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.

NB: 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).

Mode of Study: Blended Learning

Applications and Selections

Applications are now closed for 2021. Applications for part-time courses will reopen in April 2022.

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Applications System. This course is listed under Adult Learning & CPD Courses Application.

Please visit our How to Apply page for Application tips and Supporting Documents information.

Early application is advised as offers will be made on a rolling basis. A limited number of applications may be accepted after the official application closing date, subject to the availability of places.

NB: Applicants are not required to complete the section relating to Leaving Cert results.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment includes written assignments, practical projects, online contributions, and reflective learning journals. You will complete a research-based dissertation in the second year of the course.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  1. Academic: Candidates must have achieved a minimum of a 2.2 honours degree.
  2. 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.

Entry requirements for part-time students can be found in our FAQs section (i.e. age, english language requirements etc.). 

Additional Requirements


2 years, part-time

Next start date


A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date


NFQ level


Mode of study

Blended Learning

ECTS weighting



Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development


Course code

Course Outline


Students will attend 1-day and 2-day workshops throughout the academic year (see below). This usually amounts to 14 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 1 day
Online Learning Design (Elective) 10 1 days
Dissertation 30 1 day
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Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

You may find career opportunities in the further education and training sector and in voluntary & community-based training organisations. You may also find employment in human resources and staff development areas of a wide range of organisations and businesses. Opportunities also exist with private training providers and in the corporate training and professional development sectors.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Our students have come from a wide range of backgrounds such as; further education teachers, instructional designers, educational consultants, human resource specialists and self-employed trainers.

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€4,262 (Year 1), €3,747 (Year 2)

Fees: Tuition

€4,157 (Year 1), €3,642 (Year 2)

Fees: Student levy

€105 p.a.

Fees: Non EU

€4,762 (Year 1), €4,247 (Year 2)

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
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Signing for social insurance contribution credits

Please download the 2021_22 Fees Scholarship Form for more information.

Find out More

Tara Prendeville

Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development
NUI Galway, Nuns' Island, Galway
Tel: 091 494061
Fax: 091 528905

What Our Students Say


Annette Murphy |   Graduate

I’ve had the most wonderful experience of learning from, and with, my fellow students and faculty members in a constructive and supportive environment. Therefore, I can now say with confidence that I understand, and have personally experienced, what it is like to place a learner at the center of the learning. The facilitative and open approach from faculty and support staff was extremely helpful and demonstrated a genuine desire for each student to achieve success and gain as much as possible from the course.

Seona Joyce |   Graduate

This course gave me the flexibility to fit my studies around my lecturing, which made it a practical option for me. While the assessment schedule was demanding at times, the lecturers were very supportive. It gave me great insight into how adults learn so that as well as enhancing my personal development, professionally it enabled me to apply new understanding to my everyday teaching practice.

Orla Fox-Colleran |   Graduate

I have transferred what I have learned and I now have a better understanding of different styles of teaching, learning and so much more. It has broadened my horizons both personally and professionally. It’s not easy, but it is worth every minute and every cent spent on it.


  • Adult Learning Prospectus

    Adult Learning Prospectus PDF (3.4 MB)

  • Short Courses Series 2021

    Short Courses Series 2021 PDF (4.9 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2022

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2022 PDF (14.3MB)