Course Overview

Master of Arts (Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs) offers a level 9 qualification for all professionals interested in Special Educational Needs (SEN).  Entry onto this Masters programme is based on successful completion of three modules (45 ECTs) from the suite of SEN Online Blended Learning modules offered as part of the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway (see Key Facts). 

Research methods are critical to successful study at MA level and will incorporate problem-solving activities, action research in professional contexts and the opportunity to link theory and practice in general and in terms of the execution of coursework.  Participants accepted onto the Masters stage of the programme will have achieved an increased level of competence and confidence within the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway.  They will also be looking forward to choosing the area of study for their MA dissertation and beginning to reflect on possible research methodologies for their dissertation.  

The Advanced Research Module (15 ECTs) will provide students with the opportunity to make and implement informed choices regarding professionally relevant areas of research for their dissertation and to do this with the guidance and support of tutors and peers.  Lectures will take place online with some face-to-face sessions during September and October.  Students use the remainder of the year to carry out research and draft material for their MA Dissertation.

The final dissertation will be a maximum of 20,000 words and the topic chosen by the participant must be related to the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway.

Applications and Selections

Please complete and return relevant Application Form by Tuesday 21st June 2022 to Mary Kearns

Before submitting this application, please ensure that you have satisfied the requirements listed below. 
Incomplete entries or those not fulfilling these requirements will not be considered.

1.   Fully competed application form
2.   Application Fee €25 (non-refundable) **Payment must be made via our Online Payments Facility

Under Course Info please follow these instructions:

  • Student Number – leave blank or state 00000
  • Course Type – Choose “Other”.  Choose Course Title.  “Postgrad Education – Application Fee”
  • Then type in the amount you wish to pay i.e. €25
  • Then proceed to enter your card details for payment.

3.   *A certified copy of examination transcripts (actual results and award level) or Teaching Council Registration details, if applicable.  Please note these will not be returned.
4.   *Certified copy birth and marriage certificate (non-returnable)
5.   IELTS or TOEFL certificate for applicants whose first language is not English

* Certified copy is a photocopy endorsed and stamped by a member of the Garda Siochana or a Commissioner for Oaths.  In the case of examination transcripts, these must be stamped by awarding college. ‌

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

This MA follows successful completion (an honours standard) of three modules (45 ECTs) from the suite of SEN Online Blended Learning modules offered as part of the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway. One of these modules must include the Educational Research Methods module. Programme commences in September 2022 with submission of 20,000 word dissertation in Summer 2023.  

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Level 8 Undergraduate Degree (H2.2) or equivalent. For students without the relevant academic qualification but with relevant previous experience, recognition for prior learning can be awarded.

Additional Requirements


One Year

Next start date

September 2022

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

15-20 (inclusive of all pathways)

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

21st June 2022

NFQ level

Level 9

Mode of study

ECTS weighting


Master of Arts (Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs)


Course code

Course Outline

MA Stage Two Modules:

  • Advanced Research (Core)
  • Dissertation (Core)

Participants are required to attend a mix of face-to-face sessions and online lectures between September and November with a further workshop scheduled to take place in January. At the end of the series of lectures students will be required to submit a Dissertation Proposal in November.  A tutor will be assigned to you and once your proposal has been deemed successful you can progress on to the dissertation stage. 

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

This programme is suitable for candidates who wish to progress further in their professional sector and are already in employment.  It aims to enhance professional knowledge and it is designed to provide a student-centred, accessible, flexible, coherent framework for the personal, professional and academic development of participants.  Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own work practices and to link their study to their working environment.

Who’s Suited to This Course

The modules attract a wide range of participants from a variety of settings, including:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Graduates who wish to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and area awaiting a place on the programme
  • Qualified teachers who are seeking full-time employment
  • Employees within the Health Service Executive who work with learners with Special Educational Needs
  • Principals, managers and Department Inspectorate
  • Employees and Managers within Early Childhood Education sector
  • Classroom assistants (including cuntóirí teanga)
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Learning Support Tutors
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Parents and Family Members involved in the care of learners with special educational needs
  • Any others involved in the training or educational needs of learners with special educational needs

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU


Fees: Tuition


Fees: Student Contribution


Fees: Student levy


Fees: Non EU


Fees can be paid securely through our Online Payment Facility

Find out More

Ms Mary Kearns
Senior Administrator
School of Education
T: +353(0)71 9195550