €4,200 p.a. 2015/16

€4,200 for 1st year. (1LD1)

€3,700 for 2nd and subsequent years.