Our website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyse site traffic, personalise content, and serve targeted advertisements. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information about cookies and how we use them

Master in Education Studies (Inquiry-Based Learning)



Wednesday 10th April 2024 at 7.30PM 

We are holding an online information session for this programme on Wednesday 10th of April 2024 at 7.30PM.  If you would like to learn more about the MES in Inquiry Based Learning programme, please click the link below to register for the online session and we will send you the web link prior to the event.  Registrations for this event will close at 5.00PM on Tuesday 9th April 2024.



Applications for the September 2024 intake of this programme are now open and will close on the 31st of May 2024.  Following the application closing date eligible applicants will be invited for interview.


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, and three specialism modules 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. 

Early Exit Award 

Students have the opportunity to exit this course with a Postgraduate Diploma (in Inquiry-Based Learning) upon successful completion of Year 1.

Module Listing



Introduction to Education Studies

  • Education and pedagogy
  • What is education for?
  • The relevance of virtues
  • Education under pressure in our culture
  • Place of curriculum and assessment
  • The practice of postgraduate reading and writing


Learning through Inquiry

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


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


Promoting Inquiry-Based Learning through the use of creative technologies

  • Theory and Pedagogy of developing Inquiry Based Learning through the application of technology in education
  • Accessing educational resources online appropriate for creating and resourcing an IBL environment
  • Experimentation with digital tools and toys to enrich children’s collaboration and inquiry
  • Assessment of Inquiry Based Learning supported by digital technologies



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. English Language Requirement IELTS Level 6.5 (or equivalent).

Delivery Mode

In Year 1, lectures generally take place two weekends per month on Fridays (6.00pm to 9.00pm) and Saturdays (9.00am to 4.00pm). In Year 2, students usually attend lectures early in Term 1 after which they will focus on their research dissertations.

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Course Fees

The fee for the course is €3,950 per annum. Full details of fees are outlined in the Institute Charges Policy.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an online application and are typically required to undergo an interview. For further details, please contact [email protected]