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Open Learning Fee Waiver 2023/2024

As part of the Programme for Access to Higher Education (Path initiative), there are a number of Fee Waivers available to cover the cost of Open Learning module fees. These Fee Waivers cover the costs for up to six modules. These scholarships are funded by the Department of Education and Skills PATH fund and are offered in collaboration with NCAD, IADT, UCD and MIE. These scholarships are particularly aimed at those who are restricted by socio-economic factors, family responsibilities or health constraints and may, therefore, be excluded from full-time higher education.


Applicants from low-income households are invited, and priority will be given to:

• Socio-economic groups that have low participation in higher education (students would demonstrate this by either of the income options below).
• First-time mature students
• Students with a disability, particularly students with a physical/mobility impairment or students with a sensory disability, students who are deaf/hard of hearing, students who are blind or visually impaired
• Members of the Irish Traveller Community
• Lone parents with a means-tested Social Welfare payment
• Ethnic minorities
• Refugees and those with leave to remain


Applicants will be assessed based on:

• Low household income (less than €45,790 a year) and/or receipt of means-tested Social Welfare
• Challenges faced in accessing higher education
• Achievements in community, charity or sport
• Rationale for seeking a scholarship
• Motivation to study at higher education
• Career plans
• Financial need


Applications Open – 18th August 2022
Applications Close – 8th September 2023

Apply Here


Open Learning Modules at MIE

Because some modules are elective, the numbers may be insufficient for them to run in a particular semester. These modules are designated with an asterisk (*). 

Module Code:EC8105ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


An examination of the theory and practice underpinning international models of best practice in early childhood education and care for children aged 0-6 will be discussed. Funding models in developed and developing countries will be explored in relation to outcomes for children, parents and practitioners. The debate between a centralised vision for quality early childhood education and care and regional approaches will be analysed. The tensions arising from split systems in early years education and care will be investigated from the perspective of the different stakeholders involved. In particular, split systems in Ireland will be problematised, with regards to ‘health-based’ vs ‘education-based’ perspectives, and potential tensions between primary school and other early childhood settings. Implications for children’s transitions will be explored, and the role of regulation and its impact on access and quality will be examined.

Module Code:EC8103ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


This module is based on a broad philosophy of health that encompasses all aspects of a child’s well-being, with a particular focus on physical health and movement through activity and play. It is concerned with developing students’ knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes that are central to a quality programme for children in the early years. Students will be encouraged to focus on the role they play as they promote: the physical, social and emotional growth and development of pupils in both learning areas; the adoption of active, healthy lifestyles through informed decision making which leads to effective and responsible action; an understanding of the value of self and others and the development of positive interpersonal relationships; participation in regular and varied physical activity and movement experiences through activity and play, which provide the foundation for a lifelong commitment to valuing and leading a physically active lifestyle; and the systematic and explicit teaching of personal and social skills to give students a basis for resilience and the resourceful management of their own lives.

Module Code:EC8101ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


The visual arts exist in all societies and both creating and responding to visual art is inherent to the human condition. It is so much part of our lives that we can really only truly appreciate its centrality by imagining its absence. We now appreciate that children’s art engagement is not an automatic consequence of growth and development but rather the result of an active process of exploration and inquiry that cannot occur without some facilitation by adults (Barnes, 2002; Davis; 2008; Koster, 2005). Creating or responding to visual arts develops visual perception and fine manipulation skills in children from birth to 6 years. It facilitates individual and imaginative artistic expression and embraces the aesthetic dimension of learning. It helps children grow cognitively in relation to problem solving, cause and effect, classifying and sequencing. It aids language development and provides another avenue for self-expression. It develops children’s social and collaboration skills. It provides for the social and emotional dimension for learning. Consequently, visual arts is deemed an integral part of every child’s development. Visual arts also nurtures creativity. (Hurwitz & Day, 2007; Calloway & Kear, 1999; Lyons, 2013; NCCA, 1999. Creativity helps us to make the most of our lives. Creativity can be valued as a way to live more productively, to cope with difficulties, to discover possibilities and to develop new resilience, perspectives and aliveness in the moment, joy and purpose in life. While creativity is not particular to arts alone, early artistic engagement develops within transferable confidence and competencies to engage creatively in other domains of learning (Connery, 2010; Carilile & Jordan; 2012; Csikszentimalyi, 1996; Desailly, 2012). This junior freshman module has a particular focus on creativity and the visual arts mode. It examines and evaluates different constructs of creativity and their implications for early childhood education. It explores creative ‘flow’ and surroundings from a visual arts education perspective. It examines the visual arts modes and develops students’ subject connoisseurship, understanding and related skills through active engagement in creating, looking and responding. It examines the value of ‘creative play’ and ‘being creative’ in light of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework for children from 0-6 years. It investigates the junior visual arts primary curricula in light of the younger child’s aesthetic and creative development through participation, repertoire, critical and contextual understandings. In addition, it also examines the value of visual arts from an inclusive ECE perspective; drawing attention to visual arts longstanding inclusion, infusion or integration into ECE programmes for children with additional and diverse educational needs.

Module Code:EC8108ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


This course is concerned with developing students’ knowledge, values and skills that are core to cultivating nurturing pedagogy. Hayes (2007, 2008) argues that reconceptualising care as nurturing strengthens the attention to the educative value of care and allows for a more appropriate ‘nurturing pedagogy’ to emerge in early education learning environments. It has been recognised (Siolta; CECDE, 2005) that the early years of a child’s life signal a time of unique dependency during which time care routines “…in a stimulating environment, are appreciated as opportunities to develop a relationship with the child”. To this end pertinent legislation, regulations and policies will be considered. An emphasis on real world application will be central to this module and students will be encouraged to apply theory to practice including practical skills, risk assessment and hygiene standards, for the care of a baby and young child. This pedagogy highlights the importance of initial and contributing professional development for those working in an early years setting. “The quality of early childhood services- and ultimately the outcomes for children and families-depends on well-educated, experiences and competent’ staff (Urban, Robson and Scacchi 2017).

Module Code:EC8106ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


Language is the most powerful tool in the development of any human being. It is undeniably the greatest asset we possess. A good grasp of language is synonymous with a sound ability to think. In other words language and thought are inseparable. Vygotsky (1986) asserts that language development aids cognitive development. A child who is adept linguistically is thus advantaged in starting off his/her school life. This module will focus on participants’ developing their understanding of how language shapes thinking and how practice in settings can be adjusted to facilitate this. One of the four themes in Aistear – the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework for 0-6 year olds - is communication. This module will explore the communication theme in depth so that early years practitioners can confidently implement a language-rich curriculum in their early childhood setting for children from birth to 6 years. ).

Module Code:EC8211ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


The early years are a time of particular importance in children’s development, learning and growth. Children with special educational needs (SEN), as for all children, benefit from quality inclusive learning environments that offer opportunities for development. Early years practitioners and educators occupy a central role in supporting children with SEN during this
important period. Understanding of SEN is paramount and informs knowledge of how early years settings plan and support play, learning and development situated in an inclusive approach. This module offers theoretical and practical knowledge and encourages students to develop perspectives, knowledge and skills to inform an inclusive and holistic approach to practice. On completion of this module, students should have a good understanding of how additional needs may affect learning and development and how best to support them. Adapting strategies, materials and activities so all children have access to the same learning opportunities will be examined. Students will consider implications for practice to include planning and providing for the individual needs of children with SEN.

Effective Communication and Partnership*

Module Code:EC8902ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


Effective communication skills including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factors contributing to job success in any sector. For those working in an early years educational setting the ability to communicate effectively is an essential prerequisite for success in the workplace. Communication involves conveying your messages to other people clearly and unambiguously. It is also about receiving information that others are sending to you, with as little distortion as possible. Communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, such as listening and responding, intercultural communication, presenting and facilitation in group settings, and understanding and responding to messages from babies, toddlers and young children will be evaluated, analysed and applied in this module. This programme aims to equip students with a basic understanding of the process of communication and to help them develop and practice their own communication skills so that they themselves can become successful communicators in a variety of educational settings.

Module Code:EC8903ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


Almost all activities within any organisation have financial implications, and most staff are likely to acquire some level of financial or budgetary responsibility during their career. For State-funded organisations, it is important to be familiar with the various sources of income available to the organisation, and with the regulations regarding management and control of publicly-funded expenditure.

Module Code:EC8904ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


Due to the significant number of parents who wish to give their children an education through the medium of Irish, there is a significant number of Irish Language preschools in Irish speaking and in non-Irish speaking areas, as the first stage on the continuum of education through Irish. Many people are interested in working in Irish language preschools. Irish language preschools bestow an advantage on children who go on to attend all Irish primary schools and primary schools in Irish speaking areas. Irish Language Preschools immerse children in Irish and as a consequence of that they enhance their understanding of the language and they give the children a start in speaking Irish. Irish Language Preschools complement the efforts of families who rear their children through Irish. Students should note that a good standard of communicative competence in Irish is necessary to be able to engage effectively with this module and required assignments will need to be completed in Irish.

Module Code:EC8905ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


People possess many different qualities, all of which are important in the workplace. An awareness of qualities, both in others and oneself is essential for the effective running of an organisation. Effective communication is necessary for effective leadership. Strategies and techniques for effective communication are an important part of management and leadership. Self-awareness and effective communication enhance management and leadership skills. Motivation is an essential part of an effective workforce. Effective management and leadership involves an awareness of motivation theories. Through a model of transformational leadership the motivation level of both the leader and the follower can be enhanced. These skills are important in facilitating and implementing change in an early childhood setting.

Module Code:EC8901ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


Up to 25% of three-year-olds are overweight or obese in Ireland (Growing up in Ireland, 2013). By the time Irish children reach nine years of age there is a rate of 30% overweight or obese in some socioeconomic groupings (Growing up in Ireland – Overweight and Obesity Among 9-Year-Olds, 2011). The government requires pre-schools to have a written policy on healthy eating requirements that complies with the Childcare Act (2006). The pre-school manager is responsible for all the food eaten within the pre-school setting (Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-School Services, 2004). The module will investigate how nutrition and healthy eating are important aspects of early childhood education. The students will explore their own attitudes and beliefs to what constitutes a healthy diet. They will study key concepts of food and nutrition, appreciate the difference between nutrient intake and the cultural diversity of food. They will briefly learn about safe food handling. Students will be made aware of the relevant legislation and food polices recommended by the statutory agencies.

Module Code:ES8103ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


This module is being offered to provide students with an opportunity to explore the centrality of the Arts in Education and what education can learn from the arts. The course will investigate the different perspectives regarding arts’ relationship with creativity, culture, science, the aesthetic dimension of learning, critical thinking and rehabilitation in practical and theoretical manner. It will investigate the Visual Arts, Drama, Music, and Dance modes independently. It will also examine the rich potential within different integrated arts paradigms. Students will reflect, document and share their personal engagement with the arts and arts education so that practice, theory and personal experience are explored simultaneously.

Module Code:ES8102ECTS Credits:5Semester:1


Effective communication skills including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factors contributing to job success in any sector. For those working in an educational setting the ability to communicate effectively is an essential prerequisite for success in the workplace. Communication involves conveying your messages to other people clearly and unambiguously. It is also about receiving information that others are sending to you, with as little distortion as possible. Communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, such as listening and responding, intercultural communication, presenting and facilitation in group settings will be evaluated, analysed and applied in this module. This course aims to equip students with a basic understanding of the process of communication and to help them develop and practice their own communication skills so that they themselves can become successful communicators in a variety of educational settings.

Module Code:ES8101ECTS Credits:5Semester:1 & 2


The rationale of this course is to facilitate students understanding of principles and practices associated with adult learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. Students will learn to compare and contrast learning styles in adulthood and childhood from a theoretical (andragogy vs pedagogy) and practical perspective. They will also explore methodologies to create positive, nurturing educational environments for adult learners, with a specific focus on differentiating instruction for specific populations (e. g. young, middle-aged, elderly). Students will also have the opportunity to explore implications for training in the workplace, issues for public policy in relation to life-long learning, and the effects of diversity and globalisation.

Module Code:ES8105ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


The course will enable students to design and implement technologically mediated learning objects. Theoretical frameworks that apply to mainstream education have been adapted to e-learning, and these new approaches to learning are explored on this module.

Module Code:EC8108ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


The past few decades have demonstrated the need for effective leadership within the context of a rapidly changing Irish education landscape. Many different models of leadership exist and are applied in various education contexts. This module will draw upon theory and contemporary scholarship in sociology, political science, economics and education to provide different perspectives on leadership in education. This foundation module will provide an introduction to the nature of education leadership principles, models and theories, including; distributed, instructional, participative, democratic, transformational, moral, strategic leadership.

Module Code:ES8109ECTS Credits:5Semester:2


This module aims to enable students to familiarize themselves and gain an understanding of Special Educational Needs from an educational perspective. It aims to inform on national and international legislation, policy, practice, and terminology in the area. It provides insights to, and cultivates understanding of, emotional and behavioural conditions and related learning needs. Additionally, methods of assessment, and practical strategies for educational and social inclusion are explored. At the end of this course, students will have a greater understanding and consideration for the education and needs of those affected by emotional and behavioural conditions, along with a greater understanding of the role they might play in supporting and including such learners.

Module Code:ES8THEECTS Credits:5Semester:1


In 2011, the Irish government published the ‘National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030’ which made two recommendations related to the area of transition to third-level education. The first of these stated that:

  • Higher education institutions should prepare first-year students better for their learning experience, so they can engage with it more successfully (p.18).

The second (recommendation number 6), recommends that:

  • Both undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes should develop the generic skills needed for effective engagement in society and in the workplace (p.18).

Although these recommendations are incorporated across undergraduate modules, a need was identified to have an accompanying module that explicitly addressed these goals in students’ first semester in college. This module examines how to guide students towards the effective management of their own learning and development. It introduces students to the academic and broader skills required for success in their new academic journey and beyond.

It also examines the language that is used in education so that students better understand the language and become more sensitive to how it influences thinking. Education texts and
programmes contain many terms that can be confusing for those who are new to the area. Examples of such terms are child-centred, active learning, ability grouping. Other terms are
familiar but shape our understanding of education in ways that are often unquestioned. Knowing the language of education and how it shapes our thinking about education is important for people who work in any area of education.


Terms & Conditions

1. This Fee Waiver programme is funded through the HEA's PATH fund, in partnership with UCD, IADT, NCAD and MIE.
2. Fee Waivers cannot be deferred.
3. Students can only take modules which are available through the Open Learning programme.
4. Students must successfully pass their modules in the first semester in order to proceed with their modules in the second semester.
5. If a student’s academic performance is deemed to be unsatisfactory, their scholarship may be withdrawn.
6. The Fee Waiver will be withdrawn if a student face disciplinary proceedings within MIE.
7. Successful candidates may be asked to take part in feedback sessions and publicity material to promote the Open Learning scholarship and programme.
8. In the event of unforeseen circumstances or illness, the relevant MIE policies will apply.
9. Applicants must have a legal entitlement to remain in Ireland to complete their proposed course of study. The onus rests with the applicant to satisfy MIE in this regard.
10. Open Learning Scholars will be encouraged to act as role models within MIE and their local community.