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Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education)

Applications are not yet open for 2019 entry. For any queries regarding the course, please email admissions@mie.ie. 

What is the Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education)?

The Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education) is an innovative course, which uses a blended approach of face-to-face and online learning. It is open to applicants with primary and post-primary teaching experience. It is particularly relevant to those interested in social justice, equality and diversity.

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for educators who want to better understand the role of education in a diverse society. The Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education) is rooted in principles of social justice and equality, and is relevant for all educators.

What will I study?

Students on this programme will study four discrete modules in first year; namely, schools and diversity, inclusion and intercultural education; teaching English as an additional language; religious diversity and intercultural education; and human rights, human rights education, and interculturalism. In year two, students have the opportunity to focus on one of these areas in greater depth. They will develop research skills and prepare a dissertation of 20,000 words on a topic relevant to intercultural education.

What are the programme aims?

  • To develop students’ competence in the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to interculturalism
  • To enable students to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to educating children and young people in a variety of settings, e.g. primary, post-primary, tertiary, and non-formal sector, in the area of intercultural education
  • To provide students with a high level of theoretical understanding and critical awareness of key issues in intercultural education
  • To develop students’ competence in relation to “culturally relevant pedagogy”
  • To enable students to conduct original research in the area of intercultural education

How is the programme assessed?

Assessment is linked to the modular nature of the programme. It consists of assignments, case studies, a discussion forum and a literature review in Year 1, followed by a research proposal and dissertation in Year 2.

What are my career options?

Graduates of the programme would be well prepared for many leadership and management roles in schools, including principalships. Graduates would be well placed to offer professional development for teachers or to work with pre-service teachers on the topic of intercultural education. Finally graduates could contribute to the field of intercultural education by presenting conference papers and writing journal articles.

Early Exit Award 

Students have the opportunity to exit this course with a Postgraduate Diploma (in Intercultural Education) upon successful completion of Year 1. 

Module Listing



Schools and diversity, inclusion and intercultural education

  • Aspects of culture and individual cultural backgrounds
  • Approaches to understanding diversity in society and education
  • Policy, legislation and literature impacting on culture and education
  • Effective teaching and learning strategies for the diverse classroom
  • The inclusive school: building a shared sense of community


Teaching English as an additional language: An intercultural approach

  • Linguistic diversity in the context of intercultural education
  • The role of oral language in the development of English language proficiency
  • Literacy: supporting the development of English language proficiency
  • Developing a whole-school and community approach to teaching English as an additional language
  • Assessment & evaluation


Religious diversity and intercultural education

  • Religious diversity in the context of intercultural education
  • Key pedagogical principles underpinning the religious dimension of intercultural education
  • Encounters with the ‘other’; entering into interreligious dialogue
  • Learning from the experience of others
  • Developing a whole-class and whole-school approach to religious diversity and intercultural education


Human rights, human rights education and interculturalism

  • Introduction to human rights and human rights education
  • Human rights education in schools
  • Human rights and multiculturalism
  • Human rights and interculturalism
  • Global human rights and the intercultural classroom


The research dissertation

  • Research methodologies and research ethics
  • The research design process
  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation (20,000 words)

General information

Duration: 2 years part-time

Award level: NFQ 9

ECTS Credits: 90

Awarding body: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

Minimum Entry Requirements

An honours degree (level 8) with a second class honours or higher, and at least three years' teaching experience or equivalent experience.

Sample dissertation titles, 2014-2016

Investigating the Development of Academic Language Proficiency in a Multi-Lingual Classroom

Does a Student Council Promote Voice and Participation in an Ethnically Diverse Irish Primary School?: A Case Study

Hard to Reach Parents or Hard to Reach Schools? A Case Study of Ethnic Minority Parental Involvement in an Educate Together National School

An Investigation into the Role of Complementary Schools in the Irish Education System: A Case Study

An Investigation into the Influence of Assistencialism on Students' Perceptions of and Attitudes to Diversity in Local and Global Contexts.

The Role of Teacher Identity in the Culturally Diverse Classroom

The Question of Religious / Belief Diversity in Irish Multidenominational Primary Schools: Teachers' Perspectives

An Examination of the Experiences of Recent Immigrant Parents Navigating their Way through the Irish Education System

What is this Master's programme about?

This video gives you further information about the Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education):

Minority language students and the curriculum: closing the achievement gap

In April 2017, MIE held a one-day seminar entitled 'Minority language students and the curriculum: closing the achievement gap', which was supported by funding from SCoTENS. The initiative was organised in association with Dr Barbara Skinner at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. A one-day seminar on the same theme was held in Coleraine in February 2017.

Speakers at the MIE seminar included: Dr Piet Van Avermaet from the University of Ghent in Belgium, Dr Andrew Hancock from Edinburgh University, Dr Deirdre Kirwan, former principal of Scoil Bhríde Cailíní in Blanchardstown, Dublin, and Dr Jean Conteh from Leeds University. Dr Rory Mc Daid from MIE was the rapporteur for the day.

The seminars were filmed and the recordings have now been edited into a ten-minute digital resource: