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Master in Education Studies (Inquiry-Based Learning)

What is the Master in Education Studies (Inquiry-Based Learning)?

The Master in Education Studies (Inquiry-Based Learning) is an innovative and unique Masters course that taps into the widespread and growing interest in inquiry-based learning at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education. Despite the growing interest in this area, few opportunities exist in Ireland for students to study for a Master's degree where most of the credits are awarded for study and research in inquiry-based learning. This course aims to rectify this. The course is framed to provide clear interaction between theory and practice. A key feature of the course is to build a community of inquiry among participants, with a focus on collaborative tasks both online and face-to-face.

Who is the course for?

This course is open to teachers and anyone working as an educator in any profession or subject area, at any level.

What will I study?

In year one, students on this course will study four discrete modules consisting of a common core module, two specialism modules and one elective module selected from a pool of approved modules. In year two, students focus on an area of interest, related to Inquiry-Based Learning within Education Studies, in greater depth. They will develop research skills and prepare a dissertation of 20,000 words on a topic relevant to inquiry-based learning. 

What are the course aims?

On successful completion of this course participants will be able to: 

  • Critically discuss key issues in education theory and practice, with particular but not exclusive reference to inquiry-based learning
  • Explore the ideas of various thinkers in education and critically evaluate them
  • Pursue study and scholarship in inquiry-based learning
  • Undertake a substantial piece of academic research and present findings in written format in an appropriate scholarly manner, to a specialist or non-specialist audience as appropriate
  • Identify areas of focus for future professional development as required by The Teaching Council and other bodies, acknowledging that learning is a life-long process
  • Develop the skills required to become an effective researcher in education studies, with particular reference to inquiry-based learning
  • Critically reflect on their experiences in education and document how this reflection informs their practice

How is the course assessed?

Assessment is linked to the modular nature of the course. It consists of a variety of assessment methods such as essays, assignments, quizzes, written critiques, learning journals and collaborative work in year one followed by a research proposal and dissertation in year two. 

Module Listing

YEAR ONE

MODULE ONE

Introduction to Education Studies

  • Education and pedagogy
  • What is education for?
  • The relevance of virtues
  • Education under pressure in our culture
  • Where now is the Primary School Curriculum (1999)?
  • The practice of postgraduate reading and writing

MODULE TWO

Learning through Inquiry

  • Inquiry and the learner
  • Inquiry-based teaching
  • Nurturing a culture of inquiry
  • Assessment in inquiry-based learning

MODULE THREE

Inquiry-Based Learning and the Environment

  • Inquiry in the natural environment
  • Inquiry in the built environment
  • Environmental inquiry in public spaces and for public debate
  • Pedagogical opportunities for and assessment of environmental inquiry learning

MODULE FOUR

Choose one elective from those available. Sample options are:

  • Religious Diversity and Intercultural Education, Schools and Diversity
  • Inclusion and Intercultural Education
  • Teaching English as an Additional Language: An Intercultural Approach
  • Human Rights, Human Rights Education and Intercultural Education
  • Early Childhood Education - Policy and Practice
  • Language and Literacy

YEAR TWO

MODULE FIVE

Research Methods and Dissertation

General Information

Duration: 2 years part-time

Award level: NFQ 9

ECTS Credits: 90

Awarding body: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

IELTS: Level 6.5 (or equivalent)

Minimum Entry Requirements

An honours degree (level 8) with second class honours or higher and at least three years teaching or equivalent professional experience. In exceptional cases applicants who meet the honours degree requirement but who do not have the necessary experience may still be considered for the course.